Dr. Jill Biden just nailed it
When Worst Lady Melania Trump donated her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian in October 2017, she proudly exclaimed, “This piece is one of the many new beginnings of our family’s history here in Washington. The President, Barron and I all love it here.” When it became her turn on Wednesday, First Lady Jill Biden took a starkly different tone, choosing instead to focus on the unity of Americans and overcoming the nation’s challenges.
Biden was the first to donate her inaugural gown as well as her day dress for the inauguration ceremony. In another historic first, Biden donated the pandemic face masks she wore with each outfit, a reflection of “the enormity of what we faced at the time,” she explained in a ceremony on Wednesday. Biden also pointed out that the masks stand for “the moments of courage and kindness” that helped America through the darkest times.
Regarding her outfits, Biden explained that she was aiming to wear something that reflected the “passion, creativity, and hope” inspired by the record number of votes for her husband. Biden’s evening gown represented unity, embroidered with the flowers of each state and territory (with Delaware “just above my heart”).
Looking back at Melania’s greatest hits when it comes to failed fashion statements, there’s the insensitive (at best) pith helmet, a symbol of colonial rule in Africa, that she wore in a visit to Kenya. There’s also the donning of a jacket with the message “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” while en route to meet immigrant children who were ripped apart from their families at a border detention center.
By contrast, Jill Biden described her inauguration dresses as a “voice for me,” wishing that they will help her tell the story of “what we as Americans experienced together: of hope, and of love, and unity that we held onto and how we let those values guide us forward.” Biden also took the opportunity to express her optimism, to great applause, for a certain type of progress that America has already come frustratingly close to achieving: “I look forward to adding some menswear to this gallery in the future.”