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'No Interest in Dressing Melania Trump on Inauguration Night'

New York: What’ll she be wearing? It’s a question that fascinates fashion-watchers, and lots of others, every four years: Which designer will the new US first lady choose to wear on Inauguration Day and, more importantly, on Inauguration Night?

This year as never before, the question is a loaded one.

Dressing the first lady has long been considered a great honor for a designer and a huge business boon.

But in an industry that leaned heavily toward Hillary Clinton, a number of designers have indicated they have no interest in dressing Melania Trump.

So the question is not merely whom she’ll be choosing if she doesn’t simply buy off the rack but also, in a sense, who’ll be choosing her.

And the first lady’s inaugural attire is not the only example of how political concerns have seeped into fashion lately in unexpected ways.

The fashion choices of Ivanka Trump, the daughter who many believe will serve as a quasi-first lady, have also come under scrutiny. She recently announced she’s leaving her executive position at the Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories brand, calling it a “formal leave of absence” as she and her husband, Jared Kushner, head to Washington, where he will be a senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

Others have wondered whether designers should even be talking about politics when it comes to dressing first ladies.

Naeem Khan, the Indian-born American designer who often dressed Mrs Obama, thinks it’s an important discussion.

“Every designer has a point of view. A designer is an artist, and should have the choice of who they want to dress or not,” Khan said in an interview.

For Khan, the choice is clear. Though he was approached by a common social friend about possibly designing an inaugural gown for Melania Trump, he says, he declined to pursue the opportunity.

“I don’t think it’s right,” he said, citing in part his long association with Michelle Obama, whom he dressed close to 20 times, including a shimmering gown for her first state dinner, with India’s prime minister.

He was quick to note that Melania Trump “might be a great person for all we know.”

But, he added, “the values of this administration do not comply with the values of who I feel we are as a nation.”

Whom will Melania Trump pick? She wore a sleeveless black Dolce & Gabbana dress for New Year’s Eve (believed to have been purchased off the rack), drawing thanks on Instagram from Stefano Gabbana and speculation she might choose the Italian designers.

But others think she’ll more likely choose an American designer, perhaps Ralph Lauren, whose designs she wore in the campaign. Or perhaps she might, like Mrs Obama in 2009, choose to boost the profile of lesser known designers. (AP)

Source: News18