On January 20, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became the official president and vice president of the United States. Though the inauguration ceremony was smaller than past celebrations due to covid-19 restrictions, the attendees of the event still managed to make fashion headlines.
President Joe Biden and Doctor Jill Biden
Starting off with the ultimate VIP of the event, President Biden wore a Ralph Lauren navy blue suit. Paired with a black overcoat and a light blue tie, the new president’s outfit was full of important messages. The blue from his suit is nod to the democratic party and, given that his tie is a lighter hue of blue, he also matches his wife’s outfit. In addition, by wearing the Ralph Lauren brand, the quintessential American fashion house that is an American staple since the late 1960s, Biden highlights American talent and business.
The same can be said for Doctor Jill Biden’s custom blue outfit from Markarian. The brand, created by Alexandra O’Neill, was founded in 2017 and has quickly become a household name between celebrities like Kerry Washington, la and Lizzo. Doctor Biden’s outfit consisted of a matching dress, coat and face mask. According to the designer, the color blue was selected to represent “trust, confidence and stability.”
Vice President Harris and Doug Emhoff
Making history as the first Black and south Asian woman to hold the position of vice president of the United States, Harris knew all eyes were going to be on her during the inauguration. To fit this occasion, Harris chose to wear Christopher John Rogers, a young, Black, queer American fashion designer. Since founding his label in 2016 in New York, Rogers has made a mark with his bold, colorful designs. Wearing Roger’s designs, therefore, goes beyond their beauty and makes a statement of inclusivity and acceptance. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, the country’s first-ever Second Gentleman, continued the tradition of using American designers with a Ralph Lauren suit and an American flag pin on his lapel.
— Averi Harper (@AveriHarper) January 20, 2021
Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton
For the former first-ladies attending this inauguration, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, color and style were also a must. While Clinton continued the trend of wearing Ralph Lauren in a ruffled bright purple pantsuit, she also chose to wear purple as a message of unity and optimism.
Michelle Obama, on the other hand, sported a matching coat, pants, sweater, and belt by Sergio Hudson. Hudson, a Black American designer founded his brand in 2014 and has dressed stars like Tracee Ellis Ross and Beyonce. Though Mrs. Obama is already considered a style icon for many, her look in this inauguration was compared to the one she wore four years ago when Trump took office. Though the colors between both outfits are similar, the overall feeling is completely different. In 2017, her look was timid with a maroon dress and a low bun. Now, in this Sergio Hudson ensemble and luxurious bouncy hair, the former first-lady looks more confident and herself.
Michelle is the best dressed at that Capitol. Period. Hair is laid. Pea coat is giving. The color is bold. We love to see it.
— Kristin✨🦋 (@KristinAlex_) January 20, 2021
Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez
As the ceremony’s performers, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez did their best to balance their own personal style with the importance of the event. For Gaga, who’s known for her most extravagant looks, she went with a Schiaparelli gown. Given that Daniel Roseberry is the brand’s creative director since 2019, Gaga also maintained the tradition of using solely American designers for the event. The gown was a fitted long-sleeve navy jacket with a voluminous washed red silk faille on the bottom. Not only are these symbolic colors to the US and its political parties, but the dress also featured a golden brooch of a peace dove carrying an olive branch – another powerful message of peace and unity.
For Lopez, however, her look seemed to underwhelm the audience as she followed Gaga’s custom gown. JLo wore a white head-to-toe Chanel look featuring a ruffled silk blouse, a floor-length tweed coat, and sequined wide-leg pants. Though white represents peace and prosperity, her look seemed a bit tame for the inauguration. And, though this might have been an oversight by her stylist, JLo is one of the few attendees to not choose an American designer or brand to wear which is an important aspect of inaugural fashion.