February 13, 2017 / 10:22 PM / 8 months ago

While other designers demur, Herrera offers to dress first lady

(Reuters) - Fashion designer Carolina Herrera, who has dressed five first ladies and made first daughter Ivanka Trump’s inaugural ball gown, on Monday said she would happily dress the U.S. first lady.

“I don’t have a problem dressing the first lady of this country, whoever it is,” Herrera told Reuters without mentioning Melania Trump by name, when asked at the debut of her fall 2017 collection if she would design for her.

“I think it’s out of respect for the United States,” said the Venezuelan-born designer.

The fashion world has been divided on the issue after some couturiers including Tom Ford and Sophie Theallet said they would not work with Trump.

Herrera created clothes for former first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Michelle Obama among others. Trump’s inaugural ball gown was designed by former Herrera creative director Herve Pierre.

Herrera, whose designs are popular with Manhattan socialites, filed a December lawsuit against the Oscar de la Renta fashion house in a dispute over the departure of another creative talent.

Designer Carolina Herrera acknowledges the crowd after presenting her Fall/Winter 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

But not a hair was out of place at the showing of her new fall 2017 collection attended by actresses Emmy Rossum and Christina Ricci and socialite Nicky Hilton Rothschild.

Models including Bella Hadid strutted the runway with their hair pulled back sleekly. Outfits mixing white cotton shirts with black leather kicked off the show.

Slideshow (5 Images)

Hadid wore a multicolored sequin tea-length gown true to the lineage of the line, which is known for wedding gowns and chic outfits for ladies who lunch. Jewel-toned gowns were paired with sheer black tights while other looks included trousers and pleated skirts.

Evening and day looks were created in burgundy and pale pink, all constructed with ease in mind, according to Herrera. Velvet and flirty bows were used as accents.

“It’s a collection with very simple silhouettes without any effort, very feminine,” Herrera said.

New York Fashion Week ends Thursday.

Reporting by Alicia Powell in New York; Additional reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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