April 18, 2017

"Since the Easter Egg Roll was revived under Betty Ford, most of the first ladies who have hosted the event wore suits, or at least jackets, suggesting it was a professional commitment."

"Hillary Clinton displayed her penchant for rainbow-colored pantsuits when she was host, resplendent one year in buttercup yellow, another in grass green. When the Obamas were in the White House, they significantly relaxed the rules, the president often going without a tie or jacket, and Michelle Obama most often in pants with a J. Crew T-shirt or cardigan and Converse (one Tracy Reese floral dress excepted). The message was one of a new, more relaxed, modern and active era."

From a NYT style piece explaining why Melania Trump's "classic... Easter dress... was actually something of a break with tradition." It seems as though Melania isn't so much the First Lady as a woman playing the part of First Lady, wearing "costumes for a series titled 'In The White House.'"

Here are a bunch of old photos from White House Egg Rolls of the past. Here's one showing Hillary in a suit that is not a pantsuit:



Here's how the First Lady (Grace Coolidge) looked in 1927:



Was there an Easter Raccoon back then? Actually, that's a Thanksgiving raccoon.

In late November 1926, a live animal sent by one Vinnie Joyce of Nitta Yuma, Mississippi, arrived at the White House to be slaughtered and served up for that year’s Thanksgiving dinner. President Calvin Coolidge, however, became smitten by the beast and instead granted it a pardon. The lucky creature was no turkey, though, but a raccoon....

President Coolidge quickly grew attached to his new pet. Rebecca became the president’s companion walking around the White House grounds on a leash during the day, and at night she would crawl up into her master’s lap in front of the fireplace....

Rebecca was the star of the annual Easter Egg Roll in 1927, but she was hardly at ease around 30,000 shrieking children and the incessant clicking of swarming photographers. The Washington Evening Star reported that Rebecca “plainly evidenced her dislike for the whole doings” by clawing at the First Lady and the children before she was returned to the solitude of the White House quarters for everyone’s safety.

52 comments:

Nonapod said...

The First Lady holding The First Trash Panda?

holdfast said...

Whatever. After the horrifically fashion-challenged Michelle Obama (Those belts! $500 sneakers at a homeless shelter), Melania is great. Fashion is a huge industry, and she's a part of that industry.

'TreHammer said...

The NYT's article sounded/read kinda snarky.

Michael Arndorfer said...

And there's that "Crazy Hillary" open mouth smile.

Caroline Walker said...

There is just no end to "othering" the trump family.

Gahrie said...

I wonder what Jackie Kennedy would have worn?

Hari said...

Melania does not own a buttercup yellow or a grass green pantsuit. Nevertheless, she persisted.

sean said...

Good for Melania, dressing like normal people are supposed to. And the president too. I'm not a big Trump fan, but at least they dress appropriately. (Of course, by Althousian lights, that means I should be a fan, since fashion is more important than politics.)

Sam L. said...

Just one more nail in the NYT's coffin-full of reasons for me not to believe it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

That’s why in so many ways Mrs. Trump’s clothes increasingly seem like costumes for a series titled “In The White House”

Same old shit. Trump's not a real President, you see, so naturally his wife isn't a real First Lady. When former fashion model Melania wears something couture it's a gauche costume, but of course when Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton wore something fancy or different it was chic, fashionable, and iconic.

Reminds me a bit of Project Runway judging. The same judges in the same event would call something a little daring "too costumey" and criticize a less daring piece as "not dramatic enough--this is a high fashion runway!" One thing was too boring and derivative, the next was overly avant garde. They'd praise one ridiculous outfit a model could barely walk in, and then harshly criticize a practical, wearable outfit--"who would you sell this to? Where would she wear this?" etc. The same held for their standards of craftsmanship generally--if they liked something they'd forgive it being hacked together and/or held together with tape, but if they didn't like it then the smallest imperfection in construction was reason enough to dismiss the effort entirely.
It was almost as though they had very little in the way of fixed aesthetic standards and were reacting based mainly on their personal reaction in the moment, their preference for an individual "designer"/designer's style, and input from the show's producers (about storyline, personal drama, etc).

But of course the national Media is much better than that when it comes to fairly assessing the fashion and fashion choices of politicians. Of course.

Francisco D said...

Ann,

Thank you for reading the NYT so I don't have to.

They are doubling down on beclowning themselves.

David Begley said...

The constant bashing of the Trumps gets really old, really fast.

Expect unprecedented attacks on their son before this is over. Historic.

Roughcoat said...

I love racoons. My dogs hate them, though.

Leslie Graves said...

My impression of many of her earlier pieces is that she had studied historical photographs of other first ladies in this-or-that situation and then chose something in line with those traditions. It will be a lot more fun if going forward, she just makes it up herself without those historical references. The Easter dress encourages me.

readering said...

Don't know what all the fuss is about. The article seems to be saying that the First Lady is bringing her own sense of style to the White House and not just dressing like her predecessors. I was more surprised that hey had an eleven year old boy dressed in a suit.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It really is surreal. We had to listen to gush about how fashionable and chic Michele was for 8 years, Hillary's pantsuits were going to start a spring trend, and now we have a gorgeous ex-model in the WH who always dresses beautifully and appropriately and the media wants us to think she's tacky.

They sound like a bunch of bitchy 16 year old girls going on about how the prom queen isn't all that, although she thinks she is!

Note to media: we have eyes in our heads.

Angel-Dyne said...

I remember the days when fashion mavens were drooling over Melania Trump. In fact, I can remember Vogue magazine drooling over all of Donald Trump's wives, lol.

They'd be drooling over Melania Trump now, if she were married to a (D) POTUS. Of course, having had to go full Fashion Pravda in extolling the world-historical stylishness of Michelle Obama (who dressed no better than the First Lady norm of borderline dowdiness), and perhaps fearful of being impious toward the First Black First Lady, they may have restrained themselves from giving Mrs. Trump the full-on Jackie-O fashionista adulation. But they'd still be gushing.

readering said...

Admit it. You guys don't read much fashion press.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

"Resplendent" - ROFL. Lurid would be more accurate.

Darrell said...

Michelle Obama's real hair is the same length as Barack's. You've only seen her in wigs for the last nine years. Wigs costing $35,000/pop. Yet we've had hundred of articles about Michelle's hair choices and how brave she was to cut her bangs. The Lyin' Left lies and the Lyin' Media is part of them.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Agree with commenters that media would be gushing over MT if she were wife of Democrat. We would have constant front page stories about her linguistic ability, rags to riches rise, awesome fashion sense and excellent choice of husband. I would like to see the role of first lady diminished. The media does not endlessly gossip about Mr May or Mr Merkel. Their fashion choices, gardening ability... are not news. Mrs. Trump has her own business to occupy her - why should she be expected to drop that and suddenly start dictating what children should eat for lunch.

mockturtle said...

Melania would look great in a gunny sack but her spring dress looked lovely. She is a treasure.

AJ Lynch said...

I am so thankful the Wapo and the NYT can still report these important news stories to us. If they could not, democracy would surely die in darkness.

AJ Lynch said...

And what Mockturtle said at 1:54PM.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Melania was dressed in a classic and classy spring garden party dress. Beautiful and elegant. We should be proud to have such a tastefully dressed First Lady instead of the clown clothes and Salvation Army reject counter look that Michelle Obama sported.

There is no comparison.

Birches said...

The NYT can't help themselves. Everything the Trumps do must be put in a negative light.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Melania was dressed in a classic and classy spring garden party dress"

And yet, they always make it sound like she's turning up at these official events in a super-short sequined party dress with her boobs hanging out.

Birches said...

Btw. Love the story about the raccoon. I can't imagine eating one, but I would be even less inclined to take one on as a pet.

Wilbur said...

I'm always pleased to see a mention of the Coolidges. Cal was our best president.

Drago said...

David Begley: "Expect unprecedented attacks on their son before this is over. Historic."

We can assume the media will have significant support in the coming attacks from certain "lifelong republican" quarters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I was more surprised that hey had an eleven year old boy dressed in a suit.

It is a bit hard to remember that Barron (sp?) is only 11 years old. He is so tall that you want to assume he is 15 or 16 years old. BUT...he is just a gawky pre teen child. He probably wanted to be anywhere but there at the Easter Egg Roll and gross... had to be there with his parents. Ewwwww.

He is a child. I feel for him for the next few years.

BJM said...

I thought the length of Melania's dress was not quite right for flats, but after seeing other photos of her seated the longer skirt provides graceful discreet coverage. Melania's clothes are always well thought out and the fit impeccable. The soft peachy-pink pastel is very nice with her coloring and seasonally appropriate.

It's a refreshing change from the awkward shapes, garish colors, boob belts and tacky cardigans.

Quaestor said...

And there's that "Crazy Hillary" open mouth smile.

Panzoots are to Hillary as shoes were to Imelda Marcos.

That quarter century old photo of First Lady Clinton is revealing. It's my theory* that the Easter Egg Roll* picture started the panzoot thing. Gawd, my legs are horrid! thought Mizz Clinton, Best cover them up or distract from them somehow, maybe by wearing a gaping cavern where my mouth should be...

Lately, she's taken to wearing outfits that look like they were looted from the estate of Pandit Nehru's much gayer brother. Too bad she didn't adopt a burka.

* along with my new theory about the brontosaurus

* How did Chinese food become associated with Jesus?

BJM said...

Yikes!

Angel-Dyne said...

Quaestor: Lately, she's taken to wearing outfits that look like they were looted from the estate of Pandit Nehru's much gayer brother.

In a properly ordered world Quaestor would be writing the NYT or WaPo fashion column.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Whatever this particular first lady does, the media template mandates that it is wrong.

Comanche Voter said...

Didn't Obama bring his pet raccoon to the White House Easter Egg Roll?

Gahrie said...

Didn't Obama bring his pet raccoon to the White House Easter Egg Roll?

Bzzzzzz

The proper insult would have been:

"Why did all 8 of Obama's Easter Egg Rolls have a Star Wars theme?

Quaestor said...

Thanks, Angel-Dyne.

FleetUSA said...

Maybe the MSM should just present the pictures and not make any comments. The viewer can make their own judgements. Of course, that would reduce the number of "journalist" and hence lower the overhead of the papers which ultimately may work its way back to the price we pay for "news" which we don't need.

M Jordan said...

Hillary was doing her Disney shit-eating grin there I see, same absurd goofy smile she painted on her face during the balloon drop at her convention,

What an utter phony she is ... except behind closed doors where it's f this and f that and here's a lamp aimed at your head.
.

Yancey Ward said...

Quaestor wrote:

"Lately, she's taken to wearing outfits that look like they were looted from the estate of Pandit Nehru's much gayer brother. Too bad she didn't adopt a burka."

Now that was hilarious! I may have to steal that shamelessly.

William said...

Grace Coolidge was much better looking than she appears in b&w photos. Contemporaries were struck by her vivacity and good looks. There are some newsreel pictures of her on You Tube where she has a delivers a brief speech with the mischievous smile of someone who knows where the party is. While vacationing with the president in the Blavk Hills, she went out for a walk with her Secret Service guard. They came back three hours late. The Secret Service agent claimed he got lost......If a similar occurrence happened to the current First Lady, it would perhaps attract a tad more speculative interest.

William said...

I've seen much better looking super models than Melania. Compared to other supermodels she not that hot.

tcrosse said...

I've seen much better looking super models than Melania. Compared to other supermodels she not that hot.

Sour grapes.

Yancey Ward said...

William,

Well, most of those aren't mothers either, and quite a bit younger. Most people don't realize Mrs. Trump is 46. For that age, she is still close to a 10.

Mary Beth said...

My state doesn't generally allow people to have trash pandas as pets. We are allowed to own a yak or a camel. I'd prefer that my neighbor have a raccoon over a yak, but our legislators must have felt differently. I think they're all secret yak lovers.

Mary Beth said...

the pink dress called to mind another, more rarefied time. It was for neither work nor play, but rather a Great Gatsby garden party.

It was neither fact nor fiction, but rather a New York Times article.

I get that the Gatsby reference is him saying the Trumps are idle, frivolous rich, but Gatsby's parties had a purpose, even if the guests weren't aware of what it was. He's like one of those guests who doesn't know what he doesn't know.

Besides, I always thought that the Kennedys seemed more Gatsby-like: big money from bootlegging, lots of tragedy.

Paul Snively said...

I was afraid the boy behind Mrs. Coolidge might have been Cal, Jr. before his death, but it must be John, since 1927 was three years after Cal, Jr.'s death. What a horrible thing that was.

mockturtle said...

Nice to see your smiling face again, Paul.

Gretchen said...

It is killing them. Melania looks lovely in what ever she wears, and she has a sense of style and class. Hillary and Michelle are average woman with better than average makeup artists and stylists.

Mike Smith said...

Hillary has that exaggerated gaping mouth pose.