President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress earlier this week was about more than clothes, but the event was nonetheless rife with fashion controversy. There was Trump’s somewhat streamlined look, the Democratic women of Congress’s white looks, Mike Pence's and Paul Ryan’s matching ties, Ivanka Trump’s exposed shoulder, Wilbur Ross’s $600 custom-made slippers, and, of course, First Lady Melania Trump’s black beaded skirt suit, designed by Michael Kors. The First Lady’s choice received criticism and applause on social media. Some said it was too flashy and expensive to be in good taste—it retails for almost $10,000—while others thought she looked glamorous and elegant.
There was also the question of whether the decision to wear black, while many Democrats pointedly wore white as a way to “stand in solidarity with the women of our nation,” was a statement about where she stood in the feminist debate. Melania has walked such a line in the past, wearing a pussy-bow blouse shortly after her husband’s disparaging comments about women were leaked through an Access Hollywood audiotape during the campaign. Some also questioned Melania's choice to wear a white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit on election night, seeing it as a possible "middle finger" to Hillary Clinton, who was known for wearing the color and designer during her campaign.
Michael Kors, for his part, commented on Trump's recent look with class tellingThe New York Times, “Mrs. Trump has been a longtime client at our New York boutique. She has a keen understanding of what works best for her and her lifestyle.” In other words, Melania looks great, but no, I did not loan her the outfit. Kors, after all, has been a longtime Hilary Clinton supporter, both during her presidential campaign as well as her political career before that. In 2013, the designer presented Clinton with the Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service from God's Love We Deliver.