Monday marks a favorite day of the year for those in the fashion world: the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, otherwise known as the Met Gala. But for the Trumps, who’ve repeatedly attended the black-tie event that raises money for the Costume Institute, it marks an entirely different occasion: the anniversary of their engagement. President Donald Trump proposed to Melania Knauss at the soiree back in 2004.
That year, while every celebrity, stylist, designer, and public figure was clamoring to craft the boldest look for the dazzling NYC evening, Trump was busy creating the perfect proposal. According to People magazine, it was the first time they attended the Met Gala together. Six years after he met Melania, snagging the most sought-after ticket for their date was a great next step. But of course, Trump went further, presenting the model with a $1.5 million Graff engagement ring — purchased at a 50 percent discount, according to what he told the New York Times: “Only a fool would say, ‘No, thank you, I want to pay a million dollars more for a diamond.’”
It was an emerald-cut sparkler, according to the New York Post, “featuring tapered diamond baguettes on the side and set in platinum.” While Melania may have been shocked, CNN reported that partygoers didn’t even notice, as they were too busy fixing their trains and headpieces at the fete, themed “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century.”
Melania’s interpretation of the theme was a black strapless gown with a scalloped corset. Her hair was much darker at the time, and she wore it in a half-up bouffant. Her brand-new accessory perfectly matched all the other dazzling jewelry she wore that night, as she might have shone even brighter than Katy Perry’s LED light-covered dress from the 2010 gala. Donald’s daughter Ivanka was by their side, in a peach silk ankle-length dress with lace butterfly appliqués.
“It was a great surprise,” Melania told the Post afterward. “We are very happy together.”
The president and the first lady will not be in attendance this year — they undoubtedly have more pressing things to deal with. But that doesn’t mean dramatic moments like their Met Gala proposal are off the table. Maybe 2017 is the year we will see another couple take the next step?