Sunday, January 31, 2021

It’s All Rigged

I shall continue my Catty Cathy special inaugural fashion coverage today with a special report on Ella Emhoff’s unlikely new career as a model for IMG, one of the most prestigious agencies in the nation. Why do you say “unlikely”  MOTUS? After all Ella is the daughter of someone rich and famous ( in case you’re a cave dweller, Ella is the stepdaughter of VP Kammie) and that is how careers are made in postmodern America. And let’s just stipulate to the fact that, unlike Melania, she isn’t normally what you’d consider conventional model material. But then, we no longer live in conventional world, do we?

"It's not really about shape, size or gender any more," Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models told The New York Times, "noting that what brands are attracted to, and what consumers want, is authenticity. "Ella communicates this moment in time. There's a cheekiness and a joy she exudes."

Generally more ‘cheeky’ than ‘joy’ I’d suggest.

Finally, a Slow Fashion King at the White House - GARAGEI really hate to point this out, but those shadows in the underarm area are not “shadows” - Ella is a natural woman, a trait I’m guessing has limited ‘agency’ in the modeling world.

Now I know we used to have arguments around here regarding the “hands off the kids” policy. But with their treatment of the Trumps’ young son the media changed the rules. Also Ella is going on 22, is a senior at the Parson’s School of Design and has her own self-promoting website and Instagram account for her “designer knitwear” which she is happy to model herself.

Please note: I’ve creatively spared you the view of Ella’s underarm forest, of which she’s apparently proud. You’re welcome.

Even so, several of you noted that she looks like a sad little thing (she does). But it’s a curated image. Take this pre-inaugural shot with brother Cole (left) and Mom (real):


To look this geeky and androgynous takes real effort, especially when you’re really just a cute girl with curly hair (everywhere). And remember, Bart thinks she “exudes joy.”


I come down on the side of those who think she’s probably a JAP (Jewish American Princess, i.e. rich spoiled brat). The tiara is a dead giveaway.

ella in a crown

Certainly daddy’s rich enough to make her one, being a litigator/managing partner of a top U.S. entertainment law firm, i.e. representing the rich and famous for a rich cut of the take (excellent preparation for life in D.C.). Although his net worth is estimated around $6 mil, now that “Doug” - as his kids cutely refer to him – is the Second Gentleman he can expect his asset base to multiply geometrically. And that’s why he could afford to quit his job at the big law firm “in order to avoid conflicts of interest.” There was a time when there would have been no issue of conflict of interest as there was no intersectionality between entertainment lawyers and politics, but those days are long gone.

Anyway, speaking of intersectionality, back to Ella’s big new modeling contract. We’re to believe that it just organically happened when she showed up at Joey’s inauguration in her bejeweled coat and her Batsheva Hay dress and stunned the fashion world.

the frock:

When in fact the Vogue shoot and interview was done prior to the inauguration in anticipation of a big modeling contract announcement at a later date.

Inauguration Day always ushers in change, but perhaps never more so than this year, when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will finally wrest control of the White House away from the Trump administration. Biden and Harris’s families were, of course, on hand at the swearing-in ceremony on January 20, and preparations for the day began well in advance; for Ella Emhoff, Harris’s 21-year-old stepdaughter, that meant collaborating with designer Batsheva Hay to come up with a truly one-of-a-kind fit for the occasion.

This week, Vogue spoke to Emhoff—a designer in her own right who is currently a senior at Parsons—and Hay about the process of coming up with an Inauguration Day dress that worked with Emhoff’s Miu Miu coat, their feelings on D.C. style, and a potential future collaboration.

Batsheva, how did you feel when you found out your clothes were on Ella’s “mental mood board” for Inauguration Day?

Batsheva Hay: I was so amazed. I didn’t even know Ella’s Instagram or how to contact her, but my friend was like, “Kamala’s stepdaughter is so cool, you have to check out her work.” I never thought she’d know who I was, but my friend was like, “You should definitely shoot her.” Then, all of a sudden, this came up, and we followed each other, and I went down the rabbit hole of seeing all of Ella’s knitwear. I was literally trying to buy stuff, and it was all sold out! I became obsessed, and was like, what do I have for her? How can we make this happen?

Vogue, which could not find time or space for even one article on Melania Trump during her 4 years as FLOTUS has already done two, count them, two, articles on Ms. Emhoff, daughter of the Second Gentleman and stepdaughter to the Veep. But then Melania only spoke English as a second, third or fourth language so she couldn’t possibly be as articulate as this young and upcoming ‘designer.’

Ella, what vibe were you going for with your Inauguration Day outfit? How did you want to feel in it?

EE: My mood board was very “little girl,” in a sense, a lot of scalloped collars and big silhouette shoulders and small buttons. I was going for something girlier, to embrace my feminine side—especially after that suit that I felt so great in—because, like, how many times do you prepare yourself to attend an inauguration? This momentous of an event deserves a momentous outfit.

Ella, how does it feel to be helping to define the Biden-Harris administration’s style?

EE: It’s something that I think a lot of people in the past also haven’t put as much emphasis on, especially because you didn’t really think that certain people [in past administrations] were going to be throwing outfits out there. You didn’t expect much. Amongst Dr. Biden and Kamala and Meena [Harris] and me, though, I guess there is kind of some anticipation about what we’re going to put out there in terms of fashion. Maybe that’s because we’re all women, or maybe it’s because we’ve had big outfits in the past, but I think people are definitely going to be paying more attention.

To quote our most MAGA-nificent President: “it’s rigged, it’s all rigged.”

What a different a flight makes! Melania Trump looked ready for a vacation as she touched down in Florida wearing a colorful $3,700 Gucci dress, having changed out of the somber all-black ensemble she wore to leave the White House

The FLOTUS from whom “you didn’t expect much.” Ella, Ella, Ella.