inauguration day fashion
Doug Emhoff, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, incoming US First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, US President-elect Joe Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Fashion is a political statement, a way for our nation’s leaders to pay homage to both the successes and the stains on America’s history. On Wednesday, January 20, Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, and Michelle Obama took full advantage of the power of style in honor of Inauguration Day 2021. Among a sea of men in black suits, women leaders stood out in bold shades of purple and blue—colors with deep-rooted meanings that can be traced back through American history.

The color purple, worn by Harris, Obama, and Hillary Clinton, symbolizes bipartisanship: the result of fusing Republican-red and Democrat-blue. Likewise, it’s also a color of the U.S. suffrage movement. In a newsletter published in 1913, the National Woman’s Party described the color’s significance: “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.”

Without giving the incoming first lady’s whole Inauguration Day outfit away, her ocean blue-colored ensemble is meant to signify “trust, confidence, and stability.” Blue is notoriously a calming hue, associated with peace and order, two concepts that our country is so desperately in need of achieving during Biden’s presidential term.

Ahead, GRAZIA gathered photos of Harris, Biden, Obama, and Clinton in Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day. Keep scrolling for a look at their Inauguration Day outfits, and find out the designers who brought their statement-making ensembles to life.

Kamala Harris

The Vice President-elect opted for a purple ensemble on Inauguration Day, brought to life by Brooklyn-based Black designer Christopher John Rogers. Harris accessorized her outfit with a pearl necklace by Puerto Rican designer Wilfredo Rosado and Manolo Blahnik heels.

inauguration day fashion
U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and husband, Doug Emhoff, arrive at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Jill Biden

Biden wore a custom tweed coat and a matching dress embellished with Swarovski crystals. The head-turning outfit was designed by Alexandra O’Neill of the NYC-based label, Markarian. According to a press release from the brand, the incoming first lady chose the color blue to “signify trust, confidence, and stability.” She accessorized the look with a matching face mask designed by O’Neill and Jimmy Choo heels.

inauguration day fashion
Joe Biden flanked by wife, Dr. Jill Biden, waves after arriving for his inauguration as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Michelle Obama 

The former first lady stunned in a plum ensemble with a chic gold belt designed by Los Angeles-based Black designer, Sergio Hudson. She teamed the now-viral number with a black protective face mask, gloves, and Stuart Weitzman shoes.

inauguration day fashion
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Hillary Clinton

inauguration day fashion
Former US President Bill Clinton arrives with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seen before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Clinton wore a Ralph Lauren ensemble comprising a bright purple pantsuit paired with a matching ruffled scarf and a maroon coat. For accessories, she opted for a black protective face covering, gloves, and boots.

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