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China's Peng Liyuan is a true First Lady of Style during her 10-day Europe trip

Published on Mar 28, 2014 6:30 PM
 

April 1

On this 10-day trip to Europe, which ended on Monday, Peng Liyuan was named Unesco ambassador for women's education. She also cemented her reputation as a true First Lady of Style.

Here, with Queen Mathilde at an inauguration ceremony for a panda pavilion at Paira Daiza zoo during an official ceremony in Brugelette on March 30, she paired a structured blue coat with a cheongsam. The little blue flowers on the cheongsam matched perfectly with her coat. Likewise, her clutch also subtly matched the mauve on the cheongsam.

Here, at a meeting in Brussels on March 31, she is seen in a similar blue-and-white print to the cheongsam that she wore in Versailles. Again, she shows how simple accessories like a white scarf and envelope clutch can make an outfit look that much more put together.

The most adventurous she got with colour this trip, especially for someone who seems to prefer more muted tones. The purple and red are a bit theatrical, but it is refreshing to see her have fun with colour. She is seen here with Belgium's King Philippe (second, left), Queen Mathilde (right) and her husband Xi Jinping (second, right) at Laeken Royal Palace in Brussels March 30,

For her final official dinner on this trip at Laeken Royal Palace in Brussels on March 31, Ms Peng opted for a lovely traditional embroidered Chinese outfit. The fabric, fine embroidery and soft colours all add up to a picture-perfect outfit.

March 28

Little details make all the difference to an outfit, and Ms Peng is well aware of that. Arriving at the Schloss Bellevue presidential residency in Berlin, she wears a jacket with one lapel turned out to reveal a grey contrast lining, which goes with the cuffs on the sleeves. A geometric print scarf worn cravat style adds to the chicness of the outfit.

March 27

Accompanying her husband to meet France's Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault and his wife Brigitte in Paris, Ms Peng wore a monochrome outfit, but it was far from boring.

Her dress features a bold black and white floral print, as well as an interesting shirt-like collar. It goes well with the collarless knee-length jacket that she has on. Her diamond brooch adds that something extra to the overall outfit. The Prime Minister's wife looks like mutton dressed as lamb next to the elegant Ms Peng. 

For dinner at Chateau de Versailles in Versailles, Peng Liyuan wore a most eye-catching outfit that featured a mix of east meets west, and something traditional given a chic update. The print of her cheongsam brings to mind Ming pottery, but on closer inspection, the print also looks quite batik-like too.

Especially interesting is her jacket, a modified tailcoat. Who would have thought to pair this rather masculine piece with something as feminine as a cheongsam, but it works wonderfully.

 

March 26

Several days into her husband's state visit to Europe, it is not hard to see why Vanity Fair featured Ms Peng on its 2013 international best dressed list.

 

On March 26, she attended a ceremony at the Invalides hotel in Paris with her husband, Chinese President Xi Jinping and French president Francois Hollande.

She loves her skirt suits, and why not, with a figure like hers? Chinese silk brocade jackets can look dated, but hers looks modern thanks to the sleek cut of the jacket, and the way she has paired it with a long pencil skirt and bright blue suede heels, not to mention having her hair down in a youthful plait instead of her usual bun.

She was the epitome of Oriental chic at a State Dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday night. Her black cheongsam style gown features a sheer floral-patterned top. The silhouette is quite Western, thanks to the peplum detail, and with her blush pink shawl, the overall look is modern and elegant.

On March 26, she accompanied her husband to an exhibition at the French-Chinese institute of Lyon. Everything looks well put together, from the hair to the black jacket accessorised with a diamond brooch, to the grey tweed skirt...and then you get to the handbag, which does not go with the rest of the outfit.

March 23

Almost exactly a year ago, First Lady Peng Liyuan, 52, set off on her first state visit to Russia with her husband, President Xi Jinping. That marked the start of China's fascination with what she wore. Later that year, her status as a style icon was cemented globally when Vanity Fair included her in its international best-dressed list. (The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama did not make the cut.)

One year on, and her style has proven consistent - safe, but always sophisticated and elegant. While Mrs Obama can be considered more of a fashion risk-taker in terms of the style of dresses she picks and her love for bold colours and prints, Madam Peng plays it safe in smart skirt suits and ladylike coats, in shades such as pale green, grey, blue and black. We check out what Madam Peng is wearing on her latest Europe trip with her husband.

For example, she arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday March 22, in a fitted grey coat and matching heels. A black and white polka dot scarf added an interesting detail to her look.

Later that day, she accompanied her husband to the Royal Palace in a pastel pink skirt suit. The jacket featured a Chinese-style collar and knot buttons. It is most likely designed by Chinese fashion designer Ma Ke, who has been dressing Madam Peng since 2003 and has designed very similar looking suits for her.

She kept her accessories simple - a matching pink clutch and beige suede heels. Tasteful and elegant.

For a meeting with Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix at the Royal Palace again, she had on the same coat that she wore to dinner with Michelle Obama in Beijing - a traditional-cut Chinese jacket with floral trim. But instead of wearing it with a black dress as she did in Beijing, she teamed it with a long minty gown for a fresher and less severe look.