Joe Biden arrives at the White House with Dr Jill Biden
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Jill Biden and Melania Trump have influenced people all over the world with their fashion choices, but mainly for different reasons. While Donald Trump’s wife was known for her luxury clothing items, since Jill Biden has been in the White House, she has mainly showcased small businesses with her clothing.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, one expert shared just how different the two First Lady’s are from one another.
Abbey Booth, personal stylist and owner of Stories with Clothes, said: “There is a huge difference between the two women’s choices as Melania chose to wear a plethora of European designer brands and luxurious accessories and reads like a who’s who of the fashion industry – from Alaia, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Chloe, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianvito Rossi, Prada, Roksanda, Victoria Beckham to name a few in addition to her favoured Christian Louboutin heels and the famous Hermes Birkin bags to Hervé Pierre, one of her favourite designers, who also designed her inaugural gown.
“Jill Biden’s choices reflect a more unified and purposeful direction as she chose a small NYC-based designer, Alexandra O’Neill of Markarian, a young American creative who is just starting out, for her Inauguration outfit, signifying her intention to support not only American designers but also small businesses, which is in-line with her husband’s Small Business policy.”
The designer of Jill’s coat said in a press release that the colour blue was deliberate, and was designed to inspire “trust, confidence and stability”.
The expert added: “In November at the election celebrations she wore Oscar de la Renta a label whose joint creative directors – Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim – are both immigrants to the United States and it was significant as Kamala Harris wore Carolina Herrera – both designers are immigrants, which is another Biden/Harris election plan to support and secure the future of immigrant workers and families.
“This represents a complete difference in outlook and it’s noticeable that during her husband’s Inauguration ceremony earlier this month, she had already chosen and secured a full set of staffers prepared to take over the East Wing — Dr Biden means business!
“She knows how the White House works, having previously been the Second Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama’s administration and in her first week as the First Lady has already relaunched Joining Forces, an initiative she co-founded with former First Lady Michelle Obama providing support for military families.
“Michelle Obama wrote about how impactful her clothing choices were in her book, Becoming, so Dr Biden will be no stranger to this concept and can use choices powerfully to create impact and draw attention to relevant issues.
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“Who can ever forget the crass and insensitive fashion disaster of Melania Trump when she wore ‘that’ army green Zara jacket to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border that had the words “I really don’t care, do u?” scrawled on the reverse?”
Many of Jill’s outfits are also bright in colour, which according to the expert conveys powerful messages.
Abbey said: “She does enjoy wearing romantic, compassionate and gentle pink seen in dresses and a coat she wore during the presidential campaign and has worn green several times including a gorgeous forest green gown from sustainable fashion label Gabriela Hearst, green represents balance, harmony and again is perfectly in tune with the election campaign for a clean energy revolution.
“Wearing the right colours for our skin tone not only uplifts and evens our skin helping us to look more radiant – it can also convey powerful messages when needed. Just look at all the block colours worn by those powerful women on Inauguration day and how impactful the blues and purples were – these are women in control of their destiny and collaborating together to create a single message of unity.”
Another expert also shared an insight into why Jill Biden may be opting for the brands she does.
Melanie Potro, an Image Consultant and Personal Brand Stylist, explained: “Aside from the fact they are both first ladies, Melania Trump and Dr Jill Biden couldn’t be more different in background, education and character.
“It is therefore no surprise that Jill Biden has chosen to make a completely different statement with her wardrobe than her predecessor.
“As it is tradition for first ladies to wear US labels for Inauguration, both Melania Trump and Jill Biden wore outfits made by an American Designer.
“However, whilst Jill Biden chose to make a statement in line with her political beliefs, Melania Trump’s aim was to ‘look good’ and cement her status as first wife by choosing a well-established brand in Ralph Lauren for an outfit that referenced style-icon Jackie Kennedy.”
The expert added that Jill’s Inauguration outfit showed the world what she truly cares about.
She explained: “She [Jill] chose a small, independent label that stood out because all of their clothes are crafted in New York’s garment district. A confident and bold statement to support the US fashion industry.
“Rather than being just a ‘pretty wife’ and bystander, Jill Biden has been a working woman all of her life and holds four university degrees. Even during both her terms as second lady, she continued to work as an English teacher and vowed to continue doing so, to emphasise the value of education and lift the profession’s reputation.
“Hence, her wardrobe is also always based on practicality. She wants to be able to move around, engage and talk to people. Being an educator, she wants her appearance to be friendly/welcoming and open-minded. Clothes are chosen to support her mission.”
Many of her outfits include long coats, small heels and comfortable midi-dresses.
Melanie added that her style makes her “relatable” and “American women can see themselves dressing in a similar way”.
This is in contrast to Melania who loved her designer brands and even had a Hermes Birkin bag collection, thought to be worth as much as £200,000.
The stylist added: “Slovenian-born Melania Trump’s style is designed to wow her audience. A former model, she has curated her polished looks over the past four years and achieved a high fashion following.
“Overall, Melania has used her role as First Lady to develop and showcase her personal brand as a White House Fashionista; Jill Biden, on the other hand, is choosing outfits as a means to engage with those around her and project her values as an educator.”
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