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Dressing Jackie

June 2024
1min read

Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for the White House

by Oleg Cassini , Rizzoli, 224 pages, $42.50 . CODE: R1Z-5

WHEN THE DESIGNER OEEG CASSINI MET with Jacqueline Kennedy in her hospital room in 1960, just after the birth of her son John, she was “sitting up in bed looking cheerful and pretty. I found her surrounded by sketches from some of the most famous designers of the moment. . . . I talked to her like a movie star, and told her that she needed a story, a scenario as First Lady.” Cassini suggested that instead of using a number of designers, she pick one to create her own look. He got the job, and together they conquered Washington (in the famous inaugural-gala gown), Paris (where her pink and white straw lace dress’s “daring décollet$#233;” caught de Gaulle’s eye), and the Far East (touring India and Pakistan in Mogul shades of pink and green). Cassini turned out three hundred designs for the First Lady, even the clothes she wore for her third pregnancy, and he and Mrs. Kennedy created an international style that perfectly advertised the generational change at the White House. In the minds of many, Cassini’s most famous creation sadly remains the pink suit and pillbox hat the First Lady wore to Dallas. This book recalls the rest of a formidable partnership.

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