A ‘Jackie’ of All Trades

Jackie Rogers (www.jackierogers.com) has had quite a storied life. She’s been a big band singer, Hollywood starlet (she inspired Fellini to write a part for her in “8 1/2”), model, and design assistant (she not only modeled for Gabrielle Coco Chanel but was eventually hired to work in her atelier in Paris). And she has the legendary designer to thank for, among other things, her appreciation of luxury, modern simplicity, classic elegance, and the foundations of menswear; her desire to enhance, not constrict the body; her belief that it is “style”, not “fashion” that is important; her love affair with black and white, graphic houndsooth patterns, and ethnic Chinese design. All of which were there within the well edited 27 piece collection she presented in her chic Madison Avenue boutique where guests were treated to Mimosas.

It also included the launch of her menswear collection which was all about chic luxe ‘sportif’ elegance (FYI: Ms. Rogers actually began her design career as a menswear designer).

The color palette relied on black, black and white (which looked especially good in oversized hound’s-tooth checks), camel (there were several chic camel coats and tunics which were mixed with gold lame or leopard prints), and brilliant color accents (orange, lime, hot pink) which were a wonderful uplifting surprise. The overriding silhouette was decidedly leggy with short (but not too short), narrow, above the knee skirts, charmeuse dresses, and abbreviated shifts. The models’ legs were always encased in opaque black tights, and black high heeled booties, or pumps, were the order of the day (platforms were on view but they were not as exaggerated as on other runways and the shoes were sexy but elegantly so, rather than ridiculously over the top). And naturally, Ms. Rogers did not forget pants; a number of pant silhouettes appeared throughout: wide legged pants, skinny pants, menswear trousers, tapered ‘harem’ pants, jumpsuits, and there was even one black patent leather short. Fabrics ‘spoke’ to the luxury quotient: cashmere, suede, snakeskin, velvet, gold lame, and leopard printed fur.

As for the Oriental ‘connection’, that came by way of ‘Chinese’ inspired details like floral appliqués and appliquéd shoulder details, ‘Manchurian’ collars (there was one ‘Manchurian’ coat), several tunics (which were mostly short but one dramatic version at the end in black lined in hot pink was floor length), and the abundant use of charmeuse.

By the way, speaking of Chinese, I just thought I’d mention that this is the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar, (which is ironic considering Tiger Woods’s year thus far).

-Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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