48 years ago today, on January 19, 1961, John and Jacqueline Kennedy attended the Pre-Inauguration Gala at the National Guard Armory in Washington, DC. The city was in the middle of a raging blizzard and Jacqueline Kennedy was not feeling well, but she knew that this important event would set the tone for her image as First Lady.
Jackie considered white to be the most ceremonial color, and she chose to wear this color for both the Gala and for the Inauguration Ball the following evening. The gown she wore to the gala was designed by Oleg Cassini in ivory double-faced silk satin twill. The rich fabric set off the simple lines of the gown to magnificent effect. The ribbon cockade at the waist pointed to Jacqueline's French Bouvier ancestry, as well as her love of history.
Kenneth Battelle, otherwise known as Mr. Kenneth, was flown in from New York to create a hairstyle that would harmonize with Jackie's gown. She also wore simple jewelry, elbow length gloves and carried a small evening clutch.
Hundreds of people braved the blizzard to try and catch a glimpse of the First Couple as their limosine crept along at 10 mph. Kennedy asked the driver to turn on the lights inside the car, so the people could see Jackie as they drove by.
Tomorrow, I'll share with you the fashions Jackie wore on Inauguration Day, 1961.