The subject of French style has been much scrutinized and emulated. Characterized by an air of insouciance and an understated quality, French, or more specifically Parisian women, have long since had desirable style mastered.
For this reason, it was always going to be interesting to see how First Lady Melania Trump approached the look when she met with the French president and first lady, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron, in Paris. Trump, as we know, is a fan of form-fitting silhouettes and old fashioned, high-octane glamour—she loves Italian labels such as Dolce & Gabbana, a brand known for its va-va-voom shapes and bombshell dresses.
Few could argue that Trump lacks elegance, but there is a very clear formula - Jackie Kennedy-inspired looks that have been described as "fancy dress" by one critical designer. So for her Parisian visit, she naturally looked to Christian Dior, the legendary French designer who put the female waist firmly on the map with his iconic Bar suit. This was an homage to traditional French fashion. The First lady chose a style in red-a color that has a historical association with American style, having been a long-time favorite of Nancy Reagan.
For the evening, she chose a strapless Herve Pierre cocktail dress—the same French designer that she wore for the inauguration this year—adorned with feathers. The colors, red, white and blue, were nods to the French and American flags. "It's not obvious. It wasn't as though I thought, 'OK, I have to do something navy blue, red and white.' The idea was more pure, not a pure coincidence, but something that just makes sense," Pierre told WWD.
In contrast, Macron went for a modern approach to French chic. During the day, she wore a Louis Vuitton white mini dress in a scuba-like fabric, complete with a motor collar and a zip-through front. It was a simple, breezy outfit offset with this season's mini Vuitton tote and navy heels. Her choosing of Vuitton is in itself of note—helmed by Nicolas Ghesquière, the label is known for its desirable futurism, popular with cool girl actresses such as Alicia Vikander, Sophie Turner, and Michelle Williams.
For dinner at the Eiffel Tower that night, Macron chose another Vuitton mini dress, this time covered with a jacquard fabric which added a dressier appeal. It was again an understated look, made more glamorous by a smokey eye and nude lip.
Her subtle, modern elegance continued on Bastille Day, July 14, when she wore a teal shift dress teamed with a matching motor-inspired jacket, again with that fashion forward biker collar. Trump opted for a vintage-inspired, full-skirted dress, another traditionally feminine piece.
Traditionalism vs. modernity: There could be no better sartorial reflections of the two first ladies' differing political standings.
From: Harper's BAZAAR UK
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.