This year’s historic inauguration ushered in a new era for the country and with more women in the White House than ever before, it marked an iconic moment in fashion. The Vice President, First Lady, and former First Lady Michelle Obama chose looks from small, BIPOC-owned, and emerging brands; J.Lo arrived in a Chanel white suit as an homage to women suffragists to perform a “This Land is Your Land” remix; Biden’s children and grandchildren arrived in a suite of sophisticated ensembles.
One trend immediately stood out amongst key attendees: Monochrome was the look of the day—from Vice President Harris’ purple look by Christopher John Rogers and Dr. Biden’s ocean blue Markarian dress and coat trimmed in Swarovski crystals and velvet, to Michelle Obama’s head-to-toe plum ensemble by Sergio Hudson. J.Lo‘s all-white Chanel continued the trend, which was also embraced by Hillary Clinton, who sported head-to-toe violet alongside Harris. Biden’s granddaughters Naomi, Natalie, Finnegan, and Maisy wore white, pink, tan, and black respectively, while his daughter Ashley sported all navy.
The choice to wear one single colour from head-to-toe is not only flattering in its ability to elongate one’s silhouette, but simple in its straightforwardness. It may also be, per O’Neill, a nod to the suiting we’ve become accustomed to seeing continuously on the political and world stage, with men historically dominating roles in public service. “It’s a classic way of dressing and of doing things, it’s like an old school suit ensemble,” she tells BAZAAR.com exclusively. As for her choice to stick with a tonal look when designing for the First Lady, O’Neill added: “I personally love a matchy-matchy look, it’s one of our signature ways of doing things [at Markarian]. I wanted to do something that was really classic and that would withstand the test of time.”
Of course, the colour chosen becomes more significant, which is why we saw so much purple on the inauguration stage. The shade, a mix of the political party colours, red and blue is said to evoke a sense of solidarity, bipartisanship, and unity, according to The Hill.
Naomi Biden and Jennifer Lopez arrived to the Capitol in all white, a likely nod to women suffragists. The colour was also chosen by Vice President Harris the night of the election, when she wore a look by Carolina Herrera designer Wes Gordon. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden chose marine blue, a riff on the signature shade of the Democratic party and one that Markarian designer Alexandra O’Neill noted was intended to signify “trust, confidence, and stability.”
Related article: Dr. Jill Biden Wears Markarian On Inauguration Day
It seems as though the trend, embraced so widely by today’s attendees, was another sign of the change we should expect to see in this new Biden era—one where perfectly-tailored, fashion-forward suiting from America’s emerging designers will be seen on main stages as often as classic menswear.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US