SARTORIAL SYMBOLISM

Hillary Clinton chose to deliver her inspiring concession speech in bipartisan purple

Obsession
Fashion
Obsession
Fashion

Democrat Hillary Clinton faced the most difficult task of her run for the presidency today. After a bitter, divisive campaign against Republican Donald Trump, who ultimately proved victorious, she conceded defeat in a speech that stressed the need for a united nation. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she said of her fierce rival over the last year.

Clinton, who has chosen her signature suits in symbolic colors during her campaign—suffragette white to accept her nomination by the Democratic party, and a sequential trio of red, white, and blue for her debates against Trump—picked a similarly significant shade for her speech. She appeared in a black suit with lapels and lining in bold purple.

It suggested a mix of the red and blue that represent the Republican and Democratic parties, a poignant choice indicating bipartisanship and a need for Americans on both sides of the aisle to come together to work toward a common goal.

As Clinton delivered her speech, her husband, former president Bill Clinton, stood behind her, wearing a tie that was also purple. On CNN, journalist and commentator Carl Bernstein reflected that purple is “the color of spirituality, the color of mourning, the color of mystery,” and called the image of Hillary and Bill Clinton standing side by side in matching purple “a tableaux of the Clintons and the best of what they stand for.”

Like white, purple was also a color favored by the suffrage movement. And in Clinton’s Methodist faith, purple signifies royalty and penitence.

Throughout her campaign, Clinton has often worn custom suits by American designer Ralph Lauren. The suit here was most likely custom as well, suggesting the choice of purple was considered well in advance.

Whether Clinton won or lost, it would have been appropriate. The need for Americans to come together, whatever their political leanings, is great at this moment. A resplendent bit of color in Clinton’s wardrobe captured that need perfectly.

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