Clothing Up For Debate
If you didn’t think the 2016 presidential election could get any more confusing or dysfunctional, this first debate would seriously make you think that. All the information presented at the event were just mirrored responses from both candidates are the same ideals they’ve been voicing from the beginning of the political race.
Donald is still Trump and Hilary is still Clinton, both candidates who, at this point do not need any sort of formal introductions. Yesterday evenings debate had every major press organization triple fact checking both of their statements, especially after Trump made offhand statements in a scattered attempt to retaliate Clinton (which he stated were all facts, most of which have already been debunked by the CNN team.)
Whoever said journalism was a dying art was clearly wrong.
What was more intriguing about this entire event was that these two were like bickering school children on the playground; except the Oval Office is the swing set they’re fighting over and the American people are the mulch caught between their shoes.
Speaking of shoes, Clinton’s one inch black heels— ones that resemble closely to comfortable flats— were fitting for the standing occasion. It seemed as if the shoes themselves were a bit easy for her to fill. I often wonder if she thought becoming the President would be as easy, too.
Trumps attire on the other hand called for a sense of desperation. He wore a classic business suit (probably one that from his many owned companies) with a royal blue tie and white button-up. This was in comparison to a pale navy blue tie he wore a couple different times during the primary debates. It was soft, diplomatic and calm, which matched his personality for all but 10 minutes into the debate. The color was indeed very royal, suitable for somebody whose name is uttered around the world— fitting for somebody who could potentially become the next President of the Unites States.
Though the debate might make you seriously second guess that.
It was hard to tell whether the indent on his tie was intention or not. It personally left me with unanswered questions. Would Ivanka or Melania Trump really let him walk on stage like that, considering how closely his family has played a key role on the campaign trail? For a man who’s every move is so thought out, there was something so intentional about how it was tied around his neck. Maybe he wanted to be viewed as a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously, in order to be more relate-able or to gain support from the majority of blue-collared voters that he needs to win the President’s seat.
The USA pin stuck on his jacket was very expected, especially for somebody who refers to himself as the “The Great Prevaricator” that wants to “Make America Great Again.” I would be more surprised if he didn’t where the great symbol of our countries patriotism, considering the limits to how male politicians can dress.
His patience didn’t last long on stage and that was all too clear once the debate got into specifics about the USA’s place in the world’s trade negotiations and internal tax policy discussions. Clinton just kept a smirked smile on her face, while Trump was trying to control his hands by grasping the podium rather tightly. But that seemed to loosen up as he started to speak from his throat instead of his controlled front of the mouth voice which he started the debate with. The more aggressive his attitude increased, the more free his body and hand movements were— the more noticeable it became. He might want to keep the dubbed Illuminati hand symbol in check if he wants to gain the unpredictable millennial vote.
Trump pierced his lips together when he was self-restraining himself to speak over Clinton, when he actually did contain himself. He was antsy among other things and when he did defend himself on the spot from the strategic insults Clinton was hitting him with, he metaphorically ended up shooting himself right in the foot.
It was the most presidential he’s been form the beginning of his announcement for candidacy, yet his comments lacked structure and confidence. Not as if that’s saying a whole lot, considering his body language ended up being louder than his actual voice.
After the first half of the debate his tie definitely needed some adjustments. It was boldly popping out of his suit the more worked up he became. Maybe he was attempting to show his democratic side with the choice for wearing the color blue, possibly to gain all of those undecided Bernie Sanders voters (some that would vote for Trump in spite of Clinton.)
Clinton must have caught wind of that New York Times Article “Republican Debate Has Candidates Seeing Red” that was written by Vanessa Friedman for the newspapers fashion blog, On the Runway, about red being the Republicans power color. Clinton came into the debate with guns blazing, immediately following another New York Times article about the odds of things happening at the event. “The odds also say that Donald J. Trump is expected to wear a red tie, with Hillary Clinton countering with a blue jacket.” said Justin Wolfers, a column writer.
They both defied the odds.
Clinton had a spark, an attitude of assurance and all, when she wore that cherry red power suit— which was a bold, confident and intriguing choice for her. A surprise to catch most people of guard. And to think, we thought red was strictly a color made popular by the Republican Party.
But we all should have seen that coming, since she wore a full royal blue suit and full white suit in her last major appearances from end of July until now. All is red, white, blue; that’s pretty patriotic to say the least.
While her makeup was TV ready and her cliche hair style was perfectly cured with hairspray, the 1980’s style gold knot earrings she put on were unoriginal and a bore. Her style resembled other powerful women of her time like, Oprah Winfrey and the late Nancy Reagan. The only problem with that it was nothing new. Maybe she was trying to use the hair and earrings to make a generational connection with voters, to show how long she’s been playing the political game. Maybe it was to show her qualifications based on her amount of time in public office. Who knows?
Clinton also wore a gold necklace with spaced out beads, which was tucked into her suit. It was possibly a rosary, I gather, from the wide way it sat on her collar bone. Even if it wasn’t, why had she chosen to tuck it in rather than proudly flaunt it? My imagination went wild with this. And maybe there is a simple answer. It could have possibly been tucked in because it would interfere with the microphone. A plain, simple and on the surface answer. Or maybe she kept it tucked so that voters would not paint an undesired picture of her based on her personal religious views. Sure every citizen in American has a right to their own religious practices, per our Constitutional rights, but that doesn’t mean everybody’s practices are the same or even respected the same among all the differing opinions.
With the state of the current election, where votes are approximately 42% for Trump and 44% for Clinton (according to CNN’s most recent polling) she might even be considering a small minority of voters (a group of opposing religious views as her own) that she is hoping to gain more votes.
Who could blame her for being so calculated, with Trump gaining in the polls over that last few months. She may also be getting desperate, but at least she knows how to articulate an argument.
As the two candidates personalities danced on the stage throughout the evening, there seemed to have been a clear cognitive dissonance with their wardrobe. The entire wardrobe, from both parties, appeared to be so planned. They were representing each other’s opposites— the Republican candidate wearing the democratic blue and the Democrat candidate wearing the republican red. It was as if the campaigns were in some sort of cahoots to dictate how each candidate would be seen by the masses.
Trump can call Clinton a “typical politician, all talk and no action”, but her red power suit may just have some Republican switching sides. Monochromatic seems to be her forte these days.
“Words matter when you’re running for president.” said Clinton. But obviously so do the clothes they wear and what their personalities are when they emulate the clothes. The clothes themselves combine with each of the candidate’s unique personality, which subliminally communicate the type of value and leadership they will offer the country. And that’s where the most important question comes into play.
Based on what you see on stage, would you rather have a poised President or a temperamental one?
Only two minutes for the candidates to answer a select amount of questions, ones that would differentiate their personal politics. And in the end, that indent on Trumps tie had been more amusing than his rebuttals he made against Clinton. Hopefully the next two scheduled debates this October will show better progress, both in political warfare and in wardrobe.
Photo Courtesy of CNN
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE. His primary goal as a Fashion Creative, is to document fashion history in the streetwear and art sector.
From the lens of an abstract visual content producer, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University; where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column for The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University – And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early – Bringing him to four design oriented degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art of the few, to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for just over a decade, from commercial retail visual management to corporate level ghost writing and consulting. Now, in this exact moment, T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent urban California lifestyle based fashion movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.