Designer: Oleg Cassini (American, b. French 1913 - 2006)
Date Made: 1961
Medium: Ivory double-faced silk satin by Abraham
Dimensions: Length: 61 inches center back
Evening gown in ivory double-faced silk satin twill with cocade trim. Gown has 3/4 length sleeves, full A-lined skirt, and decorative bow off centered at waist.
This majestic dress was a masterstroke of image making that established Jacqueline Kennedy in the national consciousness as a woman of commanding personal style who had an unerring sense of history and of her place in it. The cockade at the waist pointed to Jacqueline Kennedy's pride in her French Bouvier ancestry and her profound love of history. The cockade had its roots on the field of battle. During the American Revolution, Washington's soldiers wore black cockades. When Lafayette joined them, he adopted a black-and-white cocade to indicate his loyalties to both America and Louis XVI as a gesture of respect to Lafayette, the Continental army followed suit. This dress was worn by Jacqueline Kennedy to the Inaugural Gala, National Guard Armory, Washington, D.C., January 19, 1961 the evening before President Kennedy's inauguration.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; Photograph: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation