PRESIDENTIAL PICKS: Brigitte Trogneux, France’s newest First Lady, wore for her husband’s inauguration on Sunday morning a Louis Vuitton sky-blue wool crepe dress falling above the knee and a jacket with a military edge and metallic button details, which were especially designed for the occasion. Looking feminine, sharp and sexy, she also sported beige heels and a matching bag from the house as she made her solo entry into the Élysée Palace in Paris.
The event took place in the ballroom of the presidential palace, where her husband, Emmanuel Macron, wore a dark blue suit from Jonas & Cie, according to a source, who said it cost approximately 450 euros, or $592 at current exchange.
The selections for the inauguration were loyal and consistent with the pair’s sartorial track record. As reported, Jonas & Cie is Macron’s go-to tailor, with navy suits by the house having been his uniform throughout the presidential campaign. Trogneux wore a Vuitton coat the day he won the election.
From their choice of outfits on Sunday, it is clear that neither was looking to distract from the event.
Just after Trogneux’s arrival at the Élysée Palace, the Internet was abuzz with people comparing her outfit with Melania Trump’s inaugural look in the U.S., which many found to be Jackie O in essence.
According to a source, Trogneux is very close to Nicolas Ghesquière, Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections, to the point of being in contact most days. The pair is thought to have been introduced by Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and daughter of luxury titan Bernard Arnault. Macron is said to be close friends with her partner, entrepreneur and tech billionaire Xavier Niel.
As reported, it is believed that Delphine Arnault offered Trogneux style advice during her husband’s time as France’s finance minister. Trogneux has also been spotted in the front row at Dior, another brand within the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fold, and Karl Lagerfeld is a prominent fan.
“We are all so happy,” he told WWD after Macron had been declared the victor. “I know him and his wife very well. They are great people.”
During Macron’s meteoric rise, Trogneux’s style was raked over by the press, not forgetting her age: 64 versus Macron’s 39. The pair met when he was a 15-year-old student and she a drama teacher at his school — married with three children, one of whom was in Macron’s class. Trogneux, known as Bibi to her friends, went on to marry Macron in 2007.
He is the eighth, and youngest, French president since the start of the Fifth Republic. Macron’s center-left party, En Marche (or On the Move), is just one year old, and he had never before run for elected office. In the second round of France’s presidential election on May 8, Macron garnered 66.1 percent of the votes, decisively defeating far-right party leader Marine Le Pen.
On the day of Macron’s win, Trogneux joined him on stage in the same navy Vuitton coat with a raised silver collar that she wore earlier that day to cast her vote — though she had traded her jeans for more sophisticated dark pants. It was a move that expressed self-confidence, and all eyes were on the inauguration on Sunday to see how the choice of outfit of the First Lady — whose penchant for above-the-knee skirts and skinny pants has raised eyebrows in conservative political circles — would read as an indicator of the tone of Macron’s five-year term.
“She will be watched as closely as, if not more than, Emmanuel Macron in terms of image,” Elizabeth Pineau, coauthor with Gaëtane Morin of “The Political Wardrobe,” which examines the symbolic weight of clothes in the history of French politics, told WWD.
In terms of past first lady dressing, Cécilia Sarkozy memorably wore an ivory duchess Prada dress to the inauguration of her then-husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2007. “That set tongues wagging at the time because her outfit was not made in France, and at the same time she was very elegant — both things were duly noted,” said Pineau.
Valérie Trierweiler, the former partner of France’s last president François Hollande, pointedly paired an off-the-rack black dress from French brand Apostrophe with a white coat from Tara Jarmon. “She wanted to send a message of simplicity from the first day,” Pineau said.
Macron has indicated that unlike previous French first ladies, his wife will have an official role, though it won’t be paid. With Trogneux’s teaching experience, she is expected to inform her husband’s education policy, and also wants to help people with disabilities and autism.
During the campaign, some questioned Trogneux’s habit of wearing designer outfits in light of public outrage over conservative presidential candidate François Fillon accepting a gift of two suits from luxury tailor Arnys worth 13,000 euros, or $14,210, from a lawyer with close links to African leaders during the election campaign.
Candice Nedelec, coauthor with Caroline Derrien of “The Macrons,” published by Fayard, raised the subject with Trogneux in a lengthy interview on the campaign trail. “She said that designers loaned her the clothes and that she always returns them, and that it was her way of honoring French design. But she added that if [it] became damaging to her husband, she would stop wearing them,” reported Nedelec.
The Vuitton outfit was loaned to France’s new First Lady for the inauguration, according to sources.
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