“The sash is made out of green silk and gold metallic thread. We used the border which was the most interesting piece we could use as it was a vintage piece,” is how French-American fashion and costume designer Herve Pierre explained in an Instagram post, the green sash that was sported by American First Lady Melania Trump on her maiden visit to India on Monday with United States President Donald Trump.Paired with an all-white jumpsuit that had a vicar collar, the green sash, which was woven with metallic gold thread broke the monotony of the all-white ensemble. The effect is deeply reminiscent of a Karate suit and the sash could very well be the green belt, which is the fourth belt that is accorded to karate learners. “The sash was cut in an early XX century Indian textile,” explained the designer in the post. Up close, the sash could very well be a piece of Banarasi brocade, where silk is woven with gold or silver metallic threads. The craft is called zardozi, or zari in common parlance. As for the Banarasi, it has its own place of pride in the wardrobe of most Indian women. Pierre, in the past, had worked with names like Oscar De La Renta and was also the creative director of Vera Wang. The 55-year-old studied at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale, Paris, along with art history at Sorbonne University. Pierre is also a known costume designer and has designed costumes for operas like Hommage Aux Ballets Russes and for Preljocaj’s ballet Le ParcPierre is no stranger to designing for those in power. In the past he has dressed the ilk of Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. And now he has been working with Melania Trump for almost three years and has apparently collaborated on many an eclectic gowns, like the one FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) wore to President Trump’s inaugural ball in 2017.Pierre, in the past, had worked with names like Oscar De La Renta and was also the creative director of Vera Wang. The 55-year-old studied at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale, Paris, along with art history at Sorbonne University. Pierre is also a known costume designer and has designed costumes for operas like Hommage Aux Ballets Russes and for Preljocaj’s ballet Le Parc. Diplomacy is now no longer restricted to pact signings and speeches where innuendos of power are hidden in sugar-coated words. Clothes and accessories are now very much a part of the vocabulary needed to practice cultural diplomacy. Michelle Obama aced it when she chose a gown by designer Naeem Khan – an India-born US- based designer – when she welcomed Indian PM Manmohan Singh and wife Gursharan Kaur for the first state dinner hosted by President Obama. There has been a long-standing tradition where visiting foreign dignitaries have worn clothes made by designers of the host nation. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the brief too literally when he dressed his entire family up in Indian clothes that will not look out of place at an Indian wedding. Duchess of Cambridge went for an Anita Dongre floral dress with Mughal motifs as she played cricket in Mumbai. FLOTUS repeated the outfit at Taj Mahal, and so did Ivanka Trump, who is accompanying her father for this trip. Ivanka wore a white and red midi dress and red stilettos, maybe to express the brief spring that we have before the burning summers will unleash themselves on the Indian subcontinent.