Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Elephant in the Room

This has been a tough November. I'm not referring to the Thanksgiving turkey; Butterball never disappoints. I'm talking about the election... I could make other references to turkeys and goose eggs, but it's time to face reality.

The First Lady has always been an object of fashion fascination. Some First Ladies have been dismissed (certainly Bess Truman) if only for their fashion sense (Eleanor Roosevelt). Others have been pegged (Nancy Reagan for her James-Galanos-correctness); others have been swooned over (Jackie Kennedy you think???). Michelle Obama turned out a delightful surprise. Much has been written about her. I can only add she will be sorely missed.

Which brings us to... Melania Trump. The Melania backlash has already begun. Through no fault of her own (she didn't really help), her husband was elected. Melania was a beauty queen/model before being elevated to the third Mrs. Trump. Obviously she dresses for The Donald as her choices are form fitting on spike heels. In my opinion her makeup is too hard and masque-like. She never looks relaxed and comfortable.

The jury is still out whether she will be an active First Lady. It doesn't look like they will be leaving NYC anytime soon. Whether she spends most of her time in the ivory (and gold) Trump Tower or not, Melania will also have the responsibility to represent the United States on the world's stage.

Seventh Avenue and the fashion press are rumbling about who will "dress" her. The New York Times reported on this in Thursday's Style section. French designer-turned-New-Yorker Sophie Theallet got the ball rolling with a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post calling for a boycott of dressing Melania Trump. She is a CFDA member (Council of Fashion Designers of America). A few other designers have publicly followed suit. Tommy Hilfiger said he would have no problem.  The Times made mention that his offices are in the Trump Tower.

Diane von Furstenburg, CFDA chairwoman and a Hillary supporter, had already urged members to try and help "on the eve of this new era" and to "embrace diversity, be open minded, be generous and have compassion" and to "be an example of good". Geez, I love Diane von Furstenburg.

The website Fashionista, in a piece titled "How we Plan on Covering (or Not Covering) Melania Trump's Fashion Choices" attempted to take the high road by staying neutral, adding, "We plan on having no part in normalizing the Trump family... we don't want to contribute to humanizing or making light of an administration that poses such serious threats to women, minorities, immigrants and more...".

The elephant is there, alright, and not just the symbol of the Republican party. As a blogger I don't feel I am a reporter. I have definite opinions, though I'm personally not the least bit influential. Though I may wish I could write about Hillary's pantsuits for the next four years, I have to say I am sympathetic towards Melania. This is another brouhaha I'm sure she didn't sign on for. I definitely believe that Donald Trump wanted to win but never expected to actually be President.

If any designers would step forward to dress him, I think they would do this country a great service. Right now Trump looks like an Ivy Leaguer gone to seed or a used car salesman trying to look successful. Voices from Shakespeare to Mark Twain have stated "Clothes make the man." I fear this would be a Herculean task. It doesn't appear anyone could make Trump do anything he didn't want.


  1. She did sign on for this, and more, as long as she agrees to take his money and stay married to him. She's probably worried the little boy will wind up at Tiffany rather than Ivanka status if she rocks the boat. Her face is a mask because it has to be. When I still believed Hillary would win I was taking imaginary bets as to how long it would be before the Donald found someone younger and divorced her. I expect he'll stick with her now for the next four years. I don't expect he'll be re-elected, especially if he lets Paul Ryan destroy Medicare.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I agree that Melania probably took on Donald warts and all, knowing what she would get in exchange. I also believe she was clueless in appropriating Michelle Obama's speech at the Republican convention. She gave the speech she was told to give. I find it harder to understand when she said she believed her husband innocent of all those charges brought against him by myriad women. This does begin to trammel upon other territory. Where she's a "victim" is to be the brunt of this kind of dialogue in the fashion community. Alas, you reap what you sow. Still I believe NONE of them thought he would really win.

    2. Oh, by "them" above I mean the Trumps, their campaign staff and the Republican party big-wigs.

  2. I think she is the saddest woman in our country

  3. "I definitely believe that Donald Trump wanted to win but never expected to actually be President."

    I completely agree, and might go a step further and say he really did not want to BE president. He merely wanted to win the election.

    The dress of a First Lady is not always fashion news. Michelle Obama would be a hard act to follow just because her fashion sense is so great. But look back 8 years, and remember we did got get a play-by-play of Laura Bush's outfits, nor of Hillary Clinton's before her. I think Fashionista's announcement was unnecessary, and tended to over-politicize the issue.

    1. Melania, like her husband the— gulp— president-elect, is a polarizing figure already. Laura Bush and Rosalynn Carter were not, so got a pass. I think we cheered when Hillary ditched the headbands and got a little glammed up, but we always knew fashion wasn't her thing. I can't for the life of me think what Melania will contribute to the next four years, so perhaps she'll just fade into the background. Thanks for your comments.

  4. The only interesting thing that I have read about Melania is that she might have a sly sense of humor with her clothes--wearing a pussy cat bow after the scandal over Trump's comments about women and putting on her own sexy version of a white pants suit when he won. By deciding to keep her son in New York until the end of the school year, it seems like she is deciding not to be much of a First Lady at all.