On the fourth of July, Melania Trump dresses in Independence.

On the fourth of July, Melania Trump dresses in Independence.

President Trump may have hampered some expectations with his "we're the only nation" speech after the military fashion show, sorry, in front of the Lincoln Memorial on July 4, but Melania Trump was left hunched over. A Carolina Herrera dresses with a half leg over one shoulder, standing silently and smiling at her side in each photo, which really turned the message around.

After all, if there was ever a time to dress it all in a patriotic dress, wear clothes to make a point, it was this: a moment conceived by the president and promoted by the White House as a celebration/manifestation of military might American and historical triumphalism; A moment entitled Salute to America; A purely symbolic moment designed to create images to go around the world. Trump himself dressed the part, with his white shirt, his navy blue suit, and his bright red tie, a small flag pin in his lapel, color coordinated with Old Glory, since it was possible to be in the middle of the tanks.

However, there was the first lady, dressed in white with ... rainbow stripes on her skirt. And the fuchsia heels. Rainbow stripes?

Was I using the Fourth of July to celebrate Pride? It was hard not to ask me. Certainly, some observers did.

And although there was a fair amount of online chats on the subject of wearing a white dress on what was a rainy day (it became a little uncomfortable to see), in the end, that chance was less provocative than the idea that the first lady I could do it again. be using your image as a way of saying what you think.

Because Ms. Trump does not work with designers to create her public appearance but rather buys them (a rarity these days among public figures and something good), they rarely know when they are going to use one of their products, or why, or so said Wes Gordon, the creative director of Herrera, after Mrs. Trump had worn a brand dress during her recent trip to Japan. As a result, the labels themselves can not shed much light on whether there is any more nuanced reason behind Ms. Trump's decisions than simply the love of a nice summer dress. (The Herrera dress in question this time was from the resort's 2019 collection and was on sale for $ 1,884 at FarFetch.com).

However, in the last month, you would have had to live under a rock not to have met, practically everywhere you went, with rainbow-striped paraphernalia created in support of Pride Month and L.G.B.T.Q. community. Even the president's tent has been selling rainbow striped shirts. The symbolism could not have escaped the office of the first lady, or her stylist, Hervé Pierre.

Nor is the fact that, despite the merchandise, the president has worked to prevent transgender people from serving in the army, and has appointed federal bank judges who do not support the rights of transgender people.

And Mrs. Trump has a story with a similar dress that is interpreted in a similar way: in 2017, at the White House picnic in Congress, which took place the same weekend at the New York Gay Pride parade, She wore a rainbow grid Mary Katrantzou, prompting the Hollywood reporter to ask: "Could FLOTUS use her wardrobe to silently protest against her husband's anti-gay agenda?"

She also knows its symbolism: when she and her husband visited France for Bastille Day in 2017, the visit that apparently gave the president the idea of ​​his military extravagance: he wore a white dress embroidered with red tulips and blue cornflowers, this last The flower of French memory, to see the official parade.

In any case, she was clearly aware of the observing eyes on this occasion, since, in what has become an increasingly weird gesture, she wore a dress from an American brand, as she did the last fourth of July when It appeared in a blue box. Ralph Lauren, and more or less did it in 2017 when he dressed the Navy Esteban Cortázar, a designer born in Miami and raised in Miami, unlike his usual European favorites, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.

However, unlike the previous Fourth of July, when she was dressed to a large extent with several permutations of red, white and blue, last Thursday's reference seemed to be another flag.

There is still a tendency to see Mrs. Trump's clothing choices as implicit statements of independence, from her husband and from the country's expectations, non-verbal clues from a very private woman who rarely speaks and certainly never lets the world finds out about their thought processes to; who offers only glimpses of his life behind the curtain. Maybe it's an illusion. But honestly, if she was revealing her own loyalties or suggesting that despite her actions to appease the ultraconservatives, her husband has his own ideas, was there a better day to try?