The meaning behind Melania Trump’s power-shouldered fuchsia look at the UN

This week has been a busy one at the UN in New York for reasons, obviously, entirely unrelated to fashion. Donald Trump has threatened to obliterate North Korea, Theresa May has had an awkward encounter with Boris Johnson in front of the world’s cameras and Malala has been whiling away the last days before she starts university meeting with world leaders to encourage them to prioritise education, to name but three of the happenings.

Yet, style-wise, the UN has become a strangely important barometer for the current state of power dressing. You only have to look at the carefully calibrated wardrobe which Amal Clooney put together forher appearences there last year (think: unmissably vibrant Bottega Veneta tailoring and Gucci shift dresses) to see that women who love fashion and understand its semantic possibilities pay particular attention to the UN as a platform.

 Last night, Melania Trump gave her first address to a UN luncheon dressed, as one member of The Telegraph fashion team observed, like a ‘Barbie Michelin man’. It could not have been a brighter, more visible, more ‘HELLO! LOOK AT ME’ look unless she had hired a Mr Blobby suit. In fact, her fuchsia coat dress is by Spanish design house Delpozo which is known for its sculptural, bold designs. She even paired the look with her signature deep tan and matching pink Louboutins.

Earlier in the week, the First Lady had taken a wildly different tact when she sat in on her husband’s confrontational address to the UN wearing one of her subtlest public appearence looks to date- a double-breasted grey trouser suit with a black blouse.

So what does this all mean?

Well in the pink, La Trump was visible, feminine and working the uber-shoulders to take up maximum space, an effect which was only enhanced by the fact that the outfit was mostly photographed from the waist up. It was a big moment for her going it alone- a crucial point- as FLOTUS and she was sure to make a confident splash which also underscored her personal, unashamed love of fashion.

Power connotations were undoubtedly still at play with the tailoring but this was a quieter, more businesslike choice which was perhaps selected to allow the President to take centre stage for his speech and, knowing what he was going to say, keep the spotlight firmly on him- wearing bright pink demi-couture as your husband wields threats of nuclear war would have made the heels-in-a-hurricane, er, storm seem minor by comparison.

Melania talked about kindness and anti-bullying in her pink dress speech, which many have pointed out as ironic given her husband’s Twitter tendencies. But if she’s letting her clothes do some of the talking this week, then it’s clear which outfit, and moment, she wanted us to actually remember.

 

Racing style tips: Don’t overdo the up-do (or the fake tan)

“Invest into timeless accessories” Erika Fox, fashion and lifestyle blogger, @retroflame

Studying the form takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to dressing for the races. Next weekend the stakes are high with the Longines Irish Champions Weekend taking place on September 9th in Leopardstown and 10th at the Curragh with the Longines Prize for Elegance competition and €25,000 worth of luxury prizes. “Champion” stylist Ingrid Hoey offers tips on how to master racing style for interested contestants and the first is not to follow other winners. “It’s about personal and practical elegance and what suits you. So it’s no to outrageous millinery, stilettos and open toed sandals, frilly,broken or matchy umbrellas, fake tan overload and extravagant updoes. And yes to keeping pattern and print simple, to good grooming and manicures and remembering that less is more”, she counsels. “And if a hat frightens you, opt for a pair of statement earrings instead.” Photograph by Alex Hutchinson.DMcQ

Shane Burke outsde his Clontarf shop Stylish Guy
Shane Burke outsde his Clontarf shop Stylish Guy

“Men shop on a mission. Women shop for an adventure”, so says Shane Burke, proprietor of Stylish Guy, a brand new menswear shop on the Clontarf Road, (formerly Pace Boutique) attracting a lot of attention.

Burke always had a grá for fashion and was a former personal shopper, male model and blogger (thestylishguy) who sold everything he had and moved back home in order to open his own shop which he fitted out on a limited budget with the help of family and friends. “I wanted it to be affordable menswear with service and put my own stamp on it,” he says.

Prices start at €5 for socks up to €189 for jackets with bestsellers being striped and plain shirts by Pure for €85. “If men like something, they buy two and sales never work with them,” he says. He certainly knows his customers; for instance, all €49 jumpers are cotton “because they are machine washable unlike wool” and jeans €89 are deliberately chosen to flatter all body shapes. “I buy for the store not for my eye,” he says. Stylish Guy is open seven days a week at 53 Clontarf Road. Visit www.thestylishguy.ie DMcQ

Superga, an Italian company from Turin that started making tennis shoes and rubber-soled footwear more than a hundred years ago may not be a brand well known in Ireland, though it has a store in Covent Garden in London. Familiar in Italy, it has expanded all over the world and more recently appointed the Olsen sisters in the US as creative directors. Its latest collaborations are with cult boutique Luisa Via Roma in Florence with two sneakers, one canvas, the other in velvet at €140 a pair. Buy on the luisaviaroma.com website. DMcQ

Dress, €50 Monkind, a new brand now being sold at younghearts.ie
Dress, €50 Monkind, a new brand now being sold at younghearts.ie

Wear it

Simple, modern, sustainable and organic are all the words we want to hear when buying clothes for our kids. Wrap up your little ones in this dress for €50 from Monkind, a new brand now being sold at younghearts.ie. DMcM

Set the world on fire in this Gromwell crepe blazer (€1,325) from Altuzarra
Set the world on fire in this Gromwell crepe blazer (€1,325) from Altuzarra
Nettle crepe flared pants (€450) from Altuzarra.
Nettle crepe flared pants (€450) from Altuzarra.

Steal vs splurge

A red trouser suit (or pant suit if you’re a Hillary Clinton fan) is a must for the season ahead. Blaze a trail in this red jacket (€25) and trousers (€16) from Penneys, or set the world on fire in this Gromwell crepe blazer (€1,325) and nettle crepe flared pants (€450) from Altuzarra. DMcM

Blaze a trail in this red jacket (€25) from Penneys

What It’s Like to Be a Fashion Editor During NYFW

Image result for What It’s Like to Be a Fashion Editor During NYFW

For a few minutes, as models strut down the runway in the season’s most glamorous creations, a fashion show becomes a scene of breathtaking perfection. But those who call Fashion Week work will tell you that the lead-up and aftermath can be chaotic, mundane, and downright absurd. We’ve asked industry pros, from a front-row photographer to a fashion house intern, exactly what the week is like for them.

Here, InStyle’s Fashion News Director Eric Wilson details his typical NYFW day. Come back all week for more insider perspectives.

6 a.m. I read the news first thing every morning, and this one is fairly depressing. Irma, earthquake, Pierre Bergé. I have a feeling this is going to be a very newsy fashion week, and I’m already overwhelmed. I drink a glass of sparkling water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to start the day–good for the digestion and it wakes me up faster than caffeine.

6:45 a.m. I head to the High Line Equinox for Wil Ashley’s 7 a.m. spin class. His pace-based method is a little intense for me right now and I’m feeling sluggish after staying up to write a Calvin Klein review last night, so not sure this is a great idea. Until, that is, he plays an awesomely corny dance remix of “Waving Through a Window” from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, which I happened to finally see on Tuesday night, and now I’m fully in it. Dear me, this day is going to be great! Sixteen miles and 653 calories later, I say hi to Brian Phillips from Black Frame and wave to the accessories god Philip Crangi on the way out.

RELATED: At Calvin Klein, Raf Simons Writes His Own American Horror Story

8:30 a.m. Normally I drink a protein shake for breakfast but today I am craving a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll with hot sauce, and I earned those carbs, although I question my choice when I arrive home just at the moment my obscenely hot interior decorator neighbor is answering his door with just a towel wrapped around his waist to accept his laundry delivery. Oh well. I add a whole tomato from my garden upstate to make my BEC healthy-ish. The tomato is overripe so I have to eat the sandwich over the sink, with two cups of coffee to wash it down. I check the weather–sunny, not too hot, cool tonight–so I opt for a thin cotton sweater with a speckled pattern (cheap, from J.Crew’s outlet store) and a lightweight gray windowpane checked suit (expensive, from Lanvin). It’s my fashion week uniform.

9:20 a.m. This season, InStyle has partnered with Lyft to support a video series I produce during Fashion Week, filming interviews in a car between shows, so I meet a Lyft driver to head from my apartment in Chelsea to Tory Burch’s show on the Upper East Side. I left myself plenty of time, but traffic is terrible and I’m still not through Central Park as the show is scheduled to start.

10:15 a.m. I get out of the car and speed walk the last six blocks, and I’m among the last to arrive at Tory’s gorgeous garden show–so glad I made it—but it’s mortifying to dash in so late. Hope Emily Blunt didn’t notice! The show is terrific, too, with funny dresses and totes made from beach towels, and slides that look like they’re made from plastic lawn chair materials.

10:45 a.m. Jerel, the awesome Lyft driver, and I head downtown to see the new Faith Connexion store in SoHo, and traffic is so bad it takes about 45 minutes. I catch up on e-mails, Instagram, two phone calls and read everyone’s Calvin reviews.

11:30 a.m. The Faith Connexion store on Mercer Street is wild. It’s the first in the world for this insider streetwear brand, which started as a diffusion line of Balmain but became its own mysteriously cool thing after the owners separated. So there are lots of really ripped up jeans, gold sequin track pants, and shaggy sweaters that look devastated but in fact are designed to be that way. It’s evidently the best quality shredding you can find, and Alexandre Allard, the owner, introduces me to an in-house destroyer–a slight kid from Los Angeles–who will custom rip your clothes for you. Alex keeps saying he can bedazzle or put holes in my Lanvin suit if I want, and the way he looks at my blazer is starting to make me nervous.

RELATED: As New York Fashion Week Begins, Designers Put their Relevance to the Test

12:40 p.m. Traffic, traffic, traffic. It’s so bad, I head straight to Jason Wu’s show near South Street Seaport and get there with just enough time to order a lobster roll from the Ambrose food truck around the corner, and scarf it outside as Eva Chen teeters by in heels on the cobblestones. I grab a Fiji water on the way into Wu.

2:15 p.m. I stop by the office at Brookfield Place to deal with print deadlines. Jeffrey, our production director, looms ominously, asking for an ETA on that feature that’s way overdue. How’s next week for you? Sam, the market director, walks by with a bag of Maltesers, some kind of malted chocolate balls that arrived in a large box last week as if it were Halloween. I hijack a handful and chase them with a coffee from Black Seed Bagels, then review layouts for our November best-dressed feature, which needs some work. Ali, the style director, offers a watermelon Jolly Rancher but I pass. Sugar, during fashion week, is the enemy.

4:30 p.m. We are headed uptown to Monse and I wish I had that Jolly Rancher.

5:45 p.m. Monse, on a basketball court in a new luxury rental building near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, starts 45 minutes late after waiting for Nicki Minaj to arrive, as if Paris and Nicky Hilton and Minnie Mouse, who are punctual, are not famous enough. Traffic finally seems to be lightening up.

6:15 p.m. While my colleagues take an early-bird dinner break, I press on to see the runway debut of Matthew Adams Dolan, a rising star who’s got all the early buzz this fashion week. I only suffer from FOMO when it comes to meals, but I really did want to see his show, so I zip down to Chelsea to a very, very hot gallery, where I strip down to my increasingly sweaty T-shirt. Casey Spooner, dressed in what appears to be a pink organza jumpsuit, has it much worse. (The show is worth it, by the way.)

7:10 p.m. We drive all the way back up to 59th Street for Brandon Maxwell at the Doubles Club for a show that’s a real hoot. I’m so hungry I forgo the champagne for fear of becoming sloppy.

RELATED: Who’s Cool at New York Fashion Week High School?

8 p.m. There’s a one hour break before Jeremy Scott, the final show of the night, at Spring Studios in TriBeCa, so as we drive down Fifth Avenue, Sarah, our executive features director, and I frantically think of places we can grab a quick bite. But it’s Friday night, so every restaurant is packed, and the minutes are ticking by as we travel downtown. Then she thinks of Lucky Strike, the SoHo institution that happens to be a block away from Jeremy’s show, so I book a reservation on OpenTable and somehow we get there with 15 minutes to spare. It’s risky, but we’re starving and manage to get a chicken salad on the table by 9 p.m.

9:05 p.m. Check please! Even in fashion time, when shows normally run at least 20 minutes late, we’re anxious to dash and leave our plates half finished.

9:30 p.m. In our seats. And, shocker, this show ain’t starting any time soon. But there’s Lionel Richie!!! Best celebrity sighting at fashion week yet! I start singing The Commodores’ “Oh No” to my seatmates who remind me I can’t sing.

10:45 p.m. Home. Would rather be going to the Calvin Klein party but I need to organize my notes, start tomorrow’s review, reply to 1,000 emails, and search for “Dear Evan Hansen” remixes online while finishing a pint of blueberry chocolate ice cream from Morgenstern’s.

12 p.m. Goodnight.