Saturday, August 20, 2011

Commenting System

I wanted to do a quick post just to let readers know about a commenting system I put up on the site. Its a bit different from the standard blogger fare in that you can directly reply to other peoples comments and attach pictures as well. Hopefully this will allow the blog to become more of a communty where we can all discuss with each other. The attachment feature is great because it can allow us to share unseen pictures as well!

I've had a few people comment already which is so great to see when one starts up a new site. I know there are a lot of CBK fans out there so it would be great to hear from everyone. And a big big thank you to the ones who have left nice notes and visited the site :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flashback Friday: Carolyn at Calvin Klein

For this weeks Flashback Friday I thought we'd go back to the late, when the hair was wavier, the skin darker and Carolyn wasn't known as Mrs. JFK Jr. but rather Calvin Klein's PR girl.

After graduating from Boston University in 1988 Carolyn worked as a salesgirl at their Boston location before being located to Manhattan to work in PR. While there she mingled with the best, including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss and Mr. Klein himself. But her most important connection would have been JFK Jr. One of the most frequented stories is that John and Carolyn met at a Calvin Klein event.

Carolyn Bessette with Jennifer Aniston
While at Calvin, Carolyn's look was still very fresh-out-of-college. Her hair was wavy and dirty brown and the skin was tanned - two staples we never saw in Carolyn's later life. But the clothes are still simple and modern so I guess Carolyn always dressed to her own tune.

Anyways, I've collected a bunch of pictures that you can see below and I think they only further intensify what people thought of Carolyn. She was a fun and social girl who was able to party with the best of them, not the ice queen that the media made her out to be.

Carolyn Bessette with Kate Moss
Carolyn Bessette with Kelly Klein
Carolyn Bessette with Calvin Klein

The pictures below the cut are screencaps from an A&E documentary. I've scrolled the web and youtube but I can't for the life of me find the video! If anyone has a link or even more pictures please let me know!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flashback Fridays

I thought I'd introduce a fun aspect on this blog and something to look forward to - Flashback Fridays. The site is still starting up so I know it needs a bit of work but at least every Friday before the weekend I'll post an old picture of Carolyn. And by old I mean pre-JFK Jr. days when the hair wasn't so blonde and the clothes not so perfect.

This is Carolyn with her mother Anne Freeman and her stepfather Richard Freeman*, most likely during her early Calvin Klein PR days. Carolyn looks so much like her mother - agreed?

UPDATE* : The man above is actually Richard Freeman, Carolyn's stepfather, not her biological father as I initially stated. Her parents divorced when she was eight and they both remarried to new partners. Thanks Ana for the tip!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meeting The Press, 1996

In 1996 fresh from their honeymoon in Turkey John F Kennedy Jr. introduced his new wife to the press. The newly hyphenated Mrs. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy stepped out from her NYC apartment and suddenly all eyes were on the newest inductee to the Kennedy family. 

For her first 'official appearance' Carolyn wore a long camel skirt, black sweater and her patent Prada bag and brown leather Prada boots. 

I loved this outfit for many reasons. First, because of the colour palette. I'm a simple girl, black and camel account for about 60 percent of my wardrobe, so I loved that Carolyn combined the two colours here. Second, her hair and makeup is flawless and although you can just see how uncomfortable she is facing all those cameras and lights (who wouldn't be) she is so quintessentially Carolyn. And lastly, the fact that this outfit is so timeless. Who doesn't see woman at work trying to embody this simple and streamlined look in the office? A sweater, skirt and boots combine to make a powerful first statement. 

As always, click the "Read More" link for all pictures

Newsweek : The Carolyn Style

In 1996, fresh off her marriage and honeymoon and just settling into life as the new Mrs. JFK Jr., Carolyn appeared on the cover of the October 21, 1996 issue of Newsweek - the headline read "The Carolyn Style". The article, at times enlightening and at other times condescending, summed up the elements of Carolyn's look from her buttery blond hair to her wardrobe of Calvin Klein and Yohji Yamamoto. Its a really interesting read with some great pictures.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rubin Amanpour Wedding in Italy, 1998

My cousin is getting married this weekend and fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you see it, I get to be a bridesmaid! Thankfully, the dress isn't bubblegum pink and there aren't any bows (in plain sight) but sadly I don't think it can top this outfit Carolyn wore to a 1998 wedding in Italy. A close friend of John's, diplomat and journalist James Rubin wed anchorwoman Christiane Amanpour in Bracciano. The couple married in a low key wedding and invited some decidedly high profile guests.

Carolyn wore a black ruffled Yohji Yamamoto cocktail dress, patent black Manolo Blahnik heels and accessorize with a black leather envelope clutch. Jewellery was kept to a minimum (pearl earrings) and her hair was pulled back in a low chignon. These heels have got to be one of my favourite pairs of shoes on Carolyn. I love the straps on the back. They were probably Carolyn's favourite too seeing as how she wore them to more than one black tie event. 

The whole look was very classic and I still see women dress like this today. To me Carolyn looks more like Italian aristocracy than a fomer PR girl for Calvin Klein! And like always, she kept her makeup very simple and opted for just red lipstick and mascara. 

I don't know if I'd be bold enough to wear black at a wedding. These days guests always steer in favour of pastel colours ... would it be something you'd try? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

White House Correspondents Dinner, 1999

On Saturday, May 1 1999 John and Carolyn attended the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Sean Penn was their guest and he, along with Carolyn and John, added some high wattage celebrity presence to the event.

Carolyn wore a beautiful Jean Paul Gaultier pantsuit and necklace and had her hair slicked into a ponytail. Makeup was minimal and she stuck to her tried and true red lipstick and a bit of liner.

This is one of my favourite CBK event outfits, although I find myself saying that a lot, because it is still so modern today. I even remember seeing a similar JPG pantsuit on the runways a few seasons ago but alas I can't find that specific collection.

Anyways, to see all of the pictures I've gathered from this event click the "Read More" link! And if you have any photos to add please let me know :)

CBK Hair Evolution

One of Carolyn's greatest distinguishing features was her beautiful blonde hair. It was the perfect compliment to her austere wardrobe and added a touch of lightness to her all black ensembles. Emulated by many Manhattanites but unfortunately overshadowed by the clunky "Rachel" do, CBK's cut and colour was one of the top nineties hairstyles.

1995 ; 1993 ; 1998 ; 1999

California ease to NYC cool
Interestingly enough Carolyn didn't start out with platinum blonde hair. Her foray into Scandinavian blonde territory started out in a completely different place. When she met John her hair, and Carolyn herself, was very "out of university" - tousled, dirty blond and curly, as if she spent her days in Manhattan surfing. It was only when she became Mrs. JFK Jr. that she became blonder, perhaps to accompany her new role. Below is a really interesting article on CBK's style by her former hair stylist Brad Johns:
It has become a well-established fact among people who follow such things that Brad Johns does Camelot princess Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's hair. And how does he do it? "I cut Carolyn Bessette's hair in a private room," Johns told us. "The haircut usually takes around 45 minutes, and my fee is $300, the same for all my clients.
Brad Johns, Carolyn's hair stylist
"We have great security, walkie-talkies and microphones everywhere," he said. "No one can get past our security. So when Carolyn makes an appointment, we just whisk her in and out." Johns let down his guard just a little to let us know that Carolyn used to go for "a surfer look, tousled and sexy, like a little kid at the beach."
"Since John Kennedy married her, she became more regal," Johns said. "So now I make her hair a paler blond with a hint of Grace Kelly demureness, which is how she wants to present herself."
Carolyn is a wonderful client, according to Johns. "Of course we are chatting all the time, usually about her pets," he said. "She has a little kitten that she adores."
"I want Carolyn to look like her hair was naturally lightened by the sun. She says that she would like to spend a ton of time in the sun ... but at this point she is so hounded by paparazzi that it is impossible for her to go out in the sunshine as much as she wants."
How did you like Carolyn best?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Carolyn's Engagement Ring

There aren't too many pictures of Carolyn wearing her engagement ring and the ones that I do have are quite blurry. However, I'll post these two pictures for the sake of seeing the ring John Jr bequeathed to his future wife. It is a platinum band surrounded by diamonds and sapphires. 

The sapphires are quite surprising as I would have pictured CBK as a simple diamond type of girl. Coloured gemstones are not quite my taste but the ring is a beautiful piece of jewellery. I'm not too educated on this topic but perhaps the ring was passed on from Jackie to JFK ... does anyone know?

HQ image (
Unfortunately the ring wasn't to C's particular liking, according to Carole Radziwill, in her book "What Remains". I could see Carolyn as just a simple gold band kind of girl but this piece of jewelry was exquisite nonetheless. 

An excerpt from Carole Radziwell's book "What Remains"
*Update* Carolyn's ring was modeled after one owned by Jackie Kennedy. It was one of Jackie's favourite pieces - her "swimming ring" - given to her by her long-time companion, diamond dealer Maurice Tempelsman. 

Jackie Kennedy's emerald and gold "swimming ring"
*Update 2* I've gotten a chance to read RoseMarie Terenzio's book 'Fairy Tale Interrupted' and there was an interesting back story on Carolyn's ring. Apparently, Tempelsman had a hand in creating CBK's ring as well. RoseMarie, John's assistant, picked up a package from Maurice Tempelsman's office (not knowing the package was the ring!) and John kept it in a Duane Reade plastic bag in his office desk. He eventually proposed to Carolyn on July 4 weekend (1995), while the two were fishing at his house in Martha's Vineyard. His choice words? "Fishing is so much better with a partner". 

The ring Tempelsman designed was a replica of an emerald and sapphire Schlumberger ring that Jackie had owned. If you have around 10k to spare then you can pick yourself up a similar version at Tiffany's! The sapphire and diamond version is below - I love that John changed the gemstones to fit his future wife but still kept his mother's influence. 

Jean Schlumberger Sixteen Stone ring in diamonds and sapphire
Thanks to Jessika for the update and the Ultimate Jackie blog for info as well!

The Cool Shoulder

Allure magazine published a great article in August 1999 on Carolyn's modest yet sexy style.

The Cool Shoulder
Allure August 1999

They are great scans and include some great quality pictures of some of CBK's best hits like the ruffled Yohji Yamamoto and her white Versace number. Its a good quick read and I find it really describes Carolyn's style well. If you're interested in buying the magazine for the article Sharon Stone was on the cover!

source: scanned by Luxx at tFS