Dissecting inauguration style doesn’t sit well with everyone. In fact, it enrages many. For every “wow” comment on someone’s Instagram story, you’ll find a “why are we talking about this and not the work” jibe. A calculous that infers that to simply delight in such sartorial splendour is a distraction from the real job at hand. Pfft! Material culture in politics – as in life – is purposeful. Symbolic of a brighter future ahead, after years shrouded in darkness.
And, after what feels like a lifetime of doom-scrolling, last night’s new dawn of American leadership proved to be a joyful antidote. A reminder that hope really does spring eternal. The fashion was evocative of this adage, like a rainbow after a heavy storm. Kamala Harris’ Christopher John Rogers’ purple dress-and-jacket combo (the colour du jour – see also Michelle Obama’s Sergio Hudson belted jumpsuit - which, according to a letter from the National Woman's Party of the United States released in 1913 is the “color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.”). Amanda Gorman’s bright yellow Prada coat to recite her poem, 'The Hill We Climb'. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden in head-to-toe oceanic blue.
Elsewhere? A slew of accessories that we feel require further inspection. Because, yes, even a pair of humble woolly mittens can be loaded with meaning.
It would be lazy to deduce a fashion ‘statement’ as merely a top emblazoned with a shouty slogan or a jacket with XL shoulder pads. Sometimes it’s as simple as celebrating the more sensible, utilitarian, corners of our closets. As Bernie Sanders’ patterned mittens that birthed a thousand memes proved. Made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. And so, an accidental sustainable style icon is born.
Meena Harris has certainly not inherited her aunt’s love of comfortable footwear. Still. These sparkly boots from Paris Texas do give us some incentive to enjoy a slipper-free day. At some point. Maybe.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Amanda Gorman spoke of wearing her “own type of symbolism.” The silk red Prada headband was a crowning glory of sorts: vibrant, positioned high, commanding attention.
OK, it’s impossible to miss this detail. It's huge. As Lady Gaga wrote on Twitter this was a “dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other.”
Extensive commentary has gone into Ella Emhoff’s (Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter) inauguration coat (Miu Miu AW20). So, moving swiftly on to her – what one can only assume are prescription – glasses. Specs. Are. Chic.
Kamala Harris has worn pearls for decades – last night’s design a bespoke creation by Brooklyn-based Wilfredo Rosado – as an homage to the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority she belonged to whilst studying at Howard University. The first Black Greek-letter sorority, which refers to their founding members as the “Twenty Pearls", because each new member is given a special badge decorated with 20 pearls upon initiation.
Nikolas Ajagu, husband of Meena Harris, set Twitter ablaze with his Dior AirJordan 1's. The fandom explained: originally retailing for $2,000, they're now going for more than triple that on resale sites.
Images | shutterstock