On Thursday 21 January, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and the inauguration provided some unexpected but major fashion moments.
Presidential fashion may initially conjure images of drab, conservative outfits but the women attending President Biden’s inauguration undeniably proved otherwise. Colourful outfits reflected the hope for Biden’s presidential term and there was an appropriate emphasis on American designers. The outfits all remained suitable for the event’s dress code but attendees added flair with styling, silhouettes, vibrant colours and embellishments.
The former First Lady was one of the first people to steal people’s attention at the inauguration. Michelle Obama was wearing a Sergio Hudson burgundy coat and pantsuit set with an oversized gold buckle. Sergio Hudson is a relatively unknown luxury label but is proudly designed and produced in Los Angeles, California. The monochromatic ensemble set the precedence for jewel toned sets as well as the heavy use of American designers.
Amanda Gorman was the first to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and is the youngest poet to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration. As she read her poem ‘The Hill We Climb,’ she wore a bright yellow Prada coat with a red silk headpiece. The vibrant colour combination was fitting for her message of hope, unity and a brighter future.
Lady Gaga, an obvious fashion icon, was present to sing the national anthem at the inauguration. She wore a Schiaparelli ensemble consisting of a navy coat, dramatic red skirt and an oversized, golden dove brooch. Although Schiaparelli is an Italian brand, the designer Daniel Roseberry is an American native. He described the look as “a love letter to the country” as he uses the Americana colours of navy and red, as well as adding the dove to symbolise peace.
Although the focus of Kamala Harris should be on her Vice-President duties in future, it is undeniable that Kamala Harris has had some serious fashion moments. On Inauguration Day, Harris wore a purple coat and dress by New York-based designer, Christopher John Rogers.
Rogers is known for his youthful and bold designs (seen on the likes of Rihanna) but proved his flexibility in dressing Vice-President Harris in a vibrant yet appropriate outfit. Not only was the colour alluding to both royalty and the suffragette movement, but purple is the mix of red and blue–a popular colour for the inauguration as it symbolises unity.
The breakout star of the inauguration was Ella Emhoff, Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter. Ella wore a plaid Miu Miu coat embellished with amber stones and an oversized Peter Pan collar poking out, causing frenzy on social media.
would watch a 30-minute prime-time special about Ella Emhoff's fabulous coat pic.twitter.com/hNnwQbdAtw
— Clinton Forry (@wd45) January 20, 2021
Here for Ella Emhoff content for the rest of the Harris Vice-Presidency https://t.co/VTdtexHuLN
— Panlasang Pinay (@thysz) January 20, 2021
Honourable mention to the outfit Ella wore the day before the inauguration, which was a Thom Browne skirt suit– which is another nod to American designers giving fresh air to professional, presidential fashion.
Ashley Biden, daughter of President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, wore a Ralph Lauren tuxedo for photos in front of the Lincoln Memorial with her family. The American-designed suit was well-tailored, and Ashley chose to leave her collar and bowtie undone, which made for a more modern visual.
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