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When poet laureate Amanda Gorman spoke during the 2021 inauguration ceremony, all I could focus on were her powerful, beautiful words. After she finished, though, I had to pay her bomb outfit some attention, too. This young woman showed up serving looks as she delivered her poem in front of the new President, the Vice President and all others in attendance. She’s a massive deal, so if you didn’t know about her before, take note.
Who is Amanda Gorman and what is a poet laureate? I’m so glad you asked. Gorman is a 22-year-old woman based in Los Angeles and she’s also the very first national youth poet laureate, a title she earned at just 19 years old. The nation’s poet laureate is quite literally the official poet of the United States, so the honor is huge—and the talented Gorman is more than deserving.
Gorman’s reading today makes her the youngest person to deliver a poem at a presidential inauguration ever. Notable poets who have read in the past include Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander and Robert Frost, so it’s safe to say Gorman’s name will go down in history as one of the great writers of our time. Her spoken word delivery of “The Hill We Climb” was powerful and sharp, and she was the picture of confidence at the podium.
Oh—and her look was fire, too. Dressed in Prada, Gorman wore a beautiful yellow coat, simple black skirt and white blouse. She accessorized with a red Prada headband and red bedazzled face mask, but carried a more subtle black Prada face mask, perhaps to switch into post-performance. Her jewelry was gifted to her by Oprah, a self-described fan of Gorman’s work (No big deal).The whole thing was ridiculously chic, in my opinion.
In an interview with Vogue, Goreman discussed her outfit in detail. “I am weaving my own type of symbolism into my outfit, and it’s really special and important to me to deliver these nuggets of information and sentimentality as I’m reciting the poem,” she shared. When Oprah reached out to buy her jewelry, Winfrey told Gorman that she had also purchased the gloves and coat Maya Angelou wore when she spoke at the inauguration. Chills.
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“One thing I can say is that I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing a ring that has a caged bird, to symbolize I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Gorman told Vogue. “I’m also wearing a yellow coat, which is my own nod to Dr. Jill Biden, who was the one who recommended me in the first place, and I’m so honored by that.”
Her look was chic and symbolic, and her words were strong and moving. Bravo to Amanda Gorman, my new favorite person and total style icon (Yes, I’m buying the Prada headband. You should, too).