First Lady Melania Trump China Dolce & Gabbana
First Lady Melania Trump, wearing a custom Dolce & Gabbana gown, and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan are escorted by a student after a cultural performance during a visit to Banchang Primary School in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.Greg Baker—AFP/Getty Images
First Lady Melania Trump China Dolce & Gabbana
SKOREA-US-DIPLOMACY
First Lady Melania Trump Delpozoz Mauve Coatdress South Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump in Japan
President Trump visits Hawaii before heading to Asia, Camp H.M. Smith, USA - 03 Nov 2017
Donald Trump leaves the White House, Washington DC, USA - 03 Nov 2017
First Lady Melania Trump Depart White House Tour Through Asia Style Pucci coat
First lady Melania Trump wearing an ivory Dolce & Gabbana dress stands next to Hervé Pierre and his gown, she wore to the 2017 inaugural balls as she donates the dress to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, Oct. 20, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wears a trench coat with trim, as she accompanies her husband on a tour of the U.S. Secret Service James J. Rowley Training Center Oct.13, 2017 in Beltsville, Md.
First lady Melania Trump wearing flat shoes, Beltsville, Md., Oct. 13, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a beige dress and a pale pink coat arrives for an event Oct. 12, 2017 at the White House in Washington, DC.
First lady Melania Trump (L) wearing grey pinstriped Ralph Lauren Collection suit, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau pose for photographs at the White House October 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing Christian Louboutin’s multi-color snakeskin stilettos, prepares to fly to Lily's Place, in West Virginia the nation's first nonprofit infant recovery center, Oct. 10, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump (C) wearing a Cefinn Studio dress, the designer brand of Samantha Cameron, wife of former British Prime Minister David Cameron, prepares to board a plane at Joint Base Andrews near Washington on Oct. 10, 2017. LANIA-OPIOIDS
First lady Melania Trump wearing a flamenco-style red skirt and off-white top during a Hispanic Heritage Month event in the East Room of the White House Oct. 6, 2017.
Red shoes worn by first lady Melania Trump as she and United States President Donald J. Trump host a Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House in Washington, DC., Oct. 6, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump returns to the White House from Las Vegas wearing sunglasses, black top, midi-skirt and belt, 04 Oct 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump, departs the White House wearing a black full length coat, en route to Las Vegas, Nevada Oct. 4, 2017.
baseball cap with a green jacket and white jeans. Notably, she traded her heels for Timberland boots.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing blue sweater, black slacks and stilettos, prepares to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 3, 2017, on her way to Puerto Rico with US President DonaldFirst lady Melania Trump wearing blue sweater, black pants and stilettos, prepares to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, Oct. 3, 2017, on her way to Puerto Rico with with President Trump to view hurricane damage.
President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump wearing a tweed midi dress, walk out of the White House before observing a moment of silence on the South Lawn October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First lady Melania Trump with Prince Harry at a bilateral meeting on day one of the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Sept. 23, 2017.anada - 23 Sep 2017
First Lady Melania Trump wearing a tartan Balmain shirt and Converse sneakers, arrives to work in the White House kitchen garden with students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater WFirst Lady Melania Trump wearing a tartan Balmain shirt and Converse sneakers, arrives to work in the White House kitchen garden with students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, U.S. Sept. 22, 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing a fuchsia Delpozo coatdress, arrives to address other first spouses of world leaders at a United Nations luncheon on September 20, 2017, at the United States Mission in New York.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a pants suite by the Ralph Lauren Collection and President Donald Trump depart the United Nations after the president's speech on Sept. 19, 2017 in New York City.
First lady Melania, wearing Chanel shoes and carrying a Hermès bag on way to board Marine One on route to Fort Myers, Fla., to meet with citizens impacted by Hurricane Irma Trump, Washington, Sept. 14, 2017.
President Donald Trump speaks with first lady Melania Trump at his side, wearing a Monique Lhuillier silver dress stands, during a reception at the State Dining Room of the White House Sept.14, 2017, in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump speaks as first lady Melania Trump wearing a Monique Lhuillier silver dress listens during a reception at the State Dining Room of the White House Sept.14, 2017, in Washington, DC.
First lady Melania Trump, wear a black, long-sleeved coatdress by Michael Kors during a ceremony marking the September 11 attacks Sept.11, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing bright red top with 3/4 length sleeves and black pants walks from Marine One upon arrival on the South Lawn of the White House Sept. 10, 2017 after spending the weekend at Camp David, the Presidential retreat in Maryland.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump in a green ruffled dress, departs the White House for Camp David September 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing sneakers stands with military personnel at Ellington Field on Sept. 2, 2017, before departing for Louisiana to continue their tour of areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. RM
President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump wearing Manolo Blahnik snakeskin stilettos , prior to their departure to Hurricane Harvey Sept. 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a cap that says "FLOTUS" listens during a firehouse briefing on Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas on Aug. 29, 2017.
President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump, wearing Manolo Blahnik stilettos, on way to Texas to observe the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Aug.29, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing black Manolo Blahnik stilettos before leaving for Texas to observe the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Aug.29, 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump, wearing pink gingham shirt from J.Crew and a pair of pink pants with Manolo Blahnik flats, returns to Washington with the President and their son Barron after being in Camp David, Aug. 27, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump (L), wearing a green Missoni knit dress and orange Manolo Blahnik stilettos, walks with son Barron (R), and grandson Joseph Frederick Kushner (2nd L) towards the Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House prior to a departure Aug. 25, 2017.r Camp David
President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump, wearing a yellow and white Delpozo dress, walk to board Air Force One prior to departure from Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey, Aug. 20, 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing a floral, pink Monique Lhuillier dress with waves during a Make America Great Again rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, July 25, 2017.
A section of First lady Melania Trump's Valentino dress as she attends the annual Bastille Day military parade along Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, France on July 14, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wears a Valentino dress while attending the annual Bastille Day military parade along Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, France on July 14, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump in red Dior skirt suit, and French First Lady Brigitte Macron arrive to visit Notre Dame Cathedrale on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France.
President Donald Trump (L) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) in a dress created by Hervé Pierre, pose upon their arrival for a dinner with French President and his wife, at Le Jules Verne Restaurant on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on July 13, 2017..
President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump wearing Christian Louboutin white stilettos , are seen at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017.
President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump (R) wearing a flapper style dress by Michael Kors, arrive to the Elbphilharmonie for the dinner during the G20 Summit on July,7,2017 in Hamburg, Germany.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing a Bottega Veneta red coat and a Jil Sander silk dress, arrives to attend the partners' programme at the city hall during the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 8, 2017.
President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump wearing a midi-length Delpozo dress depart from Poland on July 06, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.
Arrival of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, wearing green suede Diane von Furstenberg coat on July 05, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.
First lady Melania Trump, wearing Valentino cropped trousers , walks out to depart with President Donald Trump for travel to Poland and the upcoming G-20 summit in Germany, from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 5, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, wearing a blue and white dress by designer Esteban Cortázar, listen to the national anthem during the military families picnic at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 4, 201
First lady Melania Trump wearing a gingham wrap-effect skirt by Altuzarra and a white top, walks with her husband President Donald and their son Barron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., before their departure to Camp David, June 17, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing a Roland Mouret dress and Christian Louboutin shoes, walk out to receive South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jeong-suk at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 29, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a yellow Pucci dress and President Donald Trump head back in to the White House, after the departure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, June 26, 2017.
President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing a J. Mendel chiffon gown with Manolo Blahnik shoes, depart the White House in Washington, DC on June 24, 2017.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks as he hosts a Congressional picnic event, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump wearing a dress made in Italy by Greek designer Mary Katrantzou, .at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2017.
President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump wearing a Michael Kors Collection blue sheath dress pose for photographs with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and his wife Lorena Castillo Garcia de Varela (not pictured) at the White House June 19, 2017.
President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump wearing a white button-up top and olive green J Brand pants, and their son Barron walk across the South Lawn upon return to the White House on June 18, 2017.
President Donald Trump with first lady Melania wearing a shirt dress by Gabriela Hearst, and their son Barron walk on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before their departure to Camp David, June 17, 2017.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump wearing tan wide-legged pants by Bally with a white Dolce & Gabbana tank, and their son Barron Trump arrive at the White House June 11, 2017.
President  Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend a reception at the Ford's Theatre
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing Dolce & Gabbana’s midi dress and Christian Louboutin pink pumps, take the stage to rally with service members at Sigonella Air Force Base at Naval Air Station Sigonella at the end of Trump's participation in the G7 summit in Sicily, Italy May 27, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing wearing Dolce & Gabbana's glittering dress, hold hands as they arrive for a concert of La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra at the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina during the Heads of State and of Government G7 summit, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily, Italy.
Close up of first lady Melania Trump's Dolce & Gabbana's glittering dress, May 26, 2017 in Sicily, Italy.
First lady Melania Trump wearing Dolce & Gabbana’s floral coat and coordinating clutch, arrives for a visit at the Chierici Palace City Hall of Catania on the sidelines of a G7 summit of the Heads of State and of Government in Taormina, on May 26, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a Dolce & Gabbana black lace dress, walks prior to a group photo during the spouse and partner program at the Royal Palace of Laeken, near Brussels, 25, May 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing Dolce & Gabbana shoes. arriving for the ladies group picture at the Royal Castel of Laeken, Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wears a beige skirt suit by Belgian designer Maison Ullens , on a visit to the Magritte Museum, on May 25, 2017, in Brussels, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit.POLITICS-DIPLOMACY-MEEETING
A picture shows the Manolo Blahnik snakeskin shoes of First lady Melania Trump as she visits the Queen Fabiola children's hospital, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, on May 25, 2017, in Brussels.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a Michael Kors coat dress, walks upon arrival at the Melsbroek military airport in Steenokkerzeel on May 24, 2017, on the eve of the NATO summit.
US First Lady Melania Trump wearing a Dolce & Gabbana outfit, arrives at the Vatican prior a private audience of US President Donald Trump with Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a Dolce & Gabbana outfit, arrives at the Vatican prior a private audience of US President Donald Trump (L) with Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing oversized square sunglasses s seen before boarding Air Force One at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, May 24, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing a Roksanda’s ivory midi-dress, make their way to board Air Force One before departing from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 23, 2017.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wearin an embellished Dolce & Gabbana coat. step off Air Force One upon arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on May 23, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing powder blue gown prepares to board Air Force One to depart for Israel from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing white Michael Kors Collection suit and Manolo Blahnik’s red and white striped stilettos, stands next to members of the Christian clergy during her visit with her husband U.S. President Donald Trump to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, May 22, 2017. ring white Michael Kors Collection suit and Manolo Blahnik’s red and white striped stilettos, stands next to members of the Christian clergy during her visit with her husband U.S. President Donald Trump to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, May 22, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing white Michael Kors Collection suit, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017.
President Donald Trump and his wife Melania wearing Dolce & Gabbana, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara stand after their meeting in Jerusalem Israel, May 22, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a Ralph Lauren Collection shirtdress, visits the American International School in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017.
A picture shows the brown and white striped Manolo Blahnik shoes of First Lady Melania Trump as she visits the American International School in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a cream Dolce & Gabbana suit, ahead of the Arab Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and first lady Melania Trump wearing magenta Reem Acra gown with cape sleeves, ahead of a dinner given in honour of him at Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wearing black Stella McCartney jumpsuit and Saint Laurent belt, step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump (R) gives a thumbs up as he and First Lady Melania Trump wearing a Max Mara sweater and Hervé Pierre leather skirt, depart the White House in Washington, DC, May 19, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing chunky, chain-link gold necklace, speaks during a Mother's Day event for military spouses in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 12, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing white Dolce & Gabbana button-down shirt and Ralph Lauren Collection pants, arrive to speak to military mothers during their visit to the White House for a Mother's Day celebration in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, May 12, 2017.
President Trump and First lady Melania Trump wearing yellow Dior gown applaud at dinner with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the USS Intrepid, in New York CIty, May 4, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing Giambattista Valli dress and a pale green cardigan, attends the opening of Bunny Mellon Healing Garden at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., April 28, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a khaki green, military-look suit by Altuzarra walks past the West Wing of the White House April 27, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing light-pink dress walks to the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
First lady Melania Trump wearing Simone Rocha dress and Christian Louboutin shoes, walks off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, MD, April 16, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing black belted jumpsuit with a floral scarf and People's Republic of China First Lady Peng Liyuan visit the Bak Middle School of the Arts on April 7, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
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First lady Melania Trump wears a sleeveless red daisy-appliqué crepe midi dress by Valentino, awaits the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump (L) wearing emerald green dress by Hervé Pierre walks down the White House colonnade with Jordan's Queen Rania after U.S. President Donald Trump and Jordan's King Abdullah II held a joint news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2017.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a white coat dress from The Row, walks away after attending and event celebrating Women's History Month, in the East Room at the White House March 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump wearing a custom made coatdress by designer Alice Roi, and their son Barron Trump depart the White
First lady Melania Trump wearing a black embroidered Michael Kors suit with a wide belt, arrives to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wearing Alexander McQueen red dress, arrive at a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017.
US First Lady Melania Trump wearing an Alexander McQueen red dress, listens as her husband, US President Donald Trump addresses a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017
First lady Melania Trump wearing custom Karl lagerfield outfit, walks along the Colonnade at the White House. Feb. 15, 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing a sleeveless white cashmere knitted long dress by Calvin Klein, and Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tour Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Fla., on Feb. 11, 2017.
President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania wearing a sleeveless black dress with a low-dipping back and a layer of lace on top, walk to pose for a photograph with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 11, 2017. a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump , wearing black blouse and white wide-legged pants, arrive with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport Feb. 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Fla.
First Lady Melania Trump wearing bright pink Dior gown with emerald and diamond earrings, attends the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla, Feb. 4, 2017. p and First Lady Melania Trump attend the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S
First Lady Melania Trump wearing red split-sleeve dress and red flats arrives to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) at West Palm Beach International airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., Feb. 3, 2017.
President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump, wearing a white, off-the-shoulder gown by Hervé Pierre, arrive at the Freedom Ball on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
First lady Melania Trump wearing a powder blue cashmere skirt suit by the Ralph Lauren Collection, waves to supporters in the inaugural parade on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump wearing a Reem Acra embellished gown, arrive for a reception and dinner at Union Station in Washington, DC on Jan. 19, 2017.
First Lady Melania Trump, wearing a custom Dolce & Gabbana gown, and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan are escorted by
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How Melania Trump Has Embraced Luxury Fashion as First Lady

Nov 08, 2017

For better or worse, the First Lady of the United States is an important figure in fashion, and Melania Trump is no exception.

Starting with the glamorous white bell-sleeved Roksanda dress she wore to give her viral speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016 to the $595 black snakeskin Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels she wore en route to the devastation wrecked by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Melania’s wardrobe has given the public plenty to talk about.

While her predecessor Michelle Obama used her wardrobe as a way to highlight fresh, up-and-coming American designers (putting designers like Jason Wu on the map) and to connect with everyday citizens (Obama loved a deal at wallet-friendly J. Crew), Melania has taken a different approach.

As a former model, the First Lady hasn’t shied away from primarily sporting glamorous, high fashion ensembles by international designers and luxury brands, ranging from Gucci (who made her infamous debate “pussy bow” blouse) to Christian Dior.

It’s an interesting sartorial choice given that many First Ladies in the past made a concentrated effort to wear primarily American fashion brands, occasionally using foreign fashion as a means of political diplomacy for a state dinner or the like; it’s even more interesting when one considers her husband’s vocal “Buy American, Hire American” stance.

But perhaps like her husband — who wears Italian-made Brioni suits and ties from his own brand that are made in China — Melania appears to have no issue turning to designers overseas to supply her wardrobe.

It is also worth noting that many American fashion designers have been outspoken about the prospect of dressing the First Lady, with prominent designers like Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen stating that they had no interest in dressing Melania; in contrast, Italian designer Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana, no stranger to political controversy himself, has been an ardent defender of the First Lady and counts himself as one of her biggest fans.

With that in mind, here’s a look at Melania Trump’s fashion since she entered the political sphere.

Michelle Molloy, who edited this photo essay, is a senior photo editor at TIME.

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