When First Lady Melania Trump accompanied her husband to Buckingham Palace on Monday to meet Queen Elizabeth II at the start of President Trump’s state visit, she did so in a form-fitting white-with-navy-trim Dolce & Gabbana dress and matching broad-brimmed hat by Hervé Pierre that immediately sparked comparisons to Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” and Princess Diana attending Ascot.
But not all of the reviews were favorable, as some in the British press tut-tutted that the first lady had broken protocol by wearing a color that the Duchess of Cornwall, the former Camilla Parker Bowles, is fond of wearing at formal events. And, indeed, the duchess did appear in a white dress (some commentators called it cream-colored) by designer Anna Valentine, with a matching hat by Philip Treacy.
Alex Longmore, identified as a celebrity fashion stylist, was quoted by the Independent saying that Trump’s choice of outfit created unwelcome optics. “Melania hasn’t taken into consideration that the Duchess of Cornwall nearly always wears either pale colors of cream, certainly in recent years, hence the clash of colors between them at today’s meeting,” Longmore told the paper on Monday.
Some, however, took a more kindly view toward the outfit, with the Daily Express suggesting that the matching dresses complemented each other. and with “Hello” magazine proclaiming , “We are loving Melania’s London look.”
This isn’t the first time that Melania Trump has worn Dolce & Gabbana on high-profile occasions (and caused controversy by doing so): donning a black lace dress by the designers for a Thanksgiving dinner in 2018, wearing a floral coat (reportedly costing more than $50,000) on a trip to Italy, and, most notably, choosing a D&G black jacket for her official White House portrait in 2017. The two Italian designers have been criticized over the years for everything from speaking out against gay adoption to creating an Instagram campaign that some considered racially insensitive and that caused the cancellation of a D&G fashion show in Shanghai. But the first lady has stayed loyal.
Trump played it a little safer with the outfit she wore when she arrived on British soil, embarking from the plane wearing a colorful, boldly patterned pussy-bow blouse from Burberry. It was by a British heritage brand. And it wasn’t white.