Dec 31, 2008

A First Lady A Day: Jackie

Well I had to do this one sooner or later. It very hard to even have an original thought, much less express anything new, about someone whose style has been discussed, written about, photographed, and analyzed to the nth degree for 48 years.

She is a Fashion Icon. A real one, not one of those people who did a popular clothing ad once, or wore a costume designer’s cute clothes on a television show. She was a media star. She understood the symbolism of clothing. She was classy and brought youth and sophisticated, old money class to the White House. Please don’t misunderstand. Many, indeed most, of the First Ladies of the 20th Century were classy gals. But Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was younger, prettier and more accustomed to high style and how to use it than any other up to her time. Was she a woman of the people? Certainly not. She spent a lot of money on those clothes. But darn, she looked good. She did a wonderful restoration of the White House, brought the arts and artists forward ( thank you!), set a perfect example of calm, courageous grief during a terrible crisis, and raised her children privately and well.
Now. Let’s get to it.
Very Famous Dresses.
From The John F. Kennedy Library :Inaugural Ball, 20 January 1961 Washington, D. C., National Guard Armory Date: January 20, 1961, Credit: Photograph by Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
Life Archives : First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy chatting w. her debonaire brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, as they stand w. others at JFK's Inaugural Ball. Location: Washington, DC, US Date taken: January 21, 1961 Photographer: Paul Schutzer
This is the Inaugural Ball gown. The one Jackie designed in collaboration with Ethel Frankau and was made by Bergdorf Goodman. Coat and dress, Lovely, and boy did everyone rave about this one. I do like it, but… I must say many of her later formal gowns were better. Really they were. Nonetheless, a youthful gown for the wife of a head of state, and absolutely right on in all the important points. And in 1961, very refreshing. Certainly a sign of what was to come.


This is the famous dress designed by Oleg Cassini for the Inaugural Gala. Stunning. And I think much the better dress than the Ball Gown. That’s just me. A crystal clear statement. That’s all I am saying.

A+ on both - are you crazy? You think I would rate these anything else?


Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Have I told you how much I am loving this series? Jackie was such a class act.

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

Thank you! It's been fun putting it together. But not easy to find some of these in actual "First Lady wearing dress" photos.

denisebrain said...

I too am loving this series--I really appreciate your knowledgeable opinions!