Hail the elaborated yet effortless elegance of Jackie Kennedy Onassis

New York Times hailed Jackie Kennedy Onassis as the first “Instagram First Lady” because long before social media announced their icons, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was a true style-charmer.

“All the talk over what I wear and how I fix my hair has amused and puzzled me” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wrote in Campaign Wife the syndicated weekly newspaper column she wrote during John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign” reports NYT. “What does my hair have to do with my husband’s ability to be president?” she wondered. With the event of Pablo Larraín’s movie on “Jackie” we remember her fashion sense in full grace. 

Because Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a royalty in disguise. Her style “was ripe for the television age…Her clothes were a kind of soft cage. Luxuriously pliant but restrictive nonetheless, they functioned as armature, shielding Jackie from a rapacious public and, at the same time, defining her”.  

“Her look gives the impression that someone has neatened you up with a sharp razor blade and finished off the whole effect with a small mathematical bow,” Siriol Hugh-Jones, a Briton, wrote in a 1962 article in Town & Country. 

“She managed her public wardrobe as if she were a costume designer in theater or film,” Hamish Bowles wrote in “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: The White House Years,” a book accompanying the Metropolitan Museum of Art 2001 Costume Institute exhibition of the first lady’s wardrobe. 

“She had a keen understanding of the semantics of dress and of the way in which she could use her public image to help communicate the more abstract ideas that were important to her,” Mr. Bowles wrote. 

“Whatever turmoil she may have felt, however exhausted she may have been, she insisted on being very much the representation of perfection,” says the film’s costume designer, Madeline Fontaine for the woman who didn’t become a style icon with a single signature look. She had many!

Photos via Vogue UK, Vogue India, Knick Knacker, The Kennedy Gallery