She designed gowns for Jackie Kennedy. Why was she kept a secret?
When it comes to fashion, there are some designers who become household names, with their creations adorning red carpets and gracing the pages of magazines. However, there are also those talented individuals who work behind the scenes, creating masterpieces without ever receiving the recognition they deserve. One such designer is Ann Lowe, who designed gowns for none other than Jacqueline Kennedy, yet remained a secret for many years. Let’s delve into the story of Ann Lowe and why her remarkable talent was kept hidden.
The Wedding Dress that Captured the World
In September 1953, the world watched as Jackie Kennedy walked down the aisle to marry John F. Kennedy. The gown she wore was nothing short of breathtaking – an ivory silk masterpiece adorned with intricate hand-stitched pleats, swags, and rosettes. It was a dress that captured the imaginations of millions and solidified Jackie’s status as a fashion icon.
The Journey of Ann Lowe
Ann Lowe, born in Alabama in 1898, came from a family of seamstresses. She honed her skills at an early age, learning the art of dressmaking from her grandmother and mother. With a passion for design and an incredible eye for detail, she pursued her dreams and opened her own salon in New York City in the 1920s.
Despite her talent, Ann Lowe faced numerous challenges as an African-American designer. In a time when racial discrimination was prevalent, she often had to face rejection and prejudice. However, she never let these obstacles deter her, and her determination only fueled her creativity.
The Secret Behind Jackie Kennedy’s Gowns
Although Ann Lowe designed numerous gowns for Jackie Kennedy, she remained unknown to the public for a long time. The reason behind this secrecy was Jackie’s desire to keep her designer a secret. In an era where American designers were celebrated, Jackie wanted to promote a homegrown image. She believed that by publicly crediting a foreign or non-mainstream designer, she would be perceived as less patriotic.
However, Jackie’s efforts to keep Ann Lowe hidden did not diminish the impact of her designs. In fact, Ann Lowe’s creations became synonymous with Jackie’s elegant style, and their collaboration produced some of the most iconic fashion moments of the 1960s.
An Enduring Legacy
While it may have taken some time for Ann Lowe’s talent to receive the recognition it deserved, her influence on the world of fashion is undeniable. Her designs showcased an impeccable attention to detail, a mastery of craftsmanship, and a keen understanding of a woman’s silhouette.
Today, Ann Lowe is celebrated as one of the pioneering African-American fashion designers. Her legacy lives on in the pages of history books, museums, and the memories of those who were fortunate enough to wear her exquisite creations.
Ann Lowe, the talented designer behind Jackie Kennedy’s iconic wedding gown and numerous other garments, remained a secret for many years due to Jackie’s desire to promote American designers. However, Ann Lowe’s undeniable talent and contribution to fashion have since been recognized, solidifying her place in history as one of the pioneering African-American fashion designers. Her creations continue to inspire and captivate the world with their elegance and timeless beauty.