And her trip to the Great Wall of China on Friday, a stop on President Trump’s five-country Asian tour, is her most stunning photo op yet.
In the images, Melania walks the Mutianyu portion of the estimated 13,000-mile wonder on the outskirts of Bejing, during a 30-minute private tour. Wearing a gray midi-skirt, Alaia belt, nude flats, and a black Dolce & Gabbana coat slung over her shoulders in the 40-degree chill, she pensively gazes over the landscape. Her hair is fastened into a low ponytail and she’s sporting her signature black shades.
After signing a guest book and posing for photos with a scroll she was gifted, Melania reportedly said, “This is beautiful. This is amazing,” before whisking back down the mountain in a cable car.
Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha, 16, and Malia, 19, took the same trip in 2014. The former first lady hiked the Great Wall wearing a comfy-looking black outfit while Sasha wore a loose statement T-shirt and Malia a casual white top with black pants. After their walk, the three slid back down to the ground in toboggans.
Earlier in the day, Melania wore the same outfit, only with her hair down, to visit the Bejing Zoo, where she fed a panda bear named Gugu and posed for photos with children.
Many on social media commented on her practical footwear and rustic chic style. However, according to Cris Pearlstein, stylist and founder of How Do You Fashion, the first lady’s look is hardly surprising.
“Melania has been in front of the camera her entire life — modeling is not just a job, it’s a large part of who she is,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s possible that the photographers hired to travel with her have a background in fashion or at least understood how Melania moves.”
Pearlstein adds, “Her outfit is entirely appropriate for the Great Wall, but the jacket draped over her shoulders — a fading fashion trend — is a deliberate way of saying, ‘I don’t dress for function.’”
Given the fascination with Melania’s style and her slow-to-start anti-bullying campaign, she can still make an impact as the first lady. “Part of Melania’s image and legacy is her beauty,” says Pearlstein. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she made the business of fashion her platform.”
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