Jacqueline Kennedy Oleg Cassini Dress Design Archive.

“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it": Rare Collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown replica designed by him for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy Oleg Cassini Dress Design Archive.

KENNEDY, Jacqueline; Oleg Cassini.


Item Number: 116093

Rare collection of original Oleg Cassini dress designs, sketches, photographs, letters and a gown from Cassini’s personal collection. The collection includes a French magazine page inscribed by Jacqueline Kennedy, “afternoon + Theatre”, a letter typed by Cassini’s secretary Kay McGowan transcribing Kennedy’s instructions to him, an original Cassini Studio pencil sketch, a chart of sixteen Cassini designs with pinned fabric swatches, a Cassini designed replica of a gown worn by Jackie at the September 19, 1961 White House Dinner held in honor of of President Dr. Manuel Prado Ugarteche and First Lady Clorinda Málaga de Prado of Peru with Cassini’s couture label, a photograph featuring Cassini, and two photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy donning Cassini’s designs, including one framed which features a photograph of her wearing the very dress mimicked in the replica. In near fine condition. A nice collection offering insight into the complexity and careful planning of Jackie’s public image.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy became a global fashion icon during her husband's presidency. After the 1960 election, she commissioned French-born American fashion designer and Kennedy family friend Oleg Cassini to create an original wardrobe for her appearances as First Lady. From 1961 to 1963, Cassini dressed her in many of her most iconic ensembles, including her Inauguration Day fawn coat and Inaugural gala gown, as well as many outfits for her visits to Europe, India, and Pakistan. In 1961, Kennedy spent $45,446 more on fashion than the $100,000 annual salary her husband earned as president. In his memoir, A Thousand Days of Magic, Cassini wrote, "Jackie reminded me of an ancient Egyptian princess--very geometric, even hieroglyphic, with the sphinx-like quality of her eyes, her long neck, slim torso, broad shoulders, narrow hips, and regal carriage…I wanted to dress her cleanly, architecturally, in style. I would use the most sumptuous fabrics in the purest interpretations…I was proposing a new look, a new concept, my interpretation of how Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy should appear in her role as First Lady… [I] told her that she needed a story, a scenario as First Lady. "

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