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jackie, audrey, grace … and me

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Sometimes in this world, there are rare moments when the fates conspire to do good. To do something so exquisite that we all sit back and emit a collective “ahh.” Jung called it the collective unconscious – phenomena we all instinctively regard as beautiful. Think sunsets, a sky full of stars, a snowflake.

Now think about this. The time is 1929 – the year that the fates brought us three muses, all of whom have influenced women ever since with their legendary beauty, style, and sense of self. Jackie, Audrey, and Grace. In a year where the stock market crashed, these three luminescent icons rose. I believe that God should congratulate Herself on an exceptionally amazing year in that regard.


Like everyone alive at the time of JFK’s assassination, I have unforgettable memories of that day and those that followed. Mostly, I am struck by the grace, beauty, and strength with which Jackie Kennedy carried herself and held the nation together. In the years that followed, her signature sense of style became a young girl’s lesson in why less is always so much more. On Jackie, a simple black turtleneck and trousers, a classic trench coat, and oversized black sunglasses spoke volumes about the art of timeless beauty. She knew how to make perfection look deceptively simple. All the great ones do.


If Tinkerbell were to take up residence in New York City, she would probably look much like my image of Audrey Hepburn. A pixie-like sprite with black capris and flats, a smoldering innocent breakfasting at Tiffany’s front window, Audrey captured the essence of elfin charm combined with womanly grace and those gorgeous deep brown eyes. Hers was the kind of style one is born to. And while that iconic little black dress continues to be the epitome of fashion, it is the woman who wore it who captured our hearts and filled our dreams of being so nonchalantly, effortlessly, and eternally chic.

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Grace. The name says it all. And no one has ever worn it better than Grace Kelly. From her days as Hollywood’s ice-princess blonde to her life as princess of the storybook municipality of Monaco, Grace gave the word “stunning” new meaning and dimension. Few of us would ever be blessed with her beauty (I’m guessing that even God took a day off after creating her for a well-deserved rest), but all of us believed that we might live her fairytale.

Big dreams for me, a nice Jewish girl from New York who loved to lose herself in books? Maybe. And yet … have you seen where I left my tiara?

© 2012 Claudia Grossman

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