January 29, 2023

Jill Biden to present Inauguration Day dresses at the Smithsonian



CNN
 — 

First lady Jill Biden will present both her Inauguration Day ensembles at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Wednesday, the White House announced, as part of the museum’s First Ladies Collection exhibition.

Biden wore two separate outfits on Inauguration Day 2021, CNN Style reported at the time. For the inauguration ceremony, she wore a blue tweed coat with velvet cuffs and a dress embellished with Swarovski crystals with a matching face mask, from Colorado-born Alexandra O’Neill of American label Markarian.

“It is an incredible honor to dress Dr. Biden today,” O’Neill said in a statement to CNN Style at the time. “I am so humbled to be even a small part of American history.”

For the inauguration concert later in the evening, the first lady wore an all-white outfit comprising a dress, coat and matching white gloves by Chloé creative director, Uruguay-born Gabriela Hearst.

Biden, along with designers O’Neill and Hearst, will deliver remarks as part of the program, according to the White House.

Presenting the first lady’s inauguration ensembles at the Smithsonian is a tradition dating back to Helen Taft in 1912.

Former first lady Melania Trump donated her ivory, silk crepe inaugural ballgown to the museum in 2017.

“This piece is one of the many new beginnings of our family’s history here in Washington,” Trump said in a speech at the time.

The designer of Trump’s gown, Hervé Pierre, was formerly creative director for Carolina Herrera, the iconic American designer whose dresses were often worn by first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush.

Trump’s predecessor, Michelle Obama, ushered in a new era of modern inaugural ball style, opting for Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu for both of her husband’s inaugural celebrations.

The first, in 2009, was a flowing, white, one-shoulder gown with floral appliqué, the second, a bold red gown made of chiffon and velvet. The 2009 dress is part of the Smithsonian collection.

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