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Fashionable Queens

Body – Power – Gender

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Edited By Eva Flicker and Monika Seidl

The essays collected in this book provide profound insights into the wide-ranging topic of the fashionable queen: the manifold implications and effects that the combination of body, power and gender can have are examined by using different approaches and a variety of theoretical frameworks. By addressing queenly appearances in the past and the present, in politics and the media, in royalty and the middle-classes, in the arts and in popular culture, this book offers a new way of thinking of publically significant women, who exert, and at the same time subvert, their power through their attires and thereby negotiate notions of gender, class, power and media representation.
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Jacqueline Kennedy: White House Queen and Enduring Style Icon: Stella Bruzzi

Introduction: There Were Many Jackies

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Jacqueline Kennedy: White House Queen and Enduring Style Icon

Stella Bruzzi

Abstract

From the trend setting to the deeply conservative, American First Ladies have adopted, even dictated distinctive modes of dress. This article will give a brief overview of the different styles and fashions adopted by presidential wives from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, contextualising them within political and fashion history and taking into account the constraints under which they invariably function – that their style is not necessarily entirely their own but dictated by their role as first lady. I then intend to examine style via certain key iconic outfits and fashion moments, notably Jackie Kennedy’s pink suit which she was wearing on 22 November 1963, the day her husband was assassinated and now remembered as a sacred relic of a national trauma and Michelle Obama’s official and casual wardrobes that have prompted comparisons with Jackie.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s name was, at every stage of her life, synonymous with style and fashionableness: as a young bride and mother; as the First Lady, from 1960—63; as the grief-stricken widow following the assassination of her first husband President John Kennedy on 22 November 1963; as Mrs Aristotle Onassis; and finally as a successful New York editor until her death in 1994. For many, especially American women, Jackie was the consummate fashion icon. Perusing the Sunglasses entry on Wikipedia, you would come across this description of her most famous accessory:

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