Me­la­nia, first lady of fash­ion

While many pres­i­dents’ wives de­voted their time to good causes Mrs Trump seems more in­ter­ested in her wardrobe

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COMPILED BY JANE VORSTER

EVER since Don­ald Trump be­came pres­i­dent, Amer­i­cans have been wait­ing to find out what kind of first lady his wife will be. And Me­la­nia Trump is fi­nally giv­ing them an an­swer. She might have got off to a bit of a bumpy start – with many won­der­ing if she wanted the job at all – but eight months af­ter her hus­band’s in­au­gu­ra­tion she seems to have found her niche at last.

Me­la­nia (47) has been treat­ing the White House south por­tico, where fa­mous guests are wel­comed, like her own pri­vate cat­walk.

While most of her pre­de­ces­sors threw their weight be­hind wor­thy causes – Michelle Obama cham­pi­oned healthy eat­ing for kids and Laura Bush ad­vo­cated lit­er­acy – Me­la­nia has cho­sen to walk a dif­fer­ent path. She might lack the drive of a Michelle or a Laura but there’s one tal­ent she’s been putting to good use: shop­ping.

And with each pic­ture of her that hits the front pages the role she’s cho­sen for her­self is com­ing fur­ther into fo­cus. Based on the jaw-drop­ping ar­ray of high­end cou­ture she’s been show­cas­ing it looks as if she has her heart set on be­com­ing the first lady of fash­ion.

Af­ter Trump (71) won the elec­tion, sev­eral fash­ion de­sign­ers, in­clud­ing Tom Ford, Marc Ja­cobs and Zac Posen, swore that hell would freeze over be­fore they’d dress his wife.

But it seems the joke is on them – thanks to Trump’s mil­lions Me­la­nia doesn’t have to rely on hand­outs.

“She can buy off the rack and it looks beau­ti­ful,” stylist Phillip Bloch says. “She knows her size and she knows what works on her. She lux­u­ri­ates in min­i­mal.”

And while she was holed up in the fam­ily apart­ment in Trump Tower in New York, wait­ing for her son, Bar­ron (11), to fin­ish the school year so they could move to Wash­ing­ton, DC, she clearly wasn’t twid­dling her thumbs.

In­sid­ers have re­ported she spent those months or­der­ing clothes on­line and plan­ning her fash­ion as­sault.

“Most days the lobby is brim­ming with wardrobe boxes de­liv­ered for Me­la­nia,” a source said at the time.

And the pub­lic is see­ing the re­sults of all her hard work.

Since her first for­eign tour in May she’s been turn­ing heads and now that she’s in­stalled full-time in the White House al­most ev­ery week is an ex­trav­a­ganza of fab­u­lous fash­ion choices. And where de­sign­ers didn’t want to have any­thing to do with her be­fore, they’ve started singing a dif­fer­ent tune.

“There’s a soft­en­ing,” Bloch says. “Fash­ion peo­ple are fickle and fake. They’re start­ing to see she’s a beau­ti­ful woman who’s mar­ried to the pres­i­dent, and it’s an hon­our to dress her.”

The ques­tion of course is: will she want to work with them?

11 SEPTEM­BER Som­bre yet stylish in a black coat dress by Michael Kors as she joins the pres­i­dent at a White House memo­rial for those who lost their lives in the 2001 at­tacks on Amer­ica. STYLE QUEEN 29 JUNE Wel­com­ing South Korean pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in to the White House dressed in a rose pink pe­plum dress by Roland Mouret.

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