WASHINGTON • US First Lady Melania Trump is making waves for her flood fashion.
The former model is always elegantly turned out and perfectly coiffed, and apparently saw no reason to change that when she left the White House with President Donald Trump for storm-hit Texas.
Mrs Trump was photographed walking across the White House lawn in sky-high stiletto pumps, part of an outfit that included tailored capri pants, an army green bomber jacket with ruched sleeves and aviator sunglasses.
Reaction on social media came fast. "Melania over here looking like Flood Watch Barbie," writer Maria Del Russo tweeted.
Television writer-producer Brad Wollack added a quip: "Help is on the way, Texas! Don't worry, Melania has her special storm stilettos."
Added comedian Jessica Kirson: "Brilliant idea @FLOTUS. You can pick up debris with your heels."
In response to the critical reaction, Ms Stephanie Grisham, Mrs Trump's communications director, e-mailed: "It's sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes."
But many were quick to note that when monster storm Harvey cut a wide swathe through Texas, most residents reached for anything at hand to wear to escape as flood waters filled their homes.
President Trump's outfit was more in line with what politicians normally wear to visit weary survivors of deadly natural disasters: a black hooded rain jacket, khaki trousers and brown boots.
Mrs Trump eventually changed into something a bit more disaster- appropriate on the flight to the hard-hit coastal city of Corpus Christi - the Trumps' first stop in Texas. She stepped off Air Force One wearing black trousers and a white button-up shirt, trading the stilettos for white tennis shoes.
She also wore a black baseball cap that read "FLOTUS", the abbreviation for First Lady of the United States, setting off another round of Melania-bashing on Twitter.
By day's end, she issued a statement hailing the "strength and resilience" of Texans.
"I want to be able to offer my help and support in the most productive way possible, not through just words, but also action. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and Louisiana."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES