first lady

For the last day of her state visit to the UK,  which included an official farewell to The Queen and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace followed by a tour of the Francis Crick Institute, Letizia wore an ivory prom-style skirt by one of the UK's best-loved high street labels, Topshop. [...] Diplomatic dressing is a favored sartorial tactic of many of the world's most high-profile women, who use their style choices to pay tribute to the places and countries they visit.

The summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump was also first lady Kim Jung-sook's debut in diplomatic circles, and she has shown her soft diplomacy in style. [...] For many of her outfits during the visit, she chose blue, which signifies comfort, trust, success and hope, expressing her hope for success of this first summit.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has many women - in his Presidency. [...] Unlike his old man, President Uhuru has many women who, behind the scenes, are said to be the ‘soft power’ of his presidency. And more than ever before, these women hold crucial positions even as Uhuru bids for a second term in the do-or-die August 8 General Election.

When Melania Trump visited the Vatican alongside her husband and stepdaughter Ivanka Trump on Tuesday, she wore a black veil and dress to follow Vatican tradition for formal visits. While in Brussels on Thursday, Melania sported a beige skirt suit by Belgian fashion house Maison Ullens. She has also been making her own diplomatic choices, including opting not to wear a headscarf during her visit to Saudi Arabia last Saturday. She chose to end this trip, though, with a nod to Gabbana, an iconic Italian fashion house.

While most of the focus for the next nine days will be on President Donald Trump as he makes his first international trip as commander in chief, there will be plenty of eyes on first lady Melania Trump, also set to bow on the global stage. [...] Trump's schedule will be packed with many events alongside her husband, but she will also make excursions on her own. If her handful of public events stateside are any indication, Trump could spend time at schools, hospitals, or museums, just like she did before with Queen Rania of Jordan and China's Madam Peng. 

Head of states might be calling the shots when it comes to politics, however, it’s the first ladies who win the world over with grace and style. As China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan’s impeccable looks stole the spotlight at the much anticipated Xi-Trump summit this week, we take a look at some of the most stylish stateswomen of our times.

Glamorous, popular and passionate about fighting AIDS, Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan is Beijing’s diplomatic not-so-secret weapon spreading Chinese soft power around the world. A former singing star in the People’s Liberation Army, “Mother Peng”, as she is affectionately known in China, will be at President Xi Jinping’s side as he meets US President Donald Trump in Florida next week.

Madison Jones on fashion as a public diplomacy tool.

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