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As the inauguration draws to a close and Donald Trump’s presidency begins, people are indeed watching to see what sort of role his daughter Ivanka Trump will take in the new administration, given her visibility during his campaign and seeming power to sway so-called “Ivanka voters” in his favor. So much so that Ivanka even went on Good Morning America to explain that she will not be filling the symbolic role of First Lady in the significantly-less-public Melania Trump’s stead.
Still, the way the two women presented themselves to America at the first Inaugural Ball on Friday night bears a closer look. While Ivanka Trump chose a glittering champagne-hued Carolina Herrera gown, a selection that the brand promptly confirmed in a press blast, Melania Trump co-designed hers with Hervé Pierre, according to WWD. Not a household name on his own, Pierre is the former creative director of Carolina Herrera, who was reportedly fired from the brand last February after 14 years.
Similar, but not quite the same.
That Ivanka Trump would wear Carolina Herrera this evening could be perceived as a diplomatic move in relation to the inner workings of the fashion industry. Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, a brand Trump has also worn to this week’s inaugural events, ended a contentious legal battle earlier this month. The fight was over a non-compete agreement involving Laura Kim, who had been designing for Herrera. Kim had moved over to work with her Monse cofounder Fernando Garcia at Oscar de la Renta, where the two had both worked previously, sparking the lawsuit.
Coupled with Melania Trump’s choice to wear Hervé Pierre, the two closed the Herrera loop on Friday night. The effect, however, was strange, with Melania opting for a designer Herrera discarded less than a year ago, and Ivanka being heralded by the brand in a dress by the current design team.