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Lot 24

Jackie Kennedy's Annotated French Fashion Magazine Tear-outs, to Inspire Future Oleg Cassini Designs

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Lot 24

Jackie Kennedy's Annotated French Fashion Magazine Tear-outs, to Inspire Future Oleg Cassini Designs


Jackie Kennedy's Annotated French Fashion Magazine Tear-outs, to Inspire Future Oleg Cassini Designs

4pp French fashion magazine spread annotated with 20+ words in the hand of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-1994). Jackie's notes about her preferences would inform the subsequent designs of Oleg Cassini (1913-2006), Jackie's exclusive fashion designer. Four evening gown designs by Jean Dessès are shown in a full color spread recto; while a biographical description and examples of his hats and coats are found verso. Expected wear, including folds, wrinkles, chipped edges, closed tears, and a few isolated holes. Else very good. The open spread measures 20" x 14". Provenance: From the personal property of the Estate of Oleg Cassini.

Jackie has selected a pale blue off-the-shoulder evening dress from the house of French couturier Jean Dessès (1904-1970). Modeled by a red-headed model named Pauline at center, the dress is described (translated) as "a sort of turquoise muslin sari, draped over a lamé background with silver thread". Dessès was celebrated for designs inspired by the Ancient world, especially Greece and Egypt. His designs were popular among European royals and socialites. In fact, one of his most famous clients was opera soprano Maria Callas, whose ex-lover Aristotle Onassis would marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968. Both Jackie and Callas shared a mutual interest in French fashion!

Under a large "X" (corresponding to an "X" over Pauline's dress), Jackie has written in the left margin: "Desses [sic] / Would love to try / a drapy [sic] dress like / this - / Love color - / other drapy / suggestion is / attached - but think / I prefer this one - ".

Oleg Cassini designed 300 outfits for Jackie between 1961-1963. Cassini was selected to become 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. 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, 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.

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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