After Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy became the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. (son of US President Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy) in 1996, she was hailed as the new Queen of Camelot.
But of course it was not meant to be, and tragically they both were killed in 1999 in a private plane going to spend a weekend in New York.
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s extraordinary looks, sophistication and ambition propelled her rapidly upwards through the fashion industry in New York culminating in 7 years spent working at Calvin Klein. Fashion editors were keen to anoint her as the new icon of fashion.
Last year in 2014 saw the publication of a charming memoire about the personal friendship between the author RoseMarie Terenzio and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. It talked about her fashion style and shopping habits amongst the rest of her fascinating story. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy remains one of my prominent style icons. Just now, when the fashion scene is awash with baroque print and colour, I like to be reminded of a cleaner style. Her look was timeless and very modern, and often mimicked to this day.
Take a look at your favourite current designers and street fashion, other than the loud extremes. Statement coats, black turtle necks and long pencil skirts; white blouses, jeans and high boots; slinky black evening wear. She owned the look sophisticated prep. She kept to clean lines and a basic palette but was known as one of the most glamorous women in New York.
Her hair colour was her secret weapon, in a shiny “beach baby” blonde. She used Kheil’s Silk Groom, and for her skin, facialist Janet Sartin. Manolo Blahnik and Prada for shoes, and she always carried the latest handbag. I like to know the little things! Her fashion said taste and class: New York party girl with East Coast refinement. Her look a style lesson for us all.