Melania Trump has made a special appearance alongside husband Donald Trump during a late-night speech, where one expert described her look as "grim-faced".
The First Lady has kept her distance throughout the US presidential election campaign, even more so since her Covid diagnosis, but the Slovenian former model has appeared publicly over the past couple of days to lend her support to the Republican cause.
Melania was seen accompanying Trump to the podium at the East Room of the White House in a sleek black trouser suit and stood beside him before the President falsely claimed he had already won the election.
The pair showed no signs of body contact, with Melania striding solo on stage and, despite flashing a smile for the cameras, one "body language expert" told Britain's The Mirror that Melania looked "grim" and described her outfit as "funeral black".
After Trump's speech, Melania was seen walking off the stage ahead of her husband as vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and his wife held hands behind them.
"Melania's facial expression can be beautifully impassive and Sphinx-like but the mood-change today was dramatic, even though the actual expression changes were subtle," body language expert Judi James claimed.
"Gone was the wide smile she had used during the election campaign, which had been so strong that people had even started to ask if she were a body double.
"In its place was a grim mouth-clamp as she gazed at her husband in her funereal black trouser suit and while Trump's kids buzzed about grinning excitedly as though celebrating a big win, it was Melania's appearance that told a very different story.
"She clapped her husband to show support but it was the raising of her chin that had the most impact.
"It looked like a gesture of defiance that matched Trump's narrative."
The outfit was in stark contrast to the designer threads she wore earlier in the day to vote; a sleeveless chain and horse bit print dress by designer Gucci estimated to cost around $6730. The dress was paired with Christian Louboutin pumps and a Kelly bag from Hermes at a total cost of $32,000.
While the print is an iconic style long associated with the Italian fashion house, several people claimed the chain design looked liked "handcuffs" and accused Melania of sending a "message" with her outfit.
It comes as the prime minister of Melania's homeland, Slovenia, tweeted in support of Trump and a "final triumph" for the US president. Slovenia is part of the European Union and Janez Jansa, a far-right prime minister, is the first European leader to call a victory.
President Trump has amassed scores of critics overnight after claiming he had already won the US election during his speech.
"Frankly, we did win this election," Trump said from the East Room of the White House, adding that he would take the election to the Supreme Court if mail-in votes — cast legitimately before the election — are allowed to be counted in the coming days.
"We did win this election ... this is a major fraud in our nation so we will be going to the US Supreme Court. To me this is a very sad moment. As far as I'm concerned we did win."
Despite Trump's claims, neither candidate has reached the threshold of 270 electoral votes, and millions of votes have yet to be counted.
Both sides of the political spectrum across the world have held Trump to account over the claims, described as "one of the most extraordinary election night speeches ever".