Meeting British PM Theresa May on June 4, Melania Trump wore a Celine coat we’ve seen before, and a bag we haven’t – an Hermes Birkin bag which Christies experts valued at over $107,000.
Hollywood celebrities, not first ladies, carry status bags like Birkins. It’s unfamiliar ground for a diplomat but firmly on brand for Melania.
Her fashion message on the Trumps’ state visit to the UK and France seemed to be she’s beyond rich and wants us all to know it.
She certainly ignored the unwritten rule that first ladies and royalty wear designers from their host nations on official visits.
Not Melania, whose chic tour wardrobe was perfection apart from its provenance. Not Melania, whose Birkin and trench had French provenance.
Most of her wardrobe was from French couture houses, which was fine when she was in Normandy on June 6 and wore a Dior coat dress and Roger Vivier shoes.
Less fine when she was in the UK.
Witness the scarlet Givenchy cape gown she wore to host Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for dinner on June 4. Forget costume jewellery – Melania was costume dressing, as a cashed-up cardinal.
Even before she boarded Marine One for London on June 2, Melania signalled her signature literal dressing would be elevated to a new rebellious level.
Farewelling the White House in a $4813 Gucci midi dress featuring London landmarks including Big Ben and double-decker buses. So, she gave with one hand – UK motifs – but took with the other in choosing an Italian designer.