It’s been only a year since Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States, and he heads into his first State of the Union address next week after a scandal involving a porn star, escalating tensions with North Korea and a Twitter-fueled spat with his chief of staff. But in the middle of the chaos, one beacon of implacable poise and grace remains: first lady Melania.

“Melania Trump portrays this image of a calm, cool and collected woman,” says personal stylist Corey Roché, whose clients include celebrities and DC politicians. “And she does that through her wardrobe.”

Her figure-flaunting nipped-waist jackets, serene pink hues and ultra-feminine embellishments, such as ruffles and florals, hearken back to a simpler time — and offer a soothing counterpoint to her husband’s fire and fury.

“I think she went back in time and pulled out some pieces from the Jackie O style of dressing,” Roché tells The Post, citing the 1960s-inspired powder-blue Ralph Lauren skirt suit she wore to the inauguration last January. “Her style is pretty and muted, but doesn’t go unnoticed.”

That stands in contrast to predecessor Michelle Obama’s modern office-to-off-duty know-how, Laura Bush’s sensible schoolteacher garb or even Nancy Reagan’s assertive hauteur.

“It’s very feminine, but the clothes are not the clothes of working women,” Christina Logothetis, a DC-based image consultant, tells The Post. “Part of what she’s conveying is that she’s not in office, she is the wife and very specifically playing that role and only that role. And that is definitely in contrast to her immediate predecessors.”

Ever since Dolly Madison donned a fanciful feathered turban for husband James Madison’s 1809 inauguration, the first lady’s attire has been a matter of national interest. Take Mary Todd Lincoln, whose gaudy gowns and cavalier wartime spending caused a crisis, or Grace Coolidge, whose stylish White House portrait — depicting her in a scarlet, drop-waist dress — started a frenzy for the color red and cemented her reputation as a sparkling, fashion-forward hostess.

But first lady fashion as a spectator sport really took hold in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with paparazzi chasing Jacqueline Kennedy like she was a movie star, or columnists ripping apart Hillary Clinton’s girlish headbands and dowdy pantsuits.

The savviest first ladies, such as Kennedy, Reagan and Obama, have used that attention to spotlight American designers and industry, promote their husbands’ agendas or message, or foster diplomacy.

“The first lady of the United States is one of the most photographed women in the world,” says Logothetis. “So she has an opportunity to use her clothing to convey any different message that she may like, and different first ladies have used that power in different ways.”

When Melania Trump hit the campaign trail for her husband in 2016, she dutifully shed her usual bubble skirts and babydoll mini-dresses and covered up her décolletage. The former model and erstwhile entrepreneur adopted a palette of bold red and sleek monochrome in the mold of Nancy Reagan. But once Trump was elected, she began to shed that facade.

“Now we’re seeing her sort of moving out of those styles into things that she likes as opposed to what she thinks is expected of her,” says Logothetis.

That means: lots of pink, lots of voluminous sleeves, towering stilettos and high-fashion labels such as Gucci.

Most of her ensembles — such as the sculptural white inaugural gown custom-made by her stylist Hervé Pierre, the sweeping red Valentino gown that she paired with a rare updo for a state dinner in Japan and the embellished Michael Kors suit she sported for Trump’s first address to Congress — have been hits. A checkered J. Crew shirt she wore upon arriving at the White House from Camp David in August sold out immediately, as did the ruffled-sleeved Roksanda dress she wore for the Republican National Convention last year.

Yet she has drawn criticism for her reliance on European designers — she tends to only wear American for very important US events, such as the inauguration, addresses to Congress and a 9/11 memorial — and she even dared to wear Italian label Dolce & Gabbana for her official White House portrait. Her expensive tastes have come under scrutiny as well.

“There have been incidents where what she wore has been used by some as evidence of the administration being disconnected from the working-class core of her husband’s political base,” first ladies historian Carl Sferrazza Anthony tells The Post.

Anthony points to the $51,500 floral Dolce & Gabbana coat she donned in Sicily last May, as well as the hot-pink $3,000 Delpozo frock she wore to give a speech about bullying at the United Nations.

“Some characterized [that dress] as more suitable for a party, in contrast to the business suits worn by the other women who convened to discuss global cyberthreats to children,” says Anthony.

And then there are the spiky heels she was photographed in while boarding a plane to visit Texas, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

“I think part of it is, Melania is very clearly choosing the clothing based on the clothing itself, without regard to who made it, what it costs, where it came from. It’s just: ‘Does it serve the purpose of me projecting this beautiful image at all times?’” says Logothetis. “I think she believes that it is expected of her to look great all the time. And she does.”

The majority of the American public agrees. According to a December Gallop poll, Melania has a 54 percent approval rating, up 17 points since the inauguration.

Fashion historian Beth Dincuff says that now that Melania has a year of politics under her belt, the first lady can start using her wardrobe in a more effective way.

“This could be an interesting platform for her — either to spotlight more conscientious fashion, or wear some new, young American designers, or do an issue about models and weight and body image,” says Dincuff, who teaches at Parsons. “She hasn’t done so yet, and I would love to see her try. With her fashion industry background, she could really make an impact.”


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