The latest round of discussion started after the First Lady debuted this year’s White House Christmas decorations in a new video posted from her official Twitter account. “The Spirit of America’ is shining in the @WhiteHouse! I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season!,” she wrote. Trump is dressed in all white (coordinating with the decor), including a coat draped over her shoulders.
The Washington Post‘s fashion critic Robin Givhan responded with a piece entitled, “Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations are lovely, but that coat looks ridiculous.” “For her tour, Mrs. Trump wears all white: a dress with a simple jewel neckline, white stiletto-heeled pumps and a white coat. The coat is draped over her shoulders as she strolls through the White House. The coat looks ridiculous,” she wrote.
“But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction,” she continued. “In a video that is intended to celebrate the warmth and welcoming spirit of the holiday season, that simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness…Her attire would be less attention-grabbing if she took off her coat and indicated that she was happy to stay awhile.”
Of course, this got people on both sides talking. “It has become an annual holiday tradition for the media to attack all that the First Lady does,” the First Lady’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to Fox News. “If this was a Democratic Administration, I suspect Mrs. Trump and her work would be featured positively in every mainstream news outlet.”
The First Lady also opted for a bright cape at last night’s NATO reception at Buckingham Palace and Kate Bennett, CNN journalist and author of the unauthorized biography, Free, Melania, says Trump’s choices are purposeful. “I always say that there are no Melania Trump coincidences,” she told the Washingtonian.
“Having covered her for as long as I have, each thing she does has meaning to it, even the clothing she wears,” Bennett writes in the book, according to the New York Times.
So does that mean the cape is statement to those who criticized her white coat, worn cape-style? We may never know for sure.
But Bennett does posit a theory in the book about Trump’s most talked about outerwear, the “I Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket. “I believed, and still do, that the jacket was a facetious jab at Ivanka and her near-constant attempts to attach herself for positive administration talking points,” she writes, again per the New York Times.
What controversy will her next coat bring?