First Lady Melania Trump donates inaugural gown to Smithsonian

Last Updated Oct 20, 2017 5:23 PM EDT

First Lady Melania Trump donated her inaugural ball gown to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., Friday morning, adding to the museum’s collection of 26 gowns worn by former first ladies. 

The first lady wore the gown, a vanilla off-the-shoulder couture piece designed by Herve Pierre, the night President Trump took office at the Armed Forces inaugural ball. Pierre had two weeks to make the dress. The former model said making the donation was an honor.

First lady Melania Trump is seen at the Salute to Our Armed Services Inaugural Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington Jan. 20, 2017.

First lady Melania Trump is seen at the Salute to Our Armed Services Inaugural Ball in Washington, Jan. 20, 2017.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

“Today is such an honor as I dedicate my inaugural couture piece to the First Ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History,” the first lady said in a statement provided by the White House. “In addition to celebrating fashion, which is something I have loved since I was a small child, there is no better way to memorialize such a special evening, and new chapter in the life of our family.”

The first lady said she, the president and their son Barron love living there. 

The first lady has taken a relatively quiet, although increasingly public, role at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She recently accompanied Mr. Trump to Texas, Florida and to Puerto Rico for the recent hurricanes, and has gone with him on foreign trips. 

Her approval ratings have actually climbed since she joined the White House, from 24 percent of Americans viewing her favorably in February to 54 percent of Americans viewing her favorably in a September CNN poll. She is also the most popular Trump working in the White House. In the same September CNN poll, 54 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the first lady, compared with 41 percent favorable of President Trump, 41 percent favorable of Ivanka Trump and 20 percent favorable of Jared Kushner. 

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Months ago, Mrs. Trump pledged to make combatting cyberbullying a core component of her work. But her own husband’s bombastic remarks on Twitter haven’t made that easy, and her page quietly removed cyberbullying as one of her listed initiatives on her page.

On Thursday night, the first lady was the guest of honor at a Kuwait-America Foundation gala at the Kuwait Embassy in D.C.

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