The transition of Presidents and First Ladies has been particularly difficult for the fashion industry, which has found a seemingly endless amount of support from President Obama in terms of trade policies, etc. and First Lady Michelle Obama, who, as Andre Leon Talley, a fashion editor at Vogue magazine, said “embraced black designers, Asian designers, European designers. She was very democratic in her choice of clothes.”
First Lady, Melania Trump, has been far less favored by the industry as a whole leading up to and following election day, and similarly, Ivanka Trump, who has been named in a copying lawsuit from industry-favored brand, Aquazzura, has not found many allies. Nonetheless, a handful of designers - ranging from Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger to Dolce & Gabbana - have come forth in favor of the two women, who will be thrust into the spotlight this weekend, along with their chosen garments. To follow is a timeline of what they wore …
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19
MELANIA TRUMP in a Norisol Ferrari dress and jacket.
For her first Inaugural weekend appearance, a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday afternoon, Melania Trump wore a military-inspired knee-length coat and coordinating sheath dress by New York-based designer Norisol Ferrari. According to Ferrari, whose designs have been spotted on Beyonce, Demi Moore, models Bella Hadid and Ashley Graham, and Demi Lovato, she creates "bespoke clothing and heirloom accessories. Her signature notes are a refined fit and exquisite detailing."
Of dressing the now-First Lady, Ferrari said: “I really saw a person who is being misunderstood who is being scrutinized. She’s a woman and a mother and I am pro-woman. That at the end of the day is very important to me – equality for women and for all human beings. If that’s what I really believe, I had to do it.”
IVANKA TRUMP in an Oscar de la Renta dress and jacket, and Carra Suede Pumps from her own Ivanka Trump Collection.
Interestingly, despite wearing three full Oscar de la Renta looks thus far, the New York-based brand, which is under the creative direction of Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia (also the creative directors and founders of Monse), has not released an official statement in connection with the First Daughter's wardrobe, suggesting that Trump selected/purchased the garments without cooperation and endorsement from the brand.
A spokesman for the brand - a longtime, bipartisan favorite designer among former first ladies, including Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton - merely stated in connection with an inquiry in connection with Trump's emerald green look on Thursday, “Confirmed. Ivanka is a longtime customer of the house.”
MELANIA TRUMP in Reem Acra at the Candlelight Dinner.
Reem Acra, a Lebanese-born, New York-based designer, is known for her intricately crafted eveningwear and bridal designs. “The First Lady-elect is wearing the renowned international designer, Reem Acra, to celebrate the 58th presidential inauguration at a candlelight dinner with her husband, President-elect Donald J. Trump, and their supporters,” a Trump spokeswoman said on Thursday evening.
IVANKA TRUMP in custom Oscar de la Renta at the Candlelight Dinner.
TIFFANY TRUMP in Nomad VII by Anne Bowen at the Candlelight Dinner.
Anne Bowen, a New York-based womenswear designer, made headlines in September 2015 when she protested the scheduling of rapper Kanye West’s impromptu New York Fashion Week runway with adidas. Bowen, who has presented her eponymous label for over a decade in New York, told WWD: “We have been prepping for a year for this at considerable financial, labor – and commitment-cost to our company. Our show date has been scheduled for months and has been on the Fashion Calendar for weeks. We went through all the proper channels to make this a reality. And just yesterday we learned that Kanye West is having a show at the same time on the same date as ours.”
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
MELANIA TRUMP in Ralph Lauren on Inauguration Day.
On dressing Melania, Lauren said: "It was important to us to uphold and celebrate the tradition of creating iconic American style for this moment."
As noted by the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman: "Though Mr. Lauren’s designs have been worn by first ladies [five in total for inaugural events] from Betty Ford to Nancy Reagan and Michelle Obama, the reference this time was clear: Jacqueline Kennedy. From bouffant to mock turtleneck collar to light pastel shade."
IVANKA TRUMP in Oscar de la Renta on Inauguration Day.
MICHELLE OBAMA in Jason Wu on Inauguration Day.
Michelle Obama appeared outside of the White House to greet the incoming First Family before the swearing-in ceremony on Friday afternoon in a maroon, tea-length dress (and matching jacket) by Jason Wu. A designer highly favored by Mrs. Obama during her tenure in the White House, Wu designed the gowns that Obama wore to the respective inaugural bal in 2009 and 2013.
MELANIA TRUMP at the Inaugural Ball in a dress “designed by Hervé Pierre and Melania Trump.” Pierre is the former creative director of Carolina Herrera.
First Lady Melania Trump stunned fashion watchers by donning a sleek, off-the-shoulder cream dress with a daring thigh-high slit to dance with President Donald Trump at the inaugural balls. Her column dress, finished with a sculpted ruffle that cascaded down the front of the gown and cinched at the waist with a red ribbon, came by way of Herve Pierre, a New York-based designer who last year struck out on his own after working as creative director for famed label Carolina Herrera. Pierre said Trump collaborated on the gown. He told WWD that it had been an honor to dress her "under my name" after dressing first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama while working for Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.
IVANKA TRUMP at the Inaugural Ball in Carolina Herrera.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
MELANIA TRUMP at the National Prayer Service.
IVANKA TRUMP in Oscar de la Renta at the National Prayer Service.