From her earliest days as a debutante until her final years as a New York socialite, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was an icon. Whether she paired pearls with a pillbox hat, or pinned the perfect crystal brooch to a crisp boatneck, her classic looks influenced an entire generation of women. But how do her modest looks hold up in the age of Instagram?
“Jackie O is one of the greatest influencers of all time,” says Cinthya Castro, co-chair of Fashion Matters Chicago (FMC). “She was so feminine and had amazing taste; her style remains timeless.”
To sustain Onassis’ sway over women, as well as introduce her to post-boomer fashionistas, FMC is hosting an event in her honor. Timeless Style from Jackie: An American Treasure will be held on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. at Deer Path Inn. The event will be emceed by FMC committee member Mary Presberg of Lake Forest.
The affair will begin with a dramatization of Jackie O’s life, with a semi-fictional monologue performed by actress Venice Scott. (Patti Lechner, another committee member from Lake Forest, discovered Scott at luncheon where she delivered an impressive portrayal of Coco Chanel.) Lunch will be served, followed by a raffle for jewelry, beauty products, books, gift certificates, and home décor. The final act is an afternoon panel of speakers, which will include Amazing Cosmetics co-founder Lisa Thurman, image consultant Lourdes Arguello, and lifestyle blogger Katie Hinderer of Modly Chic.
FMC is a nonprofit organization that promotes initiatives “to awaken, nourish and communicate the true dignity and inner beauty of women.” Proceeds from previous events have gone to Chicago’s Sherlake Cultural Center and its Sewjourners Sewing Camp. The camp runs a day program for 9 and 10 year olds in Lake Forest, as well as an overnight program in Wisconsin for 11 to 14 year olds. And while many attendees are locals and relatives of staff, FMC provides money towards a scholarship fund so that children of less privileged economic backgrounds are also welcome to join.
“Sewing is an invaluable skill,” says Lechner, whose five daughters are all former campers and counselors. “Mistakes are welcome because it’s how you learn and perfect your work.” Perhaps by promoting creativity and craftsmanship, FMC and Sewjourners will help nurture the next Jackie O.
Tickets to Timeless Style from Jackie: An American Treasure are $75/$65 for early bird purchases (until February 28)/$35 for students. For more information visit fashionmatterschicago.com.