Tabulous Tastemaker: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

July 28, 2015

By Tab Byrum

Today’s tastemaker is one of the most well-known women of the latter half of the 20th century, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on this day 86 years ago.


Jackie Kennedy Onassis was known for her wonderful taste and eye for design, while she was never a professional designer she is known for taking on the daunting task of redecorating the White House after her husband was elected President in 1960. Her work resulted in returning the Executive Mansion to its former glory and making it a home fit for the President of the United States and a place to meet other world leaders and make things happen. Jackie Kennedy was a big proponent of the arts and culture and did all she could to bring awareness of it to the American people.  Mrs. Kennedy Onassis was also known for her beautiful clothes, during her White House years her designer of choice was Oleg Cassini, people today still talk about her pill box hats and the pink Chanel suit she was wearing when President Kennedy was tragically killed in Dallas, 1963.


A young debutante, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. 


Jacqueline Bouvier married Congressman Kennedy from Massachusets on September 12, 1953. The wedding took place at her step-father’s home, Hammersmith Farm, in Newport, Rhode Island. 




The President and Mrs. Kennedy in the newly redecorated White House. 


The Blue Room at the White House was one of the rooms to receive new treatments, the room decor was modeled on the era of John Adams, Mrs. Kennedy and the decorators tracked down a lot of the furniture from that time and were able to have it returned to the White House to be used. 


This photo was released by the White House in 1962 to celebrate the birthdays of Caroline and JFK, Jr. The Kennedy children’s birthdays were just two days apart, November 25th & 27th.


Mrs. Kennedy in one of her iconic hats from the 1960’s. 


Preparing to attend a White House state dinner, 1962.


The President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in Dallas, November 22, 1963. 


The First Lady leads her family and the world in mourning for her husband, President John F. Kennedy. 

Mrs. Kennedy married one of the world’s richest men in 1968, Aristotle Onassis, and with this marriage, she was able to continue living the life she was used to. Jackie Onassis continued to set trends in the world of fashion and when she began her book editing career in 1975 following Onassis’ death everyone wanted to see what she would be wearing to work and what kinds of books she would work on. Known for her large sunglasses and soft voice Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis continued to hold the world’s gaze throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. She was photographed at her daughter’s wedding in July 1986 wearing a beautiful green dress and gloves and was spotted a few years later walking and sharing ice cream with her grandchildren in Central Park. 


In 1968 following the assassinations of Martin Luther King and her brother-in-law Robert Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy was petrified that her children were in danger, she found solace and refuge in one of the world’s wealthiest men, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The couple was married in a private ceremony in a chapel on Onassis’ private island of Skorpios.


Jackie and Caroline looking very chic.


Jackie continued to see the world, her presence was highly sought after and she had invitations from all over the globe. 


Here Jackie is seen in Spain, attending a bullfight with the Duchess de Alba on the right. 


A very Boho chic Jackie in Capri.


Jackie out in her signature sunglasses and headscarf.


In July 1986, Caroline Kennedy married artist Edwin Schlossberg, Jackie is seen here in a Carolina Herrera dress. 


Jackie and her son John attending the christening of her first grandchild Rose in NYC.


Jackie Kennedy Onassis and granddaughter Rose having a treat and a chat in Central Park.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a member of a group that lived in a special time, a time when we dreamed of walking in space and bringing peace to all parts of the world. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was truly a great lady who stepped up in a time of great sorrow and led the country through a dark time, she was the epitome of grace and style, here’s to our Tastemaker of the day.

Images courtesy of Tumblr and Wikipedia.

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