On his personal blog, photographer Douglas Friedman notes that the arrival on newsstands today of the February issue of Vanity Fair Mexico, featuring his portrait of First Lady Melania Trump on the cover, is a case of “interesting timing.” Or, as one Mexican resident puts it, “mockery and humiliation.”
Friedman took the photo a year ago* for a feature by Julia Ioffe that ran in the April 2016 issue of GQ. Long before Trump’s Twitter condemnation of the American flagship edition of Vanity Fair or this week’s tumultuous back-and-forth political shots fired across the U.S.-Mexico border.
But that was then and this is “Ay dios mio!” Coincidentally, the first item that shows up when the link “Portraits” is clicked on Friedman’s website is one of Hillary Clinton on the cover of New York magazine. Sans diamonds. Later on in the same gallery, there is another shot of Melania, alongside one of Ivanka Trump.
One U.S.-side Twitter observer suggests that the VF Mexico cover represents Melania’s let-them-eat-cake moment. Another deadpans that they have been unable to afford diamond spaghetti since the Reagan era.
*Correction (4:30 p.m.):
It turns out the recycling of this photo spans a period far longer than a year. The portrait of Melania dining on diamonds was originally commissioned by Philadelphia Style magazine way back in 2011, for a Q&A piece highlighting her QVC jewelry collection.
Our thanks to Kim Riordan for pointing out the mistake. FishbowlNY apologizes for the error.