The incoming first lady and Hillary Clinton are in Ralph Lauren
Melania Trump is keeping it American.
She has chosen to echo her husband’s Buy American credo by donning an entirely light blue Ralph Lauren outfit to begin Inauguration Day.
The incoming first lady wore a baby blue mock turtleneck dress under a jacket with a cutaway collar to a morning meeting at the church, before heading to the White House where they will have tea with President Barack Obama. Trump also donned similarly colored heels and gloves.
“It was important to us to uphold the tradition of creating iconic American style for this moment,” said the fashion designer, a long-time symbol of Americana.
Lauren is making a bipartisan statement. Hillary Clinton is attending the ceremony in a suffragette white pantsuit, also from the New York designer.
Meanwhile, Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, started the morning in a navy tweed coat. Carolina Herrera confirmed that Ivanka was in the Venezuelan-American designer’s clothes. Later, she switched to a white Oscar de la Renta pantsuit with an American flag pin.
“Hillary’s version is a great execution of” the pantsuit, says Sara DiMedio, a stylist who has dressed Jennifer Connelly and Julianne Moore. “Ivanka looks spectacular most of the time, but [her inaugural outfit] has a little too much fabric.”
Both Trump and Clinton are referencing the color worn by many women active in the suffragette movement, says DiMedio. “White is a combination of being feminine and functional. They’re saying that we are working to the same goal no matter what side of the aisle we are on.”
While Melania Trump has usually worn European designers like Roksanda Ilinic, she has turned to domestic labels of late. She wore a Ralph Lauren jumpsuit to her husband’s election night rally and yesterday donned a knee-length coat from Norisol Ferrari, whose father is a wounded U.S. veteran.
In divisive political times, Trump’s ensemble was both criticized and praised. “She is wearing a very classic Ralph Lauren look, the beautiful cashmere dress paired the short jacket and bold collar, and the gloves, which are also very classic Ralph,” says Kimberly Rosen, a New York-based stylist who has dressed VIPs for Polo Ralph Lauren in the past. “She is channeling Jackie Kennedy in the pale blue and I think she looks beautiful.”
On the other hand, calls for a boycott of Ralph Lauren are already echoing on Twitter. Numerous designers that have dressed Michelle Obama, most notably Sophie Theallet, have declined to dress her successor as first spouse.
Lauren however, has a longstanding relationship with Trump’s onetime Democratic rival for the presidency. Indeed, he also designed the purple suit that Clinton wore during her concession speech.
Ralph Lauren is likely to see a financial upside from dressing the new first lady on arguably the most photographed day in the life of a man whose supporters say is the “greatest celebrity in the world.” A $2,645 Roland Mouret dress that she wore to the first presidential debate last September has sold out, as did a white Roksanda dress that she purchased from Net-a-Porter for the Republican National Convention.
This story was originally published on MarketWatch.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved