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veep show Deirdre Reynolds: Kamala Harris is catwalk queen as new Vice President gives lesson in power dressing

Of course, Kamala Harris’s footwear didn’t shatter the glass ceiling, but her practical trainers are a pretty good option for the generations of girls who’ll navigate the shards left in her wake.

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President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in as the 49th US Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in as the 49th US Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in as the 49th US Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Ask her more? Ask my Áras.

When Kamala Harris became the US Vice-President-elect in November, snot-nosed female writers were falling all over themselves to forbid the world from focusing on her clothes.

Her signature ‘Chucks’, they argued, had absolutely nothing to do with her surefooted ascent up the ladder of power to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

So it gave me a good laugh to see women around the world kick over the traces by wearing Converse and pearls to celebrate the 56-year-old’s historic election to Veep last week, as well as the column inches devoted to her equally trailblazing choice of purple coat and dress by black designers Sergio Hudson and Christopher John Rogers for the landmark occasion.

After all, how could our tiny lady brains be expected to soak up the significance of Harris being sworn into office by the country’s first Latina Supreme Court justice when her niece Meena, a successful businesswoman in her own right, was rocking a pair of silver cowboy boots?

In the absence of the Oscars, or even a trip to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Joe Biden’s inauguration became the fashion highlight of 2021. From First Lady Dr Jill Biden’s Aer Lingus-inspired ensemble to Second step-daughter Ella Emhoff’s Twitter-stopping Miu Miu coat, the glamour didn’t disappoint.

In recent years, the #AskHerMore movement has been encouraging media to stop asking women ridiculously frilly questions on the red carpet.

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Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle

Inauguration guests like former first lady Michelle Obama – one of the few women there to wrap up warm in trousers – prove for once and for all that style and substance are not mutually exclusive.

Of course, Kamala Harris’s footwear didn’t shatter the glass ceiling, but her practical trainers are a pretty good option for the generations of girls who’ll navigate the shards left in her wake.

Shakespeare once said that “the apparel oft proclaims the man”, but I’m quite sure he meant “women”.

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Lady Gaga arrives to sing the US National Anthem

Lady Gaga arrives to sing the US National Anthem

Lady Gaga arrives to sing the US National Anthem

It doesn’t take Dr Phil to figure out the meaning behind Melania Trump’s wardrobe change from a beat-on black as she boarded Air Force One for the last time into a flowy orange kaftan alighting in Florida a few hours later.

The €3,000 Gucci number is a long way from the memetastic mittens made from recycled jumpers worn by Bernie Sanders last week – I’ve already stolen the Senator’s style while doing the ‘big shop’ in an on-trend surgical mask this week.

But it was young poet Amanda Gorman’s luminous Prada coat and caged bird ring homage to Maya Angelou that said it all as she urged her fellow Americans to “be the light” after four years of “uncivil war” under Trump, as 46 had earlier put it.

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Singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the Inauguration

Singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the Inauguration

Singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the Inauguration

It’s no accident that House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Jennifer Lopez also went for the colour of peace, while Lady Gaga, in Schiaparelli custom-made to resemble the star-bangled banner itself. So, no, as power dressing takes centre stage, I’ll never stop asking ‘Who are you wearing?’

If that’s sexist, then just spray me orange and call me Donald.

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