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Melania Trump stuns in first lady fashion stakes

/ 01:27 AM January 22, 2017
Melania Trump, Jose Medina

First Lady Melania Trump dances with Army Staff Sgt. Jose A. Medina at The Salute To Our Armed Services Inaugural Ball Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

WASHINGTON—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, won praise for being fresh, modern, elegant and yet understated.

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She won rave reviews for her look and originality in choosing in 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.

Her pick is likely to boost sales and publicity for the relatively unknown Pierre, much like her predecessor Michelle Obama’s selection of the then relatively unknown Jason Wu in 2009 turned him into a star.

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The 46-year-old former model glowed as she stepped onto the dance floor, her auburn hair hanging around her shoulders, with her husband, dressed in a black tie, to “My Way” the song made popular by Frank Sinatra and considered something of a personal anthem for Trump.

The couple swayed rather gingerly, the Republican president clutching his wife tightly by one hand and placing his other on her back as they nuzzled, and exchanged smiles and laughs.

The former reality TV star, who reportedly refused to practice the dance ahead of time, at times broke away from his wife to wave or flash a thumbs up to unidentified members of the crowd.

They were joined by Trump’s adult children from his two previous marriages, each dancing with their other halfs, and first daughter Ivanka stunning in a pink bead-encrusted princess Herrera gown.

Women’s Wear Daily, quoting Pierre, said Trump collaborated on the gown. He said 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, it said.

The new first lady’s sartorial picks for the inauguration went some way to silencing critics who have complained in the past that she favored high-end European clothes rather than American creations.

Earlier in the day she donned a custom-made power blue suit from US fashion royalty Ralph Lauren for her husband’s swearing-in ceremony.

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Her cashmere turtleneck dress fell to her knee, paired with a cropped bolero jacket and matching suede gloves. The Slovenian-born first lady wore her hair swept up, showcasing diamond stud earrings. —AFP/rga

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TAGS: Carolina Herrera, Donal Trump, melania trump, Trump inaugural balls, Trump inauguration
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