Mar 21, 2006

Oleg Cassini dies at 92

The man who designed most of Jackie Kennedy's White House wardrobe had a seven-decade career.
As Mr. Cassini himself was quick to profess, he was above all about women. He adored them, he said. He loved thinking about how he might drape fine cloth on them, how much to reveal and how much to keep secret. "My philosophy is this: Do not tamper with the anatomy of a woman's body; do not camouflage it," he told The New York Post in 1961. "I don't want every woman to look like a little boy."

Mr. Cassini inveighed against the sack dress and other shape-concealing fashions put forward by the French in the early 1960's. His own label, introduced in 1950, was predicated on "an incredibly hourglass, body-revealing, high-impact, one might go so far as to say quite sexually charged clothing," said Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue magazine. "His aesthetic, however, remained always within the framework of 1950's propriety."

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