Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jacqueline Kennedy Evening Gowns

One of Jacqueline Kennedy's important jobs at the White House was serving as hostess for State dinners and attending formal events. Her new role as America's fashion icon required distincive and memorable evening gowns. She often achieved traditional splendor in a modern simple way. Here are just a few of her choices.

On November 13, 1961, at a State dinner honoring Puerto Rico's Governor and his wife, President Kennedy invited Spanish cellist Pablo Cassals to perform at the White House.
jacqueline kennedy, chartreuse evening gownJackie wore a 3 piece evening ensemble in chartreuse silk faille by Oleg Cassini. Consisting of a beaded top, long skirt, and short jacket, Jackie once again stood out from the crowd with her choice of a vibrant color.

On April 29, 1962, the Kennedys entertained 39 Nobel laureates, including Pearl Buck, Robert Frost, and other distinguished guests, among them astronaut John Glenn. Actor Fredric March read from the writings of American Nobel prize winners.

jacqueline kennedy, oleg cassini, silk jersey evening gownJackie had just returned from a vacation in Palm Beach and was deeply tanned. She was luminous in green draped silk jersey by Oleg Cassini.

jacqueline kennedy, evening gown, guy duvier, christian dior new yorkOn May 11, 1962 at a State dinner honoring Andre Malraux, France's minister of culture, Jackie wore a strapless pink silk dupioni gown by Guy Douvier for Christian Dior New York. The dress had a draped panel at the back which was attached with a bow at the left side. Jackie worn a large jeweled brooch in her hair and carried a gold mesh evening bag.

On September 6, 1962, the President and First Lady attended a benefit performance of Mr President for the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation.

jacqueline kennedy, Joan Morse evening gown, silk brocadeIn February 1962, King Saud of Saudi Arabia had presented a length of magnificent silk brocade to the First Lady. She had the fabric made into this evening gown by A La Carte, a fashionable Manhattan boutique. Designer Joan Morse was noted for her designs using fabrics collected on her world travels. In the photo from the benefit, the dress has a green velvet bodice. Jackie later had the bodice replaced with pink silk organza for summer wear. A capelet made from the brocade tops off the outfit.