Who won the NATO First Lady fashion face-off? FEMAIL’s style experts deliver their verdicts on the summit wardrobes – from Jill Biden’s ‘classic’ ensembles to the Spanish Prime Minister’s wife’s ‘unfinished’ looks
- Queen Letizia of Spain, Jill Biden and Brigitte Macron have been attending Nato
- First Ladies have put on a very stylish display in the Spanish capital over period
- Queen Letizia has opted for pretty dresses, while Jill donned floral gowns
- Brigitte donned a selection of power suits and floaty dresses for the events
First Ladies from across the world were ‘jostling to outdo one another’ in the style stakes as they attended the NATO summit in Madrid this week – but France’s Brigitte Macron came out on top, stylists have revealed.
Queen Letizia of Spain, 44, as well as her husband King Felipe has been hosting the event in the Spanish capital over the past few days, where they have been joined by world leaders including President Biden and Emmanuel Macron.
But while the spotlight may have been on the NATO summit, many of the wives of those attending have put on an eye-catching and stylish display as they came together in Madrid for the event.
While Queen Letizia opted for pretty dresses which flaunted her physique, President Biden’s wife Jill adopted a number of Oscar de la Renta business dresses in floral prints.
Meanwhile Emmanuel Macron’s wife Brigitte put on an equally chic display during the summit, pairing pussybow-blouses with matching trouser co-ords.
Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, wowed in an orange one shoulder gown at a dinner that the Spanish chief executive offered to the heads of state and heads of government participating in the NATO summit.
Stylist Miranda Holder told FEMAIL that ‘none of the women’ are ‘strangers to power dressing’, adding: ‘It was an impressive display of big bouncy hair, handbags and heels at the NATO Summit, as the First Ladies jostled to outdo each other in the style stakes.’
She added: ‘In terms of who looked the best, Queen Letizia put in a reliably solid style performance but Brigitte Macron, particularly with her jeans and navy blazer ensemble stole the show, proving that age is no limiting factor when it comes to looking truly sensational.’
First Ladies from across the world have offered a lesson in ‘power’ dressing as they attended the NATO summit in Madrid this week, a stylist has revealed (pictured, Jill Biden and Queen Letizia)
Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, wowed in an orange one shoulder gown at a dinner (left) while Kim Keon-hee donned a smart white military dress as she arrived (right)
Celebrity stylist Hannah Eichler agreed, telling FEMAIL that Queen Letizia ‘rarely puts a fashion foot wrong’, and is ‘famed for her elegant aesthetic’.
She said: ‘The NATO summit in Madrid has seen the world leaders and their stylish wives jet into the Spanish city, and while the politics came first of course our eyes were drawn to the fashion choices of the first ladies.
‘Queen Letizia of Spain played tour guide, and rarely puts a fashion foot wrong. Letizia is famed for her elegant aesthetic, often making like our own Duchess of Cambridge by re-wearing favourite pieces from her own wardrobe with high street and designer buys.
‘Note how Letizia opts for conservative pieces with personality – think tailoring with fun prints such as polkadots with block colours. The accessory department is where Letizia ups the ante and has her go-to sleek heels, espadrilles and luxe jewellery which uplift her outfits.’
Miranda gave a similar assessment, saying: ‘None of them are strangers to power dressing their way to the top and they all brought out their fashion big guns to help them hold their own amongst their counterparts.’
‘Brigitte Macron exuded French chic in immaculately cut outfits with a minimal twist.
Brigitte Macron wore a baby blue pussybow gown as she attended one of the events earlier this week
Meanwhile Brigitte showed off a smart business chic wardrobe, with a navy suit (left) and white co-ord (right)
Today, the French First Lady wore a chic form-fitting t-shirt dress in a soft yellow tone in Madrid
Queen Letizia showed off a monochrome wardrobe during the event, opting for a smart black gown for a dinner at the Royal Palace
‘Her striking looks and halo of platinum blonde hair took centre stage, as she wowed onlookers in a fashion forward white tailored co-ord set which was tailored to perfectly flatter her frame.
‘Macron also channelled her floaty feminine chic in a stunning cornflower blue dress which which suitably modest for the gravitas of the occasion and complemented her summer complexion.
‘However, the absolute showstopper had to be a beautifully tailored pair of indigo skinny jeans, matched with a navy blazer and heels and finished with a white pussy bow silk blouse. The whole look oozed nonchalant, effortless elegance and was utterly timeless.’
Eichler added: ‘Brigitte Macron is the first lady of tailoring and should you be looking to overhaul your 9-5 office wardrobe, she’s your ultimate inspiration. Brigitte favours sharp suits to show she means business, but it’s not all style boss as she’ll subtly add hints of detail with pussy bows and buttons which gives her look a luxe, expensive feel.
‘A pair of classic courts are always relied upon for the finishing touches to Brigitte’s look and she’ll often match colours to the rest of the look as a means of looking pulled together.’
Queen Letizia of Spain (pictured with Royal Theatre Foundation president Gregorio Marañon Moyaa and Royal Theatre director Ignacio Garcia-Belenguer) put on a very stylish display as they arrived at the Royal Theatre in Madrid on Thursday
A number of the women attending opted for flowing dresses in lighter colours and playful prints as they enjoyed the warm weather of Madrid (left to right, Ydia Abela, Annik Penders, Begona Gomez, Lidija Dukanovic, Ingrid Schulerud, Juraj Rizman, Jill Biden, Queen Letizia Of Spain, Diana Nausediene, Emine Erdogan)
Speaking about US President Biden’s wife, Eichler told FEMAIL: ‘Jill Biden is no stranger to a public occasion, and uses pretty florals and bright colours to appear more approachable. Her printed midi dresses are looks we could see in our own wardrobes.
‘When it comes to accessories, Jill likes to keep it simple with gold jewellery and sleek clutch bags, telling us that she’s a fuss free kind of woman when it comes to work and play.’
Miranda commented: ‘Jill Biden put in a respectable show with a pretty, classic fit and flare navy floral dress which felt demure and formal, but was designed to blend in with her surroundings rather than stand out, she also wore a brick red tailored two piece suit, with a military twist not unlike some of Ivana Trump’s more memorable looks.
‘The suit jacket was elevated by shiny gold buttons and the jacket had a high-fashion high low hem but in my opinion this look wasn’t a success.
‘Power dressing is all wrong for Jill’s unassuming style personality and it just wasn’t classic enough.
‘Besides being ill-fitting, it looked as though Jill was wearing someone else’s outfit – the old adage of when the clothes are perfect you notice the woman, but when the clothes are wrong you notice the clothes – rings true here.’
Miranda continued to discuss the Spanish monarchs’ style, adding: ‘Queen Letizia did not disappoint as she remained true to her own signature style with an array of outfits.
‘This ranged from polka dot dresses to a striking white flared trouser suit which felt fresh and modern whilst perfectly fitting her slim frame.
Today, Begona opted for a floor length white dress with a pretty floral print across the bodice and the arms
Spain’s Queen Letizia (right) next to Spanish Prime Minister’s wife, Begona Gomez (middle), and French First Lady, Brigitte Macron (left)
‘Letizia has always been a bit of a style chameleon, able to carry off a range of styles and silhouettes and always keeping us guessing whether she picked them up from the high street or had them made bespoke by one of her favourite designers.
‘She displays an innate style and an ability to make an outfit work for her through a mixture of confidence, poise and great accessorising which Jill Biden proves sadly cannot be learned.
‘She is rightly a fashion icon in her own right, and enjoys the relative fashion freedom she has as a result of being part of the Spanish aristocracy rather than the relative confinement of being an English Royal.’
Meanwhile she noted two outliers who had also been impressive in the style stakes.
She added: ‘Begona Gomez wife of the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, dazzled at first glance in a fiery orange one shoulder dress finished with ‘match-all’ nude heels.
President Joe Biden’s wife Jill opted for a number of floral Oscar de la Renta gowns for the summit in Madrid (left, in navy, and right in white)
Looking to Queen Letizia for inspiration, Jill also opted for a smart white suit for a dinner at the Royal Palace
‘On closer inspection the dress did little for her athletic frame and the absolute absence of accessories led to the look feeling unfinished, as if she was running out of the door and forgot to put them on.
‘Finally, Kim Keon-hee, the wife of the president of South Korea appeared in a buttoned up ivory coat-dress embellished with a single brooch.
‘Wearing monochrome – or a single block colour – like this is a style trick regularly employed by Kate Middleton, as it creates a dramatic look.
‘It helps to build a personal brand and also make you look taller, but despite all this in my book the ensemble was far too severe and drowned Kim Keon-hee’s petite frame.
‘A few simple tweaks of neckline and hemline together with a splash of a bright accent colour would have brought this look to life – Kim literally paled in comparison to the other First Ladies when it came to the style stakes.’
Eichler said Kim Keon-hee was her favourite First Lady for ‘vintage vibes’.
She added: ‘Our favourite first lady for vintage vibes is Kim Keon-hee, who channels the likes of Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn in 1950s Dior “New Look” esque pieces. Isn’t her buttoned coat dress just fabulous?
‘Clearly she’s taken style cues from the likes of the British Royal Family such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Sophie Wessex and Zara Tindall who have often classic coat dresses in recent weeks.’
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