LAND DOWN UNDER: On Friday morning President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jennifer to the White House. The goodwill weekend, which will include a state dinner tonight, is meant to solidify bonds between the nations.
Before Friday night’s arrival on the North Portico, there will be bilateral meetings. As part of what looks to be somewhat of a working weekend, the President and prime minister will tour an Australian-owned factory in Ohio. As a sign of fashion diplomacy, FLOTUS wore an ice blue-colored dress with puffy sleeves from Australian label Scanlan Theodore. For official calls of duty, when possible her stylist Hervé Pierre is known to pay homage by selecting designers who hail from the countries of origin of visiting dignitaries. That is also sometimes the case for the first couple’s trips abroad, as evidenced by Trump’s choice of a Chanel jacket en route to last month’s G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.
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A New York shopper, Pierre may have found Friday’s heavy jersey knitted crewneck dress with a slight opening from one of the three Scamlan Theodore locations in Manhattan. The Australian company has boutiques in SoHo and the Flatiron District, as well as a new one in Hudson Yards. Nearly one year ago the First Lady wore a pale pink Scanlan Theodore dress when she hosted fellow first spouses and other dignitaries at the United States Mission to the United Nations. She also wore a black off-the-shoulder dress from the company to host a Hanukkah reception at the White House last year. That dress was reportedly a sellout.
Today’s formal welcome included a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn, where nearly 500 members of the U.S. Armed Forces turned out for a Review of the Troops. The First Lady stood tall in sky-high Manolo Blahnik heels, beside her Australian counterpart — who opted for a black sleeveless dress with a matching bolero. Nearing nightfall, the Trumps and the prime minister and his wife will greet guests in the Rose Garden for what will be the administration’s second state dinner. Along with the ombré table linens and gold lanterns, the décor will be dependent on Australia’s national colors — green and gold. There will also be yellow garden roses and golden wattle in gold woven baskets to symbolize the friendship and long-lasting relationship between the two countries, according to East Wing-authorized information about tonight’s event. In addition, golden Champagne grapes will be on the tables as a sign of the richness of each country’s wine industries. The Trumps, whose first state dinner was in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, are lagging behind in formal entertaining. Both the Obamas and the Bushes (as in George W.) hosted 13 state dinners during their respective eight-year stays at the White House.