The pink suit – Nicole Mary Kelby


On November 22, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis accompanied her husband to Dallas, Texas dressed in a pink Chanel-style suit that was one of his favorites; he’d requested that she wear it that day. But the pink suit became iconic for reasons far more sinister and tragic than its style and structure, or because the President loved it on his wife. Much of the First Lady’s official wardrobe, including the pink suit, came from copy houses like the one at the heart of this novel: Chez Ninon, an exclusive New York City boutique owned and operated by a pair of eccentric socialites. While they took care of their High Society clients personally, the real work at Chez Ninon was done by the backroom ‘girls’. One seamstress – a young Irish immigrant named Kate – did the finish work for all of the First Lady’s most memorable outfits. While the two may never have met, Kate knew every tuck and pleat needed to create the illusion of the First Lady’s perfection. Like Mrs. Kennedy’s family, Kate came to New York from Cork, Ireland and she honored that connection by keeping the muslin patterns for each piece she made for the First Lady and fashioning a skirt or a blouse, a jacket or sheath dress, for her own niece. The pink suit was no exception. When it becomes infamous on November 22, 1963, Kate’s already fragile world – one divided between the excess and artistry of Chez Ninon and the traditional values of her insular immigrant community – threatens to rip apart. The Pink Suit is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at politics, fashion, and some of the most glamorous women in history, seen through the eyes of a young woman caught in the midst of a very American breed of upstairs/downstairs class drama. Read more