University Archives

Lot 165

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Jackie Kennedy's Oleg Cassini-Designed Original Fashion Sketch, with Jackie Annotated French Fashion Magazine Tear-out, Both Related to 1962 Mexico Trip

Two unique items relating to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-1994) and her June 1962 trip to Mexico, including an original fashion sketch from the studio of Oleg Cassini (1913-2006); and a tear-out from a French fashion magazine inscribed with seven words in Jackie's hand. Provenance: From the personal property of the Estate of Oleg Cassini.

The lot is comprised of:

1. An original fashion sketch prepared for Jackie by the design studio of Oleg Cassini, Inc. The hand-drawn sketch in pencil and yellow marker is on off-white sketch paper. The A-line dress was slated for "Mrs. Kennedy." Pencil inscribed with the annotation "A Line / skirt / easy / Mexico" at lower right and signed "Boccheir" by Joseph Boccheir, Design Coordinator of Oleg Cassini, Inc., at center right. A few large wrinkles, and staple marks in upper left corner, else near fine. 8.5" x 11."

2. A tear-out from a French fashion magazine annotated with seven words in Jackie's hand, "Maybe as an easy dress for Mexico" along the bottom recto. A peach-colored fabric sample has been pinned to the lower left corner. Jackie admired this cute sleeveless dress from the house of Italian couturier Roberto Capucci (born 1930). The dress caption reads (translated) as "…very pure of style, which agrees with the silhouette of a very sure shape. The dress is carried out in red Lajoinie ribbed cotton." Jackie's notes about her preferences would inform the subsequent designs of Oleg Cassini. Expected light toning, wrinkles, isolated corner loss, and some staple holes. Else near fine. 9.5" x 12.75."

President John F. Kennedy and the First Lady, who had visited Acapulco on their honeymoon, returned to Mexico for a 48-hour-long state visit between June 29 - July 1, 1962. JFK lobbied for his "Alliance for Progress" initiative, advocating for more economic ties between the United States and Latin America.

Jackie had handpicked Oleg Cassini as her exclusive fashion designer during the Kennedy administration. Cassini became Jackie's "Secretary of Style" because he had a concrete vision of what Jackie's clothing would look like, and more importantly, what it would represent. He designed 300 outfits for Jackie between 1961-1963. Her evening gowns, day wear, suits, coats, hats, and accessories would create a distinctive "Jackie look" that would mark the reign of the new "American Queen."

Cassini noted in "A Thousand Days of Magic: Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for the White House" (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1995): "Jackie reminded me of an ancient Egyptian princess--very geometric, even hieroglyphic, with the sphinx-like quality of her eyes, her long neck, slim torso, broad shoulders, narrow hips, and regal carriage…I wanted to dress her cleanly, architecturally, in style. I would use the most sumptuous fabrics in the purest interpretations…I was proposing a new look, a new concept, my interpretation of how Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy should appear in her role as First Lady…[I] told her that she needed a story, a scenario as First Lady. " (p. 15-18)

Cassini's vision of Jackie coincided with her own innate fashion sense and artistic talent, and the two successfully collaborated to set major worldwide fashion trends. In Jackie's wardrobe, you could find all the classic elements of 60s mod--A-line dresses in bright colors and bold patterns, strapless gowns with elbow-length gloves, tailored suits, fur-trimmed coats with oversized collars, buttons, and pockets, and of course, pillbox hats. Sketches prepared by members of Cassini's design team show that their artistic visions encompassed entire ensembles, complete with clothing, gloves, and accessories.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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April 14, 2021 10:30 AM EDT

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$3,000 $4,999 $250
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$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000