I awoke on Inauguration Day early to read through the list of over 140 people who were given pardons or commutations. I was struck by the over a baker’s dozen of names of convicted felons or fraudsters that were of Jewish heritage… so many affiliated to appeals from rabbis, famous attorneys, or leaders of the Aleph prison outreach organization. I lost a $10 bet that former NY State Senator Sheldon Silver or Jewish poverty fundraiser Mr. Rapfogel would be among those pardoned, being that Mrs. Rapfogel once worked for Mr. Kushner. But they weren’t.
But soon enough I forgot all of this and focused on more important things…
namely, Inauguration Week fashions.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent, VT) stole the day with his Vermont-inspired cold weather attire. The new leader/chair of the Senate’s powerful Budget Committee wore an affordable snowboarding overcoat from Burton’s of Vermont (a B-Corporation started by the late Jake Burton Carpenter), smart proletarian shoes, a disposable blue mask (perhaps from Walgreen’s Cherry St, Burlington), and five year old SWITTENS – mittens made of recycled SWeaters and lined with shredded recycled plastic bottles.
MEMEs of Senator Sanders exploded the internet, and he was placed in various scenes, from a man waiting for his wife as she shopped at the defunct Loehmann’s, to a man waiting for a minyan or kiddush to start, to a man starring on SHTISL.
Jen Ellis, the Vermont mother and second grade teacher who made the mittens as a gift for Sanders five years ago (his granddaughter was a student) received over 6000 inquiries this week for the mittens. She referred people to Etsy where others craft them. She is not looking for a side gig and is busy enough with her career and family.
Speaking of ETSY, did you see where CEO Josh Silverman was offered a $25 Million retention bonus? Maybe he can buy some mittens with it.
Many 20-somethings were genuflecting over the outfit of Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff.
NOTE: I am aware that Ella Emhoff does not identify as Jewish. This is more about the designer of the dress she wore… Batsheva…. and just the excitement of fashion and the inauguration… so cut this posting some slack
Emhoff, a senior year fashion textiles student at Parson’s in Brooklyn (and soon to be celebrated knitwear designer) wore a purple Batsheva brand dress under a Miu Miu tweed (plaid) coat (from the 2020 runway collection) embellished with yellow crystal beading and a white lace collar.(I can get it for your for under $4500)
Designer Batsheva Hay is based on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and hails from Brooklyn. Her designs are feminine and vintage and quirky. A graduate of Stanford and Georgetown Law, she and her photographer husband and kids keep an observant home, and September runway shows that fall around the High Holidays can be tricky
On Erev Inauguration (Tuesday evening), Ella wore a Thom Browne skirt suit with a double-breasted maxi length overcoat, along with a striped necktie and oxford cloth shirt. Mom Kerstin Emhoff wore Gucci.
Ella was styled by Jill + Jordan; they met Ella over Zoom (what… you think a stylist wasn’t involved?) and styled her for the day. Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson have a friend who is also friends with mom Kerstin Emhoff. The Thom Browne in the colors of the flag was a no-brainer. The Miu Miu fit Ella’s style and her IG postings and was among the first to reply and send an item. And Batsheva Hay’s dress was complementary to the coat. The stylists were cognizant that the attire had to be respectful and not upstage the event.
Cole Emhoff, 26, donned a dark blue suit, tie, light blue shirt and long wool coat for the inauguration. His belt was brown. Yes, the belt matched the shoes.
President Joe Biden wore a Ralph Lauren suit (Purple Label collection, no less). He has many RL and Polo pieces in his closet. With a two piece suit and top coat in dark navy, his RL ensemble was intended to promote unity, decorum and stability. He wore it at Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle earlier in the day. It was sewn in Rochester, NY.
Second Gentleman Attorney Doug Emhoff, husband of VP Kamala Harris, also wore Ralph Lauren
First Lady Jill Biden, PhD, wore a MARKarian coat with a blue velvet collar and cuffs over a tapered dress with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt. The dress’s neckline was embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals in a floral pattern. Once again, matching blue was selected to signify trust and stability. The ocean blue tweed jacket and skirt were celebrated by women who are not millennials and recognized style when they saw it.
MARKarian is a NYC based label of occasionwear by Alexandra O’Neill. O’Neill was approached by Biden’s stylist (most likely Bailey Moon) after the election, and she replied with ten sketched ideas. She based her designs on a review of Biden’s past outfits and those of former First Ladies… as well as Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco. Once chosen, a 6-person team worked on the outfit, with O’Neill hand-sewing on the jewels.
On Erev Inauguration, Dr. Biden wore a magenta coat and dress by Jonathan Cohen, a Mexican American designer. Cohen was raised in San Diego. He is Jewish, Mexican, American, Gay, Surfing aware, Manhattanite, and a lot of other identities.
For the inauguration prayer service, featuring rabbis from CBST and IKAR, FLOTUS Biden wore a ruffled fuschia dress & classic pearls.
Vice President Kamala Harris wore a purple (amethyst, in my mind) Christopher John Rogers coat and dress. Rogers was the 2020 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year. The outfit was accessorized with pearls by Puerto Rican designer Wilfredo Rosado. Many women wore pearls in celebration of Harris. On Wednesday night, Harris wore a Sergio Hudson black tuxedo silk overcoat and dress. The dress was a liquid sequin cocktail dress. The coat was floor-length. Michelle Obama also wore a dress by Hudson, an award winning Black designer. On Erev Inauguration, Tuesday evening, Harris wore a camel (or NY Bagel) colored coat by Pyer Moss; it was designed by Kerby Jean-Raymond, an Haitian American.
On Wednesday evening, Ashley Biden, 39, wore a sleek tuxedo by Ralph Lauren & Chain-Linked Chloe Gosselin “Nicole” 4 inch stiletto pump heels ($640 if you dare to pay retail) with crepe satin uppers. The light chain connects the shoe and jewels hang down the 4 inch heel height. Kamala Harris and Jill Biden wore Manolo Blahnik and nude pumps by Jimmy Choo.
The Biden’s four granddaughters (Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy and Natalie Biden) focused on monochromatic apparel. Naomi Biden, the eldest granddaughter, wore all white, a honor of suffragettes. Finnegan Biden wore a camel colored coat and matching mask. Natalie Biden wore a custom pink Lafayette 148 New York coat. Maisy Biden put on a navy coat and matching pants… with Air Jordan sneakers. Natalie and Finnegan also wore MARKarian dresses for an event, while Maisy wore a floral Rodarte dress, and Naomi wore a purple bow-detailed dress.