Melania Trump's 'storm stilettos' draw flak: Other high-profile fashion controversies

Clockwise from top left: Michelle Obama's sneakers, Louise Linton clad in designer labels, Theresa May's gold leather trousers and Ivanka Trump's silver ballgown.
Clockwise from top left: Michelle Obama's sneakers, Louise Linton clad in designer labels, Theresa May's gold leather trousers and Ivanka Trump's silver ballgown. PHOTOS: TWITTER, FACEBOOK

US First Lady Melania Trump's choice of footwear - a pair of sky-high heels - came under some unwanted scrutiny on Tuesday (Aug 29).

The former model was with her husband President Donald Trump on the way to visit storm-ravaged Texas when the "storm stilettos" she had on while crossing the White House lawn were criticised for being inappropriate for the occasion.

Storm in a teacup - or a legitimate fashion faux pas?

Here are some previous high-profile fashion controversies, courtesy of politicians and their spouses.

Michelle Obama's sneakers

Mrs Trump's predecessor can probably relate to her plight. The wife of former president Barack Obama also came under fire after she wore a pair of US$540 (S$730) Lanvin sneakers while volunteering at a Washington food bank in 2009.

A notable fan of sneakers - especially Converse's Chuck Taylor range - the former lawyer had a typically sassy reply when asked about the controversy.

https://twitter.com/TheLastGenXer/status/902822850511364096

"They're shoes," the 53-year-old told reporters.

Louise Linton's love for designer labels

Ms Linton, 36, the spouse of current US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, makes no secret of her love for labels.

But the Scottish actress sparked a social media brouhaha when she posted on Aug 22 an Instagram photograph of herself disembarking from a military jet, following a trip to Kentucky with Mr Mnuchin. The post was accompanied by hashtags such as #hermesscarf and #valentino to flaunt her expensive wardrobe.

This prompted Ms Jenni Miller, a mother of three, to criticise her in the comments section: "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable."

Lashing out at Ms Miller, Ms Linton belittled her critic for being less well-off than her. Social media, predictably, had a field day mocking Ms Linton's callous comments.

Ms Linton subsequently issued an apology, while the Treasury department said the couple would pay back the US government for transport costs whenever she travels with Mr Mnuchin on official business.

Theresa May's leather trousers

During an "at home" interview with the Sunday Times in November last year, it was not the British Prime Minister's childhood stories or how Brexit kept her awake at night that generated the most headlines.

Instead, it was the pair of gold leather trousers, which reportedly cost a cool £995 (S$1,740), that became the focus of attention.

The photograph of her clad in the expensive trousers by British designer Amanda Wakeley drew negative comments from former education secretary Nicky Morgan, who noted: "I don't have leather trousers. I don't think I've ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress."

The saga, naturally, was dubbed "trousergate".

Ivanka Trump's ballgown

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

President Trump's eldest daughter got brickbats on social media in January when just hours after her father caused chaos by signing an executive order banning refugees from seven countries from entering the US, she posted an Instagram photo of her and husband Jared Kushner dressed to the nines.

Ms Trump's ill-timed photo, which showed her wearing a US$5,000 silvery gown by renowned designer Carolina Herrera, was blasted for being insensitive.

Some called it her "Marie Antoinette" moment, while a meme comparing her dress to a refugee girl wrapped in a foil blanket with the caption "Who wore it better?" made the rounds online.

She reportedly felt "terrible" about the whole episode.