Saturday, May 4, 2013

Secret's of Carolyn's Closet

A while ago a great reader tipped me off to an amazing article on some pieces from Carolyn's wardrobe. The article was in lieu of the publication of Fairy Tale Interrupted
Fairy Tale Interrupted
a memoir by JFK Jr's assistant RoseMarie Terenzio.

The book, released last year, details RoseMarie's experiences working with John as well as her close friendship with Carolyn. I haven't read the book yet but I might pick up a copy now that it's available in paperback. Have any readers gotten a chance to look through it yet?

This article highlights one of the perks of working with JFK Jr - receiving Carolyn's hand me downs. A job assisting one of the most enigmatic men of the time and free clothes from our style icon? I'd take it at minimum wage!

Carolyn and RoseMarie at a party thrown
for RoseMarie's birthday in Pravda Bar NYC (1999)
"One night in the fall of 1996, RoseMarie Terenzio was giddily preparing for a date with a “good looking media pundit” when she received a call from her boss’ gorgeous new bride, Carolyn Bessette. 
The former Calvin Klein publicist summoned Terenzio — then the personal assistant to John F. Kennedy Jr. at George magazine — to the couple’s TriBeCa loft. 
“Whenever I would be going out on a date, she’d say, ‘What are you wearing? Come down and we’ll pick something out for you to wear,’ ” recalls Terenzio, who describes the style icon as her “fashion fairy godmother.” Bessette urged Terenzio, then 27, to try on a vintage faux-leopard double-breasted coat to seal her look.
“She said, ‘It looks perfect on you. You should keep it. I’ve been photographed in it so many times, [the media] are going to start making fun of me,’ ” Terenzio says. 
The statement piece is still a favorite of Terenzio, who now heads her own publicity firm, RMT PR Management. And luckily for her, it was just the first of many timeless items Bessette donated to her over the course of their close friendship before her tragic death in 1999. 
Despite Bessette’s rarefied fashion background, she was surprisingly grounded in her approach to style, Terenzio tells The Post. She never attended fashion shows after she left her job at Calvin Klein, and she regularly wore many of the same everyday basics — her go-to casual separates were Levi’s jeans and T-shirts from the Gap and Petit Bateau. Her closet was neat but not a walk-in.

And unlike many of today’s parasitic celebrities, [Carolyn]  never accepted freebies to pad her enviable wardrobe. “She always said, ‘I have to pay for it .  .  . and if not, unfortunately, I have to send it back,” says Terenzio.
Bessette also was generous with her friends, lending them clothes or giving them away. She even made over Terenzio with a shopping trip to Barneys and expensive highlights — a moment that is documented in her new best-selling book, “Fairy Tale Interrupted” (inset right). 
“I get e-mails from women telling me their favorite story in the book was the shopping trip that Carolyn took me on. It was a fantasy, a real Cinderella story,” Terenzio says. “She wanted my career to take off.” 
But Terenzio admits she became the envy of George magazine staffers after Bessette took her under her wing. “People in the office were jealous. They’d say, ‘Oh, she’s trying to look like Carolyn.’ And who wouldn’t want to look like her?”
JFK Jr.’s better half was more than just a trophy wife, insists her friend. “She loved making people feel good about themselves. She was so generous and down to earth,” says Terenzio. “That was her mission.” - NY Post, 2012
It was so nice to read this article from a close friend of both Carolyn and John's, because it just confirms what us fans have always thought - Carolyn was above all a great friend and a generous spirit. I don't know how many of us readers would give up our Prada coats so easily but it just goes to show you what a beautiful person CBK was inside, and out!

Below are more of Carolyn's coveted pieces (and ours!):

Vintage leopard print coat 
“Carolyn hated being wasteful, so she donated to charity, and before she was married, she used to give things to Ina, the major downtown consignment store. She even gave her clothes to other staffers at George. Most of her clothes were designer, but she got this coat at a flea market in Paris.”

In the above picture with John, RoseMarie is wearing both the vintage leopard coat and the Prada bag gifted to her by Carolyn.

Navy Prada coat 
“Carolyn didn’t have a big closet. If you saw her closet, you would think, ‘Oh my God.’ It was probably the same size as mine in my studio apartment. She had a top shelf for her sweaters and bags, her hung clothes, and then she had her shoes and boots at the bottom. [She and John] had a living-room closet where they hung their coats. This coat was probably one of the last things Carolyn gave me. She had one in camel as well and switched off with this coat one winter. I borrowed it and said, ‘I have to give this back,’ and she said, ‘No, just keep it. It looks gorgeous on you.’ ”

Yohji Yamamoto jacket 
“When John started George, Carolyn had to make sure not to wear one designer over another because they advertise in the magazine. So she wore a ton of Yohji because they didn’t advertise at all. She wore this jacket with a black Yohji skirt to a Municipal Art Society party.”

Prada bag
“Carolyn had handbags, but she didn’t have 75 handbags. I don’t think it existed back then, but I can’t imagine Carolyn putting her name on a wait list for a bag. She’d say, ‘I’ll find another bag.’ This Prada bag was her everyday bag for a year.

Italian alligator clutch
Italian alligator clutc h "I borrowed this clutch from Carolyn for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and she had a similar one (pictured above), so she said, ‘You can have it.’ ”

White Prada coat 
“Carolyn would say, ‘If you’re going to wear really bold colours or prints, the fabric has to be really nice. If you’re not going to spend tons of money, you should stick to gray, navy, black, nudes and white. It usually works.’ This coat was actually made for Carolyn by Prada, and she wore it a couple of times with her bootcut Levi’s, and then she said, ‘This is too much white for me with my blond hair and skin.’ She said it would look better with my colouring.”

Ann Demeulemeester skirt
“Carolyn’s favorite designers were Yohji [Yamamoto], Prada, Miu Miu and Ann Demeulemeester,” says Terenzio. “She picked out most of her own stuff unless new clothes had come in from Yohji and she’d get a phone call.” Bessette also had a keen eye for fit. “This [skirt] was from Barneys on our first shopping trip. Carolyn told me to try it on; I said it would never fit me. And it fit me like a glove.”

It's interesting to hear that her clothing choices were limited by John's job and that she had to stray from companies that were advertised in his magazine, and that Carolyn would send back pieces that were sent to her for free. This article was a great read not only because it gave us the back story on some of Carolyn's favourite pieces but also bits about her personality as well. She was stylish but also very down to earth.

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