March’s news cycle was dominated by the industry’s inner workings, focusing on designer switch-ups, the ever-churning rumor mill, and a perplexing display of web rage. April, however, was all about fashion in the public eye. We scrutinized what Melania Trump wore throughout French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit with his wife, Brigitte; we yas kween-ed over Beyoncé’s custom Balmain Coachella wardrobe; and we considered what will happen when fashion’s gatekeeper, Anna Wintour, leaves Vogue.
When Melania Trump greeted Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at the White House last Tuesday wearing a white Michael Kors suit and matching wide-brimmed hat, many wanted to interpret her outfit as a feminist statement. Once photos of the First Lady standing next to Brigitte (who was also wearing a white suit, by Louis Vuitton) emerged, comparisons to Beyoncé in her “Formation” video and to Scandal’s Olivia Pope were quickly made. Was her choice of white a protest and show of strength, as it was for the Suffragettes, Hillary Clinton, and the female Democrats during Trump’s first address to Congress last year? Is Melania standing up to her husband sartorially by wearing a literal and figurative white hat?
It’s hard to say. Any Melania style slideshow on the web will show that the First Lady is a longtime fan of the non-hue. Snaps from her pre-First Lady days reveal her affinity for second-skin white satin cocktail frocks, billowing white dresses, and white jeans, blouses, and coats. However, by now, she has to know that the press and public will pick apart and read into her every look, though whether or not she cares is unclear. Remember the fuchsia pussy bow blouse she wore to a 2016 debate and the media storm that followed? I would like to think her will to wear white, both last week and for January’s State of the Union, to which she donned a cream pantsuit by Christian Dior, is a statement against her husband’s unabashed misogyny and disregard for women—not to mention his infidelity. But there’s always the chance that she just likes how a bright white ensemble compliments her complexion.