As the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump has made some interesting fashion choices. In a break with tradition, she's tended to favor European designers over American ones, specifically Dolce & Gabbana, who've been at the receiving end of much criticism for dressing her, leading the Italian brand to eventually sell parody #Boycott shirts. Then, she infamously wore stilettos while en route to provide support for the Houston flood efforts. And a whole lot designers have specifically said they wouldn't dress her.
Over the past month however, she seems to have found a new favorite American brand. She's been spotted wearing designer Raf Simons first collection for Calvin Klein. Earlier this month, she was seen wearing a red fitted shirt from the designer's debut collection, and, just on Tuesday, she wore a gray suit to watch her hysterical husband Donald Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly. Both looks hail from Simons's Fall 2017 collection, which was shown in February and was broadly inspired by the idea of America.
It's likely that Melania Trump and her stylist were unaware of collection's subtext, which, while not critical of the then new administration, subtly commented on the imminent political climate. For instance, the show was bookended by David Bowie’s "This Is Not America," which features lyrics like "The little peace in me / Will die (This is not a miracle)/ For this is not America" and "Promise not to stare / Too long (This is not America) / For this is not the miracle."
For Spring 2018, Melania Trump's new favorite designer took inspiration from the dominant theme in pop culture this year: horror. That manifested in items like white stiletto heels that took influence from the hockey mask worn by Jason Voorhees in the 1980 horror film Friday the 13th and dresses that resembled the black material of body bags. "It’s about American horror and American beauty," Simons said at the time in a statement. "Fashion tries to hide the horror and embrace only beauty. But they are both a part of life. This collection is a celebration of that: a celebration of American life."
The Belgian-born Simons, who had previously been at Dior, has also expressed a bit of discomfort about his arrival in America coinciding Trump's rise. "Coming here. Living here. Your partner. Your dog. It’s a new city. New experiences. Starting a new job," he told GQ Style earlier this year. "And then suddenly—woosh!—something happens which is like the last possible thing you could even imagine." While talking to the Financial Times after the American debut of his namesake menswear collection, he also said he was inspired by the need of young Americans to speak up in the current political times.
Will Melania Trump continue to wear Raf Simons for Calvin Klein even when that collection hits stores next spring? If so, that would be the very definition of meta.
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