Sophie Gregoire Trudeau expected to showcase Canadian designer at state dinner
The wardrobe choices of Sophie Gregoire Trudeau are being put under the microscope as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family make a three-day visit to Washington.
Fashion watchers are eagerly waiting to see what, or, who, she decides to wear at Thursday's state dinner.
But is this much attention typically paid to the fashion choices of the prime minister's wife?
"Absolutely not," says fashion expert Jeanne Beker.
"Nobody ever looked at Laureen Harper through that particular lens," Beker told CTVNews.ca.
But she noted that in the short time since his election, Trudeau and Gregoire Trudeau have come to "represent a lot of different things for a lot of different people.
"And style happened to be one of them," Beker said.
She may arguably be one of Canada's most powerful women, but Toronto-based stylist and personal shopper Talia Brown said Gregoire Trudeau remains very relatable, which explains, in part, why she elicits so much interest from the public.
"She's very chic, and she dresses very elegantly," Brown said. "She's a great age where the younger generation can aspire to be her, and the older generation can still relate to her."
Beker said Gregoire Trudeau has already made it one of her priorities to promote Canadian designers.
"It's wonderful because these designers are so lacking in that kind of international platform," she said. "And how wonderful would it be if Sophie can perhaps illustrate just how talented some of our own designers are in that international spotlight."
Fashion stylist Alexis Honce, style expert for The Marilyn Denis Show, said Gregoire Trudeau has "done her research" on Canadian designers, as she's worn pieces from some lesser-known fashion houses.
"She's probably checking out all the fashion weeks,” Honce said.
Canadian designers that could be on Sophie's radar
Beker said she's almost certain Gregoire Trudeau will wear a Canadian designer when U.S. President Barack Obama hosts the Trudeaus for a state dinner.
While there are a number of young, up-and-coming Canadian designers to choose from, Beker said she'd like to see "one of our tried and true designers" enjoy some time in the spotlight, such as Wayne Clark.
"He does stupendous evening wear, like truly world-class, but he's never got the wide international attention that I think he deserves," Beker said.
She also suggested Quebec's Marie Saint Pierre and Denis Gagnon as two Canadian designers who have "paid their dues."
Beker added that she'd like to see Gregoire Trudeau wear a piece from a designer who's making an effort to succeed in Canada, such as Sid Neigum or Mikhael Kale.
"I'd really like to see her help promote some true Canadian designers who are struggling to make it here at home, who have not had to leave our country to make a go of things," Beker said.
Brown said it will be hard to predict who Gregoire Trudeau will wear to Thursday's event, as she's been "eclectic" with her style choices over the last few months.
"People are curious to see who she is going to discover next,” she said.
Brown suggested Trudeau opt for one of Tanya Taylor's designs for the state dinner, which she described as "feminine yet corky."
She also suggested a design by Pink Tartan or Nova Scotia-born Matthew Gallagher, would be good options for Gregoire Trudeau.
Honce said, when it comes to red-carpet wear, there are few Canadian designers to choose from and she predicts Gregoire Trudeau could opt to wear something custom-made.
She said Gregoire Trudeau may wear a piece from Project Runway Canada alum Lucian Matis, Canadian wedding dress designer Christopher Paunil, or from Toronto-based Greta Constantine.
But regardless of who Gregoire Trudeau decides to wear during her Washington visit, fashion experts agree that those designers will be sure to feel the "Sophie effect."
"She could literally make their careers in one day," Brown said. "Especially if she wore someone that's not even a big name."
Beker added: "These are the people who really deserve to be featured on the world stage, and really be worn by someone with the panache, with the natural charisma and profile that Sophie Trudeau has."