The looks that marked the United States' 46th Presidential Inauguration
On the afternoon of January 20, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris became the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president.
Representing the start of new beginnings for the U.S. political landscape, the inauguration ceremony also marked a moment of fresh new fashion after four years of less than memorable political looks.
From the new president and vice president to Inauguration Day performers, the small, select crowd of attendees sported a range of designer pieces accessorized with coordinated face masks.
President Joe Biden
46th President of the United States Joe Biden captured the moment's grandeur with a custom look by one of America's most beloved designers, Ralph Lauren.
Starting with a single-breasted wool overcoat adorned with an American flag pin, the look also included a navy blue, slim-fitting suit, a white cotton shirt, and a periwinkle tie, all Ralph Lauren. The understated but clean, well-fitting look stood in stark contrast to the suits of the previous president Donald Trump, who was routinely lambasted in the media throughout his presidency for his ill-fitting suits and unflattering color choices.
President Biden's grandchildren, Naomi, Natalie, Finnegan, and Maisy Biden, and his daughter, Ashley Biden, all appeared in monochromatic outfits in white, bubblegum pink, biscuit brown, black and navy, respectively.
Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris, who wore an all-white Carolina Herrera suit and nude Manolo Blahnik pumps when she gave her victory speech back in November, celebrated her inauguration in a vibrant purple coat and dress, using a color often used to symbolize unity as a mix of the political party colors red and blue. Her look, accessorized by another pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps and a string of Wilfredo Rosado pearls, was designed by Black American designer, Christopher John Rogers.
The outfit doesn't mark the first political foray for the Brooklyn-based designer, who won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2019. Previously, he was tapped to design a look for Michelle Obama to be worn during her 'Becoming' book tour.
The night before the inauguration, Harris celebrated another Black designer when she wore a camel coat designed by Pyer Moss's Kerby Jean-Raymond over an all-black ensemble.
On the day of the inauguration, Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, wore Ralph Lauren.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden
First Lady Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed overcoat and dress with a matching silk face mask, all custom pieces from Markarian, the luxury womenswear label founded by Alexandra O’Neill in 2017.
The coat featured a dark blue velvet collar and cuffs, while accents on the dress included a chiffon bodice, scalloped skirt, and hand-embellished Swarovski pearls and crystals along the neckline (Swarovski crystals were also scattered across the coat and dress, giving the new First Lady a subtle overall sparkle).
According to the brand, "the color blue was chosen for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability."
Lady Gaga kicked off the day's performances when she sang the National Anthem. The singer beamed as she performed in custom Schiaparelli haute couture, designed
by Daniel Roseberry.
The look included a fitted jacket in navy cashmere and skirt in washed red silk faille topped off with a large gilded dove of peace brooch, an accessory that matched her golden microphone.
“As an American living in Paris, this ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss so dearly and to a performer whose artistry I have so long admired," Roseberry said of the look.
"Maison Schiaparelli is honored to have this chance to dress the iconic Lady Gaga on this historic Inauguration Day. God Bless Lady Gaga and God Bless America.”
The day prior to the inauguration, Gaga wore an all-white look featuring custom white satin platform lace-up booties by the singer's longtime favorite, Giuseppe Zanotti, as well as a custom cape coat from Givenchy.
22-year-old poet laureate Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem marked yet another historic moment for the day, seeing her become the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history with the performance of her poem, 'The Hill We Climb'.
For the occasion, Gorman, who became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, wore a bright yellow Prada coat, topped off with a candy apple red, oversized headband, also by Prada.
For her accessories, Gorman wore a pair of Nikos Koulis gold hoop earrings and a birdcage ring by Of Rare Origin—a nod to Maya Angelou, who spoke at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, and her poem 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'. Both pieces of jewelry were gifts from Oprah Winfrey, who also gifted a coat and gloves to Angelou for her Inauguration Day moment.
For her performance of 'This Land Is Your Land', Jennifer Lopez, the winner of the CFDA's Fashion Icon award in 2019, wore head-to-toe Chanel in all-white. The look included an ecru and white tweed coat from the brand's Fall-Winter 2020/21 ready-to-wear collection; white sequin wide-leg pants and a white silk blouse from the brand's Fall-Winter 2019/20 ready-to-wear collection; as well as earrings, bracelets and belts.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama won over the press and the Twitterverse with her inauguration outfit, which marked yet another monochrome ensemble at the event. A coat, turtleneck and trousers all in a glowing plum tone, her look was designed by Los Angeles-based designer Sergio Hudson. The look was accessorized with a waist-cinching gold belt, also designed by Hudson, as well as a silk face mask by Christy Rilling and shoes by Stuart Weitzman. She attended the ceremony with her husband, former President Barack Obama.
Vice President Kamala Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, a senior design student at Parsons, showed her fashion education with her designer look. For the event, she wore a Miu Miu tartan coat adorned with crystals and an oversized white collar over a burgundy dress from New York designer Batsheva.
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