First lady Melania Trump donated her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Friday.
Adding to the museum’s “First Ladies Collection,” which includes 26 gowns worn by former first ladies, Mrs. Trump said it was “a daunting task” to select a gown that will be memorialized as “part of our nation’s story and forever history,” according to The Washington Post.
Describing the occasion as an “honor,” Mrs. Trump said she hoped it would be “one of many great beginnings to our family’s history here in Washington D.C.”
“Today is such an honor as I dedicate my inaugural couture piece to the First Ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History,” she said in a statement. “In addition to celebrating fashion, which is something I have loved since I was a small child, there is no better way to memorialize such a special evening, and new chapter in the life of our family.”
— Melania Trump 45 Archived (@FLOTUS45) October 20, 2017
The vanilla off-the-shoulder gown was designed by Herve Pierre and worn by the first lady at the Armed Forces inaugural ball.
The designer was on hand and Mrs. Trump introduced him, calling Pierre “a true artist and a real professional,” The Post reported.
“This has truly been a wonderful journey – from the extraordinary collaboration, to creating the piece, to seeing her wear it on an historic night, and now having it preserved in history forever in such an iconic exhibit—is something I will always cherish,” Pierre said.
Trump shared the story behind the gown, which was designed in just two weeks.
“As most of you know, before being elected president my husband was never in politics,” she said. “So you can imagine that after he won we were very busy with all that goes into preparing for a new administration and all the changes that we as a family would be facing.”
“To be honest, what I would wear to the inaugural ball was the last thing on my mind,” she continued. “In fact, by the time I got around to thinking about my wardrobe choice poor Hervé was only given two weeks to design and produce this couture piece.”
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