After much speculation and amid lots of curiosity, WWD has confirmed that the incoming First Lady Melania Trump wore a Ralph Lauren dress for Inauguration Weekend. Many designers have been vocal about declining to dress Mrs. Trump due to their displeasure with her husband's election to the office of president, from former Project Runway winner Christian Siriano to Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. But there have been other designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Carolina Herrera, who have offered to dress the First Lady-elect. But since Ralph Lauren's designs made headlines on Friday, does that mean he is a Donald Trump supporter?
As WWD reports, Lauren has never been outward in terms of his party preference or affiliation. He also does not overtly endorse candidates.
That said, he consistently dressed Democratic candidate and former First Lady Hillary Clinton in her beloved, go-to pantsuits during her ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the office of president. UPDATE: According to Harper's Bazaar, Clinton reportedly also wore Lauren to the 2017 Inauguration.
In fact, Lauren has historically dressed many First Ladies such as Michelle Obama, Nancy Reagan, and Betty Ford. That would indicate that the designer enjoys the task of dressing the FLOTUSes regardless of their — or his own — political allegiance. Party affiliation doesn't seem to dictate the decision.
Trump was photographed on Jan. 20, stepping out in this classic powder blue skirt suit that had fans immediately drawing comparisons to former FLOTUS Jackie O. A spokesperson for Trump confirmed that the ensemble is indeed Ralph Lauren, telling WWD, "With the historic swearing-in of her husband, Donald J. Trump, as the 45th President of the United States, the First Lady-elect will become America’s new First Lady wearing an American designer who transformed American fashion, Ralph Lauren." Bustle has reached out to the designer for comment.
The future FLOTUS wore this white silk Ralph Lauren ensemble last November.
WWD also notes that Lauren previously donated a whopping $10 million towards the restoration of the Star-Spangled Banner, which would demonstrate his patriotic side to those who may question or criticize his rumored decision to dress Melania Trump.
At the end of the day, these discussions and public declarations of designers refusing to dress Melania Trump is proof that fashion isn't just about clothes. It's an act of expression and can be perceived as entirely political, too.