Her husband is not yet in the White House, but soon-to-be First Lady Jill Biden has proved she already holds serious sway when it comes to the fashion stakes.
Dr Biden, 69, wore a $5,690 dress by New York-based brand Oscar de la Renta as she joined President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on stage in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday night.
The midnight blue dress was available on designer outlet website The Outnet when she stepped out for the celebratory event – but had sold out just hours later, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The dress, available at the reduced price of $1,707, was a runaway hit with wealthy shoppers who wanted to emulate the First Lady’s style.
First Lady of fashion: The $5,690 Oscar de la Renta dress worn by Jill Biden to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory (pictured) rally sold out online within hours of the Saturday night event
It comes as Oscar de la Renta shared a photo of designers putting the finishing touches on the dress worn by Dr Biden, ensuring that it fit the First Lady perfectly.
The draped midnight blue wool-blend crepe midi dress featured floral vine embroidery, which the fashion house suggested was a sign of hope.
The choice of designer also carried political significance, Vogue noted, because ‘it was designed by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, both immigrants to the United States who trained under Oscar de la Renta (himself an immigrant from the Dominican Republic)’.
Dr Biden promises to introduce the fashion of the ‘everyday’ woman into the White House, notes the Daily Telegraph’s Emily Cronin, marking a break from the ultra-polished looks of Melania Trump.
In her virtual address at the Democratic National Convention, broadcast from a public high school where she used to teach, Dr Biden wore a simple green shirt dress by Texan designer Brandon Maxwell.
Oscar de la Renta has long been a favorite among reigning First Ladies, and Dr Biden’s decision to wear the brand sees her joining the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Clinton.
Finishing touches: It comes as Oscar de la Renta shared a photo of designers putting the finishing touches on the dress worn by Dr Biden, ensuring that it fit the First Lady perfectly
Sell-out: The floral dress was available on designer outlet website The Outnet when Dr Biden stepped out for the celebratory event (pictured) – but had sold out just hours later
Before his death in October 2014, the designer personally dressed every First Lady from Jackie O to Mrs Obama, and for some, like Hillary Clinton and Reagan, he became a close friend and confidante.
De la Renta’s role as a First Lady fashion favorite began in the 1960s when Jackie Kennedy Onassis wore a peach dress designed by the style star during an official visit to India with her husband, President John F. Kennedy.
The vibrant frock was an instant hit, and marked the start of a long style tradition among future First Ladies on both sides of the aisle, who regularly turned to the designer to dress them for many major occasions.
Mrs Clinton first wore Oscar de la Renta to the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. during Bill’s first term as President, having bought the design off the rack. The designer reached out to her soon after, and the pair became firm friends.
The then-First Lady turned to de la Renta to design a gown for her husband’s second inaugural ball in 1997, and she has continued to wear the label regularly in the 23 years since.
De la Renta also designed her daughter Chelsea’s wedding dress when she married Marc Mezvinsky in August 2010.
First Daughter Ivanka Trump is also a devotee of the high-end fashion brand, which was founded in 1965, and she has frequently chosen Oscar de la Renta designs for official occasions throughout her father’s time as President.
American designers: In her virtual address at the Democratic National Convention, Dr Biden wore a simple green shirt dress by American designer Brandon Maxwell
The label is also a long-time favorite among celebrities; the Duchess of Sussex chose an Oscar de la Renta design over the weekend when she joined Prince Harry to mark Remembrance Day at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
But despite the impressive designer credentials, the outfit communicated the message that she was approachable, Cronin noted.
‘It [looked] stable, wholesome and reassuring, at a time when Americans needed reassurance that stability could be around the corner,’ she explained.
Throughout her husband’s presidential campaign, Dr Biden has proven her sartorial skills again and again, often choosing major moments to represent American designers.
At the DNC, she wore a cap-sleeved, wrap-style dress by celebrity-loved Christian Siriano, who also dressed Mrs Obama.
While Dr Biden isn’t afraid to send a message with her clothes – she stepped out in boots emblazoned with the word ‘VOTE’ while on the campaign trail – her recent appearances suggest she will favor a more low-key approach to fashion.
That’s unsurprising given how much more Dr Biden will have on her mind.
The English professor, who has four university degrees, announced her intention to continue teaching at Northern Virginia Community College while her husband is President.
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