Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jacqueline Kennedy Inauguration Fashion

One single picture describes for me the elegant simplicity of Jacqueline Kennedy's style that would come to influence fashion all over the world. Look how she stands out from all the women around her in their dark colors.

Jacqueline Kennedy inauguration
48 years ago today, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of the U.S. Following a major blizzard the night before, thousands of workers toiled to clear the streets of Washington, D.C. for the inaugural parade. The temperatures were bitterly cold at 22°F with wind chills making it feel like 7°F.

Jacqueline Kennedy inaugurationJackie wore a taupe wool dress with matching coat designed by Oleg Cassini. Every element of her outfit was carefully considered. The coat had a small sable fur collar, and a matching sable fur muff was chosen to help keep the First Lady's hands warm during the ceremony. She wore the muff over long kidskin gloves.

Jacqueline Kennedy inaugurationJackie started the day with simple black pumps, but later added fur trimmed boots for the walk in the snow.

Jacqueline Kennedy inaugurationAnd then, there's the hat. Jackie had been forced by her public role into wearing hats, as called for by formal protocol. The high domed pillbox style had been shown by Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga in their recent collections. At the time, Halston (yes, that Halston) was the custom milliner at Bergdorf Goodman, and he designed the seamless wool felt hat Jackie wore for the inauguration. She made fashion history, however, by choosing to wear the hat tipped to the back of her head rather than straight on top.

Tomorrow, I'll look at the dress Jackie wore to the Inauguration Ball. And at noon today, I'll be glued to my television watching history in the making with a new inauguration.