Although she does not fit into my favorite decades of the late 19th & early 20th century, there is no doubt that Jackie’s bridal ensemble was iconic. Even though she wasn’t a fan of her dress and would have preferred a gown with simpler lines, her gown is definitely a garment to admire.
Jackie’s wedding gown was designed by Anne Lowe and created to go with Jackie’s grandmother’s wedding veil. It was made of over fifty yards of ivory silk chiffon taffeta and featured a portrait neckline, large round bouffant skirt with rosettes and waxed orange blossom tucked into the pleated folds. It was a gown that almost never was, as the original gown, which took two months to make, was ruined by a flood (along with the ten bridesmaid dresses) in the couturiere’s workroom ten days before the wedding and all of the gowns had to be re-created.
Nevertheless, Jackie was resplendent when she married John Fitzgerald Kennedy on September 12, 1953 at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The ceremony was followed by a reception at Hammersmith Farm
My favorite part of Jackie’s bridal trousseau is her antique veil. She wore a Juliet cap cathedral length veil made of rosepoint lace and held by a tiara of lace and waxed orange blossoms. The veil is a family heirloom and was first worn by Jackie’s grandmother, Margaret Merritt Lee and then by her mother, Janet Lee Bouvier.
Jackie’s wedding gown is now housed at the JFK library in Boston. The black and white photos from 1953 do not do the gown as much justice as when you see the gown today in color.
When Jackie married Aristotle Onassis on October 20, 1968 on the Greek island of Skorpios, she wore a gown that was more her personal style. Her Valentino creation was part of his famous White Collection and featured a pale beige bodice floating over a pleated skirt.
It has been said that Jackie was the last fashion icon and although her style has often been imitated, she remains the ultimate stylista.