The golden age of travel with Jackie O
"The only routine with me is no routine at all" - Jackie (Kennedy) Onassis
Many are infatuated and obsessed with youth, beauty, wealth and status. Jackie had all four and in her day was the most photographed and without doubt the most glamorous woman in the world.
During her husband's presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy became a symbol of fashion for women worldwide. She retained French-born American fashion designer and Kennedy family friend Oleg Cassini in the fall of 1960 to create an original wardrobe for her as First Lady.
From 1961 to late 1963, Cassini dressed her in many of her most iconic ensembles, including her Inauguration Day fawn coat and Inaugural gala gown, as well as many outfits for her visits to Europe, India, and Pakistan. In her first year in the White House, Kennedy spent $45,446 more on fashion than the $100,000 annual salary her husband earned as president (He donated the annual salary to charity). Her clean suits with a skirt hem down to middle of the knee, three-quarter sleeves on notch-collar jackets, sleeveless A-line dresses, above-the-elbow gloves, low-heel pumps, and famous pillbox hats were overnight successes around the world and quickly became known as the "Jackie" look.
Although Cassini was her primary designer, she also wore ensembles by French fashion legends such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Dior. More than any other First Lady her style was copied by commercial manufacturers and a large segment of young women. Her influential bouffant hairstyle, described as a "grown-up exaggeration of little girls' hair," was created by Kenneth, whom she had been seeing since 1954, and who continued to style her hair until 1986.
She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1965. In the years after the White House and her marriage to 'The Golden Greek' Aristotle Onassis, her style changed dramatically. Gone were the modest "campaign wife" clothes. Wide-leg pantsuits, large lapel jackets, gypsy skirts, silk Hermès head scarves, and large, round, dark sunglasses became her new look.
She often chose to wear brighter colors and patterns and even began wearing jeans in public. Beltless, white jeans with a black turtleneck, never tucked in, but pulled down over the hips, was another fashion trend that she set.
The former 3 packs-a-day smoker Jackie O died in her sleep from cancer on May 19, 1994, two and a half months before her 65th birthday. Her son, John F. Kennedy, Jr., announced her death with the following: "My mother died surrounded by her friends and her family and her books, and the people and the things that she loved. She did it in her own way, and on her own terms, and we all feel lucky for that."
5 facts about Jackie O
1) Already stylish and graceful even as a teenager Jackie was dubbed "Debutante of the Year" in 1948 at the age of 19 by Hearst columnist Igor Cassini.
2) Her first proposal did not come from John F. Kennedy. Before dating him Jackie, aged 22, was previously engaged to Wall Street banker John Husted. She broke it off after only 3 months in 1952 because she was reportedly hesitant about becoming a housewife.
3) She spoke multiple languages and was a lifelong student of foreign cultures. Jackie became fluent in French, Spanish and Italian during her school days and European travels.
4) By choosing to marry her second husband, the once divorced Aristotle Onassis, she received considerable adverse publicity and was also condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as a “public sinner”.
5) She appeared in Hustler Magazine accidentally. In 1972, she was photographed while sunning herself in the nude on husband Aristotle Onassis’ private Greek Island Skorpios by a paparazzo using a telescopic lens whilst pretending to be a simple fisherman using a small boat. When she complained about security measures on Skorpios her husband “Ari” supposedly retorted angrily “What do you expect me to do, patrol the Aegean with submarines?”