By Ava Lee ’21
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration went down in history forever; however, one fascinating, yet less discussed, aspect of the day was the fashion choices.
To start off, we have what the internet described as the “iconic” trio: Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, and current first lady Dr. Jill Biden. These three powerful women looked ever classy in modest but modern, jewel-toned outfits.
Kamala Harris appeared on Inauguration Day in an elegant, midi length, purple pea-coat. The look may seem simple, but there is actually a lot of meaning behind her monotone purple look. To start off, historically, presidents, first ladies, and vice presidents wore outfits made by white American designers. This year, our Vice Presidents’ look was made by designer Christopher John Rodgers. Rodgers is a black designer and his work usually revolves around the avant garde silhouettes and bold colors. Since arriving in Washington, Harris made a clear effort to support more black designers. Additionally, the color purple is often seen on Harris because of its representation in the women’s suffrage movement. Overall, the look was classy and outside of the box.
Next up, former first lady, Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama continued the monotone, jewel tones with a floor length magenta coat, high-waisted magenta pants, and a deeper magenta turtleneck sweater. In my opinion, this look perfectly combined some trendy styles with the classy tone Michelle always follows. Michelle even matched her black leather gloves to her black mask. Clearly, purple tones were a theme of the evening, and aside from the women’s suffrage movement, the color also represents bipartisanship. Michelle’s outfit received a record amount of attention as a simply iconic look, attracting more attention to the inauguration events.
First lady Dr. Jill Biden entered with her husband, President Joe Biden, in a fresh, blue, monotone outfit. The energy in Dr. Biden’s dress and coat brings a sense of hope and brightness to the overall message many people wanted to put out that day. Dr. Biden’s outfit actually caused some upset because of the designer she decided upon. Dr. Biden chose Markarian, a small New York fashion company, to dress her for the day. Alexandra O’Neill, founder of Markarian, designed Biden’s intricate tweed dress and knee length matching coat. Similar to how Kamala brought attention to black designers, it was important that Jill brought attention to female designers in a male dominated industry. Her look was accessorized by traditional pearls and matching blue gloves and mask.
In addition to her daytime attire, Dr. Biden attended the nighttime events in, again, a matching coat and dress. This matching white coat and dress had all of the U.S state and territory flowers embroidered on it, including the flower of her home state closest to her heart. The intention of the dress was to demonstrate the unity First Lady Biden plans on bringing to the country. The outfit was designed by Gabriella Hearst, another female designer.
Dr. Jill Biden was not the only member of the Biden family to show up more fashionable than ever. Natalie Biden, grandchild to Joe and Jill Biden, caught eyes from many in a pink dress, scarf, coat, and mask. Of course, she followed along with the monotone theme of the day, but her outfit was quickly spread among Gen Z as a jaw-dropping, on-trend look. The look would not be complete without her brown, tall boots. As people watched her stand out among seas of seemingly boring outfits, Twitter exploded with people “stanning” the sixteen year old as a new fashion icon.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ step-daughter, Ella Emhoff, attended the events in a sophisticated brown-toned, plaid jacket. She stood out in the jacket due to its beautiful shoulder detailing and large white collar. Inside, Ella showed off a beautiful burgundy, floor-length dress. Meena Harris, Kamala’s niece, wore a mostly green outfit. This look included an emerald dress, a green jacket lined with fur, and a patriotic mask. Meena added some sparkle to the look with heeled, sliver, glitter boots. Both young women showed their personal style through classy and stylish outfits, and they even ended up matching!
Many knew from the start the night would be remembered forever, but between Michelle Obama’s high-fashion statement and Bernie Sanders’ infamous mittens, the fashion displayed throughout the night showed the new energy that is hoped to be achieved soon.