These Inspiring Women Shower Us With Winter Power Dressing At The Presidential Inauguration
These three female powerhouses gave us the best standout winter coat inspiration during the 46th inaugural ceremony…
The presidential inauguration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, which took place on January 20 at Washington, D.C.’s U.S Capitol Building, was undoubtedly full of symbolism. And that included the messages the new Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and former First Lady Michelle Obama sent through their wardrobes. As well as wearing colourful hues, signaling a hopeful new start, the powerful women also chose to bring a diverse group of young American talents to the fore. By acting in unity, one of the new government’s main goals, they gave America's fashion industry a boost of confidence by showing support at a time when businesses are in need of it.
While Kamala Harris was making history as the first female, Black and South Asian Vice President to take the oath of office, she had good reasons to wear the colour purple. The shade, which is a literal mix of the political party colours, red and blue, is perfect for promoting solidarity, bipartisanship and unity. Purple, which was worn by other notable figures like former First Lady Hilary Clinton, is also meaningful for American women in politics as the suffragettes often wore the colour in the 1900s while campaigning for women's right to vote. In addition, purple honoured Shirley Chisholm, since the first Black woman to be elected to Congress chose to wear the hue for her 1972 presidential campaign.
Two Black designers, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson were behind Madam Vice President’s regal coloured dress and sharp-cut coat, which came with notched lapels, buttoned-lined cuffs and two-button closure. Rogers is a young (27-year-old) rising star from Louisiana. Known for his use of daring colours and dramatic silhouettes, he won the 2020 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year and has dressed the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna. Hudson, meanwhile is an LA-based creative from South Carolina, who can name Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae and yes, Beyoncé and Rihanna, as fans.
Along with black gloves and pumps, the former junior United States senator from California accessorised her vibrant ensemble, a big change from her usual neutrals, with her signature pearls. As well as a sign of solidarity with the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the first Greek-letter sorority founded by Black women at her alma mater Howard University, pearls are known for representing purity, perfection, good luck and prosperity. And with the dress underneath being so simple, the necklace by Puerto Rican Wilfredo Rosado, which featured South Sea pearls, small diamonds and an elliptical chain link, shone brilliantly in the sunshine.
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Dr Jill Biden
For her first appearance as First Lady of the United States, Dr Jill Biden, opted for yet another jewel tone, this time a bright and cheerful ocean-blue. Standing by her husband as he became the 46th president, the writing teacher at Northern Virginia Community College looked amazing in her turquoise wool tweed coat and dress. The ensemble worn by Biden, who is the only First Lady to keep her job as she goes about her East Wing duties, and the matching face mask are designed by Markarian. The label that was founded by Creative Director Alexandra O’Neill in 2017 has an A-list clientele including Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra and Kate Hudson.
The coordinating coat and dress set by the line made in New York City’s famed garment centre was hand-finished by O'Neill in her Manhattan studio, according to a company statement. While the coat featured velvet collar, pocket openings and cuffs, the dress came with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt. The outfit also stood out as it was embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals, which were spotted on the neckline of the dress. Biden accesorised it with matching gloves and handbag and nude pumps.
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For the swearing-in ceremony, Michelle Obama, who became a fashion reference while she was First Lady, did not disappoint. She selected a look from Sergio Hudson, the same designer who was partly behind Kamala Harris’s outfit. Obama, who tirelessly supported American designers while she was in the White House, is a repeat wearer of Hudson, and her stylish monochrome deep plum outfit is proof as to why.
As well as a sharp overcoat, the former FLOTUS arrived at the Capitol rocking a turtleneck and palazzo trousers by the young Hudson, who launched his label in the mid 90s. To cinch the look together, she added one of the designer’s signature oversized belts, which featured golden hardware. And finally, black leather gloves, mask and ultra shiny, bouncy curls, streaked with chocolate highlights, all helped top off her stellar look.
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