Ralph Lauren faced a wave of backlash after Melania Trump wore one of his designs to her husband’s swearing-in ceremony, and now a second designer is defending himself. Hervé Pierre, the designer behind Melania’s ivory off-the-shoulder Inauguration gown, has confronted the haters in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
“I’m not doing politics, I’m doing dresses. We are not suddenly brokering a big deal between China and Russia. If people don’t want to dress her, I think it’s sad, but I was honored. I don’t criticize these people—it’s their choice, and that’s the beauty of democracy.”
Pierre even spoke at length about Melania’s expert sartorial eye and how lovely she was in the collaboration process. “She knows fashion—she was a model and has worked in a design studio—so she knows about construction.” He further divulges that she was “very specific about the neckline, about all the lines being parallel. It was important for us not to follow any recipe for a ‘First Lady gown.’ She’s presidential now; she’s not just a fashion plate.”
Our personal favourite quote from the interview is when the French designer shared this tidbit from the First Lady. She told him bluntly, “Hervé, I love you, but I cannot move my arm to hold my husband’s arm when we dance,” thus prompting minor changes to the design of the dress.
If we’re being honest, we’re still not quite sure where we stand regarding a designer’s decision to dress a controversial figure. One thing’s for sure though—regardless of politics, you can’t fault a woman for wanting a full range of motion in any gown she wears.