Tonight's COVID Memorial Heralds Hopeful Change, and Wardrobe Choices Speak Volumes
Tonight, on the eve of possibly America’s most historic inauguration, four hundred lights s the reflecting pool of the Lincoln Memorial to honour the four hundred thousand plus Americans lost to the pandemic so far. President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden stood alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff in quiet reflection.
“To heal we must remember” said Biden, “it’s important to do that as a nation… between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember who we lost.” Following a moment of silence, American gospel singer Yolanda Adams performed an emotive rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.
New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman noted the significance of clothing worn to the memorial. Vice President-elect Harris wore a camel coat by Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. At the start of the pandemic, following his own sister's COVID-19 diagnosis, Jean-Raymond converted his office in New York to a PPE collection centre. In September, the New York designer pledged $50,000 in grants to aid struggling, independent minority and female owned businesses affected by the pandemic.
1/2 It's not about fashion. It's about values. At the COVID memorial on inauguration eve Kamala Harris wore a coat from Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, a Black designer who worked to provide PPE and help to small businesses; pic.twitter.com/huaEkWTdTe— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) January 19, 2021
Also notable was Dr. Jill Biden’s dress by young American designer and sustainability champion Jonathan Cohen. The incoming First Lady's choice to wear purple, a colour worn by the Suffragettes and a bi-partisan mix of red and blue is particularly significant following the attempted coup by rioting insurrectionists not two weeks ago at the Capitol. The same place where her husband will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America tomorrow.