THE ROAD TO THEIR ICONIC STATUS
Jackie and John first crossed their paths at a dinner party in 1952, got engaged that very year, and vowed eternal fidelity in September of 1953. When they met, America’s future First Lady was already engaged, however when she met her one true love, she broke off the engagement to be with John. They were considered the most beautiful presidential couple, graced with sophistication and taste. Jackie was not particularly interested in politics, so she set her eyes on renovating the White House, which was televised to 80 million Americans in 1961. In a moment, the pair became a symbol of refinement, education, and culture.
The public saw the Kennedys as a breath of fresh air that created a much more casual and comfortable atmosphere in the White House. The First Lady was inexhaustible in her restoration plan, which included allocating funding, establishing arts committees, collecting antiques, and more. The plans followed three key points – to not be limited by any style, the need to reflect many different administrations, and a focus on the library, playing both a symbolic and functional role. The project was further defined as historic preservation, more so than just a redecoration, establishing the White House as a museum. The restoration solidified the couple’s status as cultural gurus.
Despite the graceful image, their story was not free of tragedy. On 22 November 1963, three months after their son’s passing, Jackie decided to accompany her husband to a rally in Dallas, where he planned to gather support for the next year’s election. Dressed in the iconic pink Chanel suit, with a matching pillbox hat and white gloves, she sat next to her husband, both waving to the crowd. The next moment, three shots rang in the air, and JFK was pronounced dead awhile later. As a statement, Jackie wore the same suit to the funeral, with blood splatters still visible on the sleeves. She poised herself bravely and stoically, emitting a quiet message of pain and resilience.
NEW MARRIAGE, NEW PATH
After her husband’s assassination, Jackie and her children stepped away from public life. She was afraid that someone might try to harm her children. In about five years, she found love again, yet the Greek shipping business magnate Aristotle Onassis – Ari had to be rather persistent with his courtship. He owned his own private island Skorpios, where he and Jackie lived for a few years, but she often took trips to New York, to visit her schooling children. The memoire of Jackie’s friend narrates that she fell in love with Onassis because she was attracted to his bad-guy vibe. However, soon there were rumors of trouble in paradise. The divorce never happened, as Ari died in 1975, and Jackie became a widow for the second time.
She diverted her attention to work and became a book editor. She worked for two publishing houses and bonded with singer Carly Simon, who after Jackie’s death, published a memoire of her ten-year friendship with America’s most cultured First Lady.
She died in 1994 at 64, and left a lasting imprint on culture, fashion, and history. She played a key role in preserving original image of Grand Central Station, threatened with demolition, and saved Washington’s Lafayette Square from being replaced with ugly office buildings. She also accomplished her dream of building the John G. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which has remained a pinnacle of Boston’s cultural scene.
THE JFK STYLE
When choosing sunglasses, John F. Kennedy favored tortoise shell sunglasses, particularly because they enhanced his image of a dashing, sophisticated man of the world. Over time the frame became a staple of his style and charming character. The sunglasses were the only piece that was featured in both his formal and casual looks, stylishly bridging between political functions and relaxing weekends at the Kennedy Compound in Palm Beach.
For years, Kennedy’s sunglasses were thought to be Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers – a common misconception, JFK actually became smitten with the tortoise shell frames when touring the American Optical production plant as Senator. So, the famous model you often see worn by Kennedy is called the American Optical Saratoga.
On the other hand, the First Lady far surpassed her husband in the fashion icon category. Her classic, chic uniform consisted of a well-tailored skirt sets, usually paired with a pillbox hat and white gloves. Of course, she was not only adored for her formalwear, and the popularity of her casual outfits surged even for years after leaving the office.
When picking sunglasses, Jackie mostly stuck to large, oversized frames. While the oval pair was one of her most iconic, she often opted for a bold square, or even a slightly pointed cat-eye frame. Her choices defined the fashion of the 60’s and 70’s, and even today many still channel her eponymous style.
Which model of sunglasses to choose, when you want to achieve elegant Jackie O Kennedy look? Check out our suggestions …