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Pearls, Purple And Plenty Of Overcoats: Fashion At The Biden-Harris Inauguration Ceremony Was Deeply Meaningful

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The US capitol building in Washington DC was swarming with celebrities, democrats and commoners yesterday who witnessed the swearing-in of 46th President of the United States and Vice President Kamala Harris. This particular inauguration day was momentous since Biden-Harris’s win has nothing been short of historic. Why? Biden got the largest number of votes—74 million—to have ever won by any American president. Plus, this marks the first time in the country’s history that a woman, a black woman, and a woman of South Asian roots has been elected as the vice president.

The sartorial moments also fell in line with the historic substance of the occasion and the style was symbolic and significant. Women wore pearls to honour Kamala Harris who is seldom seen without a string of some around her neck. Many important attendees like former first lady Michelle Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chose shades of purple for the inauguration day; in fact, Madam Vice President too was clad in purple because the colour holds a very special meaning to the country’s history. Let us elaborate. Here is what everyone wore at the Inauguration Ceremony of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the reason why purple, pearls and overcoats stole the show.


Kamala Harris’ Purple Dress

Staying true to her signature pearls and flag pin, Kamala Harris wore both, this time pearl necklace by Puerto Rican jeweller Wilfredo Rosado around her neck and David Yurman lapel pin. Talking about her outfit, she was dressed in all-purple with a knee-length dress topped with a purple overcoat designed by two black designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Her choice of outfit wasn’t a fashion fluke but a pick that was very well thought out. It was to honour her politics inspiration and role model Shirley Chisholm who happens to be the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. It was also a nod to the suffragists since purple is one of the colours on the US Suffrage flag. Plus, a mix of red and blue, purple celebrates the bipartisanship between two political parties, Democrats and the Republicans.

Michelle Obama’s Power Dressing

Michelle Obama was also dressed in similar shades of purple—plum and burgundy. She wore a turtleneck sweater, wide legged trousers with a statement gold buckle belt and teamed it with a burgundy overcoat. Hillary Clinton wore a Ralph Lauren grape coloured suit with purple gloves and black mask. She revealed the purpose behind her pick. She said, “I thought as you combine red and blue, the way that we are divided politically in our country, you get purple. I wanted just to send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.”

Jill Biden’s Significant Dress Choice

First Lady Dr Jill Biden wore a blue ensemble by an emerging label Markarian and although it was not purple, the choice of colour had a very special meaning to it as well. According to the designer Alexandra O’Neill “The colour blue was chosen for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability.” She wore purple the previous night however, for the vigil at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The cool temps of Washington DC on the other hand provided ample room for winter fashion and it was the reason we saw tailored overcoats, structured jackets and fine blazers of every colour, fabric and lengths at the Inauguration.


Also Read: From Kamala Harris To Mahua Moitra: How Women Politicians Use Power Dressing To Make A Statement

The stars in attendance, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga who served musical performances in the ceremony arrived in symbolic outfits as well. While Gaga who sang the National Anthem for inauguration wore a Schiaparelli gown that featured a red skirt and a navy cashmere jacket which many said was inspired by The Hunger Games. According to the brand’s creative director Daniel Roseberry who is now based in Paris, the dramatic gown was “a love letter to the country I miss so dearly.” Her huge dove brooch also was to send across a message of peace. Meanwhile, JLo who performed a patriotic medley arrived head-to-toe in suffragette white. She wore silk blouse with ruffled details, sequinned pants and a tweed overcoat, all from Chanel. For the accessories, she wore earnings, bracelets and a waist belt encrusted with diamonds and, you guessed it—pearls!


Also, another unmissable fashion (or anti-fashion) moment from the Inauguration Day was Bernie Sanders’ woolly mittens which sparked a meme fest online. God bless America!

PS., I think they’re cute!

Also Read: Women Are Wearing Pearls To Showing Solidarity With Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris On Inauguration Day. What A Power Move


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