Melania Trump donates her inaugural gown to Smithsonian

Published: Oct. 20, 2017 at 12:27 PM

Annie Martin

Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Melania Trump donated the gown she wore to the 2017 inaugural ball to the Smithsonian Institute at a ceremony Friday.

The 47-year-old first lady, who married President Donald Trump in 2005, formally presented her white Hervé Pierre dress to the National Museum of American History.

Trump's silk crepe gown, which she co-designed with Pierre, will be displayed in "The First Ladies" exhibit at the museum. Her donation followed a longstanding tradition of first ladies giving their inaugural dresses to the institution.

"Today Melania Trump is taking part in a more than century-old tradition," museum director John Gray said, according to a Smithsonian Institute press release. "The first inaugural gown donated to the Smithsonian was by Helen Taft, and more than 100 years later we are proud to have Melania Trump donate to this extraordinary collection."

"The First Ladies" exhibit features 26 dresses, including the yellow dress Jackie Kennedy wore to her first state dinner in 1961, and more than 160 other objects, such as White House china. Trump said it was an "honor" to contribute to the museum.

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"It is an honor and a privilege to dedicate my inaugural gown to such an iconic exhibit at the National Museum of American History," the first lady said.

It is a white, off-the-shoulder column gown with a ruffle down the front, thin belt around the waist and a thigh slit.

Trump has worn several Hervé Pierre designs since the inaugural ball, including a red, white and blue dress for a dinner with French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, in Paris, France, in July.

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