The Kennedy's Costume Designer on Turning Katie into Jackie O!

04 April 2011

So 'The Kennedy’s' - the eight part miniseries starring Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy - debuted last night in the States on the Reelz channel, and in spite of the furore surrounding the production’s ‘historical accuracy’, team Grazia Daily are super excited about seeing this production for one thing and one thing only: OBVIOUSLY it’s the costumes.

Christopher Hargadon, the show’s costume designer, has opened up to StyleList about how he gave Katie the Jackie O look. Christopher describes the two women [Katie and Jackie] as physically ‘actually quite similar. Jackie was tall and slender and Katie is 5’10. The difference was through the shoulders. Jackie was an equestrian and a swimmer… hers were much broader than Katie's.’

 Of recreating the iconic pink wool suit which Jackie wore to visit Dallas on the day JFK was shot in 1963, Hargadon says ‘it was actually done for Katie by [Giorgio] Armani. She and Tom [Cruise] have a relationship with Armani, and when they found out she was doing the project, they asked to make her clothes. So we told them she would need 45 or 50 looks for all the episodes and they had to be done in about 72 days. They came back and said, “Then, we'd like to do two”. So they made that and her inaugural gown’ (a super chic white satin floor length gown with short sleeves and a train).

He also said that whilst sourcing complete vintage outfits from the era turned out to be a bit of a tall order, ‘you could still source the right vintage fabrics, the wool-silk blends, the rayons. And when we couldn't, we took a real arts-and-crafts approach.’ He cites one dress which ‘Jackie wore to an opera, an Oleg Cassini, that was a straw raffia. I was obsessed with it but couldn't find anything, even fabric. Then I stumbled on a vintage French ribbon lace. I stripped it and painted it and gave it a light wash and a pink hue and it worked.’

Amazing. Screw the reviews, we cannot WAIT to see those outfits.

- Alex Butt


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