Military-inspired fashion for women is not a new thing. But is it usually quite so literal? I’m wondering just what Melania Trump had in mind when she gave her convention speech in an outfit that looks like she got it at the Army/Navy Surplus store—or perhaps the Cuban version of the same.
This is a genuine question. For all of her flaws, and overlooking the “I don’t care, do you?” jacket, I think Melania usually chooses her clothes in an intelligent way. She referenced Jackie Kennedy at the inauguration, giving the impression that the Trump presidency would fit into standard American history. She wore French designers on her visit to France. A Korean friend of mine was impressed by her clothes when she went to Korea because she felt that Melania had made a nod to Korean designs. When she appeared at one of Trump’s state of the union speeches in a white pantsuit, she evoked the suffragist heritage of white and the feminist heritage of the pantsuit at the same time. For many watching, these were positive signals.
But why wear a military outfit at the Republican National Convention? Surely Melania knows that some people call her husband an authoritarian and worry what might happen if he wins a second term. Was she saying that she doesn’t care what they think? Was she letting us know that you can still smile under a dictatorship? Or that she, at least, can rock a Castro look if we all have to wear one?
I really want to hear what you have to say.