Melania Trump Transforms Into Fashion Icon Amidst Designer Boycotts And High-Fashion Feuds

The controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s expensive designer wardrobe, the rise of international designer boycotts, and the unyielding support from Dolce & Gabbana may be the perfect recipe for transforming Melania Trump into a fashion icon. Dolce & Gabbana is responsible for many of Melania’s ensemble from the all-black, lace, veiled piece she wore to meet the Pope at the Vatican to the $51,500 silk flower jacket she donned at the G7 Summit meeting.

Singers such as Madonna and Lady Gaga are notorious for their outrageous outfits and have made some controversial on-stage fashion choices, landing both artists in the “fashion icon” category. Michelle Obama is said to have had an “influence on American fashion,” by sporting arm-baring dresses, colorful cardigans, and her mix of high-end and mass-retail designers, according to Time.

Melania’s outfits have been called a variety of things from “silent protests” that carried significant meaning to Melania intentionally channeling Jackie O through her love for perfectly tailored suits. Jackie Onassis Kennedy grabbed the public’s attention with her chic, yet simple fashion sense.

For decades, celebs have used their keen fashion sense to catapult them into stardom. Melania’s chosen wardrobe during her last trip to France was no different. Melania, who has often leaned on an A-line silhouette, may be communicating with the public through her style, according to Robert Verdi, a celebrity stylist who spoke with Yahoo Style.

Melania Trump wears bold red Bottega Veneta at G20
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump stands next to Argentine President's wife Juliana Awada, Canadian Prime Minister's wife Sophie Gregoir- Trudeau as Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz, left, speaks during the spouses program of the G-20 summit at the townhall in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Axel Schmidt/Pool Photo via AP)

With designers like Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Sophie Theallet declining to dress the first family, Melania has turned to designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, and rumored inaugural ball gown designer Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel during one of the biggest fashion boycotts of all time.

During President Trump’s visit to Paris, according to The Cut, through their clothing, the Trump family has seemed to embrace the “gender distinctions of the 1950s (or the French aristocracy).”

“With Melania, and any other person who steps in the public eye, if they don’t use their voice, the thing we use as their voice is what they wear... And that’s what we’ve done with her.”

While in France, Melania wore a red Dior suit, her hair a bouffant updo, drawing full attention to the suit which echoed back to the 1950s.

Melania Trump arrives in Paris for Bastille Day.
First lady Melania Trump walks to her motorcade after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump on Air Force One at Orly Airport south of Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. The president and first lady will attend the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, on Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Louis Vuitton mini dress that was worn by France’s first lady, Brigitte Macron, telegraphed the sexually liberated 1960s, and looked more modern and “democratic,” as opposed to Melania’s 1950s-era look.

Melania Trump wears signature a-line dress
French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, shakes hands with U.S President Donald Trump while First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, left, walk on sides after the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris Friday, July 14, 2017. France's annual Bastille Day parade turned into an event high on American patriotism this year, marked by a warm embrace between President Donald Trump and his French counterpart. (Christophe Archambault, Pool via AP)

Melania seemed to honor France by wearing French designers Dior, Hervé Pierre, and Givenchy in addition to alternating between the colors red, white, and blue — an apparent nod to French and American flags.

However, The Cut viewed Melania’s Dior ensemble in Paris in a different context, asserting a correlation with the direction of the Trump administration.

Melania Trump Dior red dress channels pre feminism era
First Lady Melania Trump, left, and French President 's wife Brigitte Macron, right, wait at Les Invalides museum in Paris, Thursday, July 13 2017 as part of U.S President Donald Trump's visit to France for Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. (Ian Langsdon, Pool via AP)

“Seeing the Trumps in Paris was like coming face-to-face with the ghosts of anciens régimes past. Let’s hope we all emerge unscathed from this gilded performance.Vive la République.”

While Melania’s past head-to-toe baby blue inauguration look drew comparisons to the outfit Jackie Kennedy wore to her husband’s inauguration in 1961, Melania stunned many when she wore a very non-traditional white, tailored, pantsuit for the Arab Islamic American Summit.

Under Islamic law, male visitors to the kingdom are encouraged to dress conservatively and women are encouraged to wear skirts, preferably ankle length.

Melania Trump white pantsuit in Saudi Arabia amongst men
First Lady Melania Trump looks on as President Donald Trump poses for photographs with leaders at Arab Islamic American Summit, at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Melania’s choice of a pantsuit has suggested that she wanted to convey that she had an equal right to be in the room at the summit as any of the men, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Top-tier fashion designers declining to dress Melania has not stopped the first lady from making statements across the globe as Melania’s exclusively chosen ensembles have been made front and center since moving to Washington, DC and traveling abroad.

During this time, the first lady has been impeccably dressed on every occasion and said to have an “arsenal of expensive designer threads” that been praised by fashion insiders worldwide.

Melania Trump Becomes Target Of Multiple International Fashion Boycotts

Tommy is the first well-known designer who publicly agreed to dress Melania. In November of 2016, Hilfiger spoke out against the fashion boycott of Melania Trump suggested by Sophie Theallet. Hilfiger was asked his thoughts on Theallet’s refusal to dress Melania and said designers should not get “political about it” when it comes to fashion and designing clothes, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Posen firmly stated that he has “no current plans to dress members of the first family.” Posen said everyone has a political responsibility and asserted that everyone has a voice, including those in the fashion industry.

Zac isn’t the only top fashion designer to join in on the Trump fashion boycott. Several other designers, including Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, have opted out of dressing Melania and Ivanka Trump. During an appearance on The View in December, Ford explained his reasoning.

“I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined… She’s not necessarily my image.”

Melania Trump’s $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana Floral Coat Sparks Outrage

Melania turned to Dolce & Gabbana again during her first overseas trip as the first lady. One of the most controversial pieces Melania wore was a Dolce & Gabbana floral coat with multicolored silk flowers that retailed for $51,500. Melania wore the jacket during Trump’s nine-day, five-country trip, which included stops in Rome, the Vatican, and Sicily.

The controversial Italian designer Stefano Gabbana thanked Trump for floral silk jacket, calling her a #DGwoman. Melania also wore a D&G silvery tulle mirror dress at the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina and a black lace D&G coat while meeting the Pope.

Melania Trump Dolce and Gabbana black lace
First lady Melania Trump smiles as she arrives at the San Damaso courtyard for her private audience with Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The design duo responded with humor and has defended Melania by launching a mock fashion campaign called, #BoycottDolceGabbana — a hashtag that was coined by Melania haters criticizing the brand for dressing the first lady.

Melania Trump’s $13,000 Hermès Birkin Bag

On casual days, Melania usually goes with a combo of culottes, Manolo Blahniks, and a Hermès Birkin. When moving into the White House, Barron Trump’s casual look in “The Expert” shirt and New Balance sneakers gave a glimpse as the first son as a relatable 11-year-old boy, in contrast to Melania who again turned to Dolce & Gabbana, strutted off the jet with a Hermès Birkin as she walked across the South Lawn from Marine One with President Trump.

Melania Trump Hermes Birkin
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son and Barron Trump walk from Marine One across the South Lawn to the White House in Washington, Sunday, June 11, 2017, as they return from Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

According to Vanity, this price is not on the high end. Depending on the style, a Birkin bag can now range from $12,000 to $200,000, depending on the style.

Melania has gone against the grain of first lady tradition by wearing a mix of European and American designer clothes. This is a huge contrast to former First Lady Michelle Obama, who only ever wore local designers.

As reported by the Washington Post, Melania’s controversial wardrobe choices could similarly be a reminder of “one’s good fortune and subsequent responsibility to society.”

Marc Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily, “I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump… Personally, I’d rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by (Donald) Trump and his supporters.”

[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/Getty Images]