(My) Fashion Trendsetters: JACKIE O


Those of you who have been following my blogs know that I was/am rather lively of myself like jumping off moving trains, jumping off a ski jump and such things; in other words not so ladylike, eh?!! Well, let me tell you that, when I was in my early to mid-teens I started to collect pictures off the magazines with styles of fashions, clothes and so on for many years. Then in my late teens I went through my vast collection of pictures and put aside the ones which still appealed to me at that stage. And guess what, my preferred style in fashion was LADYLIKE!! I remember saying to my Mum: “Ooh if I only was older so that I could wear it!” Mum’s reaction: rolling her eyes, actually!

Audrey Hepburn has been one my trendsetters that I did an entry some while back and now I’m going to write a few things on Jackie O, who has been on my list of fashion trendsetters for a very long time, and I still think that her style is elegance and chic personified. Here is a link to Jackie O-style jacket that is high fashion even this season.

Some background on JACKIE O (1929-1994): She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, daughter of John Vernon Bouvier III and his wife, Janet Lee. Her early years were divided between New York City and East Hampton, Long Island, where she learned to ride almost as soon as she could walk. She was educated at the best of private schools; she wrote poems and stories, drew illustrations for them, and studied ballet.

To the role of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy brought beauty, intelligence, and cultivated taste. Her interest in the arts, publicized by press and television, inspired an attention to culture never before evident at a national level. She devoted much time and study to making the White House a museum of American history and decorative arts as well as a family residence of elegance and charm. But she defined her major role as “to take care of the President” and added that “if you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” A quote of hers that I have used a lot on my entries, for I think that it sums it all up so very well, actually. Source: The White House: First Ladies

She was First Lady for only a thousand days, but Jackie Kennedy will always hold a special place in our hearts. It all began with her 1953 marriage to the dashing senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. As a couple they epitomized the arrival of a new generation of American leadership; their years in the White House have been immortalized as “Camelot.”

As First Lady, Jackie organized receptions and dinners notable for their elegance. Her streamlined gowns and suits sent fashion spinning. She created a Fine Arts Committee to assist her in documenting and renovating the décor of the White House. Her television tour introduced 80 million Americans to the White House and won her an Emmy Award. Source: Womenshistory.about.com.

From the moment she set off on the campaign trail in 1960 as a young senator’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy had a rapt audience in American women. The pillbox, worn despite the fact that she abhorred hats, was only the beginning: Plastic surgeons reported that many women were visiting them in search of the Jackie “nose bob”; college girls everywhere affected Jackie’s breathy voice and patrician accent: There was something about Jackie. Source: Style.com

To mark the 40th anniversary in 2001 of her emergence as America’s first lady and explore her enduring global influence on style, the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute celebrated Jacqueline Kennedy with an unprecedented special exhibition of her iconic fashions. Some 80 original costumes and accessories from the collection. Here are some images on show of her stunning outfits of the timeless impact of her extraordinary, unforgettable grace and style. Here is the link to the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. And here is the link to the special Travels section at the exhibition that Jackie travelled as the First Lady.

Jackie was a beautiful and elegant young woman, and when she made her social debut the Hearst newspaper gossip columnist named her Debutante of 1947. Jackie Kennedy was only 31 years old when she became First Lady . She was a popular First Lady, known for her elegant sophistication and her historical interest in the White House. Source: Answers.com

Jackie O was so very young when she became the First Lady for only a thousand days that is until her husband was assassinated in Dallas that fateful day in November 22, 1963. I remember reading about her and how she was cast into the mould of widow for life – like a German magazine put it, translated into English: ‘The Widow of the World’ (Das Witwe Der Welt) When she married Aristotle Onassis in 1968, the goodwill that she had gained over the years was nigh lost for good, and I think that she never quite managed to regain it ever again.

Here is a You Tube tribute to Jackie O with the most haunting Celtic tune sung by Enya in ‘May It Be’:

“I am a woman above everything else.”
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

And why she had to underline this fact, I think is, that she first and foremost was a real person and not an icon above any other title or status she had ever had in life.

What thoughts come to your mind reading this entry today?

Tis for now. Riihele xx

Further links on Jackie O:
Who2.com on Jackie

I read several extracts on the life of Jackie O online of the book that is called ’America’s Queen: A Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,’ by Sarah Bradford, published by Viking (The Times online)

And I came to understand the ‘what was what’ in her life so much better. I will be getting this book for I want to read it all; it is that excellent. I have also read other books on Jackie O over the years but this one seems to sum them all up in a beautiful way, methinks.

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