The Jackie Look: Branding a Presidency Through Fashion

Included with admission

What unspoken messages do First Ladies send with fashion? And how did the unforgettable Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy break the mold to present her husband’s candidacy and presidency as progressive and modern? Sandy McLendon, design historian and editor of, and former contributor and senior editor at Modernism Magazine, takes a visual tour through Jackie’s strategic choices: hiring Hollywood costume designer Oleg Cassini; embracing the slim sheath dress and fuss-free pillbox hat (contrasted with Mamie Eisenhower’s lacy, girlish selections); and selecting—down to the detail—trim, elegant gowns suitable for superpower diplomacy. McLendon unpacks the elements of “The Jackie Look” so desired by millions of women of the time, and influential to pop culture then and now.

Presented by the IMA Fashion Arts Society with support from the Myrtie Shumacker Lecture Fund.

Wear your swanky 1960s attire and join FAS after the talk at 7 pm for cocktails (cash bar) and conversation in the Fountain Room.

Mrs. Kennedy in a pink suit, probably Oleg Cassini-designed, at a reception for members of the diplomatic corps, at the foot of the White House stairs. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

The Jackie Look: Branding a Presidency Through Fashion Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN