September 1949, Paris, France. Jacqueline Bouvier was 20 year old, living at 78 Avenue Mozart, studying in Sorbonne French history and language. She had to study in bed most of the times wearing all her warm clothes, because her landlord, widowed Comtesse de Rentry, a survivor of the German concentration camp and a member of French resistance movement , could not afford heating in her house. Only occasionally, would she put on her only fur coat, enjoying a swanky night in the Ritz hotel.
For a girl who came from privileged family in peaceful United States, it was completely new experience, but what she was studying, both the French language and French history, were not new to her. French had been part of her school calendar and Jackie had always been fascinated by French history, more so after she was informed of her family’s possible french heritence, and General de Gaulle was one of her french heroes.
May 1961, Paris, France. Jacqueline Bouvier has become Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the 35th American president, mother of two children; and she was having a large wardrobe, and her own designer, Oleg Cassini, who was responsible for most of her official outfits; and she was meeting her childhood hero, Charles de Gale, the man who liberated France.
In the one year and half of becoming the youngest First Lady in American history, the fashion conscious Jacqueline Kennedy has learned to compromise between her love of french including French couture and the political correctness of transmitting a patriotic image to the American public, and her designer Oleg Cassini has learned to walk on the line between designing and copying some of her favorite french couturiers like Hubert de givenchy or Coco Chanel, including some of the outfits she brought in her suitcases.
June 1 1961, Versailles, France. For that one night, for the gala dinner with the brave leader of French Republic, in the palace built by the most glorious king in french history, Louis XIV, Jacqueline Kennedy decided to pay her tribute to her beloved France by wearing a dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy, an ivory zimberline silk sleeveless floor length gown with slight A line silhouette, the most flattering silhouette for her slim yet slightly angular body. In order to balance the heavily embroidered bodice, Jackie did not wear any necklace, just a pair of earrings and elbow length gloves. Jackie spoke French and she smiled.
A smile so mesmerizing, like those embroidered lilies of valley on her bodice, that it transformed her childhood hero into her admirer, and melted the heart and principle of Andre Malraux, the French Minister of Cultural Affairs, to allow Mona Lisa to go to the United States, the first time in French History.
January 1963, Washington D.C. USA. Mona Lisa, the most famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci, arrived in national gallery of Washington, with the company of its guardian Andre Malraux.
Jacquline Kennedy, in a dress designed by a French man, touched his whole country, and she changed history.