The American fashion industry gained increased confidence on the day of the inauguration when President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden attended the day’s event wearing looks by state designers.
Harris steps out in a purple dress and coat by Christopher John Rogers, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Winner of the 2019 CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund award, Rogers is one of the most vibrant young black designers working to date, dressing former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Rihanna. While Rogers is best known for his use of bold colors and dramatic silhouettes, Harris opted for a neater look, in line with his usual, more minimal sensibilities.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff attended a service at St’s Cathedral. Matthew the Apostle with Congressional leaders before the inauguration ceremony. Credit: Somodevilla / Getty Chip Image
US President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attended a service at St’s Cathedral Matthew the Apostle with Congressional leaders before the inauguration ceremony. Credit: Somodevilla / Getty Chip Image
President Biden and Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, both wore suits Ralph Lauren
, the son of a Bronx-born Jewish immigrant who has been the standard bearer of American luxury for more than 40 years.
Jill Biden, meanwhile, wore a blue wool coat with velvet cuffs, and a dress embellished with Swarovski crystals and pearls (and a matching face mask) designed by Colorado-born designer Alexandra O’Neill of new American label Markarian. “It is a tremendous honor to dress Dr. Biden today. I am so humbled to even be a small part of American history,” O’Neill said in an email to CNN Style.
Jill Biden on the American label Markarian. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo / AFP / Pool / Getty Images
Founded in 2017, the luxury brand, whose clients include Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra and Kate Hudson, work on orders from New York City’s historic Garment District.
Sketch of Jill Biden’s inauguration ensemble by Alexandra O’Neil of Markarian. Credit: Courtesy of the NYC Markarian
The fact that Bidens, as well as Harris and Emhof, chose American designers, may herald a return to the first American approach to White House clothing seen during the Obama administration.
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As First Lady (she left the White House for the last time this morning in a button-up Chanel jacket, and a Dolce & Gabbana dress), her predecessor, Michelle Obama, often used her platform as an opportunity to champion American talent, from independent designers including Jason Wu, Isabel Toledo, Thom Browne and Naeem Khan, to more accessible brands like J. Crew.
Barack and Michelle Obama for the inauguration of the 59th President Credit: Patrick Semansky / AP
Harris wasn’t the only high-profile attendee to choose purple: Michelle Obama and former First Lady Hillary Clinton also wore Sergio Hudson and Ralph Lauren looks in their respective hues.
Hillary Clinton also chose to wear a purple dress on the day of the inauguration. Credit: Rob Carr / Getty Images
Purple, a combination of Democratic blue and Republican red, has long been seen as a bipartisan color. It is also one of the official colors of the women’s suffrage movement, symbolizing loyalty to the cause.
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In her signature style, Lady Gaga caught the eye of the fashion show, singing the national anthem in a fitted navy cashmere jacket embellished with a large peace dove brooch and a thick red silk flop skirt.
Lady Gaga comes to sing the national anthem. Credit: Win McNamee / Getty Images
Sketch by Daniel Roseberry
The special ensemble is the work of Texas designer Daniel Roseberry for French home Schiaparelli, where he has served as artistic director since 2019.
In a statement sent to CNN Style, Roseberry said, “As an American living in Paris, this ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss dearly and to a performer whose art I have admired for so long.”
Jennifer Lopez appears at the all-white inauguration. Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Moments later, Jennifer Lopez, singing the medley of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” by Woody Guthrie, showcases the white, hem-to-toe dress, another hallmark of women’s suffrage color, worn by Harris to deliver her acceptance speech. vice president last November, and by Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she accepted the Democratic presidential nomination.
The color white was also especially worn by Shirley Chisholm in 1968, when she became the first black woman to be elected to Congress.