Solving the Riddle of the Slovenian Sphinx and the Pussy Bow
It was a relief to see Melania Trump at the St. Louis debate.
I was worried that the svelte Slovenian had gone into witness protection. Or that she was cloistered at a spa in the Swiss Alps.
Melania virtually disappeared after her Republican convention mishap purloining some Michelle Obama speech chunks. And then, after the invidious 2005 videotape of her husband and Billy Bush surfaced — with the bros bantering about groping women at a time when Melania was pregnant — there was talk that she and Donald would do a Bill and Hillary “60 Minutes”-type interview where she stood by her Cheez Doodle.
在共和党大会上，梅拉尼娅抄袭了大段米歇尔·奥巴马(Michelle Obama)的演讲词，自从那次不幸的事故之后，她基本上消失了。后来，她的丈夫与比利·布什(Billy Bush)2005年那段令人反感的录音浮出水面——录音中这两人打趣说可以对女人动手动脚，而当时梅拉尼娅正在怀孕——有人说她和唐纳德(Donald)会效仿当年的比尔(Bill)和希拉里(Hillary)，上一次《60分钟》(60 Minutes)那种类型的采访节目，好支持她的芝士玉米条(Cheez Doodle)先生。
It wasn’t her style, and that idea got dropped. Melania did issue a statement calling her husband’s comments “offensive” but saying that he had her support and suggesting that everyone “focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
Who knew that the important issue would be a pussy bow?
On Sunday night, Melania swept into the hall, smiled and shook hands with her counterpart, Bill Clinton. It was a classy contrast from no handshake by Hillary and Donald at the start and the tacky tableau concocted by Donald Trump, who sat three of the women who have accused Bill of sexual assault in the front row, after debate officials rejected seating them in the Trump family box.
The sultry former model was not wearing her usual bell-sleeved or puffy-sleeved cocktail dress in white or black. She blazed in a fuchsia blouse and matching slim pants. A pantsuit! But it was the bow on the Gucci silk crepe de Chine blouse that lit up the internet.
Cosmopolitan magazine breathlessly tweeted the debate news bulletin:
Melania Trump is Wearing an $1,100 Pussy-Bow Blouse Right Now.
Then, as is the wont with the Donald, conspiracy theories bloomed around the globe. Some on Twitter thought it was the often-mute Melania’s way of screaming her disgust with her husband’s use of the word in a crude palaver on an open mic.
“In my fantasies,” Ashley Spencer tweeted:
In my fantasies, Melania is a subversive feminist just waiting to yell "October surprise!" & don an #ImWithHer hat.
Another tweet by Christen Clifford agreed that it was a sign of going rogue:
Melania is going to vote for HRC the #PussyBow and matching pants (suit) confirm that she is a double agent.
Lizabeth slyly tweeted:
Love Melania's pussy-bow blouse, wonder if her husband grabbed it from the closet for her?
Others thought the bow, echoing the word her husband used with such egregious abandon, was a way of sartorially standing by him and dissing his critics. The conservative website Breitbart, whose executive chairman, Steve Bannon, took a leave to serve as Trump’s C.E.O., proclaimed Melania’s pussy bow “amazing trolling.”
Even the Nobel Prize-winning columnist for The Times, Paul Krugman, weighed in on the pussy-bow riot, tweeting:
No comment, and I am unanimous in that
Seeing the bow gave me acid flashbacks to the ’70s, when John T. Molloy wrote “Women’s Dress for Success,” advising aspiring career women to dress like men, in Oxford shirts, navy suits and floppy bow ties. I tried it once and gave the bow away, praying that women would not have to mimic men to get ahead.
一看到这个领结，我就清晰地回想起了20世纪70年代，约翰·T·莫洛伊(John T. Molloy)当时写了《女性要成功该穿什么》(Women’s Dress for Success)一文，鼓吹有抱负的事业女性应该穿得像男人，穿牛津衬衫、深蓝套装，打软领结。我试过一次，后来把领结送人了，希望女人不必为了事业前进而模仿男人。
As USA Today explained, the pussy bow got its name from the ones tied under kittens’ chins back in the ’30s. Then it became a staple in Molloy’s tips for climbing the ladder. Finally, decades later, it is repurposed as chic and flirty, the signature of Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele.
正如《今日美国》(USA Today)解释的，“pussy bow”这个名字起源于20世纪30年代在小猫脖子上系的蝴蝶结。后来它成了莫洛伊给打算向上爬的女人们提的建议里的重要组成部分。最后，过了几十年，它又带上了时髦和挑逗的涵义，成了古驰的创意总监亚历桑德罗·米歇尔(Alessandro Michele)的招牌标识。
It is so hip that the first lady has worn a pussy-bow dress. (Sorry, Melania, Michelle got there first again.)
Even men, including Hamish Bowles and the gender-fluid “young Gucci millennials,” as fashionistas call them, got in on the act.
Sunday night, things got into a swivet, with the blouse selling out instantly on Net-a-Porter, which described it as “a chic way to elevate office or weekend looks.” (This echoed what happened at the Republican convention, when Ivanka wore a blush pink dress from her label and put it up for sale the morning after she gave her speech, selling it out almost immediately.) A Trump campaign spokesman had to make a statement, telling CBS that Melania’s choice of a pussy bow was “unintentional.”
As it happened, I knew someone who could solve the riddle of the Slovenian sphinx and the pussy bow: André Leon Talley, the sultan of style, someone so influential that Kim Kardashian dressed her daughter, North West, as André, complete with billowing black caftan, for Halloween.
我碰巧知道有人可以解开这位斯洛文尼亚的斯芬克斯与她的蝴蝶领结之谜：那就是时尚之王安德烈·莱昂·塔利(André Leon Talley)，他的影响力实在太大了，以至于金·卡戴珊(Kim Kardashian)在万圣节的时候，用飘逸的黑色长袍的把女儿诺斯·韦斯特(North West)打扮成安德烈的样子。
André was the stylist for Melania’s gilded age 2005 wedding to Trump at Mar-a-Lago. The wedding was going on the cover of Vogue, so André, then an editor at large, attended with Anna Wintour. He flew to Paris with Melania to shop for her wedding dress and trousseau at the top couture houses. They visited Dior, Valentino and Chanel, and ultimately Melania chose a strapless Dior John Galliano gown estimated to cost $200,000.
2005年，梅拉尼娅在马阿拉歌庄园同特朗普举办了一场镀金时代式婚礼，当时安德烈是她的造型师。婚礼照片登上了《Vogue》封面，安德烈和安娜·温图尔(Anna Wintour)一起参加了婚礼，那时他还是该杂志的自由编辑。他和梅拉尼娅一起飞到巴黎，到顶尖服装店去采购婚纱和其他婚礼服装。他们去了迪奥(Dior)、华伦天奴(Valentino)和香奈儿(Chanel)，最后梅拉尼娅选了一条约翰·加利亚诺(John Galliano)为迪奥设计的无肩带长裙，价格据估算在20万美元。
“Melania is an extraordinary, articulate person,” André reports. “She’s charming. She’s extremely soignée and polished. Her manners are impeccable. She was very guarded, very private, but very gracious. She was polite to all the couturiers. She wasn’t walking in as an ‘I’m the future Mrs. Trump’ diva. Listen, she is the only woman in the world who stands and walks comfortably on four-and-a-half-inch stiletto heels. Her feet are trained. Her legs are a long drink of water. She’s very much like a high, super, superglamorous Stepford Wife. She was extraordinarily groomed. Groomed to a fastidious fault. Everywhere.”
Her dress, André recalls, was “quite a concoction.” André and Melania flew down to Palm Beach on the gilt-and-white-leather Trump jet with the faux French impressionist art. “The dress took eight hours to fit at a hotel in New York,” André said. “Madame Paulette, a couture dry cleaners on Second Avenue, sent down an entire team of four people to Mar-a-Lago to steam the dress and to take care of the dress. They took over a wing in the church. Extraordinary state-of-the-art steamers.”
I told André we needed to solve the mystery of the feline wife and the pussy bow. Was it a feminist signal, using a throwback style, to women upset by her husband’s reprehensible riff on the bus with Billy Bush? (Remember President Clinton sent Monica Lewinsky a signal on TV by wearing a Zegna tie she had given him?)
我告诉安德烈，我们需要揭开这位猫咪般的妻子与蝴蝶领结之谜。这是不是一个复古风格的女权主义信号，意在向那些被她的丈夫与比利·布什(Billy Bush)在车上发表的那番应受指责的言论惹恼的女性致意呢？（记得吗，克林顿总统上电视的时候戴了一条莫妮卡·莱温斯基[Monica Lewinsky]送的杰尼亚[Zegna]领带，向她发信号。）
André thinks not. “I’m inclined to think that Melania is supportive of him,” he said. “I don’t think she’s a disrupter. If anything, it was a signal of support for him, using the mot du jour and taking it to the next level with fashion.”
He was more curious about her pick of the color fuchsia paired with Louboutin “So Kate” white stiletto pumps for St. Louis in October.
“Odd choice,” the fashion mandarin said. “Totally out of sync. Hillary’s pantsuit was more appropriate.”