I stands for Inauguration, Indie-Designers, and Iconic Fashion

A glimpse at the fashion trends on Inauguration day, and their symbolism.


Sierra Kim-Tran, Contributor

Wednesday’s Presidential Inauguration marked a major change in American history. With one of the most diverse Cabinets ever, including many women of color, Biden’s presidency is a symbol for a new start and an administration more diverse, tolerant, and representative of all Americans. However, that’s not what stole the show at the inauguration. More eye-catching? The guests of the inauguration’s outfits, ranging from modern Jordan 1s to American-made monochrome outfits. 

Guests’ clothing has long been a hot and infamous topic for all Americans, and that was certainly the case on Wednesday. At the inauguration, which was near-freezing and had a bit of snow, guests showed up to the Capitol in their very best formal attire. Monochrome seemed to be the main theme for women of the White House, coats and full ensembles in hues of yellow, red, blue, and purple, to name just a few. This is certainly a far cry from the controversial and blasé brand-name outfits worn by the Trump family. (Remember Melania’s “I really don’t care, do you?” jacket?  Here’s a look at some of the outfits of the guests, and the symbolism behind them. 

Starting off with the Vice President, Kamala Harris wore a completely royal purple coat and matching dress, a nod to the official white, gold, and purple colors of the suffrage movement. The coat was designed by Black designer Christopher John Rogers, a member of the CFDA, an organization that promotes young and new American designers. The color purple is also a reference to unity between the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively red and blue. Her niece’s husband Nikolas Ajagu also wore high top Dior Jordan 1s, one of the hottest sneaker drops from last year. 

Dr. Jill Biden also donned a full monochrome outfit, wearing custom Markarian by Alexandra O’Neill, a New-York based designer. This was a clear statement of her support for small American designers, in comparison to Melania Trump’s penchant towards European name brands and ridiculously expensive crocodile Birkin bags. 

As she has done for her full time as the First Lady, Michelle Obama chose to represent a small, American-based designer like the other women, wearing a full head-to-toe burgundy outfit by Black designer Sergio Hudson.  

It would be impossible to ignore some of the best Gen-Z looks from the inauguration, including Ella Emhoff and Biden’s grandchildren. Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter to Kamala Harris, wore a full tailored Miu Miu coat, complete with rhinestones adorned on the shoulders. Maisy Biden wore purple Jordan 1s under her formal inauguration coat, which reflects the modernity and realness the Biden family is bringing to the White House. 

And last, but certainly not least, is Amanda Gordon’s Prada ensemble. In fact, her bright yellow Prada coat, designed by Miuccia Prada, was so popular that it is now completely sold out. It was a nod to Dr. Jill Biden, who discovered and recommended her for the inauguration, at which time she was wearing yellow. Her red 60s era headband was also from Prada, completing her stunning poem presentation. 

The inauguration certainly saw many symbolic fashion moments, perhaps many of which represented the stance of the new administration to be one that celebrates people of color and creative American designers. There’s no telling what other iconic fashion moments we’ll get from the Biden administration in the next four years, but just like the new president, it is sure to be representative of Americans and full of diverse and remarkable style.