Sunday, January 22, 2017

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

The Good, the Bad, & the Very Ugly

Michelle and Barack Obama leaving Washington

Just minutes before Donald Trump was sworn in as our nation’s 45th President, the cameras were focused on his son Eric. Seated beside wife Lara, he was surveying the throngs assembled at the National Mall and taking in the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event. At one point, as if in complete disbelief, he could be seen mouthing the words, “unbelievable unbelievable!” Funny, those were my thoughts exactly (though I think it’s safe to say it took a far different tone in my case). It would be one of many rather unbelievable if not completely surreal moments to unfold in a period of 48 hours, or should I say, in these past two months following on the heels of November 8th. Where to begin?

Among the moments that stood out, on Thursday evening when president elect and Melania made their grand entrance to the inaugural concert hand in hand, their arrival was accompanied by the blaring soundtrack of the Rolling Stone’s 1965 tune, “Heart of Stone”. The lyrics: "There's been so many girls that I've known. I've made so many cry, and still I wonder why. Here comes a little girl, I see her walking down the street. She's all by herself, I try to knock her off her feet." Wow, what was he thinking?. Considering Donald’s questionable past, his outrageous banter with Billy Bush which went public, and the fact that he has apparently made many women cry, this could not have been more inappropriate.

And then there was young Jackie Evancho singing our National Anthem at the swearing in ceremony. I’m not saying she can’t sing, but really, is that the best they could do? While major star power was noticeably absent and nary an A-Lister or B-Lister was in sight on Thursday and Friday, they sure came out of hiding and managed to make their voices heard on Saturday for the all-important Women’s March (among those who came to Washington were Madonna, Scarlet Johansson, Michael Moore, Patricia Arquette, Ashley Judd).Then again, I suppose one can say that it was pretty apropos given the fact that the 16 year old was a contestant on a reality TV show, “America’s Got Talent” (though she wasn’t even the winner: she came in second place).

And what about the President and First Lady dancing their first dance at the Inaugural Ball to the strains of “My Way”? (He sure does everything his way). Of course, that specific live rendition bore no resemblance to Frank Sinatra’s and I suppose it’s a good thing they didn’t use the original. Knowing how far left Old Blue Eyes was, he would probably would be rolling over in his grave. FYI, the sight of the President and his wife, the Vice President and his wife, and the Trump children and their spouses (or in the case of Tiffany- her boyfriend) on the dance floor all at the same time, was one of the more surreal, awkward moments of the weekend.

Kellyanne Conway and the Paddington Bear

All in all, this was pretty scary stuff. Though nothing could be scarier than the sight of Kellyanne Conway on Friday morning wearing that ridiculous Gucci get up which she further accessorized with a silly red hat and oversized red bag. Hmmm, I somehow think that’s not what Alessandro Michele had in mind when he sent this down his resort 2017 runway. It immediately and unsurprisingly resulted in a storm of amusing and negative comments on social media not to mention obvious comparisons to the Paddington Bear and wooden soldiers prompting some to ask, “who wore it better?” Not to mention that it was by an Italian designer which is pretty funny considering that she was obviously striving to look as American/patriotic as possible. Kellyanne actually said it was an homage to the “Trump Revolution”. I daresay the only thing the Trump Senior Counsel to the President and I have in common is that we both graduated from The George Washington University.

Melania Trump attends the Inaugural  Ball

Speaking of inaugural fashion (and putting politics aside), it’s kind of hard to find fault with Melania Trump’s choices. She pretty much nailed it. As a model, she knows how to wear clothes and she is undeniably beautiful and statuesque with gorgeous long legs which are made even more so thanks to her ever present Manolo Blahnik stilettos. She steered clear of Europeans and wisely stuck with American designers (Ralph Lauren, Reem Acra), even including two relative unknowns, Norisol Ferrari and Herve Pierre (it’s safe to say these foreign born American citizens won’t be unknown for long). Her outfits were smart, chic, understated, appropriate, and flattering. Let others embrace boxy, loose, shapeless, oversized clothing. For her, it’s all about cut, fit, silhouette, and defining the waist. (This always reminds me of an observation made by the late L’Wren Scott regarding fashion: “Men understand it if it has a waist!”)

Melania Trump in Reem Acra and vintage Norman Norell

Certainly, nothing could have been more waist defining or form fitting than the sparkly and otherwise covered up Reem Acra gown she wore on Thursday evening (which happened to remind me of vintage and iconic Norman Norell).

Melania Trump's gift to Michelle Obama

The face framing Ralph Lauren cashmere ensemble (worn with matching kid suede gloves) may have been an ode to the late Jacqueline Kennedy, (a woman Melania has often said she greatly admires), but the First Lady assuredly has her own look. For one thing, Mrs. Kennedy only wore low heeled shoes and Melania accessorized with pale blue Manolo Blahnik stilettos: her footwear of choice. The color (cornflower blue) complimented her dark hair and blue eyes and it happened to pop against the beribboned blue Tiffany gift box she presented Michele Obama.

I also thought she looked the best (and most modern) out of all the other Trump women (all of whom seemed to coordinate their ensembles throughout the festivities) at the inaugural balls on Friday evening. (Politics aside, they are assuredly a striking and photogenic group; which can be said about the entire family down to the little ones). Both Tiffany and Ivanka’s gowns were too mother of the bride for my tastes and Ivanka looked like she was attending her own coming out party.

Ivanka Trump wearing Oscar de la  Renta

I generally like Ivanka’s fashion choices, but was disappointed with her inaugural wardrobe. While I did like the chic black and white Oscar de la Renta long column gown she wore on Thursday evening, I thought the green coat and dress ensemble she wore Thursday and the white coat and pants she wore to the swearing in ceremony on Friday (both by Oscar de Renta) were a bit too tricky, too "fashioney", had too much going on (all those points) and they made her look as though she was trying too hard. She would have been wiser to stick with sleeker more simplified and classic lines as she did at the interfaith church services on Saturday morning .where she was all in bordeaux. The First Lady arrived in a beautiful black belted coat with flared skirt.

Meanwhile, it was hard not to notice the President’s fixation on extra-long ties (which are made all the more obvious since he never buttons his jackets or coats). Do you suppose it’s to compensate for his extra short hands? Just asking lol.

Finally, nothing but nothing could be classier than the Obamas. Michelle made a fashion statement symbolically choosing Jason Wu for her Friday farewell ensemble (a long supporter of young upcoming designers, she initially put Jason on the map when she wore his gown to the Inaugural Ball in 2009). As the couple boarded the helicopter which would take them to Palm Springs, it was certainly reassuring to hear the former president say to the crowd: “It’s not a period. It’s a comma. I will rejoin you as a private citizen.” Considering all the current negativity, what an optimistic way to sign off.

And on that optimistic note, I too will sign off.

- Marilyn Kirschner

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