The Oscars wasn't the only glitzy event taking place in America on Sunday night. As Hollywood's finest took to the red carpet on the West Coast, First Lady Melania Trump was hosting her debut Governor's Ball in Washington DC.
Bringing together 46 Governors for a 'dazzling, sensorial experience', Melania was out to woo at the first event she has personally organised as First Lady. She chose ‘Spring’s Renewal’ as the theme for the evening, and stated that "the scents of jasmine and roses [will] fill the air as we give thanks for this great nation and the glory of renewal.”
As such, she debuted a fresh, blunt haircut and a softer makeup look, but has seemingly decided to only release shots taken above shoulder height after the event, concealing whatever dress she was wearing on the night.
Melania Trump at the Governor's BallMore
Perhaps Melania feels that her clothes have taken too much of the limelight in recent weeks and that posing for a full length picture would detract from the message that she was trying to offer up last night. She’s recently made the headlines any time that she has chosen to wear a designer label that isn’t American (thus going against her husband’s “America first” directive) and has also been accused of relying too heavily on a Jackie Kennedy-inspired look that isn’t her own. Ahead of the inauguration, she also found herself at the middle of a Fashion boycott, as several major names, including Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, spoke out to say that they would never want to dress the new First Lady.
All that said, the pressure on Melania had been easing up a little last week, as she wore pieces by American labels including Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren, and found a new style trick to add to her repertoire; wearing Republican red to show us her colours. Her little black number from last night seems subtle enough, so surely it wouldn’t have caused too much controversy to reveal?
Melania Trump: Best looks
Another theory, of course, is that the new FLOTUS didn't want to appear to be in competition with the Oscars. On the other side of the country, hundreds of the world's most glamorous actresses were being photographed in their finery and so any picture of Melania in a gown that would have emerged last night would have been lost in the white noise on Twitter. Asked in the week whether the scheduling of the Governor's Ball and the Oscars on the same night was a deliberate calendar conflict the White House's press secretary Sean Spicer simply said that the President and First Lady had no concerns about missing the Hollywood ceremony on TV, and that all of their focus would likely be on welcoming the Governors to the capital on Sunday night.
Ivanka Trump at the Governor's Ball last nightMore
First Daughter Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, was possibly less concerned about media attention, as she posted a picture of her and her husband Jared Kushner on Instagram before they left the house. Ivanka wore a navy column gown by New York label J. Mendel with a polka dot panel draped into the bodice.
J. Mendel is a name that Ivanka has been a fan of for some time, sitting front row at designer Gilles Mendel’s New York Fashion Week shows and wearing pieces from his collections on numerous occasions. Interestingly, she teamed the dress with a pair of sandals from her eponymous fashion line, which has been struggling in recent weeks after Ivanka distanced herself from the company due to conflicts of interest with her new political position, and several prominent US department stores dropped it.
The social media attention that Ivanka might attract for those shoes could well provide a welcome boost to sales at Ivanka Trump HQ, while, at her first social gathering, Melania Trump has chosen to leave her legions of social media fans eagerly waiting to see what she actually wore. Two very different tactical plays from two very different members of the new First Family.
ivanka trump style