Why social media was more focused on Hope Hicks than Melania Trump at the Japanese state dinner

President Trump spent the weekend in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The pair bonded over golf, fed koi, and ended their weekend with a state dinner on Sunday.

In attendance were most of the American president’s entourage, but it wasn’t first lady Melania Trump’s choice of dress that attracted attention. Instead, it was White House communications director Hope Hicks whose ensemble created a social media lightning storm.

Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, arrives at a state banquet at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Hicks chose a tuxedo jacket à la Le Smoking and an almost-butterfly bowtie for an androgynous look, while the first lady opted for a floor-length red gown.

Twitter users were eager to seize the sartorial choice as a moment to do everything from offer praise to remark that the 29-year-old White House employee looks less a political staffer and more like a character from the early aughts teen drama Gossip Girl (the irony being Hicks was the face of a Gossip Girl-inspired book in 2005.)





Although it may be an unexpected choice within the political arena, women in tuxedos hardly elicit a double take within fashion circles and on celebrity red carpets. Yves Saint Laurent created Le Smoking in 1966, a now-iconic tuxedo-style suit made especially for women, which became part of Saint Laurent’s legacy and grew to become one of fashion’s most revolutionary silhouettes.

Tux-clad stars such as Rihanna, Evan Rachel Wood, Janelle Monae, and Diane Keaton all come to mind, though it’s unknown yet (albeit unlikely) whether Hicks opted for something comparable to an Altuzarra or Dolce & Gabbana, as her celebrity counterparts have done. Hicks did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyle and @YahooBeauty.

Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes