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Jill Biden and Kamala Harris support American designers in colorful inauguration looks

Erin Donnelly
·2 min read
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New first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had two things in common with their outfits for Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony: bold color, and American roots.

On Wednesday morning, the pair emerged with their respective spouses — President Joe Biden and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff — for a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. ahead of the inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

Kamala Harris and Jill Biden both wore bold ensembles by American designers for the inauguration. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Kamala Harris and Jill Biden both wore bold ensembles by American designers for the inauguration. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While her husband opted for a suit by Ralph Lauren — the same designer behind outgoing FLOTUS Melania Trump’s 2017 sky-blue ensemble — the first lady made a splash in an ocean blue wool tweed coat and dress set custom-made for her by Markarian, the New York City-based label founded by designer Alexandra O’Neill. Paired, in light of the pandemic, with a matching silk face mask, the outfit is hand-embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals in a subtle floral pattern. While her coat also has a dark blue velvet collar, her tapered dress features a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt.

According to a press release from Markarian, the vibrant ocean blue hue is intended to “signify trust, confidence and stability.” She wore matching gloves and nude heels.

The new first lady wore an ocean blue dress and coat set by Markarian. (Photo: JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The new first lady wore an ocean blue dress and coat set by Markarian. (Photo: JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Accompanied by Emhoff, also wearing a Ralph Lauren suit, the first female vice president chose to honor a Black designer, Christopher John Rogers, for the inauguration ceremony. Harris swapped her pantsuits and Converse sneakers for a brilliant purple dress and coat by Rogers, pairing it with a black face mask.

A vision in purple, Harris supported two Black designers, Sergio Hudson and Christopher John Rogers. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A vision in purple, Harris supported two Black designers, Sergio Hudson and Christopher John Rogers. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“We are so honored and humbled to have played a small part in this historic moment,” Rogers, a Black and queer designer hailing from Louisiana but now based in New York City, wrote on social media.

Harris’s pearls, meanwhile, are by New York City-based jewelry designer Wilfredo Rosado, and her heels have been credited to Manolo Blahnik.

The Vice President will wear a dress and coat from another Black designer, Sergio Hudson, later in the day. Hudson is a South Carolina native based in New York City, and is also responsible for former first lady Michelle Obama’s striking magenta ensemble.

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