Vogue’s “Fashion Muse” Lynn Yaeger (see photo below) saw a photograph of First Lady Melania Trump boarding a Houston-bound plane in stiletto heels and made a major thing out of it.
This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girlsâ€™ luncheon at La Grenouille.
While the nation is riveted by images of thousands of Texans wading with their possessions, their pets, their kids, in chest-high water, desperately seeking refuge; while a government official recommend that those who insist on sheltering in place write their names and social security numbers on their arms, Melania Trump is heading to visit them in footwear that is a challenge to walk in on dry land.
A spokesperson says she has other shoes to change into on the planeâ€”and one sincerely hopes there is a pair of leopard-print Wellies-in-waiting to get her from the tarmac to the limo. But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?
And why, oh why, canâ€™t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?
The Washington Post chimed in:
Melania Trump is the kind of woman who travels to a flood-ravaged state in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos. Heels this high are not practical. But Trump is not the kind of woman who has to be practical. Heels this high are not comfortable. Comfort is not the point. Neither hers nor yours.
Trump is the kind of woman who knows that when she walks from the White House to Marine One there will be photographers, and so she will dress accordingly. On this soggy Tuesday morning, she wore her stilettos with a pair of cropped black trousers and an Army-green bomber jacket. Her hair was nicely blown out, and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses though it was overcast and drizzly at the time. As she walked to the chopper, she glanced toward a camera, and the photographer captured her with one hand in her pocket, her weight shifted slightly to one leg. She looked great.
Trumpâ€™s fashionable ensemble was defined by its contradictions. She was wearing a working manâ€™s jacket but it was juxtaposed with sexy limousine shoes. The trousers and the top were basic black â€” utilitarian. The oversize aviator sunglasses were Hollywood. Itâ€™s an image that would have been at home in any fashion magazine, which is so often the case with the first lady. …
It was also an image that suggested that Trump is the kind of woman who refuses to pretend that her feet will, at any point, ever be immersed in cold, muddy, bacteria-infested Texas water. She is the kind of woman who may listen empathetically to your pain, but she knows that you know that she is not going to experience it. So why pretend?
Well, sometimes pretense is everything. Itâ€™s the reason for the first lady to go to Texas at all: to symbolize care and concern and camaraderie. To remind people that the government isnâ€™t merely doing its job, that the government is engaged with each and every individual. Washington hears its citizens. Thatâ€™s what the optics are all about. Sitting around a conference table and talking into a speaker phone are not good optics. A politician has to get on the ground in work boots and a windbreaker. Rolled-up sleeves. Galoshes. Baseball caps.
and the New York Times also eagerly joined fashionista firing squad:
Mrs. Trumpâ€™s heels… appear to be classic Manolo Blahniks …redolent of a certain clichÃ©d kind of femininity: decorative, impractical, expensive, elitist (all adjectives often associated with the brand â€œTrumpâ€).
Mrs. Trump, of course, actually emerged from the plane wearing a pair of white sneakers.
All this was started by Lynn Yaeger of Vogue. The same Vogue whose idea of fashion these days is a cover shot by Annie Leibovitz no less of Bradley Manning pretending to be female in a swimsuit.