Monday, February 21, 2011

Mrs. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy on Presidents' Day

I realize Presidents' Day  is for the 43 men who have now held the country’s highest public office. But creativity is worth nothing if it doesn't give us a license to play a variation on a theme. So I’m using my Presidents' Day to celebrate the First Ladies. And no other lady is more first in my book than Mrs. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (and not just because she was a cousin to the inimitable Edie Bouvier Beale).
For me, picking a favorite Jackie image is harder than choosing a favorite flavor of Häagen-Dazs. But I love this one by Mark Shaw for so many reasons. I love the pink and yellow colors that so vividly remind one of the 1960s. I love that JFK is in the background, and blurred. I love Jackie's hair and makeup. There's something almost Grecian in the poise and beauty of the sitters for this photo. 
This darling tome is a scrapbook of a trip Jackie took to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth with her younger sister, Lee,  in the summer of 1951, when they were 22 and 18, respectively. It is filled with photos and illustrations (by Jackie, who was a charming watercolorist) that the sisters put together to document their adventures. 
This slim volume, "Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad," commemorates yet another trip Jackie took with Lee, this time in 1961. The introduction to the book was written by John Kenneth Galbraith, who was the Ambassador to India during that period; the sisters were widely photographed on their travels through India. 

This whimsical illustration, by Jacqueline Duhême (whose rendering style is similar to Jackie's), captures the State dinner at Versailles Palace  where Jackie wears a raffia lace gown by favorite designer Oleg Cassini. 
For those who want a lo-fi version of Jackie's high society glamour, this bottle cap filled with resin is just the bauble. Tastefully sprinkled with a dash of glitter, it is sold by Weenerware on 
Here's a modern twist on a Jackie classic: This watercolor called "Vintage Black Jackie Dress"  at Laurenspaintpalette’s shop on 
And for those of us who aspire to entertain like a first lady, a vintage cook book called "The First Ladies Cook Book." I suspect an aspic recipe or two might be found in these musty pages. 




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