By Rosemary Feitelberg
with contributions from Kristi Ellis
 on February 11, 2017
First Ladies Melania Trump and Akie Abe tour the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on Saturday.

First Lady Melania Trump has been showing some solidarity for American designers.

For this morning’s visit to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s wife Akie, FLOTUS wore a Calvin Klein sleeveless white cashmere knitted tea-length dress with a long belt. With the school week over for her son Barron, Trump resumed her non-New York responsibilities and was back to protocol, taking in the 16-acre gardens with her guest from Japan. The greenery and flowery grounds are named “Roji-en,” meaning “Garden of the Drops of Dew.”

In honor of her visit, Trump presented Abe with a porcelain piece of art titled “Rose in Bloom” from the American artist Vladimir Kanevsky. The gift was meant not only as symbol of our nation’s flower, but also as one of beauty and freedom. Kanevsky works in Fort Lee, N.J. where his work attracted the attention of Carolyne Roehm, Charlotte Moss, Deeda Blair and the late Oscar de la Renta.

Senior adviser to the first lady Stephanie Winston Wolkoff said today,”Our first lady has such a fond appreciation and respect for other cultures and is hopeful that she will inspire our youth to nurture their minds and relax their bodies in order for them to have a more natural way of thinking and living.”

For the Air Force One flight to Florida Friday afternoon, Melania Trump wore a Michael Kors ensemble of white wide-leg pants, a black buttoned blouse and black coat.

Her dress Saturday was from the spring collection designed by Francisco Costa, who has since been replaced by Raf Simons.

The born-and-bred European also wore a sleeveless ecru Kors dress for her trip to the voting booth in New York City with her husband on Election Day last fall. She polished off that look with a Balmain camel-colored coat with gold buttons.

The First Lady and Akie Abe planned to have a quiet lunch, while their husbands played a round of golf at the Trump International Golf Club in nearby Jupiter, Fla. Afterwards, the president (like an increasing number of Americans) had some weekend business to tend to — albeit his was substantially weightier — calls to Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos.

Tonight the president and first lady will have a private dinner with the Abes.

Aside from the president and the prime minister’s much-publicized golf plans, there may be a message of alliance in the South Florida destination. Visitors to the Morikami Musuem learn of the 113-year connection between Japan and South Florida. In 1904, New York University grad Jo Sakai returned to his home in Miyazu, Japan to encourage a group of pioneering farmers to join him in what is now northern Boca Raton. With assistance from the Model Land Company, a subsidiary of Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad, they formed a farming colony they named Yamato, an ancient name for Japan. Their experimental crops dwindled and by the Twenties they relocated their respective families to other parts of the country or returned to Japan.

Touring the gardens on the first stop of three, one of the guides told FLOTUS about the tiles, and the “continuity” that is “in sync with the vision of the museum to honor Japanese culture,” according to pool reports.

FLOTUS and Abe, wearing a white button down shirt, an A-line skirt and pumps sans sunglasses, stopped on a footbridge overlooking a still pond.

From there the two first ladies walked about a half mile to the Karesansui Late Rock Garden, with FLOTUS holding a Japanese fan.

On the third stop of the tour on Yamato Island and the bonsai garden, they stopped by Lake Morikami, which is stocked with Koi, and fed the fish.

FLOTUS was observed exclaiming “Oooh! Oooh!” in delight as the Koi swarmed to the fish food.

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