Jackie Kennedy


Anna Wintour has her bob and Karl Lagerfeld has his pristine ponytail and gloves.

 

Jacqueline Kennedy was all about the sunglasses

 

 

People started buying and sporting these oversized sunnies when Jackie wore them, not realizing that she used them to balance the size of her head and the spacing of her eyes. This was a woman who had studied her features and knew what to conceal and to accentuate.

Looking crisp and cool with her dark-top-white-bottoms uniform and the Gucci tote named for her. Jackie’s chin resembles the edge of a crescent moon and the shades balanced her look.

 

In Madrid, Jackie dressed up her jaunty bouffant and cream colored shift with her oversized sunglasses (a little bit more octagonal here than round frames).

 

As First Lady, Jackie’s shades were not quite as large or as round. Here she sports them with a nautical attire; JFK’s wayfarers look way better, cooler, more hip (except the for the socks).

 

Jackie, in her element, in Italy 1962, wearing pastels and white and sunnies, which optically widened her face to even out the squareness of her jaw.

 

 

Matching black-and-beige attire and cruising in a golf cart – can they be any more effortlessly glamorous? I prefer Jackie in side-swept bangs as it softens her face considerably. JFK rocks those wayfarers once again. If one thinks anyone can look as sophisticated in such accessible accessories, check out Lem Billings (?) to JFK’s right – he doesn’t measure up quite as much.

I read in the biography of Pamela Harriman that Jackie showed up in Leland Hayward’s funeral in white – from her shades to her slacks. This is one picture where Jackie wears all-white – I love how those white sunnies complement her hoodie and contrast the colorful stripes of her top. And JFK smiles on in those wayfarers. He certainly knew his signature look.

 

In her sixties. Only Jackie can lounge ON TOP OF THE WINDSHIELD, reading and still look elegant.

 

However, it was during the Onassis years that Jackie became known for her killer oversized sunglasses. Interestingly, she used the to disguise herself, her wide-set eyes so people couldn’t see what she was looking at and what she was feeling. However, it was a disguise in futility because these shades made her instantly recognizable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’ll be summer soon and every fashion runway around the world has featured its two cents on the trend for SS: floral prints, pajama pants, etc.

For summer style inspiration, no one else has perfected the Capri outfit as well as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This is the first entry in a series of Jackie Kennedy Summery Style and it shall focus on Jackie’s fondness for scarves:

 

This a perfect snapshot of Jackie, still First Lady, summering in Italy. She chose a hot pink shift and a pink-and-blue plaid scarf to complete the look (of course, the Leica, the cigarette-in-hand pose and the Kelly bag make for fabulous photo accessories). Jackie’s head is considerably too big for her lithe, slender body and she used the scarves to tone down its size; occasionally, it seems to accentuate this flaw. However for the most part, she worked it into her look.  Jackie also has frizzy, nearly kinky hair, so it’s safe to assume that she uses it on a bad hair day. It’s an accessory she reserves for outdoor activities and for church.

 

 

Jackie in color, sporting scarves:

Jackie, cuddling with John, Jr. in the summer of 1963, in a Pucci dress.

 

Jackie totes the eponymous Gucci tote.

 

 

 

In nautical blue in 1962.

Jackie wore the scarves throughout the Onassis years as well:

 

 

 

 

 

Jackie also used her scarves as a kind of disguise from the paparazzi – and it completely failed because to this day it remains as one of the most enduring accessories associated with the icon that is Jackie O.

 

I finally found a picture of Jackie Bouvier’s debutante ball dress (worn in 1947)

It was an off -the-rack dress in tulle. Jackie wore this dress to a debutante ball she co-hosted with a fellow debutante Rose Grosvenor. Rose arrived in a Dior original but it was Jackie’s department-store ensemble that was dubbed “a designer’s dream.” Cholly Knickerbocker (pseudonym of Igor Cassini – yes the brother of Oleg) hailed Jacqueline “Queen Debutante of the Year (1947)”.

Of course only Jackie can strike such a pose and get away with it. The dress does set off her haircut and fit her well.

Last April, when it was announced that History Channel was planning to feature an eight-hour miniseries on the most famous American family in 2011, I mentally plotted the show as a “must-see.” I am a Kennedy watcher and I love checking out vintage images (of JFK, Jackie, etc.) and the modern pictures (of Rose Schlossberg). I’ve seen “A Woman Named Jackie”, “Jackie, Ethel, Joan,” and regret not having seen “Kennedy”, starring Martin Sheen and Blair Brown.

I liked the idea of Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper playing the brothers Jack and Bobby and even welcomed Brit Tom Wilkinson to play the indomitable Irishman, Joe Kennedy, Sr. But Katie Holmes as Jackie is quite the shocker.

Sure, they are both brunettes and they both have round eyes and square faces but the presence and the aura is just not there. Blair Brown, Roma Downey and Jill Hennessy are also doe-eyed brunettes but they certainly projected a semblance of Jackie’s aura.


Throughout the rest of 2010, pictures of the principal photography were posted online. The most easily recognizable re-enactments were that of the 1958 Hyannis Port beach scene with John, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy and the assassination and funeral of JFK. Readers caught a glimpse of Katie playing dress up (yes, with real-life daughter TomKitten, I mean, Suri) on tow with Isabella Cruise. The hair was properly amplified into the bouffant and the clothes were cheaply made. The pink suit worn in Dallas was poorly made for the min-series – it had very little to nothing of the texture of the original suit. Worst of all was a shot of Katie’s pigeon-toed stance – one never saw Mrs. Kennedy stand in that manner.

So limping towards 2011 was a much scrutinized, much-awaited mini series – then History Channel dumped it by saying the material was more drama than history. Well, we are talking about the Kennedys – it is drama enlarged by history. How can you not when you have womanizing politicians, sex goddesses, fashion icons and orphaned children coupled with conspiracies of the highest levels? Anyway, the producers have shopped the mini-series to Showtime, who has reportedly junked it as well.

I saw the trailer just two hours ago and Katie Holmes is every bit as terrible as I thought she would be. The voice is Joey Potter and the look is one of the millions of Jackie Look-alikes from the ’60’s. Barry Pepper, who I most vividly recall as Sniper Jackson from “Saving Private Ryan”, came across as intense as RFK and Greg Kinnear had JFK’s presidential eyebags down pat.

Here’s the trailer and judge for yourself

Lee Radziwill is depicted as the fashionable younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Certainly not as famous as her legen-wait for it!-dary sister, Lee holds her own as a chic, pretty icon of style and scandal. If Jackie inherited her mother, Janet Auchincloss’s more aloof disposition, Lee inherited her father, Black Jack Bouvier’s flamboyant, playboy ways (ironic, since Jackie was closer to Black Jack and it has been said that Lee is her mother’s favorite).

In truth, Lee Radziwill presents an immaculate image of herself – this classically beautiful and stylishly dressed woman, however, is something of a playgirl, a sometime alcoholic and a one-time hard-up middle-aged woman, struggling to survive the New York social scene.

The following are some of the Lee Radziwill pictures I’ve collected over the years:

Grandma Bouvier holds the baby Lee (who is just so adorable!) while big sister Jackie, shies from the camera, seated on the ground at far left. Standing at far right is Little Edie Beale.

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier stands by her baby sister, Caroline Lee’s pram. Jackie resembled their swarthy father while Lee inherited Janet’s dainty features.

Even as little girls, one can see how these children would be eye-candy in the world’s stage.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the young Jackie and Lee. It features Jackie’s strong sense of self – with her chin tilted up (she knew how to soften the squareness of her face for the camera) and the defiantly playful look in her eyes. Lee, shown here with a gentle smile and rather weak posture, is very much the kid sister.

Jackie and Lee in their 1950 European trip. I’m liking Jackie’s slacks and Lee’s top. Baring one’s legs in the early ’50’s – that was Lee.

One of my greatest regrets was never seeing Lee’s debutante ball dress. Here she and Jackie prepare for a sitting at a debutante party. Lee looks vibrant and Jackie more reserved. I love Jackie’s gown with its sash.

Lee looks really bitchy here and Jackie’s wide-set eyes are accentuated here in an unflattering way but she looks hauntingly exotic.

Jackie and Lee return from their European junket. They look pretty tired here as Lee looks haggard and Jackie looks downright ugly here – with her hair awry like that.

Lee with Black Jack Bouvier. He looks like a failure at this point and she has that look she would later give paparazzis in the ’60’s and ’70’s.

As with her debutante dress, Lee’s wedding dress during her first marriage was never published to my knowledge. I long to see her dress – which I have to believe is better than Jackie’s pouffy dress. Lee looks pretty here as the matron of honor.

Lee is at the height of her beauty here but what is it with the skanky pose?

THE WHITE HOUSE YEARS

The following photos feature Lee with her sister during the Kennedy years

And one picture from the 1970’s:

I love the classic Roger Vivier pump with its square buckles.

I found two photos of Jacqueline Kennedy, by then a widow living in New York after John Kennedy’s assassination, swathed in fur and sporting Vivier classics for shoe candy:

Both photos courtesy of Corbis

Jacqueline Kennedy was only thirty-one years old when she became America’s First Lady. In about a thousand days of the Kennedy presidency, she dazzled the world with her elegant carriage, exotic looks and beautiful clothes.

I’ve categorized her clothes accordingly: Daytime Functions, Evening Functions, Family and Vacation. There has never been another First Lady like Jackie – not even Michelle Obama comes close. Jackie was the quintessential fashionista; Mrs. Obama, the recessionista.

Daytime Functions:

Jackie selected a wool coat, trimmed in sable for Inauguration day. The oversize buttons are a great detail to it. It was a – politically safe choice: what first-term First Lady wears luxurious mink on Inauguration day? (Remember how Laura Bush chose a Texan designer to do her 2001 Inaugural ballgown then opted for Oscar dela Renta for her 2005 dress?) Jackie had a reason to don a warmer coat – a blizzard had blanketed Washington in snow only the night before and in fact, several women on the Inaugural platform wore fur. I always thought that even at that age, Jackie knew how to stand out. Her slim coat definitely made her easily identifiable and it accentuated her youthful looks. She also must have realized that other women had better mink coats and did not want to draw up unfavorable comparisons. Jackie topped the look with a rather big pillbox hat (which Oleg Cassini and Halston argued artistic rights to). I absolutely love the touch of the sable muff – it definitely had an air of romantic, hopeful youth. It was not Jackie who thought of holding a muff, aparently: it was fashion doyenne and editor, Diana Vreeland who suggested it.

A full-length shot of the outfit. The boots complete the sable-trimmed look. JFK’s top hat is a joke here, sorry.

I am still a fan of oversize collars (this is a heavy, personal bias) and I love how it wraps around her neck beautifully. Her pearl earrings here are lovely accessories though she looks like she’s on an amphetamine high in this picture.

Jackie, pictured here with Dorothy McMillan after tea in April 1961. I think Jackie forgot to remove the tea towel from her collar! The scalloped edge of her blouse would have been an interesting detail enough but that unnecessary piece of cloth is distracting and downright unattractive. She also looks very tired here, despite her smile.

Jackie’s mink coat here adds a luxurious touch but am afraid her sister Lee trumped her here with a exquisitely detailed silk dress and fur stole. Even the little sister’s handbag is more interesting. And what is wrong with Jackie’s hair?

Jackie’s shift is rather plain vanilla here but she touched it up with her signature pearl necklace and Schlumberger bracelets. I love those bracelets but even in the 1960’s those go for a hefty thousand or two thousand dollars each. I absolutely hate Grace Kelly’s hairpiece here – it looks like she’s channeling Medusa. The Grimaldis pale in comparison to the Kennedys. Rainier just looks ill at ease and Grace looks like a flirt.

Jackie is more in her element when she is abroad. This is one of my favorite Jackie looks – the beret and the mountie-style collars. I suppose she did enough research to know that Canadians just might turn up in their pillbox-style military caps. I like the touch of the brooch on her lapel. She looks very refined and relaxed here.

This jonquil yellow suit and pillbox hat is probably one of her most recognizable day suits. Jackie chose this silk ensemble for a State Visit to France. Her hair is arranged impeccably, her pearls tucked in place. But there is an uptight feel to this scenario, sort of like a hard-edged look has come over Jackie. She has become a world-renowned figure – and she is aware of it.

Jackie, with her sister Lee, in London, 1961. Once again Mrs. Kennedy looks rather self-conscious and her clothes pale in comparison to Princess Radziwill’s relaxed elegance.

In June that year, Lee and Jackie go on a Greek vacation. Once again, Lee does Jackie better with a cool green sheath. Jackie’s plain vanilla dress is quite blah and those bangs! She ought to have followed her little sister’s lead and just pulled her hair back. Both sisters opted for a bow tie but Lee’s came off as daintier.

Jackie in Acropolis. Now, this blue dress shimmers and gave her a sleek overall look with the usual accessories – pearls and a brooch. But I am tiring of her look at this point.

Jackie dons a scarf here but it merely emphasizes her huge head. Once again, those bangs should be outlawed.

Jackie in a silk suit. Interesting material and pattern for a handbag and it does add some pizzazz to an otherwise safe silk choice.

Little Caroline tags along with her mother as Jackie heads for a morning reception. I am a huge fan of those cute pillbox hats and I think it is one of Jackie’s main contribution to the fashion of the sixties.

I like the lace mantilla and the little handbag here. Jackie’s church attire varied little and she usually used kid gloves to complement the solemn look.

Jackie in Easter, 1963. The A-line sheath, lace mantilla, gloves and pumps look really good on her but it hardly signaled originality, in my opinion. After all, the Kennedy sisters also sported the same look but Jackie just pulled it off better.

Jackie christens a ship. She does have an eye for color and was not afraid to wear bold hues such as this. She really has that aura where she still looks elegant despite wine drops spattering in front of her.

Jackie in India. The green trim really blares out color here in a beautiful way. The next photo is also of Jackie in India:

With Nehru. Am not a fan of her hat as it flattens her head like a pancake but I like the shimmery blue color of her dress. In a colorful garden such as this, Jackie blends and stands out at the same time.

Still in India. The dress leaves me cold; the lei was certainly given by her host and… those white shoes? She could have chosen a more interesting printed dress.

Now this features Jackie’s sense of culture. I love the print of the dress and the headband she chose. This makes her look radiant.

Jackie in the Taj Mahal. The green printed dress offset in white accessories with the marble monument rising behind her – one of the more underrated iconic Jackie images.

Jackie in an apricot silk dress in India. This is one of my favorite looks as apart from the elegance of the dress and accessories, Jackie looks radiant. Her sister Lee can be seen, seated, in pink dress and scarf.

The official White House portrait of the First Lady. Whenever people requested for a picture of Jackie, this was the one usually distributed. This is one of Jackie’s best haircuts but the dress is rather bland and the pose is more Hollywood than White House. It is such a corny pose, the hand-under-chin, the chintz sofa, the come-hither gaze. Jackie has other candid shots that are more dignified, most notably:

Now, this is the Jackie elegance personified.

Jackie’s 1962 White House tour. I love the touch of the bangles and the red hue of the dress but the collar seems to make her look puffy. This is one of the iconic images of Jackie as First Lady.

Jackie with LBJ in San Antonio Texas, November 21, 1963. This was to be her last full day as First Lady. I think this boucle suit is one of the underrated ensembles of Jackie, probably because the pink suit she wore the next day would be of staggeringly historical proportions. The cream color, trimmed in black, looks really fresh and pretty, with her pink lipstick providing a touch of color.

The pink wool suit Jackie wore on the day of her husband’s assassination was actually a tried-and-tested piece of clothing. It was one of the few pieces Jackie actually used at least three times:

With Jack in 1961

With Lee in London, 1962. Lee’s suit and hair are also notables in this picture. Her profile alone looks ravishing!

Jackie looking at plans for Lafayette Square in 1962.

With John, Jr. in 1963.

And she wore it for the final time here:

Jackie Kennedy’s daytime suits reinvented the role of the First Lady. She was not just the spouse of the President but a personality in her own right. It also meant that after Jackie, the clothes of succeeding First Ladies would be scrutinized and analyzed. To Jackie’s credit, she started her role as First Lady in an elegant coat and when it all came to an end, she was still impeccably dressed. And this final pink suit became her most famous daytime ensemble of all.

UP NEXT: Jackie Style (Volume IV – the Kennedy Years – Evening Wear)

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