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.
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.
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 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.
“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’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.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 26, 2017
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.
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.
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]