Jacqueline Kennedy's Inaugural Gown, 1961

Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
March 9, 2016
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inaugural gown
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Gift of Mrs. John F. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy wore this off-white sleeveless gown of silk chiffon over peau d’ange to the 1961 inaugural balls. Its strapless bodice under the chiffon covering is encrusted with brilliants and embroidered with silver thread. Ethel Frankau of Bergdorf Custom Salon designed and made the dress based on sketches and suggestions from Mrs. Kennedy. It was worn with a matching cape (not displayed). Along with a description of the inaugural wardrobe, the Washington Post reported that Mrs. Kennedy’s “career as a major fashion influence was beginning impressively.”

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

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