The North American First Ladies’ wardrobe has a great impact on the style that will reign for the next four years and the future of the brands used. And each first lady – and in this case also vice president – sets the tone and style prevailing in each term. Jill Biden and Kamala Harris, brand new first lady and vice president respectively, chose in this case inconspicuous outfits very in line with colors that they have used on other occasions. Perhaps it has been a matter, at least in the case of Vice President Harris, to choose discretion and the absence of originality for this appointed day, while Jill Biden was very much in line with her usual, neutral and somewhat boring but correct style.
Both Harris and Mrs. Biden chose creators who in a way represent their origin and ideology. The two have chosen to wear the so-called “ensembles”, those elegant outfits of dress and companion coat that are such a good alternative for official acts.
Jill Biden, 69, wore a blue tweed ensemble by New York designer Alexandra O’Neill for his own brand, called Markarian. The intention of the color of the outfit, according to O’Neill, has been to convey confidence and stability. Mrs. Biden has used creators such as Oscar de la Renta, Gabriela Hearst, Christian Siriano, LaQuan Smith, Donald Deal, Prabal Gurung or Brandon Maxwell, North American, of different races and in some cases, of foreign origin.
Alexandra O’Neill, who is a New Yorker and lives in the Village, has recently become the creator that many socialites in the city attend, even if the headquarters of your company is still in the living room of your apartment. O’Neill has dressed models like Hilary Rhoda or Ashley Graham and has specialized in party dresses. For the past couple of months, Markarian’s collections have been purchased on The Platform, Moda Operandi’s platform for new talents.
This choice is less sophisticated than that of Melania Trump for the same date, sky blue jacket suit by Ralph Lauren, long gloves and stilettos by Manolo Blahnik, although this time it was the newly elected Joe Biden and the husband of Kamala Harris , Doug Emhoff, those who have worn a suit, tie and coat from Ralph Lauren from New York. The model O’Neill designed for Mrs. Biden is made with relatively ordinary materials, cut and color, something he probably does with the intention of visually associating himself with middle class American women. Jill Biden usually opts for garments in fabrics without drawings, inconspicuous tones and local footwear, except for a more sophisticated pair such as the J’Adior sling-back model (without Christian heel) or like yesterday’s shoes, by Jimmy Choo .
And if Converse sneakers have returned to the present with Kamala Harris, the new vice president has chosen a simple coat and dress set in purple crafted by an African-American born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which premiered in the spring 2019 season. This is Christopher John Rogers, a creator who recognizes that until now his clientele has been eminently African-American, very fond of strong colors. For Rogers it is great news that Kamala Harris has chosen her brand, although it must be said that the outfit was a “déjà-vu” without any particularity, even though it was chosen by the stylist Karla Welch. Harris wore her usual pearls, a Wilfredo Rosado necklace. For the night it is said that he will be wearing a model by Sergio Hudson, in charge of dressing Michelle Obama for a similar occasion.
The truth is that the dresses of the first ladies, and now also of the vice president, are very relevant and often become museum pieces. They indicate a future trend, a formal tone and are revealing of the moment. That is why perhaps both Jill Biden and Kamala Harris have chosen to choose discreet and somewhat timeless pieces at a time of global crisis and local political confrontations. Clothing, as always, is a message.