Melania Trump wore... Melania Trump?
After months of speculation, the new First Lady's inauguration dress was revealed as Trump took the stage alongside husband Donald Trump wearing an off-the-shoulder white gown with a frill running down the front. Yet, as the designer of the confection was revealed, it wasn't one of the usual presidential suspects, such as Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren (whom Trump wore earlier in the day for the President's swearing in), or Jason Wu, whom Michelle Obama famously donned for both of husband Barack Obama's inaugural balls. Nor was it a design by Karl Lagerfeld, which had been widely speculated.
Rather, Trump herself collaborated with Hervé Pierre, the former creative director of Carolina Herrera who left the company in February 2016 after fourteen years at the company. Prior to his tenure at the House of Herrera, the French-born designer headed up haute couture at Balmain.
In an official statement, Pierre said, "“It’s an honor to dress the First Lady. I was actually lucky because over my 20 years in the U.S., I dressed all the first ladies: Mrs. Clinton at Oscar [de la Renta], Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama at Carolina Herrera. So I feel lucky and honored to dress Melania Trump, but this time under my name... It was an amazing experience. She knows what she likes. Our conversations were, and are, very easy. She knows about fashion, as a former model. She is aware about constructions, so we have already the same vocabulary when it comes to designing a dress.”
The collaboration comes mere hours after the White House posted Trump's official bio on its website, causing much of social media to raise an eyebrow in regards the Slovenian's list of accomplishments, which focused heavily on her former modeling career, as well as "numerous television commercials and television programs, including co-hosting The View with Barbara Walters." The resume also notes Trump's passion for the arts, architecture, design, fashion and beauty - ironic, considering a recent report that suggests that federal art and humanities funding may be first to go under her husband's tenure. A throwaway line towards the end of the bio notes that Trump also launched her own jewelry line in 2010, which was briefly sold on QVC, indicating that this is not her first foray into the designing world.
The dress itself features six-ply vanilla crepe with gazar details with a red silk faille ribbon at the waist. In its ivory coloring, Trump joins a number of former First Ladies who have worn the color for the official ball. Among them: Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan (twice), Hillary Clinton in 1997, and, most recently, Michelle Obama, wearing Jason Wu, in 2013.
Meanwhile Melania's step-daughter, Ivanka Trump - who until recently ran her own clothing line - opted for Pierre's former employer, Carolina Herrera (a second potentially awkward fashion moment for the First Lady, after Hillary Clinton also wore Ralph Lauren to the morning's events). The 35 year-old wore a princess-esque long-sleeved and sequined gown in a pale hue that house described as "champagne" - a subtle, celebratory detail likely not lost on the new First Daughter.