The first Joe and Jill Biden American Outreach tour, also known as the Group of 7 event in Britain, came to a conclusion on Sunday night; although the president continued to Brussels for NATO and a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the first lady returned to Washington. It was, according to most experts, a success: an effective use of the state to show the point that America is back on the table, ready to speak (and listen), once again an ally in the League of Nations. That this administration, and this first family, is not like the last one.
To prevent anyone from missing the message, dr. Pray it in bold, clear letters – literally: the word “Love” was placed in rhinestones on the back of the Zadig & Voltaire jacket she wore on day one of the event. And although there is much speculation that the garment is a cunning rip-off for the “I really do not care, do you?” a jacket that Melania Trump wore during her time as first lady is a better explanation given by Dr. Biden: “We bring love from America.”
That’s enough of a statement after all. And although members of the staff of dr. Praying usually makes an idea that the first lady used fashion to send a message – they want the focus on her work, not on her wardrobe – it was hard to deny.
This suggests that the first lady is actually more than ready to use costume to make a point, especially at moments of high political theater like the G7, where the images are just as choreographed as any meetings behind closed doors. She is the model of the very complicated first lady next door.
That’s why the G7 family photo, with the president, was smiling in his dark suit and bright blue tie while, albeit in a socially distant way, between Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada so important; why the journey of dr. Pray to visit schoolchildren with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; why the picture of the Bidens looks relaxed and cheerful with Queen Elizabeth II going around the world. It is a time of international relations that can be seen by all, in which the supporting players – ie the families – are as much a part of the story as the policy statements.
And what the four days of the G7 showed is that dr. Biden has her own ideas on how this should be done.
These ideas have less to do with fashion diplomacy as recently defined – characterized by the origin of brands or the nationality of designers and what is currently on sale and whether you can get the look or more likely just dream about it – and more to make with accessibility, color psychology and the value of not buying the treadmills but one’s closet.
The precedent was set when the president and dr. Biden Wednesday planned to match matching outfits: he in a dark navy suit, bright white shirt and dark blue-and-white striped tie; she in a dark blue jacket, white Michael Kors dress and dark blue shoes. Together, they presented a picture of coordination and teamwork (and a contrast to the first international tour of the former president and his wife, in which the infamous blow-by-hand incident appeared).
14 June 2021, 09:00 ET
Next comes the “Love” jacket with a Brandon Maxwell dress with a dot. Apart from the obvious text, the most interesting of the jacket was that the first lady has been wearing it regularly in the public eye since 2019 and has chosen it for various campaign occasions. As a subtext, this could actually be a more calculated and credible statement than any covert slap on Mrs. Trump.
Wearing clothes is, after all, a basic way of combating the contribution of fashion to climate change, which is high on the Biden administration agenda and also happens to be one of the most important issues of the summit. Not to mention the cause of Carrie Johnson, the wife of Mr. Johnson, who made her own fashion news by renting virtually all the outfits she wore as hostess of the G7 (just when she rented her dress for their recent surprise wedding). This could of course have been coincidental, although in any case it was probably an initial conversation and a shared point of contact.
So it went. Dr Biden wore white again – the color of peace, new beginnings and strikes, at least in European tradition – as she and the Duchess toured a primary school, paired with a pink floral jacket, paired with the fuchsia McQueen dress Catherine harmonized. Later, a trench coat by Gabriela Hearst and suitcase by Marina Larroudé arrives during the dinner with the royal family; a black-and-white Carolina Herrera to go to church on Sunday morning; and a powder blue dress and jacket for the Bidens’ final audience with the Queen.
The dress and jacket again matched the blue of the president’s tie, thus enabling the Bidens to end the journey as they began: as a united front. This can be the lasting image of the occasion.
As it happened, however, the first lady also wore that dress and jacket before (also the Herrera). It may not seem like a big deal, but for someone in the public eye to deliberately make such choices for moments that are largely organized for the cameras, it’s a significant departure from the recent tradition, and one that sets the tone. indicates about moving away. from a culture of disposability. It’s not about rejecting fashion, but rather about appreciating the fashion you have.
In the end, apart from the sheer friendliness of her clothes, which never look restrictive or restricted or excessive or even as delicate as it is (because it can be quite pretty), this repetition may be the most important and possibly most influential. aspect of her sculpture. More than any boosterism for American brands or brands led by women, it can be the takeaway that lasts.
Suppose she does it again, of course.