THE FINNISH LINE: After a weekend in Scotland at the Trump Turnberry resort the Trumps were center stage in Helskini, Finland for the President’s closed-door summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Due back in the Beltway tonight, the first couple started their trip in Brussels for NATO-related business and events, then spent a tumultuous few days in the U.K. More meetings, new conferences and a ceremonial black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May were in order before a just-under-an-hour tea with Queen Elizabeth II.
Protesters have been a constant in each of the four country stops. A few thousand supporters of Helsinki Calling converged on the city center to urge Trump and Putin to respect human rights, promote peace and take action against climate change, according to Helsingin Sanomat. (Putin was shoulder-to-shoulder with another world leader under highly different circumstances Sunday — joining France President Emanuele Macron on the field after France defeated Croatia in the World Cup.)
For today’s photo-op in Helsinki with her husband and Putin at Helsinki’s Presidential Palace, the First Lady wore a pin-tucked, belted Gucci coat with a butterfly motif. Executives at Gucci declined to comment Monday about her choice or how the publicity has affected sales or Web site traffic. As of Monday morning, Matchesfashion.com was selling the Gucci coat for $4,800. Some previous first ladies were known to be fairly clandestine about whether designer pieces were given to them as gifts or offered at wholesale prices — generally half the cost of retail prices. Trump stylist’s Hervé Pierre has been candid about the substantial amount of time he spends in stores scouting for FLOTUS. There are occasional exceptions such as the powder pink Dior suit that creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri and her team agreed to make for FLOTUS’ appearance with the queen. Pierre declined to comment regarding specific costs for various fashion choices.
Trump’s soft yellow look for the Helsinki stop marked the second time, during the weeklong European tour that she chose that color. She also wore the shade in a off-the-shoulder J.Mendel gown. In preparation for today’s momentous meeting, Pierre had coordinating gloves designed in the same pale yellow and with similar butterfly accents, but they weren’t needed in the summery heat. More muted tones have been evident in some of the past week’s fashion choices including the beige Roland Mouret dress she wore for last week’s U.K. arrival.
Earlier in the day, the Trumps joined their Finnish counterparts — President Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio for breakfast. FLOTUS also had some one-on-one time with Finland’s first lady, who wore a short-sleeved dress printed with flowers and butterflies. (Some see butterflies as symbolic of change, hope and life, but we digress.) Earlier today the First Lady posted a photo of herself with Haukio and told her 1.8 million Instagram followers, “Enjoyed conversation w the First Lady of Finland today — good conversation about issues facing our nations. Thank you to @JenniHaukio for hosting me!” Haukio, a poet, responded via Twitter to her 4,329 followers, “Thank you — the pleasure was all mine!”
Trump’s color of choice in Helsinki could qualify as fashion-forward, since the similarly shaded Limelight is one of the Pantone Color Institute’s Top 10 colors for fall 2018. Or maybe she was just embracing midsummer in Finland where the sun won’t set until 10:30 p.m. In an interview last week, Pierre said, “You cannot wear ‘wow’ pieces all the time and create a crescendo. There are a lot of issues all over the world. Sometimes you have to be right for the time you are living in.”