Saturday, September 12, 2009


One of the most iconic women of all time, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy possessed grace and style, leaving her indelible stamp on fashion. Her wedding to Senator John F. Kennedy in 1953 was dubbed the Wedding of the Century. Oddly, the gown she wanted would have been simpler and of less fabric, most probably created in Paris. Joseph P. Kennedy's machinations in the way of wedding arrangements along with her mother Janet's, Jackie had neither the dress nor quiet celebration of her choice. Janet's dressmaker, Ann Lowe, was engaged to make Jackie's bridal gown as well as all in the bridal party. Lowe was a very talented African-American designer known for grand entrance gowns detailed with intricate tuck, pleat and trapunto treatments. Amongst her clients were Rockerfellers and Vanderbuilts. Did Lowe suspect Jackie's would be one of the most celebrated gowns in history? We know she probably did expect some publicity. But what would have resulted in $700.00 profit was gone a week before the wedding. Water pipes in Lowe's New York City shop broke and damaged ten out of the sixteen gowns. After buying new fabric, she and her staff burned the midnight oil to finish the gowns on time for the Bouvier/Kennedy Wedding. She lost $2,000.00 in the process

Studying Jackie's dress, for it's day it is not as typical 1950s as some experts have claimed. While off the shoulder gowns were a hot trend circa '53, you didn't find them in too many church ceremonies--especially Catholic ones officiated by an Archbishop. The dress does have some elements harking back to early Victoriana. There were 50 yards of silk taffeta, with a very full circular skirt tucked and pleated (Lowe's specialty). On Jackie's head was her grandmother's rose point lace veil hanging from a circular lace cap festooned with orange blossoms. She pulled her look together with short, white kid gloves (Oh so Jackie).

Jack and Jackie were about as different as two people could be. Yet, together they made a complimentary team as both possessed a high and cultivated intellect. The ommph JFK and Jackie brought to The White House has only been topped by our most recent pres and First Lady.


Christine Hortreiter said...

Yes, you guys are lucky to have an inspiring president again! By the way, love your blog!

Susu Paris Chic said...

I've always liked Jackie O's eye for style. She was elegant, simple and yet refined and detail-conscious in her clothing.

A little with poise and reflection is a lot!

Merci New York said...

I knew nothing about the history of Jackie's dress. Such a story! Thanks for the great post.