During the “Celebrating America” special concert, the new FLOTUS donned a white floral-embroidered ensemble (and matching mask) by American—and bridal—designer, Gabriela Hearst that was designed to represent “unity” as we begin this new chapter in our country’s history.
“The message of Unity is the main inspiration for the creation of the Ensemble,” the designer wrote on Instagram. “Unity makes strength and it is needed for the road ahead. The blooming symbol to represent this message are the federal flowers from every state and territory of the United States of America."
Both the dress, which also featured a sheer neckline and long sleeves, and the coat were embroidered with the colorful state flowers, which all centered around Dr. Biden's native Delaware flower. "The flowers are embroidered into the cashmere coat on the hem line in an pattern that rises organically on the side’s seams," the designer added. "On the dress, the embroidery is placed on the silk organza neckline and arms. The body of the dress is constructed in silk wool cady. The Delaware flower is positioned at the heart level of The First Lady, from there, all the other flowers branch out.”
This lovely sentiment calls to mind a certain other public figure who used embroidered flowers to represent a higher meaning. Meghan Markle’s wedding veil, designed by Clare Waight Keller, from her and Prince Harry’s 2018 nuptials was trimmed with flowers from the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
“Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries united in one spectacular floral composition," a statement from Kensington Palace read. Wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, the state flower of California where Meghan had grown up, were among the flowers included.
The Duchess’s 16.5-foot-long veil certainly garnered a lot of attention—but not all positive. While the intention behind the flowers was positive, some felt that it celebrated colonization, which didn’t have a positive effect on everyone involved, according to NPR.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Dr. Biden wore an "ocean blue" coat and dress set designed by up-and-coming bridal designer Markarian that was meant to represent "trust, confidence, and stability."