I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days, as we approach September, about the feeling of the new season and the new minimalism mood. As much as it pains me to wave a sad farewell to summer, it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel of sale rails.
The question is how to work the look without looking like a frump. Mid-calf length skirts, pointy-toed kitten heels and ladylike bags are all well and good on a supermodel strutting down Marc Jacobs’ catwalk but in real life, not so sexy.
What I need is a role model, someone who works the look and shows us all how to do it. Minimalism has been away so long that these people are in short supply.
Looking through photographs for an unrelated project, I stumbled across some pictures of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, who was briefly married to JFK Jr before they were both killed (along with Carolyn’s older sister, Lauren) in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard in 1999.
CBK was the ultimate ‘90s girl – she worked in a Calvin Klein shop in Boston before moving to New York and becoming a publicist.
She met Kennedy running In Central Park and they married in 1996.
Frequent subjects of the paparrazzi, the pair were photographed both on the street walking their dog and attending black tie events.
CBK was the epitome of minimal style. Simple, pared back, chic – she could have stepped off a number of A/W ‘10 runways – Celine, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, and, of course, Calvin Klein.
So how did she manage to make a simple black jumper or shift dress look sexy? Her trademarks were her red lips, her blonde hair (worn either loose or in an easy, low bun or ponytail), a white shirt and great accessories. Just check out her Hermes Birkin bag.
It’s undeniable that she had the ultimate in ‘accessories’ in the shape of her handsome, iconic husband. How could she fail to look amazing perched on his knee or arm in arm? But her smile and poise are things we can all attempt.