FASHION WATCH AT THE WHITE HOUSE

Style icon in the making

Mrs Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention in Ohio in a Roksanda Ilincic outfit she picked from Net-a-porter’s bridal range. Though she drew controversy after similarities were noted between her speech and that of Mrs Michelle Obama’s address
Mrs Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention in Ohio in a Roksanda Ilincic outfit she picked from Net-a-porter’s bridal range. Though she drew controversy after similarities were noted between her speech and that of Mrs Michelle Obama’s address at the 2008 Democratic convention, her dress was a hit.PHOTO: NYTIMES
Her future FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) wardrobe may look like this safe combination of a dusty rose silk blouse by Emilia Wickstead and a high-waisted pencil skirt, worn to a campaign event in Pennsylvania.
Her future FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) wardrobe may look like this safe combination of a dusty rose silk blouse by Emilia Wickstead and a high-waisted pencil skirt, worn to a campaign event in Pennsylvania.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Was this Gucci top a kind of a joke from her? The shirt which she wore to the second presidential debate in Missouri is described as a “pussy-bow silk crepe de chine shirt” on Net-a-porter.com.
Was this Gucci top a kind of a joke from her? The shirt which she wore to the second presidential debate in Missouri is described as a “pussy-bow silk crepe de chine shirt” on Net-a-porter.com.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

When Mrs Melania Trump appeared at the Republican National Convention in July, Vanity Fair magazine compared her with Kate Middleton, the British royal who is a global style icon.

Mrs Trump, 46, was wearing a stunning white dress with puff sleeves that night, hours before her husband Donald Trump claimed the Republican nomination for president.

Her outfit by Serbian-born and British-based Roksanda Ilincic quickly sold out after she wore it, a sign that the former model from Slovenia turned First Lady-to-be may well be on her way to becoming a fashion trendsetter.

Her choices might also stir some debate, as questions then were asked as to why she did not choose a dress by an American designer.


Out voting with her husband in New York, Mrs Trump dangles a Balmain coat artfully over a Michael Kors dress. No doubt, her years of catwalking would have ensured it did not fall off. PHOTO: NYTIMES

 
 

She also aroused talk when she wore a fuchsia pink pussy-bow shirt to the second television presidential debate and a black pussy- bow Ralph Lauren creation to the next one.

People thought her picks were intentional, coming just after her husband was revealed to have talked about grabbing women "by the p***y" in a leaked recording from 2005. But a Trump campaign spokesman denied it was intentional.

Fast forward to election day last Tuesday. She appeared, displaying a style she has been most noted for - by balancing a long coat on her shoulders that barely covers her white shift dress.

The Telegraph's fashion editor Victoria Moss wrote: "Her efforts here are accomplished. On stage in Iowa, after introducing her husband as 'the best master negotiator', she stepped back from the lectern, flicked that perfect blow-dry delicately over her shoulder, and all without her bright red coat budging an inch. That's not just rigid tailoring and a sturdy shoulder-pad; that's professional."

Monochrome outfits. Shoulder robing. Pussy bows. All very safe - and boring?

Do these form the signature style of the next queen of the White House? Given her fashion background, she will keep everyone watching in the years to come.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2016, with the headline 'Style icon in the making'. Print Edition | Subscribe