Every morning when she arrived at work, Jackie filled her bright red cup with coffee, sat down at her desk and riffled through Women’s Wear Daily to see if there were any candid photos taken of her walking down Fifth Avenue where she worked as a book editor.
“If it’s good enough for Jackie O., it’s good enough for me,” she often said, as they worked as book editors in the same company.
Often there were candid shots of her as she was a fashion maven married to a billionaire and her sport was going to fashion shows around the world. Her favorite photo was the red and black Christian Dior dress and next the sleek navy Chanel suit that made her look taller.
“A day not in Women’s Wear Daily is a day not worth living,” she would pout. And we editorial assistants knew to stay out of her way on those days. No joking around, no eye contact with anyone, and extra production of slush pile manuscript feedback notes.
Me? That was my radical feminist bra-less army fatigue and carpenter’s pants period. Jane, the children’s book editor, dressed like a little girl, like Alice in Wonderland., with tiny prints of cherries and tulips on her blouses and dresses with colorful skinny belts. Nathan dressed like the Yale preppie he was: always a bow tie.
But Jackie, short as she was, wore her varied, impeccable petite size designer suits and dresses, cashmere capes, and fur coats intending to make a big splash, complaining that the newspaper discriminated against petites. She wore super-high heels in the streets and stockinged feet in the office when no authors were around.
Then Jackie went through a rough period where she wasn’t photographed for three straight weeks, though she was out on the street every day with famous authors at fancy restaurants negotiating contracts.
“I’m going to spend some time in my lovely country home in Lenox,” she told us editorial assistants. “I need a break from all this fashion pressure. I need a week of blue jeans and gardening.”
She didn’t stay for long. She was too bored not taking famous authors out for lunch on the Fifth Avenue fashion runway. She made some inquiries through a private investigator about the paparazzi and found there was one in particular who liked to photograph her.
She hired the private eye to stalk the paparazzo.
And then she was back in the paper every other day.
published 6 March 2013