Paul Manafort's Gross Ostrich Jackets, Explained By A Former Shopgirl
During Paul Manafort's trial on Wednesday, prosecutors placed special focus on some of the fancy things he bought with wire transfers from foreign banks and then WHOOPS! forgot to tell the IRS. While Five Dollar Feminist has got you covered with the actually important details of the trial, I am here to get shallow and talk about all the ugly ass clothes he bought. Because, really, I'm kind of a bitch.
Now, most of these clothes were bought at either House of Bijan -- "the most expensive store IN THE WORLD" -- in Beverly Hills, or at Alan Couture, a now-closed semi-secret men's atelier in in New York City. Between 2010 and 2012, Manafort spent $334,000 at House of Bijan, and between 2010 and 2014, he spent $900,000 at Alan Couture. That is so much money, right? It must have bought some really good stuff, right?
It did not.
Turns out, dude is like the Imelda Marcos of hideous jackets, which is not surprising considering he used to work for her husband. You know, when he wasn't lobbying for Actual Mobute Sese Seko. Perhaps during that time he signed up for Barbizon's "Be An Evil Dictator, Or Just Dress Like One" classes. Perhaps he is just a sucker with bad taste.
Luckily for us, the Justice Department has seen fit to release pictures of all of Paul Manafort's hideous and too expensive clothing, so let's dish!
The big, special, fancy item everyone has been talking about is a $15,000 ostrich leather jacket from Alan Couture. Look at it, with your eyes.
Now, that is a jacket that would look good and appropriate on me. If it were like, 50 bucks, I would consider it, though I would go back and forth on the piping. However, no matter what the cost, that jacket would look stupid on Paul Manafort. He probably realized this once he got home, which I will bet you is why I cannot find any pictures of him wearing it. Apparently, there was also a $9,500 ostrich vest involved here as well, though sadly there is not a picture of that anywhere.
Then there's ... this thing. From the House of Bijan.
Now, as you may know, I worked in fancypants retail for a long time. So, whenever I see an item of clothing, my first thought is still "Who is the customer for this?" I have been staring at this jacket for two days now, and so far, the best I can come up with is "Used car salesman?" "Uncle fond of the 'got your nose' game?" "The host of a 1970s dating game show?" "Sleazy dude going on a hot date to a fern bar?" Like, I cannot mentally imagine a scenario in which a human person wears this jacket and doesn't look like a total dillweed. Yes, I brought the word "dillweed" back, specifically for this jacket. It is possible that this is the "blue lizard" jacket mentioned in the invoice (because "lounge lizard?"), and that it cost $32,800. If that is the case, that is way more embarrassing than the ostrich jacket.
Then there's this one from Alan Couture, which is less bad, but still pretty awful.
I mean. I'm not mad at plaid sports coats. I think there are some men who can pull them off fantastically and look very sharp in them. Those men are not Paul Manafort.
There is only one excuse for this jacket, and that is "I bought it at Structure in 1994, back when I was playing Steve Sanders on television's 90210."
This jacket was apparently $14,000. Why?
I can't figure out how much this one cost, but it was probably really expensive for a boring-ass jacket I've seen like 12,000 of at Goodwill.
Then there's this freaking thing. From Alan Couture. An $18,500 python jacket with 3/4 sleeves, that is definitely 100% more ridiculous than the ostrich jacket.
My god, this man is a sucker. There is literally nothing you cannot sell him. The people working in that store probably earmarked the hideous shit they couldn't sell to anyone else specifically for Paul Manafort, who would buy anything. Because he is stupid and gullible, and probably every time he came in, the staff thought to themselves "LOLOLOLOL, let's see what we can sell him this time!"
If there is one thing I can tell you about Paul Manafort, it is that the shopgirls helping him hated his fucking guts. Now, you may be thinking "Hey, Robyn, that's sexist! How do you know they were shopgirls and not shopboys?" And sure! That is possible, but it is unlikely. First of all, a male salesperson would feel badly about selling a 69-year-old man a python print leather jacket with 3/4 length sleeves. No matter how awful that man is. I would also argue that it would be really difficult for a male salesperson to pull that off. My money is 100% on a hot shopgirl that Paul Manafort wanted to bone, who insinuated that this hideous jacket made him look very sexy, and who also hated his guts. I'm sorry, but it's just true.
The most important lesson we can all take from this is that money does not mean good taste. You can spend $18,000 on a jacket, sure. You can even try to write that ugly jacket off on your taxes as a business expense. But if it's an ugly jacket, it's still just an ugly jacket, no matter the cost. Oh, and also don't be a criminal. That is a good idea also.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse