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Jewel Tones and The Beginnings of a New America

The hustle and bustle of Inauguration season is felt by all of American society every four years. With even more Americans sitting at home watching on their televisions than usual, all eyes were on the newcomers and, more specifically their attire. With bright colors, a classic monochromatic theme, and the hopeful dawn of a new America, the inauguration of 2021 was definitely one for the books. Now let’s break down the most iconic outfits!


Jill Biden

Dr. Jill Biden! The First Lady wore a sparkly bright blue dress and overcoat designed by Alexandria O’Neil from the New York City label Markarian. According to a press release from the designer, the blue color scheme was chosen to “signify trust, confidence and stability.” The concept is fitting for the tumultuous times that the nation is undergoing currently. Dr. Biden’s blue velvet collar on her overcoat, Swarovski crystals embellishing the neckline of her dress, and light blue color seemed comforting for the dark undertone of the divided country in which the new administration was handed.


Vice President Kamala Harris

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Vice President Harris stepped out in a stunning bright purple jacket and dress that was not just eye-catching, but undeniably powerful and classy. This dress was designed by two black designers, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Kamala’s choice in designers is being described as “a new wave”, and as an attempt in aligning the new administration’s goal towards diversity with the fashion community’s attempt to eliminate racism in designers’ representation. This beautiful statement was accompanied by the classic pearls around our first female VP’s neck, designed by Wilfredo Rosado. This is the first of the purple theme seen throughout the inauguration, a theme believed to signify a new administration of unity between democrats and republicans. Beyond the symbolism, however, it’s safe to say this dress would’ve reached its full potential had it been tailored.


Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama was the talk of the night in her stunning plum ensemble. This former first lady also supported this new wave movement with her outfit again being designed by Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Carl Ray, Obama's longtime makeup artist reported to The Cut that he wanted to create "a statement look that honored and celebrated the occasion," especially because it would be "a huge moment for women." In doing this, Ray used a variety of Black-owned cosmetic brands in preparing the stunning Michelle Obama for her powerful and elegant look. I have absolutely no complaints with this outfit. The smoky eye, plum color, and gold detailing perfectly complemented the beautiful former first lady. Further contributing to the purple color family theme, Obama’s outfit was just as meaningful as it was jaw-dropping.


Hillary Clinton 

This purple family theme was continued with former first lady, Hillary Clinton. Clinton arrived wearing a vibrant purple ensemble, including a long coat over a purple blouse, matching pants, with a coordinating scarf and pointed boots. This pantsuit look is a classic for Clinton and the purple theme is something she committed to even in the 2017 inauguration. Designed by the all-too-known, Ralph Lauren, this look was not one of Clinton’s best. The scarf in combination with the oversized coat more so hid our former First Lady, and she was overburdened with fabric. 


Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga entered the inauguration ceremony dazzling in a Schiaparelli Haute Couture dress designed by Daniel Roseberry and Cornelia James leather gloves. The dress was an ensemble of a navy fitted jacket and a red dramatic skirt. She left the nation and the rest of the world encaptivated with a gold dove of peace brooch on her chest- a symbol she later clarified on Twitter to represent the hope to “make peace with each other.” Again encouraging the concept of unity, Gaga did not disappoint, making sure to do so in her own way.


Amanda Gorman

[bf_image id="f4jnqxs9366pk9nw786mns"] Not only did Amanda Gorman take America by storm with her intelligence and unforgettable poetry, but her fashion at the Inauguration ceremony has deemed her as an icon, landing her a contract with IMG models. Dressed by Prada in a vibrant yellow down coat and red headband by Prada,  The Guardian reports a 1,328 percent increase in searches for “yellow coat”, while her red satin headband (also Prada) quickly sold out. This color combination complements Gorman beautifully, while also fitting in with the bright monochromatic theme.


Ella Emhoff

The Vice President Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, also a Parsons School of Design student, wore a Miu Miu plaid coat that was encrusted with yellow crystals on the shoulders. The coat included a white pilgrim collar and was worn over a burgundy dress by Batsheva, a New York designer. The overall outfit was complimentary to Ella’s nontraditional style as seen per her Instagram, and was perfectly fitted to accentuate her shoulders as well as her waist. This unique take on Inauguration fashion brings excitement into the fashion looks Emhoff may bring back from Brooklyn to D.C.


Bernie Sanders

Last but certainly not least, we have the unforgettable Vermont senator. It is no secret that Senator Sanders stole the show in his taupe parka from a Vermont-based snowboarding company and chunky, hand-knit mittens designed from recycled wool from a local elementary school teacher. Bundled up on his lawn chair with a simple blue surgical mask, Sanders is giving us all major grandpa vibes, and I for one am here for it! Perhaps the most outstanding part of this whole meme is the $45 sweater the senator is selling in which all proceeds are directed towards the Meals on Wheels program in Vermont. This iconic moment summed up what hopes the senator has for this nation and his people.


Undoubtedly, this entire event was packed with symbols of hopes for a new beginning that America most definitely needs. With the political and social instability that America is facing right now, this event provided a joyous occasion for the Americans to celebrate and a bright look towards the future.



Afrah Rehman

DePaul '24

Hi! My name is Afrah and I'm a freshman majoring in Health Sciences at DePaul! I love reading, baking, and trying new things and I'm so excited to share it with you all!
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