Another day, another instance when a Trump adds fuel to the fire. For once, it’s not Donald or Ivanka, but Melania. As the First Lady set off on a five-day, four-country tour of Africa (or at least a small segment of the continent) we predicted forthcoming wincing and incendiary moments - would she take a break to go game shooting? Would she offend a whole nation with one pair of shoes? anything was possible - but we didn’t expect her to kick off her trip by weighing in on one of fashion’s most heated conversations.
On Friday night, Hedi Slimane debuted his first collection at Celine (note the lack of acute) and in doing so obliterated everything the former designer Phoebe Philo stood for. Out went her female gaze, in came his, complete with ultra slim models and micro dresses. The result? Legions of influencers and editors pledged their allegiance to ‘old’ Céline, mostly with Instagram posts of themselves in #oldceline. Going one better than a cursory selfie, the FLOTUS boarded Executive One in a striped Céline shirtdress from Philo’s final collection. Coincidence, we think not.
Melania’s sartorial choices have always been fodder for hot debate. There was the unforgettable time she told a child detention centre ‘I Really Don’t Care, Do U?’ with a Zara slogan jacket. And, of course, there was the incident when she wore expensive stilettos to go to a crisis zone. For as long as she’s been in the centre of a paparazzi storm her clothing has been a barometer of her stance and opinions, but this may be the first time it’s been really political.