Melania Trump’s aesthetic decisions continue to be the center of much public debate. Beyond her icy stare and silky blowout, we’ve mostly been left to guess her motives for, say, wearing a colonial-era pith helmet on a trip through Africa while promoting an anti-bullying campaign, or touring disaster zones in stilettos and aviator sunglasses. Rarely will the First Lady cough up a stylistic rationale, an exception being her clarification that wearing a jacket with the words “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” to a migrant detention facility actually meant that she didn’t, in fact, care. Melania’s latest endeavor—overseeing holiday decor at the White House this week—was met with no less derision, and bewilderment, after she decided to line the East Colonnade with blood-red Christmas trees.
The ominous photos of Melania cooly standing by her garish attempts at holiday cheer have been swiftly lampooned on the internet, while others have attempted pop criticism on her antagonistic style. The White House, for its part, claimed the red motif merely represents “valor and bravery.” Yesterday, Melania responded defiantly to the criticism while speaking at a town hall at Liberty University. “We are in 21st Century and everybody has a different taste.” With the candor of a creative director, she added, “I think they look fantastic.”
In the spirit of Melania’s millennial outlook, we headed to New York’s own hotspot for defiant taste, loud opinions, and harsh, red motifs: the Supreme store. Arriving just in time for the latest drop in Soho, we polled a shivering, but determined, group of (mostly) men clad in hoodies and neck gators for their own aesthetic input on this season’s strangest holiday trend.
WU, 21: “She should do mixed colors. It looks like New Year’s, not Christmas. For Christmas, we do green stuff.”
WILSON, 20: “She’s a blood, low key. What is the meaning of red Christmas trees? Did she try to explain it? Is there any reasoning? Why are there so many in one corridor? I think she’s part of a cult.”
SHANZIDA, 19: “It’s because she’s a Republican, right?”
STEVEN, 24: “A couple of things online said she was referencing The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s red. It’s Christmas. Starbucks did the same thing, too, with red stuff—the cups. People just look at how she’s portrayed, and judge her, the way she dresses, the way she acts around Trump. She does her own thing. She’s always being bold. All her clothing choices are bold-ish.”
ANDREW, 18: “It’s really red. There’s no Christmas spirit to it. It’s not bad, just weird.”
BRYAN, 16: “I’d get it if she added ornaments, like blue and white. They’re just red.”
KAREEM, 19: “Christmas trees are fire. I don’t know her like that to judge her.”
ABRAR, 18: “It’s like an art piece. It’s up for interpretation. I’m not very politically aware of what’s going on, or what she’s doing, but I don’t really like her. I’ll just keep it straight up — she just seems like a dickhead. Straight up.”
STEVE, 26: “The trees represent death. She wants to kill someone, probably.”
JONATHAN, 25: “Pretty ugly. Red is usually the color of war, no? It’s just bad taste.”
ALEX, 26: “Not cool. I think she probably has no idea what’s going on. They just look dumb, that’s it.”