Loneliness and fame usually go together. You can be surrounded by fans and assistants but still feel alone and abandoned. A lot of fashion icons left this world being lonely. What I found interesting to explore in this article on loneliness is how women and fashion icons, with a tragic end, influence one of my favourite artist in the atmosphere she tries to represent in her music. I will talk here about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her influence in the music and “ideology” of Lana Del Rey because I believe there is a strong connection between these two women.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, born Bouvier, was one of the most emblematic fashion icon of the 20th century. She was from a good and respected New York family and studied arts and french literature. This young books lover had no idea she would marry John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1953 and later become the first lady of the USA. In 1963, history was made when her husband was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The assassination that was recorded by television came as a shock to the entire nation especially seeing Jacqueline trying to escape the car by ramping out of it with her pink Chanel outfit which became emblematic of her person.
Kennedy Onassis had what we can call a tragic life. In 1956, she gave birth to a stillborn child. Early 1963, she, once again, lost her newly born child after a summer of hard pregnancy conditions. A few weeks after her husband was killed in Dallas in front of her. In 1968 Bobby Kennedy, brother of JFK and really close to Jacqueline, got killed as well in Los Angeles.
Five years after her first husband’s death she married billionaire Aristotle Onassis and shocked America. In 1973, Onassis’ son died in a plane accident and soon after, his health deteriorated pretty fast and passed away in 75. Jacqueline never got married again and succumbed of her lasting cancer alone surrounded by her closest family in her apartment in Manhattan surrounded by her books. Rejected by the Americans, not accepted by Onassis’ family and in cold relations with the Kennedys after her second wedding, her lonely death is comparable with the end of Maria Callas, Nina Simone or Lady Di.
On the style level, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis left a huge legacy. From the first lady looks characterised by the famous Chanel outfits during her marriage with Kennedy, she created new fashion trends all the time. What is emblematic of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis look is a classic suit with lets say a Kelly Hermes bag and pearls.
When she was with Onassis she adopted the jet-set lifestyle style, more exuberant than in the past. If you want to dress like her in her jet set period opt for fur, diamonds, colours.
At the end of her life, tired of the “fame” system she opted for a more monochromic style giving her name to the famous Gucci bag. Lastly and more somber, a Hermes scarf with a simple t-shirt and nice classic pants with moccasins and a Gucci bag will give you the perfect relax, chic look of the last days of Mrs Kennedy Onassis.
Now what I like about comparing Lana Del Rey to this fashion icon is that I feel like Lana can represent the dramatic dimension of Jacquline’s life in her lyrics and the feelings she creates in her productions. The themes of her songs are present in Kennedy Onassis’ life. Impossible love, sadness, happiness, loneliness, fame, paparazzi, fame system, … Of course Del Rey gives a modern vision and interpretation of these themes. The elements that she mentions in her songs, like trips to the Hamptons etc, are elements present in Jacqueline’s life and world. The most striking song in Lana’s repertoire is the song National Anthem where she reinterprets the love story of the Kennedy but calked it to her own experience and love story.
I’m your National Anthem
God, you’re so handsome
Take me to the Hamptons
He loves to romance them
Holdin’ me for ransom
Lana del Rey – National Anthem