Monday 16 July 2018

Dressing the part: One year of Melania

Are there any style lessons to be learned from Mrs Trump's most memorable looks, writes Meadhbh McGrath

It doesn't come cheap: The $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana coat covered in silk flowers Melania wore to the G7 summit in Sicily cost more than the annual average US household’s income
It doesn't come cheap: The $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana coat covered in silk flowers Melania wore to the G7 summit in Sicily cost more than the annual average US household’s income

Meadhbh McGrath

On the road to the White House, Donald Trump's campaign managed to tap into a potent well of nostalgia. Large swathes of the country yearned for a better, former time, when America was 'great', when men were men and women were… just like Melania.

For many, the First Lady represents a paragon of femininity: a polished blend of nipped-in waists, figure-skimming silhouettes and high-glamour hair and make-up. Seen but rarely heard, Melania embodies this idealised, illusory version of womanhood.

From Jacqueline Kennedy to Nancy Reagan to Michelle Obama, the First Lady's wardrobe has always been politicised, and it is understood that fashion has a role to play in forging an identity for an administration. With such a dogged emphasis on visual perfection, Melania's sense of style is about as far a departure from her predecessor as possible, and something ordinary women find near-impossible to relate to - there's scant trace of a real woman under that glossy surface.

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