Buenos Aires-born Corte is no stranger to the pomp and circumstance of spotlight fashion, having outfitted celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen.
“This has been a historic moment, watching the first woman ascend to the office of Vice President,” Corte said. “I wanted the clothes I made for Maya to reflect the magnitude of this moment.”
After an introduction by a mutual friend, in-person work on the outfit began on a rainy Saturday morning at Corte’s boutique at the Mandarin Oriental Boston.
“Maya knew what she wanted all along. She is an extremely decisive person,” the designer said. “She wanted to work with ivory, black, or blue. We only had two weeks to do [the inauguration outfit], so that was the most pressing.”
In the end, Corte designed seven pieces for Harris, two of which made it to the White House steps.
The centerpiece was a marine blue Alexander McQueen pantsuit, styled and fit for Harris by yet another well-known local fashion maven, Bê Bilzerian of the eponymous clothing store Alan Bilzerian in Boston. Bilzerian also fit and styled the inaugural outfit for Tony West, Harris’s husband.
Accenting the statement suit was a personal favorite of Corte’s: a double-face silk georgette blouse in ivory, which created a stunning cascade of soft ruffles against the jacket’s strong lapel.
“When she saw the ruffle blouse, she wanted it immediately,” Corte said of the style she designed a decade ago that has since become a staple in her collection. “This outfit was meant to show that women no longer need to give up femininity to be accorded the same respect as men. We can be feminine and sexy, but in this new context those characteristics project the ultimate strength.”
Corte also created a necessary accessory to complement the outfit: a black silk charmeuse face mask.
While Harris wore her own overcoat against Washington D.C.’s freezing January weather, one of Corte’s Rocker jackets in midnight navy silk velvet now hangs inside her closet and has been worn for other events.
“It was an incredible honor to dress Maya and take a small part in such a historic event,” Corte said.
This article has been updated throughout.
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