How much choice Melania Trump gets in what she wears

Ciara Sheppard
Contributor Yahoo Style UK
Melania Trump has made some fashion faux-pas in her time, but who is responsible? [Photos: Getty/Rex/Getty]

In her seventeen months as First Lady, Melania Trump has made some ill-formed, conspiracy theory-spurring and downright controversial fashion choices.

The latest of which was her frankly bizarre decision to wear a jacket baring the slogan ‘I really don’t care, do u?’ to visit some of the 2,000 detained immigrant children in a care facility at the border of Mexico, having been separated from their parents.  

Melania’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted that people should not “speculate & focus on her wardrobe”.

While Donald Trump, claimed the jacket was a dig at the “Fake News Media”.

Ahem.

This has been preceded by FLOTUS fashion faux-pas in their plenty.

In August 2017, Melania decided the appropriate footwear for a trip to Texas to assess the damage of the devastating Hurricane Harvey, was a pair of six inch snakeskin stiletto heels. 

The Trumps visiting the site of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. [Photo: Getty]

Wearing £2,220 fuchsia dress from high-end designer Delpozo, Melania professed “No child should ever feel hungry” while speaking at the United Nations in September 2017.

In October 2016, shortly after her husband was revealed to have said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy,” Melania donned a £830 Gucci pussy-bow blouse. 

With all considered, you have to question how much say Melania gets in what she wears i.e. if she’s solely to blame for her hellish wardrobe choices.

Who is Melania Trump’s stylist?

Melania Trump’s stylist is Hervé Pierre, who she has been working with since her husband’s inauguration.

It’s not known if Pierre had anything to do with her tone-deaf jacket, the latest the sequence, but the French stylist has opened up about making “mistakes” in the past.

“Even if I’m not creating the clothes, it is very creative to consider how it’s going to be perceived,” Pierre told the New York Times. “And when you decide, you divide. I’m not always right. I make mistakes, and same for her. There’s no ‘How to Be the Perfect First Lady’ book. You learn on the spot.” 

Speaking about crafting her headline-hitting looks, Pierre said: “I always ask: ‘Was it already on the red carpet? Did somebody already wear it?’ Because I don’t want her to be on the ‘Who Wore It Better’ list.” 

Melania wearing a £2,220 fuchsia dress from Delpozo while speaking at the United Nations in September 2017. [Photo: Rex]

Many designers refuse to dress Melania

“I go to Bergdorf, I go to Saks, Michael Kors, Dior,” Pierre told the US paper. “What is challenging is when I cannot say what it is for.”

Pierre was referring to the Melania Trump boycott by fashion designers which has taken place since her Donald Trump’s  inauguration.

Many designers have refused to dress her, a discernible reverberation of her controversial husbands words and actions on her wardrobe.

These include Zac Posen, Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, Naeem Khan, Timo Weiland and Tord Ford, the latter of which told The View, “she’s not necessarily my image.”

She pays for most of her clothes herself, but can accept gifts

Melania’s eye-wateringly expensive wardrobe is paid for by the Trump family, just as Michelle Obama’s was funded by the Obamas before her.

This means there’s no prickly contention around the American taxpayer paying for her 4K Ralph Lauren jackets.

Ethics rules state that first ladies can accept clothing as gifts from designers, unlike members of the royal family. 

However, the clothing then becomes property of the government and is sent to the National Archives when it is done with, W magazine notes. 

A fashion hit: Melania Trump’s monochrome dress by Venezulean-born designer Carolina Herrera went down a treat with critics. [Photo: Getty]

A lot is weighted on First Lady outfit choices

First Lady wardobes are often highly-politicised.

“Every garment — a tie, a dress, a pair of socks or shoes — is a communication device of varying power and clarity, and we choose how to use those tools to sway those looking at us,” said The New York Times.

Michelle Obama tended to highlight the work of young American designers such as Thakoon Panichgul, Jason Wu and Brandon Maxwell.

As for Melania, while she likes to wear homegrown American talent like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, her roster of go-to brands includes many foreign designers.

From Valentino to Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci and Carolina Herrera, it’s clear Melania’s choice in fashion sways far beyond her husband’s ‘America First’ sensibilities.

Whether it was the work of “mistake”-prone Pierre, the Trump administration machine, or Melania herself, it’s clear Melania’s ‘I really don’t care, do u?’ jacket is one she’ll be caring about for a while.

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