Melania takes in arts, crafts and makes a cold fashion statement

US First Lady Melania Trump and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan surrounded by pupils after a cultural performance during their visit to Banchang Elementary School in Beijing yesterday.
US First Lady Melania Trump and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan surrounded by pupils after a cultural performance during their visit to Banchang Elementary School in Beijing yesterday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING • United States First Lady Melania Trump spent time with Beijing primary school pupils yesterday while President Donald Trump met Chinese leaders for bilateral talks at the Great Hall of the People.

Accompanied by China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, Mrs Trump watched a cultural performance, painted pandas and took part in a cooking class at Banchang Elementary School.

The 47-year-old former model also observed various arts and crafts classes, including one on fashion, where she helped a pupil embellish a traditional cheongsam.

According to state-run newspaper China Daily, the school in the Dongcheng district in downtown Beijing is "an ordinary primary school" with 29 classes and more than 1,000 pupils.

Mrs Trump started the second day of her Beijing visit at the welcome ceremony in the morning at the Great Hall of the People with Mr Trump.

Despite the temperature dipping below 10 deg C, Mrs Trump donned a flowing Dolce & Gabbana half-sleeve gown without an overcoat. She stood out on the red carpet in her black floor-length dress, which featured elaborate brocade white and pink flowers.

Madam Peng, on the other hand, was warmly dressed in a black coat over a knee-length brown cheongsam, with only its high collar and hemline peeking out from under the coat.

Mrs Trump is accompanying Mr Trump on a three-day state visit to China, which ends today. She will visit the Beijing zoo to interact with giant pandas and tour the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China before returning to the United States.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'Melania takes in arts, crafts and makes a cold fashion statement'. Print Edition | Subscribe