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Jacqueline Kennedy (The Camelot Years) | DIVAS WE LOVE Series

When you think of a national treasure some might  be divided about who they would include on such a prestigious list of historical figures.  But when one figure has advocated world piece, written literary classics and made significant contributions to our American culture, that particular figure can’t be ignored, or denied. Today we posthumously celebrate Jacqueline Kennedy, or Jackie O as she’s affectionately known, for her influence and enduring global legacy as well as her impact on the world of fashion. Jacqueline Kennedy is a DIVA everybody loves!

Jackie O's iconic pink chanel suit

This iconic pink Chanel suit was worn by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy on November 22, 1963, when her husband, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated

Jacqueline Kennedy was a First Lady that loved to wear her fur fashion

Jacqueline Kennedy  loved to wear her fur fashion

Jackie in the early 70s

Jackie in the 70s

The Fashionable Living Legacy of Jacqueline Kennedy

After attending Vassar University, the Sorbonne and George Washington University, Onassis got her first job working as a reporter for the Washington Times-Herald in 1952. Hired as the newspaper’s “Inquiring Photographer,” she covered a wide range of topics from the streets.

Jacqueline Bouvier, age 4, with a pony at a Southampton horse show in 1933

Jacqueline Bouvier, age  4, with a pony at a Southampton horse show in 1933

Jackie became the Inquiring Camera Girl of the Washington Time-Herald newspaper

Jackie became the Inquiring Camera Girl of the Washington Time-Herald newspaper

The future first Lady photographs Dale Chestnut feeding goldfish on the roof-

The future first at work photographing news from the streets of Washington

Jackie Kennedy always favored her iconic double strand of pearls

Jackie Kennedy always favored her iconic double strand of pearls

When Jacqueline Bouvier met John F. Kennedy at the age of 23  in 1951 it was love at first sight, even though she was already engaged when she met him at a dinner party.  Then in 1953 they announced their engagement after a very public courtship.

Jccqueline Kennedy's Engagement announcement photo

Jacqueline Bouvier’s engagement announcement to John F. Kennedy in 1953

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy wedding day

September 1953 Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy, the future President of the United States, marries Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island. Seven years later, the couple would become the youngest President and First Lady

Kennedy wedding day photo 1953

Kennedy wedding photo

The Kennedy's wedding

The Kennedy’s fairy-tale wedding cemented them as American royalty

John F. Kennedy and Jackie O in Hyannis Portcirca-1953

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy in Hyannis Port circa-1953

Jacqueline Bouvier's official wedding day portrait

Jacqueline Bouvier official wedding day portrait

Jacqueline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy possibly taken on their honeymoon in 1953

With a very cultivated palate for fashion, especially quintessential French couture,  Jacqueline Onassis was one of the most influential fashion trendsetters of the 1960s.  Deeply knowledgeable about exquisite design, Jackie studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  Women everywhere, especially American women, clamored to imitate the clean, refined and classic “Jackie look” at more attainable price points via cleverly copied silhouettes sold in every department store. Jackie’s love affair with French designers was more than foreign to those in the U.S. and proved to be a potential public relations nightmare for Kennedy. Once Jackie married into the political life, it was frowned upon by the powers-that-be who eventually  gently nudged her into embracing collections from American designers. For this she confided and consulted with none other than Diana Vreeland, then Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar.

Jacqueline Kennedy Simplicity dress pattern

Pattern maker Simplicity is another route many American women took when trying to achieve the Jackie O look. Printed Pattern Simplicity 5590

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Jacqueline Kennedy inaguration-ceremony-coat-and-dress

Jacqueline Kennedy on Inauguration Day in 1961

Sitting from left to right Pat Nixon, Mamie Eisenhower, and Lady Bird Johnson

Sitting from left to right Pat Nixon, Mamie Eisenhower,  Lady Bird Johnson and Jacqueline Kennedy

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Jacqueline Kennedy in deep conversation with Diana Vreeland

Jacqueline Kennedy in deep conversation with Diana Vreeland

And the American designer that eventually won the First Lady’s heart, and playfully dubbed himself as her “Secretary of Style”, was American-based designer Oleg Cassini who went on to design more than 300 of her most notable and iconic outfits.

Oleg Cassini design for Jacqueline Kennedy

An original sketch of a costume piece created for Jacqueline Kennedy by Oleg Cassini

Oleg Cassini design for Jacqueline Kennedy

Oleg Cassini design for Jacqueline Kennedy

 

Oleg Cassini red suite for Jacqueline Kennedy

Iconic custom 2-piece suit wot matching pillbox hat created byOleg Cassini for Jacqueline Kennedy

From concept to execution, Jackie Kennedy wore many many timeless Oleg Cassini designs for every occasion.

From concept to execution, Jackie Kennedy wore many many timeless Oleg Cassini designs for every occasion.

 

Jackie Kennedy 1962 Oleg Cassini Blue Strapless Dress and Sketch

Jackie Kennedy 1962 Oleg Cassini Blue Strapless Dress and Sketch

Jacqueline Kennedy reliend heavily on the design aesthetic of Olef Cassini

Jacqueline Kennedy relied heavily on the design aesthetic of Oleg Cassini

Oleg Cassini and Jackie Kennedy doing "The Twist", circa early 1960's

Oleg Cassini and Jackie Kennedy doing “The Twist”, circa early 1960’s

Oleg Cassini drawing

Oleg Cassini drawing.

 

Despite appearances of a life of glamour and privilege, the Kennedy’s endured hardships, too.  Over the course of their marriage, Jackie Kennedy became pregnant four times, delivering two children, Caroline and John Jr. who went on to lead notable lives of achievement on their own.   Sadly their third child Patrick, a  boy who arrived 5 1/2 weeks early and weighed just 4 pounds, 101/2 ounces died shortly after birth from a rare heart condition. Jackie and John also endured a miscarriage,  delivering a stillborn baby.  Despite all of these setbacks,  life moved forward for the Kennedy clan and Jackie and John exhibited the utmost in grace, dignity and optimism.

 

Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the epitome of pregnancy style in 1960.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the epitome of pregnancy style in 1960.

Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline in 1958

Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline in 1958

Jacqueline Kennedy's pregnancy style never strayed very far from her polished and refined image.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s pregnancy style never strayed very far from her polished and refined image.

The Kennedys with children

The Kennedys endured many hardships and loss when building their family together

The Kennedy Kids

An adorable picture of President John F. Kennedy and his kids

Jackie with her son John F. Kennedy Jr.

John Kennedy Jr. plays with his mother Jacqueline Kennedy’s string of false pearls in this 1962 file photo. REUTERS/File

the Kennedy Family

Jacqueline Kennedy holding John F. Kennedy Jr., Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Palm Beach, Florida, April, 1962.

With millions of adoring fans, Jacqueline Kennedy went on to mean much , much more to women in the U.S. After the tragic assassination of her husband, President Kennedy in 1965, she went on to symbolize strength, perseverance and unflappable dignity and grace.

Jacqueline Kennedy at John F. Kennedy's funeral

Kennedy family members leaving the funeral ceremony for President John F. Kennedy.

Jacqueline Kennedy mourning at John F. Kennedy funeral

Jacqueline Kennedy mourning at her husband’s funeral in 1963

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As they say, you can’t have the rainbow without the rain. After the heartbreaking death of President Kennedy, Jackie was left a widow with two young children; daughter  Caroline Kennedy, and son John F. Kennedy Jr. With strength, perseverance and a lioness protectiveness as her guide, Jackie went on to raise both her kids, who ended up being iconic figures themselves.

Jacqeline Kennedy went on to raise both her kids John and Caroline Kennedy who ended up being iconic figures themselves.

Jacqeline Kennedy went on to raise both her kids John and Caroline Kennedy who ended up being iconic figures themselves.

Jacqueline Kennedy herself coined the phrase “The Camelot Years” when being interviewed by Life Magazine and referencing the Presidency of her husband. The phrase was appropriately borrowed from a then current Broadway musical, “Camelot” with music written by his old Harvard schoolmate Alan Jay Lerner,  which JFK was a huge fan of. Jackie was quoted in the article as saying, “There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot.”  In particular, she reflected on the closing words by King Arthur, the lead character in the musical, saying ,

“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”

The Camelot Years

“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”

This month Natalie Portman brings the story of Jackie Kennedy’s Camelot years to life in the critically acclaimed  film “Jackie”.

 

 

True style never goes out of style. We are grateful, the country and the world are grateful to have had such and example in Jacqueline Kennedy…..this DIVA will always be loved!

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