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First lady Jill Biden's inauguration attire — including face masks — is now at the Smithsonian

Two years ago, Dr. Jill Biden became the first (and hopefully only) first lady to wear a matching mask at her inauguration. Now, those signs of the COVID-19 pandemic – along with Dr. Biden’s blue Malcarion coat and skirt and Gabriella Hearst’s white embroidered coat and dresses – which have joined the Smithsonian’s popular First Ladies collection. The exhibit showcases two dozen gowns worn by first ladies throughout U.S. history, including Jacqueline Kennedy’s white Oleg Cassini inaugural gown, Martha Washington’s ) owns the 19 gown, and an ethereal one – Michelle Obama at the 2009 inaugural ball Jason Wu suit worn on .

Gabriela Hearst, First Lady Jill Biden and Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“It was a much more emotional day than I thought it would be,” Biden commented Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when the dresses officially joined the collection. (She wore a blue and gold floral-print Markarian midi dress for the event, combining the colors and embroidery from the two outfits she attended.) Truth be told, the attitude at the show was both cheerful and more than one might expect More thoughtful.

Biden singled out two young, exciting design talents for her inauguration. As Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Hearst noted in their own review, they made the looks in New York’s Garment District. Hearst, founder of her eponymous label and current creative director of Chloé, a leader in luxury sustainability, is focused on the unifying message Biden wants to convey through her eveningwear. Hearst’s team embroidered the federal flowers of the US states and territories on white gowns, while Biden’s home state of Delaware sits above the educator’s heart. Meanwhile, O’Neal and Biden first met when O’Neal was just starting out. Biden was drawn to O’Neill’s sensibility, which the first lady described as “timeless and new. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, as young people show up and vote for Joe in historic numbers.”

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