January 8, 2012
There are no words to adequately introduce todays Style Icon, so I think I will let the photos do the talking……
Socialite, Wife, Mother, First Lady and a successful Editor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, above all of these, is remembered for her style, elegance, and grace.
Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in New York in 1929 to a privileged family, spending her early years in New York City and East Hampton, New York, at the Bouvier family estate, “Lasata”.
Following her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage to Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jr. in 1942, she divided her time with her sister Caroline, between their mother’s homes in McLean, Virginia and Newport, Rhode Island, and their father’s homes in New York City and Long Island.
The girl who would eventually become the wife of the world’s most famous man showed strong style credentials from a young age.
When she made her society debut in 1947, Hearst columnist Igor Cassini dubbed her “debutante of the year’
English Fashion and Portrait photographer Cecil Beaton photographed the Bouvier sisters as debutantes for a feature in American Vogue. In the same year Jacqueline started working for The Washington Times-Herald and it was whilst working for this newspaper that she was introduced to John F. Kennedy.
By the time she became Mrs John F Kennedy in 1953 she had already become a fashion icon to women all over the world. Her chic and timeless voluminous ivory silk taffeta gown, by Ann Lowe, affirmed her status. A portrait neckline and wide, embellished skirt emphasized Jackie’s small waist, and an heirloom lace Juliet veil, which originally belonged to her grandmother, completed the super-romantic ensemble.
When John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Presidency Jackie intended to take an active role in the campaign, however upon learning that she was pregnant shortly after the beginning of the campaign, her doctors instructed her to stay at home. Jackie had sadly suffered a miscarriage in 1955 and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1956 before finally giving birth to a healthy second daughter, Caroline, in 1957.
When her husband was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, Jackie became, at age 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in history – and arguably the most glamorous.
As First Lady, Jackie was thrust into the spotlight. It was old family friend, couturier Oleg Cassini who put her signature look together having persuaded the first lady that she should use him as the creator of her total look, a decision that proved pivotal – setting the style for the 1960s with her clean suits, knee length skirts, 3/4 sleeves on notch-collar jackets, sleeveless A-line dresses, above-the-elbow gloves and famous pillbox hats.
Although Cassini was her primary designer, she also wore designs by French fashion legends such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Dior. Wherever John and Jackie went in the world, all eyes were on her.
But her innate sense of style extended way beyond the state visits and society functions of the Kennedy era. When Jackie was widowed in 1963, her style changed dramatically. Gone were the conservative ‘campaign wife’ clothes, replaced with pantsuits, jeans, large lapel jackets, silk Hermès head scarves and of course those trademark large, round, dark sunglasses.
When she married Aristotle Onassis in 1968, Jackie Kennedy became Jackie Onassis or Jackie O (as she was affectionately known) Until her death in 1994, she never had a bad fashion day and never took a bad photo, which is why she is still referred to as one of the most influential people in fashion.
Its impossible not to admire and respect this Wife, Mother, First Lady and Style Icon. Love you Jackie O