The peaceful transfer of power by the United States on Wednesday included a spotlight on fashion, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in at the U.S. Capitol, both sports models from America.
For the historic moment, Harris, the first woman, the first Black person and the first Asian American to hold the office, picked Black designers. She was wearing a mid-length purple coat and a matching dress by New York-based designer Christopher John Rogers at the Capitol. She is scheduled to wear an outfit from Los Angeles-based Sergio Hudson on Wednesday night.
“Thank you, Madam Vice President. We are so honored and humbled to have played a small part in this historic moment,” Rogers posted on Instagram.
Harris was joined by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Michelle Obama in wearing shades of purple – a color of the American women’s suffrage movement, but also a theme of the ceremony that many observers interpreted as a symbol of unity between the country’s Democratic “blue states” and Republican “red states.”
First Lady Jill Biden wore an ocean blue dress and overcoat by Alexandra O’Neill from the New York label Markarian, embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The color was selected “to signify confidence, trust, and stability,” said the designer. Her costume featured a matching silk facial mask to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doug Emhoff, the husband of both Biden and Harris, wore suits by iconic American designer Ralph Lauren, who often wears U.S. outfits. Teams from the Olympics. “Now is the time to come together with love and understanding,” Lauren wrote on Twitter.
Harris completed her look with her trademark pearls at Howard University in Washington, D.C., which analysts say is a reference to sisterhood and her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha – the first black Greek-letter sorority.
On Wednesday, the sorority and a Facebook group of over 450,000 members urged women to wear pearls to commemorate the first female U.S. Vice-Chairman.
In a dress by the French label Schiaparelli, led by Texan Daniel Roseberry, highlighted by a giant gold dove brooch, Lady Gaga performed the national anthem.
“A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other,” the entertainer wrote on Twitter.
A fashion statement of another type was made by Senator Bernie Sanders, in a casual coat with huge, striped wooly mittens.