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A look back at Melania Trump's first year of first lady fashion
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A look back at Melania Trump's first year of first lady fashion

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From designs by Dolce & Gabbana, Del Pozo, Christian Dior, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy and Valentino to daringly-high Christian Louboutin heels, first lady Melania Trump's touchstones have not only been the Old World, but its most established — and expensive — design houses.

In her first year as first lady, Mrs. Trump often wrapped herself in the clothes of her home continent as several American designers publicly refused to dress her in what was a fashion industry-wide backlash against her unpopular spouse.

Not since Jackie Kennedy has a U.S. first lady had such a European aesthetic as Mrs. Trump.

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First Lady Jill Biden brought her sartorial A-game to Inauguration Day — and symbolically championed a young American label at the same time — by sporting a tone-on-tone ensemble designed by Alexandra O’Neill, founder of the barely four-year-old New York-based label Markarian. The custom-designed look included an ocean blue wool tweed coat embellished with Swarovski crystals that caught the light and a matching dress with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt. The icing on the matchy-matchy cake? A silk face mask (also by Markarian) in the same shade of blue and a pair of matching gloves (provenance unknown). According to a press release issued by the designer, the color blue was chosen “to signify trust, confidence, and stability.”

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Biden was most assuredly not alone on the monochrome color train. Newly minted Vice President Kamala Harris opted for a single color palette for her history-making swearing in. In her case it was purple, one of the colors that featured prominently in her earlier campaign for the White House. According to CNN’s Abby Phillip, the color was a nod to the trail-blazing Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress who ran for president in 1972, but it can also be seen as a symbolic uniting of red and blue — as in the red state and blue state divisions that have characterized the country for the last four years.

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Biden was most assuredly not alone on the monochrome color train. Newly minted Vice President Kamala Harris opted for a single color palette for her history-making swearing in. In her case it was purple, one of the colors that featured prominently in her earlier campaign for the White House. According to CNN’s Abby Phillip, the color was a nod to the trail-blazing Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress who ran for president in 1972, but it can also be seen as a symbolic uniting of red and blue — as in the red state and blue state divisions that have characterized the country for the last four years.

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In the run-up to the big day, it had been rumored that the incoming commander in chief would be sworn in wearing a Ralph Lauren suit, a selection foreshadowed, perhaps, by his choice of a Ralph Lauren polo shirt (with a very visible outsized logo) to his COVID-19 vaccination this month.

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First Lady Jill Biden brought her sartorial A-game to Inauguration Day — and symbolically championed a young American label at the same time — by sporting a tone-on-tone ensemble designed by Alexandra O’Neill, founder of the barely four-year-old New York-based label Markarian. The custom-designed look included an ocean blue wool tweed coat embellished with Swarovski crystals that caught the light and a matching dress with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt. The icing on the matchy-matchy cake? A silk face mask (also by Markarian) in the same shade of blue and a pair of matching gloves (provenance unknown). According to a press release issued by the designer, the color blue was chosen “to signify trust, confidence, and stability.”

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