It never occurred to us to do anything on this site in observance of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. It’s pretty far outside our purview, after all. But we had the enormous honor of being asked by PBS NewsHour to contribute a short essay on the style of Camelot, featured here. Our Mad Style posts had a lot to do with why we were asked to contribute, so we tried to put the style of the Kennedy years into some sort of context, describing it as:
” … a marriage of New England moneyed Irish preppiness and French-infused finishing school couture that shouldn’t have blended well but managed to become iconic. With John and Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Family became an aspirational image for the first time — a magazine cover version of the presidency, perfectly suited for an ever-accelerating mass-media age of across-the-board middle class growth. That good-looking couple just down the street. Jack and Jackie.”
We’re ever so proud of it, so please go on over there and read the whole thing, as well as a bunch of other short essays from people who humble us just by having their names on the same page as ours.
When the piece went up last night, we figured it might be nice to feature some examples of the Camelot style here on our site, since it’s not a given that everyone who reads us is familiar with it. There’s so much written about the JFK years and we’re not at all interested in rehashing the pros and cons of them, but there’s a reason these two became so iconic and it’s not entirely because of the tragedy. They brought an approachable sort of glamour to the presidency that hasn’t ever been quite matched and defined the aspirational look for the period in a way that no other First Couple ever has in the modern era. For a time, for their time, “Jack and Jackie” were what people wanted to be.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]