I was 16 when JFK Jr. married Carolyn Bessette. I can remember buying the issue of People magazine that week that had the couple on the cover looking so perfect, so happy, so much in love and everything I had ever imagined an ideal relationship to be. For three years I devoured every bit of information I could find about the two. Carolyn Bessette, who at the time was Calvin Klein’s head of PR, was my style icon. Even in jeans and a cap, she looked like the American dream. This woman made fashion look easy, effortless even.
I was 19 when JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy were killed in a plane crash over the Atlantic ocean. The USA was devastated by the news and it was the first time I cried about a “celebrity death.” Of course I knew nothing of these two. The only thing I knew about the couple was what I had read in magazines and newspapers. Yet, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy acted as a such a huge inspiration in my “style mind” that I felt almost as if I was losing a leader in the arena of style. More than anything I was saddened by the fact that we would lose the future of Carolyn Bessette. There was no “what she did next.” It was all just over, and over way too soon.
So this week, I had mixed emotions at seeing JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette back in the limelight. 15 years after their tragic accident and People magazine choose to go back to reopen the file, as it were. Naturally I expect there will be reports of Carolyn’s unhappiness at being propelled into the limelight when they were together – as every story seems to tell that tale. But it seems People is leaning towards a more positive slant and a tell all about the real love between the two. Fingers crossed that’s what I find when I open the weekly rag.
Some things are better left untouched. For now, however, I’ll just say if you don’t know of Carolyn Bessette and her style legacy, it’s worth a look.