Jean Claude Mastroianni
Oleg Cassini and Diane Bernhard
NATIONAL ARTS CLUBFashion Legend Oleg Cassini
Honored With Gold Medal
By Edward T. Callaghan
OR the third year, the National Arts Club honored an American fashion icon with its prestigious Gold Medal for Life Achievement and Creativity – the still at 92 dynamic Oleg Cassini. Previous honorees were the late Geoffrey Beene and Caroline Herrera.
The fashion designer who cut his teeth working for the legendary Jean Patou went on to 20th Century Fox where he dressed the most glamorous stars of the era – Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly and Gene Tierney (whom he later married).
But it was his extraordinary work for and relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy that brought him international acclaim.
The "Camelot look" from the pillbox hats to the tailored suits to the elegant event gowns were all part of the Cassini genius. During Jackie’s brief tenure as First Lady, Oleg created over 300 outfits for her, many of which are in the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Still spry and oh so debonair, Cassini charmed the crowd that included O. Aldon James, Jr., Liz Smith, Joel Vig, Rose and Donald Billings, Nancy O’Dell, Diane Bernhard, William Wolf and Jean Claude Mastroianni.
Though he partied till the wee hours, the designer was back at his atelier in the early morning to put the finishing touches on his next resort collection!