The Trump Aesthetic
Yes, folks, this is really happening. A guide to the gaudy, gilded world of the new first family
The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States has brought to a close a year that drove the already low bar of taste and discourse in American politics to murky new depths. While the incoming president's policies may be a question mark, his aesthetics are remarkably consistent. Here's what we have to look forward to over the next four years, style-wise.
In contrast to former president Barack Obama, who, among many other presidents, wore American-made suiting from Hart Schaffner Marx, Trump favours the Italian Brioni suits he received gratis as host of The Apprentice. Trump now reportedly pays for his clothing, but his taste for baggy trousers, too-wide jackets and ties that dangle well below the waist belie his suits' $5,000-plus price tags. "His aesthetic is his own," says the diplomatic CEO of Hart Schaffner Marx, Doug Williams. "The way that he chooses to wear his clothes is very different than a lot of people." Contrary to Mr. Trump's platform of supporting American workers, neither his namesake line of apparel, nor much of his own wardrobe, are made in the U.S.
The First Lady
Though we know more about Melania Trump's clothes than about the incoming first lady, we still don't know much. Thus far, the former model has shown a penchant for conservative, colour-block gowns and the work of Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic, as well as more predictable luxury go-tos such aslike Louboutins and Chanel bags. She also sold her own line of costume jewellery on QVC. Following some upheaval over finding a designer who would agree to dress Melania Trump for the inauguration, she opted to channel Jackie Kennedy in a Ralph Lauren powder-blue dress with matching coat, gloves and heels. Stepdaughter Ivanka, who generally sets herself apart from her father in both demeanour and taste, wore a long white Oscar de la Renta coat and white trousers, accessorized with an American flag pin.
Much like Liberace and that Bond baddie Goldfinger, Trump loves gold. The incoming President's private residence at New York's Trump Tower is decorated in an ornate Rococo style circa 1983 – highlights include gilded Louis XV chairs, gold-and-marble columns and golden fruit bowls. His beachfront Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, Fla., is similarly awash in chandeliers, ornate ceilings and gold leaf.
Aside from Trump's well-documented affection for self-portraiture, the incoming President's taste in art runs toward the Baroque. The Trump Tower penthouse features frescoed ceilings and a statue of Eros and Psyche, while Mar-a-Lago boasts Oriental rugs and 16th-century Flemish tapestries. Trump has bragged to journalists about owning a $10-million Renoir, and the artist's La Loge hangs in Melania Trump's study, but that's questionable given that La Loge also hangs in London's Courtauld Gallery. While the Obamas chose artwork by Glenn Ligon and Jasper Johns to decorate their residence, under the Trumps, the decor – like much of his policy – will likely hark back to the Ronald Reagan era.