Inauguration Day: What Harris, Obama, Biden's Outfits Stood For

Deeksha Sharma
·4-min read

Wednesday, 20 January, was a joyous day for many Americans. As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took oath as the 46th President and Vice President in the 2021 Inauguration ceremony respectively, many statements were made. But what stood out was how every fashion piece was carved of values (designed by people of colour) and not the labels one would popularly associate them with.

Here's a look at who wore what and why it was significant for this inauguration ceremony:

Joe and Jill Biden

The 46th President of the USA, Joseph R Biden, arrived in a Ralph Lauren suit. The designer born in The Bronx, New York, gave Americans the style they swear by today.

The First Lady, Dr Jill Biden, went all out with what she chose for the occasion. Dressed in the Democratic party's blue tweed jacket and dress, her outfit was created by Markarian, a label founded just three years ago by a young American designer named Alexandra O’Neill. Monotones, certainly, were the theme of the day.

The First Lady choosing a new all-American label was a statement in itself, marking a trust in new designers.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff

While Dr Jill Biden chose purple for 19 January when she arrived at Capitol Hill ahead of the inauguration, Kamala Harris went with the colour for the ceremony. Her ensemble was designed by two Black independent designers, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. The suffragettes wore purple in the 1900s while campaigning for women's right to vote and purple is also a symbol of unity and bipartisanship.

According to a letter from the National Woman's Party of the United States released in 1913, "purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause," and represents "the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity."

Doug Emhoff, America's "first second gentleman", chose everything simple and sober to compliment Vice President Kamala Harris.

Michelle Obama

How can one not discuss Michelle Obama when discussing fashion in politics? The former First Lady arrived in shades of burgundy and plum, just commanding respect with that long jacket and high-waisted bootcut pants. Her outfit was also designed by black designer Sergio Hudson.

Internet couldn't handle what Michelle Obama did with her ensemble.

Sergio Hudson made his debut on New York Fashion week in February 2020, and has designed looks for Obama's Becoming tour. His clients include celebrities like Rihanna and Beyonce.

Also Read: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez Warm Hearts at Biden-Harris Inauguration

Melania Trump

As opposed to her husband who loves a good ketchup shade tie, Melania Trump is all about making a statement with her pieces. Many American fashion designers, including Christian Siriano, Zac Posen, and Marc Jacobs, refused to dress Melania Trump. They said that their beliefs didn't align with that of the Trumps' political views.

Melania Trump wore an all-black outfit made of pieces designed by her favourite brands Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, both European designers, while exiting the White House.

When Melania landed in South Florida she changed into a Gucci dress that's available to purchase for $3,700.

Lady Gaga

She stepped sang the American National Anthem at the ceremony and all eyes were set on her.

Lady Gaga was seen dressed in all things Lady Gaga.

Her custom black-and-red Schiaparelli gown stole the show but not as much as the large golden dove brooch she wore. It was theatrical and grabbed eyeballs that no other outfit did at the inauguration ceremony - but that's what Lady Gaga's all about!

Jennifer Lopez, dressed in an all white Chanel ensemble, sang a beautiful medley of "This Land is Your Land" and "America the Beautiful," in the middle of which she spoke in Spanish ("One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice of all") and her iconic hit, "Let's Get Loud."

Also Read: I Will Give My All: US Prez Biden at ‘Celebrating America’ Event

These ensembles were sure a reminder of what the Americans want from their new President.

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