Fashion critics had some blunt words for Melania Trump as she officially unveiled the Christmas decorations at the White House.
Melania published a video on Monday in which she puts the final touches on the Christmas décor, wearing a white coat by Max Mara with a custom dress by her couturier Hervé Pierre.
The Washington Post’s fashion critic, Robin Givhan, could not but snap. “The coat looks ridiculous,” she wrote on Tuesday. “But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction. It’s a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme. In a video that is intended to celebrate the warmth and welcoming spirit of the holiday season, that simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness.”
“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! pic.twitter.com/qGxxl9qBrd— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 2, 2019
The critic then rambled on for several paragraphs to convey the message that Melania’s attire is a worn-out cliché that makes her look like a high-maintenance hostess.
A separate article in another liberal outlet, the Daily Beast, lambasted every other aspect of the Christmas preparations video: the music is “faux-soothing”, Melania is displaying “state-sponsored jingoism”, and please don’t forget that it was volunteers, not her, who put up all the decorations.
It claims: “‘The Spirit of America,’ as Melania so subtly calls her state-sponsored jingoism, is the most sterile of her three attempts at holiday decorating.”
The White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement: “It has become an annual holiday tradition for the media to attack all that the First Lady does. If this was a Democratic Administration, I suspect Mrs. Trump and her work would be featured positively in every mainstream news outlet."
The Washington Post defended their contributor, telling Fox News: “Robin Givhan is a fashion critic, which means she shares her perspective on the news, trends and business of the fashion industry.”
Last year, the Post called the White House Christmas decorations a “nightmare forest”, joining a long string of outlets that poked fun at the blood-red Christmas trees that were meant to represent bravery and valor.
Melania’s sartorial choices have likewise come under scrutiny in the press and on social media multiple times during her White House tenure: take, for instance, her pith helmet, ‘Don’t Care’ jacket, or Timberland boots.