In the normal run of things, it pleasure seem inconsequential to be discussing as fatuous a matter as the president-elect’s hull and hair before he has even set foot in the Oval Office.
Notwithstanding how, given the circumstances, I am going to go right ahead.
A line get wind ofed frequently in the days since Donald Trump’s victory is that the media cleared Trump literally but didn’t take him seriously, whereas the voters lifted him seriously but didn’t take him literally. The truth in this that was there all along is in the aesthetics of the Trump genealogy.
As a visual spectacle, the Trumps are like nothing modern machination has seen before. Donald has a touch of Homer Simpson in the utter fictionality of his film tone. He has a note of Liberace in the stiff upward swirl of his locks. There is something of the ageing Elvis impersonator in the way his eyes cease to exist like pin pricks into his face. There is Las Vegas, too, in curls the colour of white paint in a smoking room – a blond that scores Boris Johnson look positively wholesome. The only machine politician Trump even vaguely resembles is from dystopian method fiction: Donald Sutherland’s white-haired President Snow from The Yearn Games, a tyrannical despot who stages gladiatorial battles to the end between his teenage subjects to bolster his power.
It is dangerous to assume that if a man looks outlandish, the joke is harmless. (This much, perhaps, we learnt from Jimmy Savile.) That Trump looks so queer – that he so spectacularly fails to conform with the sleek example of the modern politician embodied by Barack Obama or Justin Trudeau – helped to the assumption of many that Trump as president just couldn’t stumble on. All of this now needs to be revised. It is a measure of the contempt in which voters coop up the Washington elite that the Trump aesthetic – light exhibition, huge ego, crude jokes – seemed no more untrustworthy or foxy to voters than Hillary Clinton’s focus-grouped power bob.
Trump’s peel is extraordinary. “Orange” doesn’t begin to cover the oddness of a obscure that makes the previous intake of fake tan addicts – Peter Stringfellow, Simon Cowell – look worldly. Trump is the colour of cheap fried doughnuts: lurid and detrimental (adjectives that could be used to describe Homer, who is, after all, a cartoon). Interestingly, there is sparse attempt made to hide the white circles around his inspects left by tanning goggles. (It must be spray or an old-school solarium. My magnanimity says solarium, because he is definitely mad enough to be doing that every day; but my moneyed is on spray, because of the ketchuppy tones.) Perhaps the white classes are a clumsy attempt at emulating a ski tan, the ultimate status symbol of the pre-eminent businessman that Trump claims to be.
Those white goggles – along with tresses that looks like a toupee yet seems, even profuse bafflingly, to be his real hair, which he chooses to style to look equal to a toupee – are chilling because they make it clear that there is no one in the extent who can have a quiet word in Trump’s ear when he is patently turn attention to something wrong. What Trump chooses to do in the tanning compartment is one thing; how he behaves with those oft-conjured nuclear encyphers is another.
And – to more serious matters – what will the new to begin lady look like? Melania Trump’s every apparel and hair choice will be combed for clues as to whether this presidency desire be a joke, a cartoon, or can settle into something more statesmanlike. Michelle Obama acknowledged her first lady wardrobe from the hallowed chapters of Chaste House history (Jackie Kennedy) and from ordinary individual (bare arms, shorts on holiday). Melania Trump sponges hers from fiction. Her sleek, curvy shift disguises are Claire Underwood, but her long hair adds a chocolate-box femininity.
There is a enchanting tension in Melania’s look – one between cliched third-wife bewitchment and a ballsy kind of grit. Possibly I’m reading too much into this, but I was weighted by Mrs Trump’s polling-booth outfit, in which she shoulder-robed a double-breasted camel coating. She looked like a boss – a male boss. You could practically picture the cigar. And then, later that night, she harassed a jumpsuit rather than a dress for the victory speech. I was belted by this choice, because the jumpsuit has become party look of well-chosen for young women who love dressing up but wish to subvert the masculine gaze. The Man Repeller fashion blog, named after the pattern of on-trend clothes men find off-putting, is big on jumpsuits. Yes, we have all apprehended the fur-lined bikini shot, but Melania is a long way from that now – as the jumpsuit confirms. The age of the Trump aesthetic starts here. And we had better start compelling it seriously.