- Jill Biden’s inauguration outfit was a custom design by NYC-based fashion brand Markarian.
- Biden’s stylist approached designer Alexandra O’Neill, who started sketching the look in December.
- She said she’s hopeful Biden will keep supporting emerging American talent.
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Jill Biden’s Inauguration Day outfit set the tone for the fashion statements she’ll go on to make during her time as FLOTUS.
Her custom ocean-blue dress and matching coat were designed by Markarian, a New York-based luxury fashion label founded in 2017 by designer Alexandra O’Neill.
O’Neill told Insider on Wednesday that she couldn’t believe the first lady was wearing the pieces she started sketching about a month prior.
Biden’s stylist and other team members reached out to O’Neill and a number of other designers in December 2020. From there, O’Neill shared sketches, and after exchanging ideas back-and-forth with Biden’s team, the Markarian team got to work on the ensemble.
The result was a tweed-wool set adorned with delicate Swarovski pearls and crystals, and it was exactly what O’Neill envisioned.
“When we were designing Dr. Biden’s look, we wanted to make sure her outfit was classic and feminine and really reflected her but was a little bit of something extra-special, so we had the little crystal details on it to reflect the light very subtly,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill said the first lady’s choice to wear clothes from American designers does not go unnoticed
O’Neill said that she predicts Biden will continue to wear classic, feminine silhouettes, and it’s possible she’ll continue to amplify young and emerging talent.
“I’m hopeful that she keeps picking American designers,” O’Neill said of Biden. “I love that her focus has been on emerging designers so far. I think she recognises the power and impact that her clothing choices have on emerging talent.”
Markarian specialises in what O’Neill described as made-to-order occasionwear, particularly custom cocktail, evening, and bridal looks.
“We love to make ethereal, whimsical, beautifully made pieces,” O’Neill said.
Just like the rest of Markarian’s designs, Biden’s Inauguration Day look was custom-made by a small team in New York City’s iconic Garment District. O’Neill finished the outfit in her studio in the city’s West Village neighbourhood.
O’Neill said her team “believes strongly” in the brand’s dedication to production in New York City, especially in an era where many American brands have moved operations overseas and out of Manhattan’s Garment District.
O’Neill said it was “surreal” to watch the Inauguration Day broadcast and see Biden arrive at the Capitol Building in the outfit she designed.
“It’s very humbling to be even a tiny part of this historic day,” she told Insider.
- Read more:
- Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren all wore purple for Inauguration Day, likely as a sign of bipartisanship
- Kamala Harris and Joe Biden both met their spouses on blind dates
- On a day filled with designer clothes, Bernie Sanders wore mittens made out of old sweaters â€” and people loved it
- Designer of Jill Biden’s inauguration outfit says her dress symbolises ‘trust, confidence, and stability’