Tag Archives: Jacqueline Bouvier

“Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?” & Bestselling Author Pamela Keogh

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. This seemed like a long week, was it that way for anyone else?

We have a special treat today, a visit with bestselling author Pamela Keogh, most recently noted for writing this outstanding book.

Gotham Books

Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style is simply wonderful, far deeper than one may initially think.  Some Princess readers are already familiar with Ms. Keogh for many of her previous works, including Audrey Style and Jackie Style.

Audrey Style @ amazonJackie Style at Amazon

The author was kind enough to fit us into her busy schedule for an interview, so we move back to her latest work with a snippet from the publisher’s description of the new book:

“Any woman who has aspired to Marilyn’s sultry allure or Jackie’s unstoppable elegance (or who wants to balance sexy and serious) will love these entertaining lessons on channeling your inner Jackie or Marilyn in any situation, from throwing a dinner party to penning a love note.”

The volume begins with a quiz (more on this shortly) and then moves into more detailed looks at everything from how the two cultural icons approached fashion and personal style, to interpersonal relationships.  The book isn’t limited to comparing and contrasting the two women, there are also surprising tidbits, e.g., we had nary a clue that Jackie Kennedy Onassis donated money to help fund the Ms. magazine launch in the early 1970s, or that Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of the hand-written note.

Ms. Keogh is more than well-suited for the task, as she is herself attended Vassar like the former First Lady.  In addition to chatting about the book, we asked the author how she felt the two women would handle today’s electronic and technological intrusions into every facet of one’s life.

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

One of the nicest things about the book has to be the exquisite illustrations by Meg Hess.

If the style looks familiar, it may be because Ms. Hess has also done covers for all of Candace Bushnell’s books, among other commissions.

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.  As with other assertions made during our conversation, her observations in this arena were spot-on.

The conversation on fashion delved into the issue of sizing and how we perceive ourselves relevant to that topic:

“American women get so obsessed with a number on a scale. A number is a number, it doesn’t give you beauty, or humor, or grace.”

Ms. Keogh again spoke of a vital element woven throughout the lives of both women, something sadly missing from the resumes of many or today’s most idolized individuals:

“What holds us to them is what they did, their grace and style, the way they kept going in spite of what was going on in their lives, their indomitable spirit.”

We can only offer an amen to that sentiment. Perhaps the most amazing thing we learned in our conversation with the author is that prior to her death Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent hour after hour in front of her fireplace, burning correspondence, piles of it. That is one way to ensure that private matters remain just that.

Back to the quiz mentioned above, Vanity Fair carried a copy of the questions – here is a small sample.

1. DURING TIMES OF STRESS, YOU …

a) go for a walk on the beach.

b) meditate.

c) pour gin in your tea.

9. IN YOUR OPINION, MONEY IS …

a) everything.

b) no, we mean it—everything.

c) not that important—as long as you have a roof over your head and Veuve Clicquot in the fridge, you’re cool.

Click here for the quiz and you can start exploring which woman you most closely resemble.

Gotham Books

We are excited to offer one of our treasured readers an autographed copy of Pamela Keogh’s book, via a special giveaway. For one entry leave a comment saying which woman you think you are most similar to. For a second and/or third chance to win, become a fan of the Preppy Princess FB page (if already a fan just let us know that) and/or the Jackie or Marilyn FB page, and for more entries follow us on Twitter, or follow Pamela on Twitter.

We want to extend an enormous “Thank You” to Pamela, for she is not only talented and gracious, but also delightful, much more fun than one might expect from such an esteemed writer.

With that we say g’bye until next time, and hope everyone enjoys a splendid weekend!

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Of Weekends and Wedding Gowns

Hello-Hello and welcome to an almost-here-weekend!

Today we have a lengthy commitment away from the Prepatorium of the volunteering kind, so the post is brief and focused on one topic.  As everyone is no doubt aware (how could you not be with the insane levels of media attention dedicated to the matter), there are nuptials of note this weekend; we planned (and still plan) little coverage of the event, other than what we have done with other notable weddings, a possible look at the fashions sported by guests and the bride’s gown. We do adore looking at pretty gowns and party frocks.

We *have* been surprised at the number of inquiries we are receiving about dresses worn by other high-profile brides, in particular the number of questions about Caroline Kennedy’s dress. (More about that in a moment) To answer those questions we have decided to look at styles worn by some of these more notable brides, beginning with Jacqueline Bouvier, upon the occasion of her marriage to then Senator John F. Kennedy.

Via BrideChic

The ivory silk taffeta dress took two months to make, requiring more than 50 yards of silk.

JFK Library

More on the gown from the JFK Library:

“It was the creation of Ann Lowe, an African-American dress-maker born in Grayton, Alabama, who had designed gowns for the matrons of high society families including the du Pont, Lodge, and Auchincloss families. Ms. Lowe was 54 when she designed the Bouvier wedding dress, which featured a portrait neckline and bouffant skirt decorated with interwoven bands of tucking and tiny wax flowers.”

Tricia Nixon was married while her father was president, so that event was a White House wedding. Her gown was by Priscilla of Boston, an establishment visited by yours truly when seeking a dress.

Life Magazine

Another President’s daughter wearing Priscilla?

AP Photo

Luci Johnson and Patrick Nugent are seen as they leave the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; Luci’s sister Lynda, accompanied by the groom’s father, Gerard Nugent, holds the bridal gown train.

Style icon Grace Kelly’s wedding dress featured (among other things) exquisite lace, yards and yards of it.

The vision and designed for the gown came from MGM costume designer Helen Rose, it was actually made by the wardrobe department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The dress included rose point lace over silk faille and silk tulle, with seed pearls.

Another famous actress wearing a gown by Ms. Rose? Elizabeth Taylor, for her marriage to Nicky Hilton.

Princess Diana’s gown was immense.

The train alone was 25 feet in length.

There was a lot going on with this dress: the ruffled silk taffeta and lace gown also had enormous puffed sleeves, and decorated with hand embroidery and sequins. The gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

The royal wedding most recently featured in this space was that of Sweden’s Princess Victoria in June.

Torsten Laursen/Getty

This gown was created by Swedish designer Pär Engsheden, and made of pearl white silk duchesse. (Click here for our “Gowns and Crowns” post with oodles of pictures.)

The next royal wedding on most fashionista’s radar? That of Monaco’s Prince Albert II to South African swimming star and style-setter Charlene Wittstock, seen below attending the Swedish royal wedding mentioned above.

Pascal le Segretain/Getty

We close with our favorite gown, that worn by Caroline Kennedy for her wedding to Edwin Schlossberg.

The gown was a Carolina Herrera design in white silk organza, with a rounded neck, short sleeves, and a twenty-five-foot train.  Note the bodice of the gown, appliqued with embroidered white shamrocks.

Why is it our favorite? Why are the shamrocks of interest?  Well, loath as we are to talk about anything personal (honestly, what could be more tedious?), we will share that someone you know (in a cyber sense of the word) wore the same dress for her marriage to the most wonderful man in the galaxy, the Consort.

As soon as we saw the dress we knew it was The One, and sliding it on confirmed our first instinct.  We had only one dilemma. You see, the gown did not originally come with shamrocks, those were created specially for Ms. Kennedy.  In our case the debate was a bit more challenging: shamrocks to honor the bride’s heritage, or tulips, in honor of the groom’s background?

Ultimately we opted for neither, going with the gown’s original floral embellishment, a daisy. And thus, “The Daisy Dress” was named, that moniker remains what we call The Dress to this day.

On that blissful note we thank you for popping in, and hope everyone’s weekend is simply delightful!

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