The fashion highlight of January 2017 in the cinema has to be the new film ‘Jackie’ about Jackie Kennedy Onassis. First lady for only two years from 1961 to 1963, she is remembered for her style, elegance and grace.
While Jackie loved Parisian haute couture she generally engaged Bergdorf Goodman, Chez Ninon or Oleg Cassini to recreate designs by Dior, Givenchy and Balenciaga so ensuring that the First Lady was seen to always ‘wear American’.
Oleg Cassini produced over 300 dresses for Mrs. Kennedy during her time in the White House and all the dresses were made by a staff of skilled seamstresses specifically assigned for making the clothing for the First Lady using fabrics of the finest linen, wool, satin and shantung silk. Cassini was not the only fashion designer of Mrs. Kennedy’s dresses during the White House years and occasionally she collaborated with other designers.
Slim, petite and beautiful, the Sixties style suited her so well, characterised by shift dresses, large buttons, the oh so elegant funnel necks and the oversized sunglasses.
The first lady formulated a quiet, meticulously groomed style, which wouldn’t upset the moral majority but had youth and vitality on its side. ‘She has resolutely eschewed the bun-fights and the honky-tonk of the American political scene,’ commented Vogue in March 1961, ‘and is inclined instead, to the gentler practice of painting, conversation, literature and fashion.’
Her famous ensemble of pink Chanel suit and matching pillbox hat has become a symbol of her husband's assassination and one of the most iconic images of the 1960s.
As stylish off-duty as she was at formal occasions, her casual wardrobe comprised of simple black layers and statement coats, styled with loafers, headscarves and her signature square shades, evoking the arty-cool intellectual vibe that was very chic in Paris at the time.
For me I loved Jackie’s silk evening dresses best of all. Simple, elegant and extremely flattering. Jackie wore a variety of pastels, brights as well as colour blocking, giving a modern twist on a timeless look. For nighttime engagements, such as State dinners or other more formal occasions, the dresses were either knee-length or floor-length, depending on the event, and similar in their design elements but made from elegant fabrics sometimes with chiffon, beading or silk embroidery accents.