After the White House years, when Jackie once again began to enjoy herself, Vogue magazine weighted in on the most famous woman in the world, “…the woman is far better – delectable, determined, emotional, strongly beautiful, questing…living in her natural element of vital excitement.” Jackie was more confident in her own tastes and she didn’t feel the intense pressure to fulfill the expectations expected of her as First Lady. She was a mix of naturalness and Sophistication. In other words, she was a quintessential American Beauty, a mix of ease and sophistication.
It would be easy to say that Jackie was on top of every fashion trend, but it was much more than that. Jackie was on top of the changing times, and she created her own zeitgeist. While the world was changing faster than most people could keep up with – falling class barriers, the mixing of high and low, the woman’s movement, and increasing internationalism – Jackie seemed to anticipate the future. Even though she might have defined a certain look in any given year, she was always ready to let go and create a new one for herself, sometimes overnight. The result was that she was slavishly imitated throughout the 60′s and 70′s, just as she was while in the White House. During this time, she was alternately seen barefoot, dripping in jewels, dressed in edgy couture, or strutting in white jeans and a tee-shirt. No matter what she wore, she was definitely Jackie, through and through.
Jackie still accessorized exceptionally. Setting new trends with her handbags, shoes, and jewelry. Always confident, Jackie always followed her aesthetic instinct and never a label. Of Course, Van Cleef and Arpels was her sentimental favorite, since her engagement and wedding ring from JFK came from there, but Jackie was just was likely to pick up a wonderful piece of fashion jewelry from an anonymous boutique because she knew it was perfect. No matter what she wore, or where she got it, Jackie’s jewels would become world famous for their perfect balance of sophistication and flash. Of course, during the Onassis years, Jackie came into major trinkets, including 40 carat diamond right from Harry Winston, but she would never compared in the press to many celebrities who were famous for the size of their jewels. Jackie did not pursue quantity, but rather quality, and she became renowned for always accessorizing for the occasion, and never going overboard. She was always just glamorous enough, or always just sophisticated enough. She was in complete control. It was her ability to accessorize properly that gave her the self-confidence and boldness to always perform under the intense scrutiny and pressure she received, both as First Lady of the United States, and the first lady of the jet-set.
Despite the efforts of everyone around her, Jackie never even thought about writing her memoirs. She never dwelled in the past, but always moved forward. Her curiosity was too voracious for that, her appetite for new people, new books, new thoughts, and new vistas kept her hungry for life. When this was matched with her effortless elegance, Jacqueline Kennedy played a dazzling role in the fashion world. She taught the world how the importance of beauty, culture, and artistic expression could be in our everyday life and helped all of enjoy life almost as much as she did.