Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inaugural Hats

I’ve been waiting for an excuse to post the beige pillbox Jackie wore at JFK’s Inaugural fifty years ago today.

It may not be as famous as the pink pillbox she wore in Dallas, but this one has such an appealing sculptural simplicity. The nobility and purity it conveys exemplifies how expertly Jackie created not just a style, but an iconography with her clothing. According to Oleg Cassini, who famously dressed her while she was first lady, Jackie's signature pillbox, sitting back atop her bouffant hair, was inspired by images of Nefertiti. This one, I think, is more “white chess queen.” The top hat Jack wore that day completed the coronation/wedding couple "look." What a perfect symbol for our love affair with America’s royal family.

See other items from the Met's 2001 exhibit Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years.
Visit the JFK Library and Museum for the Inaugural Exhibit online.

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