In An Ironic Move, Melania Trump Wears Suffragette White

Much of President Donald Trump's annual State of The Union address Tuesday evening could have been predicted. He confused unity with totalitarianism, truth with falsehood, Dreamers with born and raised American citizens, and, of course, neglected to mention the Russia investigation. Business was as usual. But amidst a crowd of firm, stone-faced Democrats stood the lone First Lady Melania Trump — silent, smiling, and dressed in white. But was it the white that's currently trending, bridging the gap between the worlds of fashion and politics? We can't be so sure.

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

If one thing's certain, it was that Melania Trump, too, was up to her old ways. Throughout much of the campaign trail, and more than a year into her husband's presidency, the former model has more or less relied on her fashion choices to do the talking: from the inaugural ball where she waltzed in custom Hervé Pierre, to a line-up of business attire that included strong silhouettes by Christian Dior, to the more casual choices for crossing the Great Lawn, like Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein. For the most part, the fashion world has remained relatively neutral when it's come to covering Trump's style moves — save for those hurricane heels — but the consensus has, more or less, remained bipartisan: a good outfit is a good outfit.

When looking at last night's off-white Dior suit, however, given its physical placement in the House of Representatives — and its more timely position in the midst of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements — it's best to stiff arm any inclination that Trump's choice to wear white was anything but a mere style move (not to mention Dior's head designer Maria Grazia Chiuri's extremely obvious support for similar campaigns). Because as she waved to a crowd of lawmakers and citizens who are knee-deep in a fight to reverse each others wrongdoings, does anyone really still care if her outfits have a hidden meaning? After a year of neglecting to make a stance on, well, practically anything, do we still want to "free Melania?"

In any case, we reached out to Trump's office for a scooplet, if anything, on why she wore what she did. Here's what they had to say: "Once again the main stream media is using their time to speculate on Mrs. Trump's clothing when they could be telling the stories of her impactful and heroic guests from last night, talking about the nation's opioid crisis, or issues facing children," wrote spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, from her iPhone. "It's unfortunate that in 2018 women are still subjected to this kind of silly scrutiny."

Given the resurgence of race wars across the country, no doubt incited by the surprise election of Trump, it's ironic that the colors black and white are trending — yet have little to no connection with the color of one's skin. Instead, the hues look forward to a world where genders are created and treated equal. To recap: Earlier this month, Hollywood's go-to color for the Golden Globe awards was black, to symbolize the Time's Up movement, their stance on sexual assault and abuse of power. And since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, suffragettes and the feminists who honor them have worn white — specifically white suits like Mrs. Trump's — to call on the fight for women's rights.

So what's to make of last night's fashion headliner? Considering Trump has worn white before and it's meant nothing — and the fact that the majority of her fashion choices have mostly resulted in speculation rather than declaration — it's probable that we're just wasting our time. Female members of the G.O.P. were instructed to wear red, white, or blue, anyhow, with men sporting red and blue ties to match those of Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

If you ask us, the coolest fashion tip from last night's address were the men and women who, on their own accord, wore accessories to draw attention to very real things that are going on — that are rooted in truth, and backed up by facts: black Time's Up pins, and red ones, to honor the late Recy Taylor. Who knows what's to come of the future Trump saw in his speech, but for now, we stand with those who dress from the heart.

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