This is what it meant for Prabal Gurung to dress Kamala Harris

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  • All eyes were on Kamala Harris last week as she took her oath to serve as Vice President of the United States, alongside President Joe Biden.

    Naturally, everyone wondered what she would wear on the big day, and her bold outfit did not disappoint.

    Her purple coat was by designer Christopher John Rogers, and many thought it was a symbol of merging the colours of the Democrats and Republicans (red and blue), as both Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama wore the same hue.

    The next day, the VP carried on with the purple theme, this time changing into a gorgeous berry ensemble by Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung, to watch the virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service from the White House, hosted by the Washington National Cathedral.

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    Now the designer, an immigrant, has opened up to ELLE about what it felt like to dress Kamala Harris, herself the daughter of immigrants, for such a momentous occasion.

    He said,’This week has been incredibly emotional for me. I came to the United States to realise my American Dream of becoming a fashion designer. Having been born in Singapore, raised in Nepal and India, and then living in Australia and London, I always looked at the United States as a land of endless possibilities. My story, and what I have been blessed to achieve, could really only happen here.

    Yesterday, when they swore in Kamala Devi Harris as the first female, Black, and South Asian Vice President of the United States of America, I was overwhelmed with hope, gratitude, and profound joy. Hearing a name that sounds familiar and seeing her face and thinking of that iconic image of the Vice President wearing a sari makes me think of the strong women of my family, and the inspiring young girls my organisation Shikshya Foundation Nepal helps to educate. They can all now look to one of the highest offices in the world and see someone that looks like them. This moment belongs to every marginalised person who has ever been discouraged of dreaming big—because they now see that they can achieve anything.’

    Inspiring words.

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