Like Audrey Hepburn and Princess Grace of Monaco, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis is one of the world’s great enduring icons of style.
Although as a young woman and wife to then-senator John F Kennedy she had favoured the Parisian salons, political expediency compelled her to invest in American designers when he became President.
Guided by Diana Vreeland, then fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar, she was introduced to the work of Stella Stoat, Ben Zuckerman and Norman Norell. She also relied on Oleg Cassini, a friend of the family and former boyfriend of Grace Kelly.
She was a pioneer of minimalism, the faultlessly classic approach based on the perfection of cut and the dignity of fabric.
As First Lady, she revitalised American fashion. As early as March 1961, in her husband’s first year of office Women’s Wear Daily pinpointed "The Jackie Look" and its galvanising effect on the retail market.
The two-piece suit and pillbox hat; the three-strand pearl necklace; the Capri pants; the oversized Renauld sunglasses and chiffon scarves - all became instant shorthand for a style copied to this day.
Although she loved vivid, plain colour, she avoided decoration, stripping away anything that would distract attention from what she believed to be all-important: her personality. She would have loathed our obsession with "bling", cleavage, the red carpet and skyscraper heels.
In modern fashion-speak, she was someone who instinctively knew what worked.