By Alexis Wulf
The shift dress. The oversized sunglasses. The pink Chanel suit. All pieces made iconic by the legendary Jackie Kennedy, style icon.
Jackie Kennedy’s legacy comes to Dallas for the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination this November. Vintage Martini, The Dallas Municipal Archives and El Centro College are collaborating on the fashion exhibit “Jackie and Main Street,” showcasing the contribution that Jackie Kennedy made to fashion in the 1960s.
The exhibit will be on display at El Centro College in Dallas and will from Nov. 11 through Dec. 13. Tickets are free. For more information please visit elcentrocollege.edu.
Throughout her life Jackie displayed impeccable style, but her most iconic looks were showcased during her tragically short tenure as first lady of the United States. From 1961 to 1963 Jackie revolutionized not only the White House, but fashion in America as well. “Jackie and Main Street” will showcase how she did so and what looks she influenced.
El Centro College will host the event at the downtown campus, which is located on Main Street, just blocks away from the School Book Depository building. The El Centro building was once home to the Sanger-Harris Department Store, which President and Jackie Kenney passed in their motorcade just moments before they arrived at Dealey Plaza.
Vintage Martini, one of the exhibit collaborators, is one of Texas’ best-known vintage clothing stores. It has supplied period clothing for numerous movies and television shows, including AMC’s Mad Men, and the Carrollton-based store has one of the best vintage archives in the South. Vintage Martini owners Ken Weber and Greg Kelly will be supplying the clothing for the exhibit.
The exhibit will feature 10 outfits ranging from day to evening, including accessories. Ken Weber hopes it will “celebrate the tremendous legacy Jackie Kennedy left us and the entire fashion industry with her truly unique design and style during her all-too-brief time in the White House.” Weber’s favorite featured designs include an orange silk chiffon Grecian evening gown by Count Ferdinando Sarmi and a black silk satin Christian Dior dress.
This is an exciting exhibit for him personally as well. Weber’s grandmother, Violet Weber, was an active supporter of President Kennedy and was involved in his re-election campaign at the time of his assassination. Several of the articles in the exhibit will come from the private Weber family collection for the occasion. This is the first time any pieces of this collection will be exhibited, including invitations to White House events.
In addition to the clothing and Kennedy collectibles from the Weber collection, the exhibit will feature photographs from the Dallas Municipal Archives of the late President Kennedy as well as from the investigation into his assassination. There will be “iconic images featuring ephemera, mug shots, fingerprints, and documentation of crime scene locations from the Dallas Police Department,” according to Randall Garrett, gallery director at El Centro College. The images will be some of the lesser-known photographs from the assassination to “communicate in a fresh way the period style, so as to bring the viewer into the lens of early 1960s fashion.”
El Centro College is located at 801 Main Street in Dallas, next to the John F. Kennedy Memorial.