Jacqueline Kennedy with brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy watch as the flag-draped coffin of President Kennedy is placed on a bier in the White House East Room. Very few articles of clothing are perhaps more famous than it. In just one still image, the sight of it carries a myriad of messages about so many aspects of not only American Culture Jacqueline Kennedy wore her famous pink suit on numerous occasions before her husband asked her to wear it in Dallas It is a crystallization of an historical turning point and lost hope, a media metaphor for a naiver time often misleadingly described as “innocent.” It has even served as a topic for artists to interpret and college kids to now wear as a ghoulish Halloween costume. Visualization of the iconic pink suit being worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at the moment she was seated beside her husband, President John F. Kennedy in an open car during his motorcade ride through Dallas, Texas when he was assassinated, needs no caption for even those born long after that event. One of the iconic images of the Kennedys arriving in Dallas. The multitude of projections about the suit has become such a powerful symbol that it has entirely eclipsed what most people fail to realize was its original intent. Politics. Only in the last few years, certainly with intensity in the last week, has the story of the pink Kennedy suit comes under closer scrutiny, some suggesting it was a random or unthinking decision to wear it. The Kennedys with LBJ at the breakfast. (National Archives) In fact, it was no less than a presidential decision and one made with the pride of a husband in his attractive wife – who was also as genius as both she and his father in understanding the power of the visual in terms of political capital. With the rapid technological advancements in the color film development of Kodachrome, bright cheerful monochromatic colors provided a new opportunity to attract attention over the subdued greys, browns and cream colors often donned by political wives, suggesting they were part of the background rather than figures for the foreground. During her husband’s presidential campaign, Jackie Kennedy garnered press mention by wearing bright orange and pink during an informal appearance with him. (Corbis) Only still pictures showed the public that Jackie Kennedy wore a distinct red during her black-and-white television tour of
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