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Thu, Mar 27, 2014
The Straits Times
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China's First Lady Peng Liyuan makes waves for her sophisticated, if safe, fashion choices
by Elisabeth Gwee

Almost exactly a year ago, First Lady Peng Liyuan, 50, set off on her first state visit to Russia with her husband, President Xi Jinping.

That marked the start of China's fascination with what she wore.

Later that year, her status as a style icon was cemented globally when Vanity Fair included her in its international best-dressed list. (The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama did not make the cut.)

One year on, and her style has proven consistent - safe, but always sophisticated and elegant.

While Mrs Obama can be considered more of a fashion risk-taker in terms of the style of dresses she picks and her love for bold colours and prints, Madam Peng plays it safe in smart skirt suits and ladylike coats, in shades such as pale green, grey, blue and black.

We check out what Madam Peng is wearing on her latest Europe trip with her husband.

For example, she arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday March 22, in a fitted grey coat and matching heels. A black and white polka dot scarf added an interesting detail to her look.

Later that day, she accompanied her husband to the Royal Palace in a pastel pink skirt suit. The jacket featured a Chinese-style collar and knot buttons. It is most likely designed by Chinese fashion designer Ma Ke, who has been dressing Madam Peng since 2003 and has designed very similar looking suits for her.

She kept her accessories simple - a matching pink clutch and beige suede heels. Tasteful and elegant.

For a meeting with Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix at the Royal Palace again, she had on the same coat that she wore to dinner with Michelle Obama in Beijing - a traditional-cut Chinese jacket with floral trim. But instead of wearing it with a black dress as she did in Beijing, she teamed it with a long minty gown for a fresher and less severe look.

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