Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

It’s fair to say that the world of fashion has been politicised. The beginnings of this being brought about by none other than Jackie O, with her famous neat suits, A-line dresses and not forgetting the prolific pillbox.

Mrs Kennedy, a fashion moment in her own right, revolutionised fashion in the sixties. Gone were the days of the “campaign wife” who stood reverently behind the celebrity of her husband. The “original” First Lady changed the presidential silhouette, by side-tracking the bland preppy silhouette of her predecessors and popularising many of the key pieces we have come to love today.

When Onassis started wearing the “Onassis “glasses as they are known, the world all over wanted their own pair. These glam, bug-eyed glasses are still popular today, as they are seen on celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Mischa Barton. Onassis experimented with many modern staple items. In summer, Onassis would be seen wearing Jack Rogers Navajo sandals (which saw return to form in 2005).This tribal infusion meant she was introducing ethnic-chic that was proudly American. She showed the world the power a women has when wearing a suit; her boxy suits were always clean, feminine and certainly Chanel. Not forgetting the hoop-earring of which celebrity Lily Allen could not live without.

Yes, Onassis wrote the legislation of fashion in the sixties, but after her death came cries for successors. And recently they have been two strong candidates who are on their way to overtake her. So, it is safe to know that she won’t be turning in her grave anytime soon, with women such as Carla Bruni- Sarkozy. Who, in her visit to the Queen, chose a muted Dior ensemble of a grey wool belted coat and suit with a clinched waist belt, leather bag, gloves and Jackie hat. Showing that the Jackie O look can be modern.

Michelle Obama, America’s “First Black First Lady” whose style is literally “one for the books”, as she releases her style guide in March. Her style is a departure from the conservative aesthetic of Laura Bush. Opting for daring numbers such as the black and red embroidered silk chiffon and satin dress by Narciso Rodriguez, the said dress sent waves in fashion, with the likes of Anna Wintour hosting a banquet for Mrs Obama. But all politics aside, Mrs Kennedy gets our vote.