Dr. Biden ended inauguration day with another lovely and notable look for the occasion. Her all-white ensemble spoke of purity and newness while also serving (as almost all white ensembles on women in politics) as a reminder of the suffragettes. But the outfit was honestly poorly served by television, which couldn’t highlight the more interesting aspects of the designs. We’ll let designer Gabriela Hearst explain (as she did on her Instagram account):
The ivory double breasted cashmere coat, ivory silk wool cady dress with embroidery reflecting the federal flowers from every state and territory of the United States of America and ivory leather gloves were specially created by the designer for the occasion.
The message of Unity is the main inspiration for the creation of the Ensemble. Unity makes strength and it is needed for the road ahead. The blooming symbol to represent this message are the federal flowers from every state and territory of the United States of America. The flowers are embroidered into the cashmere coat on the hem line in an pattern that rises organically on the side’s seams. On the dress, the embroidery is placed on the silk organza neckline and arms. The body of the dress is constructed in silk wool cady.
The Delaware flower is positioned at the heart level of The First Lady, from there, all the other flowers branch out.
The pieces were made entirely in New York City. The Embroidery and Coat were crafted in the garment district and the dress was assembled at the inhouse studio. Each flower took approximately two-four hours to embroider. Careful placements and color selections were carefully studied for weeks. Inside of the coat, representing the lifelong calling and service of Dr. Biden as an educator is a hand embroidery on the lining with a quote from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin:
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
The materials used were existing available fabrics to minimize the impact on the environment.
If we’re being honest (Would you have us any other way, darlings?), we’ll admit that we don’t love the sheer yoke or sleeves, but the overall effect – and more importantly, the thoughtfulness of the design details – are beautiful.
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The Smithsonian has already announced that they’re working with the First Lady to come up with an entry for their collection of First Lady fashions, since there were no inaugural balls this year (it’s why she’s wearing a corsage, which is FLOTUS inaugural ball tradition). Personally, we’d rather she wait until her first chance to wear a formal gown to make that choice (if only because more casualwear will stand out in the exhibit), but if she chose to send this off to a museum, we couldn’t complain about it. The message is beautiful and the embroidery is spectacular.
[Photo Credit: CBS via Tom and Lorenzo]
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