I hate the idea of obsessing about Melania Trump's Inauguration outfit as much as the next girl (why aren't we talking about who's designing President Trump's red power tie?), but like it or not, what (or, more accurately, who) the First Lady decides to wear to the Inaugural Festivities on Friday will make a major statement in more ways than one. And the biggest question on everyone's mind right now? Will Karl Lagerfeld be dressing Melania for the Inauguration?
Thanks to an initial report by WWD, the internet has been swirling all week with rumors that Lagerfeld, the head designer for Chanel, has been slated for the job, but nothing has been confirmed as of Thursday afternoon. "Chanel has not been contacted by the new Administration. We are sorry, but we have no further comments on this matter," says a representative from the brand when I reached out for comment. Bustle also reached out to Lagerfeld's personal team, but have not received a response as of press time.
Keep in mind, though, that Chanel isn't the only brand Kaiser Karl designs for — he also serves as head designer for Fendi, as well as his own "Karl Lagerfeld" line. So even if Chanel the brand isn't involved in the dress design process, it doesn't necessarily mean Lagerfeld the designer isn't involved.
If Lagerfeld is, in fact, dressing Melania, it would be a pretty surprising surprising choice considering most former First Ladies choose to wear American designers to the Inaugural festivities (Michelle Obama wore Jason Wu, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton wore Oscar de la Renta). Lagerfeld himself is German, Chanel is French, and Fendi is Italian, so the ties to American fashion are pretttty loose. Then again, though, the Trumps seem to march to the beat of their own drums when it comes to Presidential traditions (for example, Melania's decision not to move into the White House) so it's not surprising that Melania would choose to do something a bit out of the ordinary in this situation, too.
The internet has been concurrently abuzz with rumors that Ralph Lauren is also designing an Inauguration day outfit for the First Lady, which certainly would be the more expected choice considering his roots in American fashion. Coincidentally, Lauren designed many of Clinton's looks on the campaign trail (including the legendary white power suit she wore to accept the Democratic nomination), which means if he is going to be dressing Melania Trump, the decision may be more of a business one than a personal or political one. Bustle reached out to the Ralph Lauren team for comment, and have not yet received a response.
While a lot of major American designers — Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam, to name a few — have said they won't dress Melania because of her husband's political stance, countless others including Tommy Hilfiger and Diane Von Furstenburg have said that they would have no problem outfitting the First Lady. After all, it's a huge honor to be involved in something as historic as an Inauguration, and as Joseph Altuzarra best put it, "I don’t want to not dress people I disagree with."
Since the First Lady will technically need (at least) two looks for the day — an outfit for the swearing in on the Capitol Steps in the morning and a gown for the Inaugural Ball in the evening — it's wholly possible that she'll show up in designs by Lagerfeld and Lauren. It's also possible that neither designer is involved in the Inaugural whatsoever, and the internet has gotten carried away once again.