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Melania Trump and the Raiders of the Lost Ark dress code

The First Lady has gotten herself into a snake pit of controversy over her latest outfit on her trip to Egypt but it doesn't look like Indiana Jones would be on her side...

By Alex Blackwood
Hervé Pierre studied at the École de la chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne before studying Art History at the Sorbonne. The Comité Colbert awarded him with the first ever Christian Dior award in 1987. His career has gone from strength to strength, with stints at Balmain, Oscar De la Renta, Vera Wang, Bill Blass and Carolina Herrera. Today, he holds arguably the most difficult job in fashion: stylist to First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump.
This week, it seems as if the inarguably very qualified Hervé may have taken a leave of absence. He seems to have kissed Melania on each cheek and said, "take care, dahling, don't do anything I wouldn't do!" And gotten on a plane to wherever.
It is unclear whether a guide was left for the FLOTUS, or if she came up with the inspiration for this eyebrow-raising look all on her own. Either way, she seems to have stumbled over an unlikely source for her outfit inspo for her time in Egypt: a DVD copy of the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark?
The unfortunate thing is, whether it was her choice or his, Melania's look broke one of Hervé's rules. As the stylist goes from physical, brick-and-mortar store to store looking for clothes while keeping his client's identity a secret, he asks whether anyone else has worn each piece on the red carpet before. He apparently doesn't "want her to be on the 'Who Wore It Better' list."
How annoying then, for him, that this one, slipped through the cracks. Out in Egypt this week, trying to strengthen her image and visit the Great Pyramid at Giza, Melania was spotted in an outfit someone had worn there before. Which brings us to the question, who wore it better, the First Lady of the United States or the fictional Nazi it looks like she is copying?
Yes, we could judge her, and compare her to the Nazi in the film, or we could laugh at how much she also looks like Jim Carrey in The Mask.
Jim Carrey as The Mask in the movie The Mask.
Either way, this isn't the first time Melania and Hervé have put together an outfit that sparked confusion, if not outrage.
There was...
  • The odd is-it-a-reference pink pussybow top she wore to the second presidential debate between her husband and Hilary Clinton.
  • The teetering heels that she wore to Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
  • The other teetering heels that she wore for a visit to Puerto Rico to visit with Hurricane Maria victims.
  • The headscarf she didn't wear to Saudi Arabia after her husband tweeted complaints when Michelle Obama didn't wear a headscarf in the country.
  • The $51,000 (US) Dolce & Gabbana coat she wore to the G7 Summit - a jacket only a few thousand less than the US median household income as of 2015.
  • The jacket that she wore to visit children who had been taken from their parents at the mexican border emblazoned with the slogan "I really don't care, do u?" (To be fair, Hervé claimed he had never seen the Zara jacket before.)
Of course, Melania's staff don't think she is causing much of an issue. Stephanie Grisham, her communications director was pretty relaxed over the "I really don't care" jacket. She didn't see the faux pas as a political slip up at all: "It's a jacket.There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe. (Much like her high heels last year.)"
Hervé had a similar message about the politicisation of Melania's clothes: "If you forget about the political, or whatever, that's behind it, the needs are so interesting to answer. Even if I'm not creating the clothes, it is very creative to consider how it's going to be perceived. And when you decide, you divide. I'm not always right. I make mistakes, and same for her. There's no 'How to Be the Perfect First Lady' book. You learn on the spot."
Much like the advice that so often gets dished to her husband, we humbly offer up a rule we like to stick to when we are in doubt: when in doubt, avoid anything that might make you look like a Nazi.