President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were officially sworn in on inauguration day on Wednesday, Jan. 20, with performances by Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks and Jennifer Lopez. The ceremony was held outside in Washington, D.C., which resulted in plenty of heavy coats, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone in attendance wore masks.
Political fashion is often used to make a statement, and Wednesday was no exception. Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and former First Lady Michelle Obama all used their ensembles to highlight emerging American designers, while President Biden chose American fashion icon Ralph Lauren. Gaga, Lopez and poet laureate Amanda Gorman also had messages to share with their own looks — keep scrolling to see the major fashion moments from the day.
Vice President Kamala Harris arrived for her history-making day in a simple purple dress and coat by Christopher John Rogers, who hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rogers is an up-and-coming Black designer who won the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award and has dressed celebrities including Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Rihanna. Harris also wore her signature pearls on Wednesday, choosing a design by Wilfredo Rosado, who was born in New Jersey to Puerto Rican parents.
Purple is one of the colors of the women's suffrage movement, which Harris previously represented when she gave her November acceptance speech in a white suit. As a combination of red and blue, purple is considered the color of bipartisanship.prevnext
Dr. Jill Biden
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden wore blue, the color of the Democratic party, donning a bespoke tweed dress embellished with pearls and a Swarovski crystal and velvet-accented coat by Alexandra O'Neill of the emerging New York label Markarian, whose clients have included Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra, Kerry Washington and more. Biden completed her look with a matching mask, clutch and leather gloves.
"It is an incredible honor to dress Dr. Biden today. I am so humbled to be even a small part of American history," O'Neill said in an email to CNN Style.prevnext
Former First Lady Michelle Obama also went with a monochromatic look, opting for a burgundy ensemble consisting of pants, a turtleneck sweater, a long coat and a statement belt by Black designer Sergio Hudson. Throughout her time in the White House and beyond, Obama has become known for supporting emerging American designers, helping several go on to become major names in the fashion industry.prevnext
For her performance of the National Anthem, Lady Gaga brought the sartorial drama in a fitted navy cashmere jacket accented with a large gold dove of peace brooch and voluminous red silk faille skirt. The look was created by Texas-born designer Daniel Roseberry for the French fashion house Schiaparelli. "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 shared.prevnext
Jennifer Lopez's all-white ensemble, a nod to the women's suffrage movement, was anything but boring thanks to its myriad of textures. The look included a ruffled top, ecru and tweed overcoat and sequined pants, all by Chanel, and Lopez accessorized with crystal and pearl earrings and bracelets and Jimmy Choo heels. The star was at the ceremony to sing "This Land Is Your Land" and "America the Beautiful," and her rendition also included a brief moment of her own hit "Let's Get Loud."prevnext
Poet laureate Amanda Gorman, who at age 22 became the nation's youngest inaugural poet, took the podium to deliver her original work "The Hill We Climb" in a Miuccia Prada ensemble topped with a yellow coat and red headband. Her gold Nikos Koulis hoop earrings and Of Rare Origin ring came from a special source — Oprah Winfrey, who had previously sent inaugural poet Maya Angelou a Chanel coat and a pair of gloves to wear when Angelou spoke at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
"[Fashion] has so much meaning to me, and it’s my way to lean into the history that came before me and all the people supporting me," Gorman told Vogue, adding that she admires Prada for her intellect and long-standing feminist leanings.prevnext
Harris's stepdaughter earned rave reviews online for her Batsheva scarlet prairie dress and jewel-embellished plaid Miu Miu coat, which had an oversized embellished white collar peeking out of the lapel. The 22-year-old Parson's School of Design student finished her look with a black headband, black leather boots, black leather gloves, a black mask and a black bag.prevnext
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Harris' niece Meena Harris, an attorney, also caught Twitter's eye with her all-green outfit, a ruffled Ulla Johnson top and matching skirt, Coach shearling jacket and sparkling silver heeled boots. Harris' sister and Meena's mom, Maya Harris, chose a deep purple suit with a matching jacket and white ruffled collar.prevnext
Naomi, Finnegan and Natalie Biden
Biden's granddaughters also got the monochromatic memo — Naomi Biden wore a white turtleneck dress and coat along with gloves and a mask, her sister Finnegan chose a camel version of a the same look, hers by Brandon Maxwell, and their cousin Natalie opted for a custom pink Lafayette 148 New York wrap coat with her pink mask and gloves.prev