First Lady Melania Trump Donates Inaugural Ball Gown To Smithsonian

First lady Melania Trump stands alongside her inaugural ball gown Friday at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as it will be on display at the museum starting today

Melania Trump poses next to her inauguration gown and the dress' designer Herve Pierre at an event at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on Friday (October 20) in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator of the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection exhibition, said the tradition began with Helen Taft in 1912.

The first lady wore the gown the night President Trump took office at the Armed Forces inaugural ball.

In her speech, which lasted under four minutes, the first lady admitted procuring a ball gown had slipped her mind, so she made 'poor Hervé, ' designer Hervé Pierre, work on a tight two-week deadline to craft the 'gorgeous couture piece'. 'I have had a passion for design from a very young age and had a very precise idea of what I wanted for such a historic evening'.

In comparison, Melania Trump remained in NY during the first few months of the Trump presidency while her son Barron Trump finished the school year. The gown also featured a slit skirt, ruffled accent trim from the neckline to the hem and a claret ribbon around the waist.

Mrs. Trump's gown will be added to the exhibit that features 26 dresses, including some worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, along with other items.

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'When sitting down with Hervé I had to discuss my vision, I expressed a desire to have modern, sleek, light, unique and unexpected, ' the first lady added.

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Pierre said Mrs. Trump requested a simple and elegant dress. "That's also my right to say yes".

Trump has since worn custom-made Pierre designs a handful of times as the first lady, most notably in May, departing from the South Lawn of the White House en route to Saudi Arabia, in an orange leather skirt and cream sweater.

The two got on the phone together and the incoming first lady explained that she needed the dress in under two weeks.

Trump, who officially moved to Washington in June, has been growing more comfortable in her first lady role of late, making a solo trip to Canada to cheer Americans participating in an athletic competition for wounded service members and veterans and visiting a West Virginia care centre for babies born dependent on opioids. "It must be sort of a unusual thing to basically come to a museum and see yourself, your dress, encased in the Smithsonian, as you become a part of history".

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