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People on social media, not “the media,” mocked the dress the first lady wore at President Donald Trump’s rally near Mount Rushmore.
The dress was not designed based on the drawings of young people who had been sex trafficked.
The dress Melania Trump wore to Mount Rushmore for a controversial speech her husband delivered on the eve of Independence Day drew a bit of criticism of its own.
But a Facebook user who defended the first lady’s fashion choice in a July 5 post suggested the dress had more meaning than critics knew:
"The media mocked First Lady Melania’s dress. They said it looked like childish scribbles. Little did they know, they were the drawings of several young victims of sex trafficking who tried to explain their pain through pictures. They mocked her raising awareness for the victims of sex trafficking. This deserves 100,000 shares!"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The white and black dress is designed by Alexander McQueen. The designer’s website describes it as "dancing girls asymmetric midi dress," a sleeveless, round neck ivory linen and listed at $3,840.
Asked about the claim that the sketches on the dress were made by survivors of sex trafficking, a spokesperson for the London-based fashion designer said that story is fabricated: "There is no truth in this statement," Alistair McCallum told PolitiFact.
PaperMag.com, which covers fashion and entertainment, reported on the dress in May, noting that in 2019 Alexander McQueen enlisted the help of design students at Central Saint Martins, an arts and design school in London, to make its Spring 2020 collection.
"Alexander McQueen gave Paper a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this dress," the article said. "The students' dancing girl sketches were done on long white sheets during a life-drawing class led by fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven at the brand's flagship store in London."
The school itself also published an article about its collaboration.
There is no evidence the dress was designed by sex trafficking victims. We rate the statement False.
Facebook, post (archived here), July 5, 2020
AlexanderMcQueen.com, "Dancing girls asymmetric midi dress," accessed July 6, 2020
PaperMag.com, "See How Alexander McQueen Brought These Students' Sketches to Life," May 7, 2020
BizPacReview.com, "Trump-haters mock Melania’s dress, which was created by students to celebrate unity," July 5, 2020
AFP Fact Check, "Melania Trump’s dress did not feature drawings by child sex abuse victims," July 6, 2020
Email, University of the Arts London press team, July 6, 2020
Email, Alistair McCallum, worldwide PR director, Alexander McQueen, July 6, 2020
Central Saint Martins, "From drawing class to Alexander McQueen catwalk," Oct. 24, 2019
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