Melania's dress: Outfit sells out quickly online

Mrs Trump's outfit, by Serbian-born designer Roksanda Ilincic, was conservative, with a hint of grandeur and a slight twist.
Mrs Trump's outfit, by Serbian-born designer Roksanda Ilincic, was conservative, with a hint of grandeur and a slight twist.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Unlike pretty much every would-be first lady, Mrs Melania Trump wore a dress not by an American label, but by Ms Roksanda Ilincic, a Serbian-born designer based in London, at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

Ms Ilincic's story parallels Mrs Trump's nicely: She was born in Serbia, which, like Mrs Trump's native Slovenia, was part of Yugoslavia at the time; and like Mrs Trump, she found her way out via a career in fashion. It shadows Mrs Trump's own American fairy tale. Ms Ilincic's pieces have been worn by former British prime minister David Cameron's wife, Mrs Samantha Cameron; Britain's Princess Catherine; and US President Barack Obama's wife, Mrs Michelle Obama.

Online retailer Net-a-porter sold out of the US$2,190 (S$3,000) dress worn by Mrs Trump within hours of her appearance.

Mrs Trump's choice of a white dress, as opposed to the colour-blocked styles that have become Ms Ilincic's signature, sent all sorts of interesting subliminal signals, given that Mrs Trump has rarely spoken on the campaign trail, including that this was effectively her political baptism.

As for the frock itself, it was conservative - long-sleeved, round- necked - with a hint of grandeur (those fluted sleeves) and a slight twist (a full-length zipper up the back), descriptions that have a certain resonance with Mr Trump's agenda.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2016, with the headline 'Melania's dress: Outfit sells out quickly online'. Print Edition | Subscribe