First lady Jill Biden sported a blue tweed coat and dress as she attended the inauguration of her husband, President Joe Biden.
Her ocean blue wool coat, dress and matching silk face mask were created by emerging American designer Alexandra O’Neill, founder of the label Markarian. With her outfit choice, Biden seems to be following in the tradition of other first ladies who have championed lesser-known designers.
“The coat, with its dark blue velvet collar and cuffs, is worn over a tapered dress with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt,” Markarian said of the design in a release. "The neckline of the dress is hand embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals in a delicate floral pattern. The same Swarovski crystals adorn the coat and dress, subtly reflecting the light.”
The label also explained the significance of the ensemble’s hue.
“The color blue was chosen for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability,” the label said. “The look was carefully crafted by a small team in the heart of New York City’s Garment Center and hand finished by O’Neill in her West Village studio. Alexandra is incredibly humbled to be a small part of such a historic moment.”
O’Neill founded Markarian in 2017 and named the label “after a particularly radiant grouping of galaxies.” According to O’Neill’s official bio, “Markarian combines Alexandra’s love of celestial romanticism with timeless design and modern grace.”
Her pieces are also “made-to-order in an effort to reduce waste.”
The first lady's blue ensemble was first spotted as she and President Biden attended a church service on Inauguration Day.
The president also wore a look from an American designer, sporting a navy suit and navy overcoat both by Ralph Lauren.
The style choices of American first ladies have always come under plenty of scrutiny, and many have used the attention on their outfits as an opportunity to elevate up-and-coming designers or send political messages.
On Tuesday night, Biden appeared to send a message of political unity with her purple outfit (purple, of course, being a combination of red and blue) as she and her husband, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, visited a memorial honoring lives lost due to COVID-19.
She may also have been sending a subtle message of support for her husband’s focus on protecting the environment. Her purple dress, coat and floral mask were by Jonathan Cohen, who is known for his sustainable designs. In keeping with the designer’s eco-friendly ethos, some fabrics from her ensemble were made from leftover fabrics from his previous collections.
“It is a true honor to have @drbiden wear Jonathan Cohen as the first family arrives in Washington DC,” the designer wrote on Instagram. “I am beyond humbled to play a small part in this future administration.”