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The best moments you might have missed from President Biden’s inauguration

by Lauren Heskin
25th Jan 2021

From Ella Emhoff’s iconic Miu Miu coat, to Amanda Gorman’s poem and Michelle Obama serving as Kamala Harris’ hype woman, there is much to be digested from President Biden’s inauguration.

Something actually happened! That we could watch! Live! And it wasn’t Brexit-related or the storming of a public building or a desperately dry political meeting about mother and baby homes atrocities.


We’re taking this moment not to hit the political notes that happened yesterday but to highlight all the culture and fashion that we have been so starved of these long ten months. While the inauguration was severely limited in numbers by COVID-19 and was a relatively muted affair considering the recent attack on the Capitol and the climbing death toll of the virus, it still managed to have a few magic moments.


Lady Gaga singing the national anthem

Kicking things off for the inauguration was Lady Gaga in a fabulous custom Schiaparelli Couture gown. When she took the podium in front of a fairly small crowd (especially for her) she looked like a schoolchild whose getting their first turn on stage, an excited wave to a parent in the crowd would have tied it all off.

She also performed with a lot of excited gesticulation that seemed a little out of step with the sombre and even-slower-than-usual anthem. But we get it, these types of changing of the guards are always time for hope and anticipation. Plus, it means the end of Trump on the news every night for some insane thing he Tweeted, so I’ll drink to that.

It’s also interesting to see these opening scenes takes in images of a bedecked Capitol, a building we last saw quite literally crawling with Trump supporters as they besieged the Capitol two weeks ago. There was clearly an emphasis placed on the fact that the Capitol was stormed but not taken.


Ella Emhoff’s eyebrows

These January inaugurations are really a great day for coat lovers and when we all glimpsed Michelle Obama in her all-berry Sergio Hudson number, it looked like she would be the clear winner.

And then Vice President Kamala Harris’ step-daughter Ella Emhoff walks in in a killer Miu Miu coat and took us all by surprise. The oversized Peter Pan collar, and the embellished shoulder, yes please.

To top it all off, as Mike Pence neared to speak to the Obamas who stood in front of her, cameras caught Emhoff’s eyebrows telling us all we needed to know about her thoughts on the outgoing vice president. Not even a mask taking up half your face can hide those kinds of emotions.


Amanda Gorman’s poem

We knew that the twenty-two-year-old’s poem was going to a highlight of the ceremony and Amanda Gorman did not disappoint. Reading her original poem “The Hill We Climb”, she brought some gravitas and emotion to the event that was inevitably quite dull at times.

Here’s just a taster:

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it

This moment between Michelle Obama and Madame Vice President Harris

From the first Black First Lady to the first Black Asian-American female vice president, this small moment was another heart-warmer. And who wouldn’t swell up when Michelle Obama serves you such a face.

Probably one of only a few handfuls of Black people to have ever stood on an inauguration stage, you can feel how much this history-making moment means to both of them.

The Bernie Sanders meme

And finally, it wouldn’t be a big live event with a meme, would it? Bernie Sanders in his pretty epic mittens was captured sitting on his own (he is a high-risk for COVID-19) on a folding chair in a bundled up coat, looking a little… disgruntled.

Here’s just taste of what the Internet produced in a few short hours.

And my favourite…

Featured collage imagery via Instagram and Twitter

Read more: Biden’s inauguration is packed with star performers but this young poet you need to watch

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Read more: From the car-crash that killed his baby daughter to his son’s brain cancer; the heartbreaking tragedies Joe Biden overcame