The meaning behind poet Amanda Gorman's jewellery and yellow coat at Biden’s inauguration

Laura Hampson
·3-min read
Amanda Gorman's jewellery was a gift from Oprah Winfrey (Getty)
Amanda Gorman's jewellery was a gift from Oprah Winfrey (Getty)

If you didn’t know Amanda Gorman’s name before yesterday’s inauguration, you surely know it now.

The 22-year-old Harvard graduate, who was named the US’ National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 at just 19 years old, became the youngest-ever inaugural poet when she performed at Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In a star-studded afternoon, filled with performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, as well as an excellent array of coats on show worn by the attendees, Gorman’s poem was a standout moment - but so were her fashion choices.

Read more: Who is Amanda Gorman, the Youngest Inaugural Poet in US History?

Donning a ruby red Prada headband, there was meaning in the small details of Gorman’s look.

After the inauguration, Gorman took to Twitter to reveal the message behind a piece of jewellery she was wearing - a gift from Oprah Winfrey no less.

Gorman wrote: “I would be nowhere without the women whose footsteps I dance in. While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion, to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet. Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before.”

This isn’t the first time Winfrey has adorned an inaugural poet. When Maya Angelou spoke at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993, she was gifted a Chanel coat and a pair of gloves by Winfrey for the event.

In an interview with Vogue, Gorman said the symbolism weaved into her outfit was intentional.

“It's really special and important to me to deliver these nuggets of information and sentimentality as I'm reciting the poem," she added.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Biden inauguration poet Amanda Gorman

Gorman also revealed that Winfrey sent her a pair of gold hoop Nikos Koulis earrings to wear on the day too.

“Every single time I get a text from [Oprah] I fall on the floor,” Gorman told Vogue.

“[Fashion] has so much meaning to me, and it’s my way to lean into the history that came before me and all the people supporting me.”

Watch: Amanda Gorman is the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration

Gorman’s sunshine yellow-hued Miuccia Prada coat was a nod to FLOTUS, Dr. Jill Biden.

Biden first noticed Gorman in 2017 and contacted her last month to ask if she could read a poem at the President’s swearing-in ceremony. Biden added that she loved the yellow dress Gorman wore while reading her “In This Place: An American Lyric” poem in 2017, which could have been why Gorman chose the hue for the momentous day.

Read more: Nigella Lawson appears to throw shade at Trump with her 'recipe of the day'

To wear Prada, in both headband and coat form, was also an intentional choice as it’s a designer Gorman admires “for her intellect and long-standing feminist leanings”.

The coat, which retails for £2,360, is still available on Net-A-Porter at the time of writing but stocks are low. To complete the look, the Prada satin headband retails for £265 and the Of Rare Origin ring ($1,290/£940) can be purchased on the brand’s US site.

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