January 27th, 2009

Jackie Kennedy, that dress, and Robert Frost

Here’s more on that beautiful Grecian-inspired dress of Jackie Kennedy’s, the one I thought would have looked nice on Michelle at Obama’s inaugural ball.

A reader and friend kindly sent me the following photo of Jackie wearing the dress at a gala function:


And notice who was seated beside Jackie on that distant occasion: none other than poet Robert Frost! Thus it is that two of my posts on the Obama inauguration (see this) intersect.

I’m guessing that Frost must have enjoyed himself mightily that evening. And who was the regal-looking and lucky lady on JFK’s right? Pearl Buck, that’s who—the first woman Nobel laureate in literature, although recently she has fallen on harder times, critic-wise, than Frost (the Nobel eluded him to the end, despite four Pulitzers).

Here’s another view of the Kennedy dress on its original model, as well as Frost:


Love those gloves, too.

11 Responses to “Jackie Kennedy, that dress, and Robert Frost”

  1. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Caption for that last picture:

    Mr. President, you’ve got a lovely wife, and if I where 10 years younger, I’d steal her from you in a heartbeat. Ah, to be young again.

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    so much goes through my mind of that time..

    in less that three years from that shot, he would be dead.

    look at the body language though..
    jackie was real excited and liked frost..

    frost is harder to read, since his pose is the pose of a person who cant hear well or concentrate well. they look away from the person they are talking to in a way to pay closer attention to what they are saying…

    she is enthused, he is pleasant..

    but the other side… funny…

    that image is the image of a person stuck with someone they dont want to talk to at a dinner party and who wants to turn back to their wife to get away and make a bubble

    everything has left except his face… and if she takes her eye off his face or turns for a second, he would be gone without the wind… but jackie is enthralled by robert frost, so he has no place to run to.

    i can see the bubble above her head:
    “but mr president, certs is really two mints in one… its really revolutionary.. and has retsin! i know you agree, dont you? ”


    sorry when i was growing up i loved the album “the first family” Vaugn Meader.. i own the original along with a lot of others of all kinds.

    for those whose history doesnt cover americana..
    you can listen to this and enjoy… (follow to the other parts if one wants to)

    everytime i see photos of the kennedies i cant help but remember them as portrayed on this album.

    my favorite line having to do with jackie is
    “but i’m your wife”, in that breathy voice..

    and my favorite line for kennedy starts out with:
    “Nine of the PT boats, one of the Yogi uh Bear uh beach balls and the uh two Howdy Doody plastic bouncing clowns are Baby John’s…”

    here is times article on it

    then again i loved commentary of national lampoons “the lemings” a play on broadway staring john belushi. it was a prescient look at the hippy movement and environmental movements.. leading to their desire to commit suicide to save the planet. (a malthusian comedy going on at the same time as

    John Belushi, Christopher Guest – Lemmings Lament

    between the politicians polarizing power trips
    ……were just to pure and peaceful to decide
    so we got our heads together while the planet fell to bits
    ……now the one step left to take is suicide
    we are lemings, we are crazies
    we will feed our flower habit
    pushing daisies

    odd how the counter culture became the culture, and those who were making fun of it, became leaders of it… and those who left too soon became heroes for what everyone was sure they did, that no one who lived ever does.

    dad took photos at this show… three years earlier he shot janis joplin at her last concert

    a decade before these things above when kennedy was inaugurated, things were quite different…

    here is a flickr account with a photo of some kids circa 1961 manhatten

    to the youngins, the wonder years and things like a christmas story where all he wanted was a red rider bb gun… were closer to real than you would ever know…

    and this is what those same kids became after kennedy and luthor was gone… the riots…

    next year would be the summer of love…

    within 10 years everything kind of


  3. Trimegistus Says:

    Kennedy knew what color tie to wear with his evening clothes. Calling Obama “Kennedyesque” is absurd.

  4. MANeocon Says:

    You need to get over drooling about Jack or Jackie. His tenure was too short of any consequence for the last 40 years.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    MANeocon: what an odd take on this post. It’s about fashion, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  6. CZ Says:

    And you do your Emily Dickinson,
    And I do my Robert Frost,

  7. Sam Says:

    My mum got her ears pierced because Jackie Kennedy did.

  8. Gringo Says:

    My favorite First Family lines came from a Press Conference, which I didn’t find on YouTube. Here it is from memory.

    JFK: here comes the woman who haunts me- like the Asian Plague. Fasten your seatbelts, ladys and gents, here is Mrs. Craig.

    Journalist ( Mrs. Craig):
    I don’t want you to be angry, I don’t want you to be sore.
    Will Rockefeller be President in 1964?

    If I were living in New York, he’d be my candidate.
    It would be the best way for me to get him
    Out of New York State

    As a family friend worked for the Kennedys in Hyannisport one summer, I do not idolize the Kennedy clan. The skit corresponds with JFK’s wit during actual press conferences.

  9. anne Says:

    Who knew that Pearl Buck looked so much like Agnes de Mille. Jackie was a huge fan of both women’s work, actually.

    I agree that this gown – or a minor updating of it – would have been better than the iced-frosting concoction Michelle Obama wore. Well, I guess they aren’t consulting us yet, alas.

  10. csimon Says:

    neo, the dress was magnificently constructed — and painstakingly so to those of us who know about draping — and you are right on the money in choosing this dress as an example of an excellent choice for Mrs. Obama. It’s tiny folds, bias cut, and oblique lines are enormously forgiving, and draw attention away from figure flaws, providing ample coverage while yet seeming bare and light at the same time. Also, because much of the complex folds are toward the top of dress, it shifts attention upward toward the face.

    The only woman who might be wary of such a dress is perhaps an aging woman with poor muscle tone and flabby arms. Otherwise, it suits any number of body types.

    The color choice combined with the sheen of the fabric, was also brilliant, and the design is absolutely timeless.

  11. Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » 10 lessons + 1, in today’s roundup Says:

    […] Jackie Kennedy, that dress, and Robert Frost […]

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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