Having lived through both eras with an eye on the national press, my vote goes to the bride of President Kennedy -- not the yacht-ta-da missus of Onassis! The press took her over and Jackie the bookish careerist had no one to protect her rights. And wrongs. Working for the publishing house, she courted authors but no one "dressed" her but herself.Yet herewith follows the fashion headline above: "Why You Keep Seeing 'Jackie O'....
"Forgive us our press passes" was the prime time slogan of femme writers before, during and after Jackie Kennedy's love affair with the nation's scriveners. They covered "Zhackee" from Paris to Podunk - made her the national figurehead that wouldn't quit.
Now we have people who call themselves dress designers because they copy what people used to wear. Not an original thought in a carload. Times have changed since the special writers who covered European collections knew the lead dogs in the fashion parade.
Famous names meant something. Reporters earned their stripes to be eligible for a byline. Nowadays anyone who works where presses run is not required to be original. Copy caterwauling.
Same with "famous" designers. Who knew Laurel Berman the Black Halo hero? They hire a press agent and scribes cozy up when they put on the feedbag with a "fashion luncheon." Like anyone can jazz up a business card that says 'fashion designer'. These so-called designers of used-to-be clothes worn by the very rich and chic and famous have passed the baton to no one worth knowing.
Photographs in The Personal Journal do nothing for the women who pose wearing them. Sad but true. The Jackie we knew in the White House had more fashion sense than would-be-imitators. Deliver us from the hawkings of "turned" writers. They get free samples and the rest is delivery of publicity.
Diane von Furstenberg created the stretchy wrap dress for women like herself in the 1970s. It is hard to imagine Izod without the golf shirt in a rainbow of shades or Levi's without 501s in the latest denim wash. That's when names meant something. But now? Get a press agent, a copy machine and you're set to get profiled.