As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following opinion editorial written by Robin Givhan and published by WashingtonPost:
Where to begin in the dumbfounding tale of Paul Manafort and his fashion habit? The gluttony. The indulgence. The preening bad taste.
The pathetic pretentiousness of it all.
His is the story of a man’s inexorable slide into a nauseating spectacle of insatiable consumption — a parable, or perhaps, a farce that included salivating merchants flying across the country to cater to his appetites. There are so many enticing, beguiling entry points in this story of unbridled decadence: the use of wire transfers from foreign bank accounts to pay his clothing bills, the capacity to spend more than $929,000 on suits in a five-year period, a perplexing fixation on plaid sport jackets. But ultimately, the one thing that most folks will remember from the first week of Manafort’s trial on bank and tax fraud charges is his $15,000 ostrich-leather bomber jacket.
The article goes on to state the following:
The jacket is an atrocity — both literal and symbolic. It’s a garment thick with hubris and intent. For the prosecution, it was not an opening statement; it was an opening salvo.
As a matter of aesthetics, it’s worth stipulating that most clothes would not look particularly enticing dangling from a wooden hanger hooked over the back of an open door. And the government’s photographer is not exactly Richard Avedon. But hanger appeal is not the problem. The jacket, with its white topstitching and white satin lining, lacks finesse, artistry and sophistication. It’s simply a celebration of ostrich leather, which is to say that it is a celebration of money and excess. Ostrich, after all, is an expensive, exotic skin. Manafort also owned python, which he had stitched into an equally unimpressive but expensive jacket.
When the ostrich skin jacket was introduced as evidence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye described it only as “ostrich,” which called to mind some fluffy extravagance covered in colorful plumage and underscored the point of bringing up the jacket at all: Manafort isn’t just a spendthrift. He’s a peacock. A showoff. The devil who wears ostrich.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 2, 2018
Manafort prosecution evidence includes not just $15,000 ostrich jacket, but also a $9,500 ostrich vest and an $18,500 python jacket, per Alan Couture invoices, reports @kpolantz. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/O5xobVvQ8o
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 2, 2018
Paul #Manafort spent more than $500,000 on clothes. His purchases included this jacket. His choice in clothes should add an additional 10 years to his sentence just for having bad taste. 😑😑😑 pic.twitter.com/szMyDpJWhT
— Rogelio Garcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) August 2, 2018
The Manafort jacket exhibit looks like a terrible Craigslist ad. pic.twitter.com/xTLJS18XI9
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 3, 2018