Maker: Oleg Cassini (American, b. France 1913-2006)
Date Made: 1961
Medium: Alaskine silk, wool
Dimensions: Jacket Length: 21 1/2" center back; skirt length: 26" center back
Suit in pale yellow silk-and-wool Alaskine with jacket and A-line skirt. Boxy jacket is collarless and has three fabric covered buttons, off center closure and an off center pocket to balance. Skirt is A-line with a side zipper. This suit was worn by Mrs. John F. Kennedy on Easter Sunday, Palm Beach, Florida, April 2, 1961; also worn to luncheon with President and Madame de Gaulle, Elysee Palace, Paris, France, May 31, 1961; also worn to luncheon with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, London, England, June 5, 1961; also worn at ceremony celebrating publication of the White House guidebook, the White House, Washington, DC, June 28, 1962.
Jacqueline Kennedy's selection of stiff, unyielding fabrics such as this silk and wool blend called Alaskine, lends an armorial quality to much of her clothing from this period. There is an almost cartoonish abstraction to this suit, with its crisp A-line skirt and simple boxy jacket. This suit's foreign debut was at a welcoming luncheon at the Élysée Palace. Later that day she accompanied Mme de Gaulle to a nursery school that was of special interest to the French First Lady.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; Photograph: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation