Jill Biden’s inaugural attire to be on display at the Smithsonian


WASHINGTON (AP) — First ladies routinely donate their inaugural ball gowns to the Smithsonian for its collection. Jill Biden refuses two sets of clothes, and neither of them includes a dress.

The First Lady is donating the aqua tweed gown and matching coat she wore to her husband’s inauguration at the Capitol on January 20, 2021, as well as the ivory silk wool gown and cashmere coat ensemble she wore to the White House later that year. same day. evening.

It’s common for first ladies to donate the dress they wore to the gala balls following the swearing-in ceremony, but there were no inaugural balls for President Joe Biden. He took office at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when large indoor gatherings were discouraged.

Paying tribute to the historic nature of Joe Biden’s swearing in, matching Jill Biden face masks will also be part of the First Ladies collection at the National Museum of American History.

Her outfit will be officially added to the collection of outfits worn by her predecessors, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump and more, during a ceremony Wednesday attended by the first lady, her fashion designers and museum staff. The museum will open to the public on Thursday.

This will be Jill Biden’s first public appearance since January 11, when doctors removed a cancerous growth from her face and another from her chest.

“Since Helen Taft in 1912, every first lady who has been approached and has an inaugural dress has donated one,” said Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator of American political history at the museum.

The museum is “always interested” in having both daytime and evening wear if possible because “it allows us to show a different aspect of the day and the first lady’s involvement” at the inauguration, she said in a phone interview Tuesday.

“We’re very lucky that, on this particular occasion, we have space to show both of them,” Graddy said.

The pandemic has changed Joe Biden’s inaugural celebrations. People were not allowed to gather en masse on the National Mall to watch him take the oath. After that, the traditional lunch at the Capitol was abandoned, and the usual parade along Pennsylvania Avenue was replaced with a virtual one. In the evening, actor Tom Hanks hosted a televised concert featuring various musical artists. Biden and his family then watched the fireworks from the White House balcony.

For the ceremony at the Capitol, Jill Biden opted for a skinny aquamarine tweed gown embellished with pearls and crystals, a matching coat with a navy blue velvet collar and cuffs, and a face mask. They were designed by Alexandra O’Neill, founder and designer of Markarian.

In the evening, she wore an ivory silk wool dress, an ivory double-breasted cashmere coat, and a face mask embroidered with the colors of all the states and territories of the United States. Designed by Gabriela Hearst, founder and creative director of Gabriela Hearst.

The Smithsonian says its first ladies exhibit is one of its most popular attractions. It currently features 10 inaugural gowns. The broader collection, meanwhile, has about 1,000 items ranging from inaugural gowns and other gowns to personal items and other White House memorabilia.

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