Melania Trump closed out the second night of the RNC with a 28-minute speech.
She chose an odd look for such an occasion. An Alexander McQueen ensemble, with a jacket currently on sale for $1500 with a matching skirt for $540. The shoes had the blood red soles of Louboutin.
But the overall effect was rather fascist military garb and drew criticism online.
NYC fashion sylist Paul Petzy wondered,
“What message was Melanie sending with what is essentially a uniform? No stylist would show up with this unless instructed. Was it her decision, his?”
Vanity Fair‘s Kenzie Ryan said,
“Perhaps for this particular Tuesday night, when she was to speak in front of the country for the first time in a long time, it was a way of toughening up. Melania is a reluctant public speaker, and there are few moments when she goes on record. Clothes can be armor, you know, and here maybe literally so. It couldn’t hurt either that the skirt’s knee length and the precision of the cinched waist recalled a time when wars were a little easier to get behind, like the 40s, right? That at least sounds like a real boon for an ever-backwards looking candidate, her husband.”
As for the speech itself, most of it sounded like a State of Be Best address…
Two storylines were top of mind prior to tonight’s performance: the Rose Garden makeover, which was finished in time for her speech; and the plagiarism problem of her last Republican National Convention speech, back in 2016, when it appeared as though she had lifted lines directly from her predecessor’s speech from years before
Matt Labash at The New York Times said,
“Kudos to The Apprentice production team Trump brought in to frame the convention. Melania’s was the best-produced hostage video I’ve ever seen. ISIS should take notes. I didn’t believe a word she said about her husband. But in fairness to her, I doubt she did either.”
In her speech, she expressed sympathy for those who lost loved-ones to COVID and to the frontline workers, but that was ironic given that those who attended were not required to get tested for coronavirus.
But, according to CNN,
There were screening questions on the form to RSVP, but no coronavirus tests or temperature checks were done at the White House… the Trump campaign said earlier in the day that about 70 people would be attending the speech, which was the first one with an in-person audience at the Republican convention.
Early Wednesday morning, the first lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham told CNN that the audience members,
“in the rows near the President and vice president” were tested for coronavirus before the speech. Grisham said most of the guests were not tested, especially those “in the last five or six rows,” but she claims anyone who came into close contact with Trump or Pence — including senior aides, staffers and Melana Trump’s parents — were tested.
The majority of those attending did not wear masks, and the chairs provided for attendees were not placed six feet apart. In other words, protect the VIPs, good luck to the rest of you. Same message to the country.
True to form with this administration, say one thing, do another. In other words, lie with every breath and action.
Claire McKaskell was NOT having it either.
Terrifying. pic.twitter.com/7QVt4uRMiR— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 26, 2020
#RNC2020— Híckmαn вєll 🏳️🌈#BidenHarris (@HickmanBell5) August 26, 2020
You know when people are accusing your husband of trying to become an American dictator, it’s probably not smart to dress like #FidelCastro. #MelaniaSpeech #RepublicanConvention @FLOTUS @kashmeredanny pic.twitter.com/IBiVkI6F1E
(via Vanity Fair)