Bonded in life and death

Published: 29 July, 2011 07:02 IST | Dhara Vora |

Today is Maharani Gayatri Devi's second death anniversary. Yesterday was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' birthday. Dhara Vora deconstructs the style trends that two of the most stylish women in the world helped shape that continue to be in vogue

Today is Maharani Gayatri Devi's second death anniversary. Yesterday was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' birthday. Dhara Vora deconstructs the style trends that two of the most stylish women in the world helped shape that continue to be in vogue

Overzised sunglasses
Such was the impact of Kennedy-Onassis' style on the world that the oversized glasses that she wore are to this day day known as Jackie O's. The oversized sunglasses came especially handy while dodging paparazzi. Gayatri Devi wore them in various styles, including Cadillac finned ones and tortoise-shelled ones, which she teemed with Jodhpur pants or her trademark saris.


Rajmata Gayatri Devi (left) and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis seen
together during the latter's state visit to India in 1962


The pearl necklace
Pearls were a favourite with both these women. Kennedy-Onassis typically wore her favourite triple string pearl necklace with a mid knee-length dress to White House dinners with a mid-knee length dress or a gown. The Rajmata teemed her simple, tasteful saris with pearls for an evening out or a political gathering. Both women reinstated the idea that a simple string of pearls can be the perfect accessory to any attire, be it Indian
or western.

Chiffon saris
In spite of marrying in a royal family with purdah system, Gayatri Devi wore everything from tweed jackets, overcoats on saris to Jodhpur trousers while riding - she was an avid Polo fan. The one piece of clothing that was made legendary by her was the chiffon sari. Though Gayatri Devi wore a lot of silks and brocades too, it is said that she first saw the material in Paris, instantly fell in love with it and asked for the textile to be cut to the size of a sari. She wore her chiffons printed, embroidered or as pastels.

Red lips
Considered among the most beautiful women in the world, Gayatri Devi preferred to opt for the minimalist look when it came to make-up, wearing little else other than a dark shade of red lipstick. Lip colours in various shades of red continue to be popular today, with celebs around the world opting for their favourite shade of red before stepping out on the proverbial red carpet.

Expensive baubles
Both women had a love for bling. Diamond studs, enamel and gold bracelets, elaborate brooches, diamond and precious stone statement neckpieces were all part of Kennedy Onassis' vast collection of jewels. Besides her heirloom jewels Gayatri Devi, especially loved the  diamond chandelier earrings she worn on her wedding day. Her most loved piece of jewellery, however, was the Navratan Necklace gifted by her husband, HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.

Black pumps
Wearing black pumps probably had more to do with comfort rather than making a style statement. Kennedy-Onassis was a fan of the barely-there heel, which she wore to most events. Fashion critics too hailed the trend for both the comfort and style factor. Be it plain black ones or ones with a buckle, the black pump remains in vogue to this day, and works particularly well A-line dress or when paired with skinny pants.

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