On 20 January, the American presidency peacefully transferred from Donald J Trump to Joseph R Biden, with an inauguration ceremony and celebration that called for unity over partisan politics. With the threat of Covid-19 and violent right-wing protests, the Washington Mall was closed to the public, and those who did attend the swearing in on the Capitol Steps on the frigid, sunny morning were socially distanced, and masked up. From the opening moments, when Lady Gaga belted out the national anthem, to the marching band of the University of Delaware – the alma mater of Joe Biden, and his wife Jill – leading the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, the 59th Presidential Inauguration was a fitting tribute to the new President and to Vice President Kamala Harris, and a welcome change from the chaos and terror that seized the city and the Capitol two weeks ago. Below, all of the key moments you might have missed.
Michelle Obama & Barack Obama
why does the inauguration look like it was the coronation for lady gaga who’s just acceded the throne pic.twitter.com/TnhZMYz0Fy— matt (@itsgodgabitch) January 20, 2021
Kamala Harris was then sworn in as the first woman, first Black, and first Indian-American Vice President of the United States. The oath was administered by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of colour to serve on the Supreme Court – appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama. Harris was dressed in a sovereign-purple coat and dress by the New York designer Christopher John Rogers – purple representing a blend of red states and blue states, of the political right and left, a sign of unity. Harris accented the look with her signature pearl necklace – an homage to her Howard University sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Harris placed her hand on two bibles successively: the first belonging to family friend Regina Shelton, who was greatly influential in Harris’s life, and the second formerly owned by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black member of the Supreme Court, and Harris’s political role model.
First Lady Melania Trump waved au revoir to the White House on Wednesday morning in a jet black ensemble mimicking the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, former creative director of Chanel.
Mrs. Trump walked across the South Lawn for the final time during her husband’s first term in office wearing an off-the-runway Chanel cropped jacket from the French fashion house’s Pre-Fall 2020 collection.
Underneath is a fitted black crepe sheath dress by Dolce & Gabbana, perhaps Mrs. Trump’s most loyal fashion duo. The dress, from the Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear collection, retails for about $2,155.
The cropped Chanel jacket, featuring silver buttons emblazoned with the brand’s iconic double C logo, was paired with black suede Bottega Veneta gloves, snakeskin Christian Louboutin stilettos, a rare black crocodile Hermès Birkin bag, and Mrs. Trump’s favorite pair of Bottega Veneta art deco-inspired sunglasses which retail for about $440.
Melania Trump’s farewell to Washington, D.C. ensemble, styled by her friend and personal courtier Hervé Pierre, mimics the iconic fashion codes of the late Lagerfeld who famously headed Chanel for nearly four decades.
Donald and Melania Trump left the White House early on Wednesday morning – Melania dressed in a sombre black Chanel jacket, Dolce & Gabbana dress, and stilettos. The couple boarded the Marine One helicopter, and flew to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Standing on a bunting-draped stage in the freezing air, the winter wind snapping the flags behind him, Trump addressed a modest crowd of aides and loyalists. “I wish the new administration great luck and great success,” he said. “I think they’ll have great success.”
VP Kamala Harris wore a purple dress and coat made by Black American designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Former first Lady Michelle Obama’s deep plum monochromatic outfit was also designed by Hudson. pic.twitter.com/kj2Q5KVhui— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 21, 2021
Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old Harvard graduate from Los Angeles, and the National Youth Poet Laureate, stole the show with her flawless recitation of her powerful inauguration poem, “The Hill We Climb”. Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in the nation’s history, joining a small, august group that includes Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. She was tapped for the honour by Dr Biden, a university English professor. Gorman wrote “The Hill We Climb” in the weeks following the election, and finished it as she watched the sacking of the US Capitol on 6 January. Dressed in a sunshine-yellow Prada coat and a wide scarlet headband across a towering updo of braids, Gorman read her poem, which describes the insurrection, then turns toward hope.
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