JVB Icons | Carolyn Bessette Kennedy


by DIANDRA BARSALOU MITCHELL • Shop The Story/fashion

The Icons series is a weekly shop-the-look feature highlighting iconic women whose style captures a certain sensibility and sets them apart from the status quo, no matter the era, socio-political climate, or popular culture of their time, or ours. Muses— if you will— whose timeless aesthetic causes inspiration season after season.

Carolyn Bessette Kennedy

Carolyn Bessette is synonymous with the absolute best of Nineties minimalist styling. Read on for more about her, and how to get four of our most favorite Carolyn looks just in time to start thinking about transitional wardrobe pieces with eternal style.

  1. Shop the iconic city walk look:


Double breasted coat, flared denim, statement bag.


A former publicist at Calvin Klein with a penchant for strong lines and sleek silhouettes, her style played on a powerful balance of masculine and feminine details, always understated yet incredibly chic, always on point without being loud. She stood apart in extreme and simple elegance, a strong woman with a very important, present role in her life with John F. Kennedy Jr. that she maintained with grace and discretion.


2. Shop the iconic sartorial shirt look:


Cat-eye sunglasses, oversized shirt, distressed boyfriend jeans.


Carolyn’s knowledge and unwavering dedication to her personal style and the designers she wore always showed through, and she was known for having her finger on the pulse of up-and-coming fashion and its designers without being too trendy. Since her tragic and untimely death alongside her husband and older sister in that famously fateful plane crash 20 years ago, Carolyn has been both emulated and tributed by designers, bloggers, and celebrities alike.


3. Shop the iconic weekend village look:


Leopard single breasted coat, black turtleneck, flared denim.


Referred to by GQ as “Yohji Yamamoto’s Great Interpreter”, let us say that Carolyn continues to interpret contemporary fashion and the easy confidence of a powerful woman navigating her world. In 2015, Wes Gordon, a designer and former collaborator of Julia von Boehm who now consults for Carolina Herrera, famously cited Bessette as the inspiration for that year’s collections and runway shows under his self named line. Julia in fact styled the runway that year and remembers “…her style was the perfect match with the clothing — simple, elegant, to the point and classic yet noticeable— she was always a great inspiration reflected in the collection and the styling.“


4. Shop the iconic evening look:


Strapless column dress, satin clutch, velvet opera gloves, black pointed toe pumps with ankle tie.


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