In the post-MeToo age, should we really be obsessing about what the wives of the world’s leaders attending the G7 summit in Biarritz are wearing?
Isn’t that an irrelevance, a sexist insult, even? When rainforests are burning and ice caps are melting and polar bears are starving?
Well, no, actually. What these two particular women, Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, are wearing speaks volumes, and I’m not just talking about their hair.
American First Lady Melania Trump wore an A-line fitted dress in canary yellow, with a large, tie-dye-like white and pink flower printed on it
Take American First Lady Melania. She has decided to put on a dress – A-line, fitted, just the right side of demure – that is canary yellow, with a large, tie-dye-like white and pink flower printed on it.
Its purpose is not to sing from the rooftops that she’s as one with the Gilets Jaunes protesters. Or that she wants to match with her husband’s hair. Or even, like our Queen who always wears bright colours, that she wants the little people to be able to pick her out in a crowd.
No. Her message is crystal clear.
The dress is by Calvin Klein (£530 on Net-a-Porter, should you wish to revive the fashion for tie dye or, as one wag on Twitter put it, look as though your husband spilt red wine on you during turbulence), and by wearing it on the world stage she is championing a once great but now failing all-American brand. She is telling the world to Buy American.
Meanwhile, her confidence in clashing colours – hot pink Louboutins, with that delicious red sole that lets everyone in your wake know you have more money than sense – only comes with knowing your husband has more warships than anyone else on the planet.
She is Trump’s canary, no coal mine required, singing from the rooftops that she’s married to a man who has our lives in the palms of his small, fat hands.
No wonder she’s wearing shades. She’s dazzling.
Brigitte Macron, on the other hand, opted for a striped jacket, tight black trousers and stacked trainers
Brigitte Macron, on the other hand, has an equally serious sartorial message to send to the world on behalf of France.
Not that at the age of 66, and having subsisted on baguettes, brie and Bordeaux for all of those years, she still has the BMI of an Olympic gymnast while we in the UK only have to hurry past Greggs to put on four stone. No, no, no. Far too frivolous.
It’s her mahogany-hued face that has the real message here for the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries: this is what we will all look like if Trump succeeds in buying Greenland and melting the ice caps.
And no luxury French beauty skincare brand will ever be able to combat its effects. Not even L’Oreal. Because none of us are worth it.
I’m not too sure about her Tommy Cooper jacket and the sort of tight black trousers that were last seen on Max Wall. Or the stacked trainers. But there is a relaxed air about the Premiere Femme of France that I quite admire. It makes me wonder what she has up her sleeve.
Is she about to run for office, do we think?
Liz Jones argues that what these two particular women, Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, are wearing speaks volumes
She adds that what these women wear is a window into the world of power as they join their husbands at the G7 summit
You see, fashion is important. And you thought it was just window dressing. What these women wear is a window into the world of power. They never skirt the issues. They wear the trousers, truly.
For the evening, both wives changed, like Miss World contestants. Was there a memo to say wear cream? Mrs Macron, as always, wore a dress – Louis Vuitton – that was a crucial two inches too short.
The shape was a shift. Perhaps an indication her husband would loosen up when it came to a Brexit deal?
Melania’s $4,000 Gucci was a little too reminiscent of home furnishings, with its pleats and tie backs. Curtains for Europe?