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History is proof that a single outfit can make a political statement far more profound than a long speech. A subtle form of showing your alliance and beliefs, the symbiotic relationship between fashion and politics is most relevant when it comes to the US presidential journey. As Joe Biden takes oath as the 46th President of the United States of America, we take a closer look at the outfits, the designers and their symbolic meanings that made an appearance at the US presidential inauguration ceremony.

Dr Jill Biden

Dr Jill Biden in Markarian
Image: Markarian NYC Instagram

First on the agenda is the new FLOTUS, Dr Jill Biden who wore a matching coat and dress in teal by NY-based label, Markarian. A niche label started by Alexandra O’Neill in 2017, it is known for red carpet dresses and celebrity sightings. Dr Biden’s decision to put this little known label on the world fashion marks shows hints of her predecessor Michelle Obama, known to champion emerging labels. The sparkling tweed outfit with feather trims and sequin is said to stand for trust and loyalty, an image that resonates with her husband and his presidential campaign.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris in Christopher John Rogers
Image: Christopher John Rogers Instagram

Second in line is the striking purple number worn by Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris. Harris paid homage to last year’s Black Lives Matter movement by choosing two young Black designers, wearing clothes by Christopher John Rogers and shoes by Sergio Hudson. Touted as the rising star of American fashion, Rogers is known for his monochromatic structured ensembles which have won him many accolades.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in Sergio Hudson
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

LA-based Sergio Hudson had two moments in the spotlight as former first lady Michelle Obama stepped out in a stellar plum and burgundy ensemble. A big supporter of black and upcoming designers, her look comprised of a turtleneck sweater, bootcut pants and a structured long coat. A powerful look with a powerful intent, her look definitely made plenty of heads turn.

Hilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton in Ralph Lauren
Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Did everyone get the memo that purple (or hues of it) were the call of the day? Another former First Lady made her appearance in a purple power suit with a matching scarf under a deep maroon coat. Designed by all-time favourite, American designer Ralph Lauren, the colour of choice amongst the ladies is said to represent bravery and loyalty and is believed to be a nod to the values of the new administration.-

Other noteworthy looks include, the yellow Prada toile coat and red satin headband worn by 22 year old Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. The colour is said to be a tribute to FLOTUS Dr Jill Biden who personally chose Gorman to recite at the inauguration.

Amanda Gorman in Prada
Image: Prada Instagram

Lady Gaga who sang the National Anthem came dressed up in a Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown that was constantly compared to Hunger Games outfits.

Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli Haute Couture
Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Mimicking Kamala Harris’ earlier nod to the Suffragette movement, Jennifer Lopez made an appearance in head-to-toe Chanel as she belted out ‘Let’s Get Loud’ at the ceremony.

Jennifer Lopez in Chanel
Image: Jennifer Lopez Instagram

From upcoming American designers to established ones, fashion’s statement at the inauguration ceremony was definitely a memorable one.

Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and shows with more style than script, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.