After skewering Melania Trump’s holiday decorations in the past, the Washington Post has this year approved of her White House decor, and decided instead to criticize the former fashion model’s appearance in a widely mocked piece on Tuesday that labeled the first lady’s jacket “ridiculous.”
The liberal paper’s fashion critic Robin Givhan wrote a piece headlined, “Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations are lovely, but that coat looks ridiculous,” which criticizes the outfit the first lady wore when unveiling the décor.
The Post, which called last year’s decorations a “nightmare forest,” spent a single paragraph complimenting this year’s “lovely” edition before pivoting to disapproval.
“For her tour, Mrs. Trump wears all white: a dress with a simple jewel neckline, white stiletto-heeled pumps and a white coat. The coat is draped over her shoulders as she strolls through the White House,” Givhan wrote. “The coat looks ridiculous.”
The fashion critic said “the coat is a distraction” and “a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted the Jeff Bezos-owned outlet.
“It has become an annual holiday tradition for the media to attack all that the First Lady does,” Grisham said in a statement to Fox News. “If this was a Democratic Administration, I suspect Mrs. Trump and her work would be featured positively in every mainstream news outlet.”
The first lady announced that the White House had been decorated for the holiday season with adornments inspired by “The Spirit of America,” this year’s patriotic theme.
She introduced the decorations on Monday with a video, walking alongside Christmas trees glowing with white lights, later sprinkling faux snow on a tree, adjusting roses on a fireplace and fixing a miniature wreath on the traditional gingerbread White House in the State Dining Room.
“It has become an annual holiday tradition for the media to attack all that the First Lady does”
— White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham
“In a video that is intended to celebrate the warmth and welcoming spirit of the holiday season, that simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness,” the Post fashion critic wrote. “Her attire suggests that she’s casually passing through and has little affinity for the occasion. She’s not getting comfortable, so why should you?”
Givhan added that the first lady has “styled herself in a manner that contradicts” claims that she is an “engaged hostess who sweats the details and frets about her guests’ comfort,” instead appearing like someone who would greet “guests at the front door, tells them to remove their shoes and warns them not to sit on the Lalanne sheep.”
The piece piles on, suggesting that a coat tossed over the shoulders is a tired cliché and goes on to mock other jackets she has worn over the years.
“Her attire would be less attention-grabbing if she took off her coat and indicated that she was happy to stay awhile,” Givhan wrote.
The Post has been shredded on social media for panning the first lady’s coat:
“White House Christmas decorations triggers deranged criticism,” Sen. Marco Rubio wrote on Instagram. ”Does anyone in the world of major media have enough self awareness to realize the damage their hatred of @realdonaldtrump is inflicting on them & journalism?”
“Her attire suggests that she’s casually passing through and has little affinity for the occasion”
— Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan
The Post’s tweet promoting the story was also mocked, receiving nearly 4,000 negative comments compared to only 688 likes as of Tuesday morning.
Melania Trump is no stranger to ridicule from the press and a variety of mainstream media outlets bashed her holiday decorations in 2018. The Washington Post was among the critics then, too, with an opinion piece referring to Melania’s “nightmare forest” that recycled many of the derogatory comparisons made by Twitter trolls days earlier.
Last year, the first lady brushed off criticism of her White House Christmas decorations that featured a lot of red, which the first lady’s office called “a symbol of valor and bravery.” Melania Trump even invited everyone to check them out in person.
“It’s the 21st century and everybody has different tastes, I think they look fantastic,” she said at a Liberty University event following criticism of the decorations.
Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.