The Handbook
The Handbook

Yesterday the free world got a new leader, the most important transfer of power in a generation has given America a brand new President, a new direction and a renewed hope. But as Biden took his seat behind the Resolute desk, all anyone could talk about was where Dr Jill got her coat from.

Obviously the relevance of signing executive orders ending the Muslim ban, reuniting families separated at the border or rejoining the Paris climate agreement frankly pales into insignificance when compared to Lady Gaga’s custom Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown.

So let’s get highbrow: who wore what yesterday?

Dr Jill Biden

Dr Jill Biden, or just plain Jill Biden to her friends or right wing bigots, returns to the White House as First Lady, having spent eight years of her life there as Second Lady when Joe was veeping.

She swapped her primary school teacher work-wear for a matching ocean blue dress and tweed coat...

Yesterday she swapped her community college teacher work-wear for a matching ocean blue dress and tweed coat from Markarian, an emerging American label from designer Alexandra O’Neill based in New York.

A-lister Markarian clients include Priyanka Chopra, Lizzo and Kate Hudson.

Check out the designer: www.markarian-nyc.com

Kamala Harris

America has its first woman Vice President, not to mention its first South Asian and first black VP. To mark this truly historic day Kamala Harris wore a purple coat and dress by Christopher John Rogers.

The 27 year old black designer is a rising star in American fashion and founded his label only in 2016.

Harris accessorised with pearls from Puerto Rican-American designer Wilfredo Rosado.

The significance of the purple is both the meeting point between red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) but is also the colour of the suffragettes in the US.

Check out the designers: christopherjohnrogers.co and www.wrosado.co

Joe Biden & Doug Emhoff

Let’s face it, you’re not here to find out who designed the identikit dark suits of any of the men on that podium. But Joe and Doug deserve a mention.

Biden's mask being made from the same fabric as his suit

And you can get it wrong, the guy cleaning the podium between speakers during the inauguration wore a suit, coat, scarf combo that had geography teacher written all over it (cf Bernie’s charming look below).

Thankfully, then, the incoming President and First Gentleman both wore custom Ralph Lauren suits, with Biden’s mask being made from the same fabric as his suit.

Check out the designer: www.ralphlauren.co.uk

Hillary Clinton

Clinton must’ve sat through the inauguration thinking that this should be the beginning of her second term, had things turned out just a little differently.

Perhaps then her bipartisan purple was all the more significant. It’s also the colour she chose for her concession speech (remember those?) back in 2016 after losing to Donald Trump.

Her pant-suit (of course) was made by Ralph Lauren, who made her inauguration suit for 2017 as well, and was matched with a ruffled scarf in the same colour.

Check out the designer: www.ralphlauren.co.uk

Michelle Obama

When’s Michelle going to run for office? 2024? ’28? It’s coming. In the meantime she’ll stay looking cucumber cool alongside the most popular living ex-president.

When's Michelle going to run for office? 2024? '28?

Yesterday she looked stately and glamorous in an alpaca jumper and trousers along with a cashmere coat from designer Sergio Hudson along with a belt from his FW20 collection.

Check out the designer: www.sergiohudson.com

Lady Gaga

Who didn’t go gaga for Lady Gaga’s rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. It felt like the first step toward the country being able to feel proud of itself again.

Gaga decided against her Kermit or meat outfits and instead wore a Schiaparelli gown emblazoned with a gold dove of peace.

Her coat and mask, worn as she arrived at the Capitol, were from Alaïa (remember Cher in Clueless – ‘You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa!’).

Check out the designers: www.schiaparelli.com and www.maison-alaia.com

Jennifer Lopez

President Trump was apparently beside himself with fury at the a-listers lining up to help Biden and Harris celebrate their inauguration so its likely Jenifer Lopez was the focus of his ire. And J Lo’s performance of This Land Is Your Land and America The Beautiful were solid, if not on par with Gaga.

Lopez may be the same age as Jacob Rees-Mogg (mind blown) but her sense of style is undiminished...

And Lopez may be the same age as Jacob Rees-Mogg (mind blown) but her sense of style is undiminished. She wore white Chanel, another colour often favoured by politicians for its associations with the suffragette movement.

Check out the designer: www.chanel.com

Amanda Gorman

We have a new obsession, National Youth Poet Laureate and 22 year old wordsmith Amanda Gorman.

The youngest inaugural poet in history wore an incredible yellow coat from Prada as she read her poem “The Hill We Climb”. She accessorised it with a red Prada headband.

She chose Prada because she admires the designer’s feminism and intellect while the yellow was the colour she wore in a video reciting the poem seen by Jill Biden who subsequently recommended her for the ceremony.

Check out the designer: www.prada.com

Ella Emhoff

Breakout star from the inauguration (except for Gorman, who was universally acknowledged as being incredible) was probably Ella Emhoff.

The perfect blend of tradition and hipster...

The new second daughter is Kamala Harris’s step-daugher and her husband Doug Emhoff’s daughter from his first marriage. The 22 year old student wore a Batsheva dress and a Miu Miu tartan coat, the perfect blend of tradition and hipster.

Meet the designers: www.batsheva.com and www.miumiu.com

Bernie Sanders

But our style icon was Bernie Sanders. The man Trump claimed he was most afraid would win the Primaries and universal healthcare advocate was suitably wrapped up for a man approaching 80 and the Senator’s outfit received plaudits a-plenty.

The putty coloured coat is from snowboard brand Burton. Burton produced a limited edition version of the coat with Bernie’s face on the back. The Vermont Senator loved it and his colleague Dave Driscoll gave him one (without his face on it!) for Christmas.

And the gloves, because that’s what you’re really wanting, are bespoke. In that they’re made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction in Bernie’s home state. She gave them to him a couple years ago, made from repurposed woollen jumpers and lined with fleece made out of recycled plastic bottles. He started wearing them on the campaign trail and are a firm favourite. And of ours too.

Meet the designers: www.burton.com and Jen Ellis does occasionally sell the mittens via her Twitter account…


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