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.