Some very coveted cast-offs: JFK Jr's assistant tells how clothes were gifted to her from Carolyn Bessette's wardrobe
22:19 GMT, 9 March 2012
RoseMarie Terenzio, JFK Jr's one-time long-standing assistant, has revealed many a secret about her late boss' private life, from details about his wedding to Carolyn Bessette to her guilt following their fatal plane crash in 1999.
Now, the PR executive and author, 44, has opened her wardrobe to the public, revealing that her boss' wife – her 'fashion fairy godmother' – gifted a selection of her own designer items to the then-assistant.
Ms Terenzio said that Ms Bessette Kennedy was a very giving person, often passing on items from her wardrobe that she thought flattered her friends' figures.
Power couple: Carolyn Bessette – pictured with husband JFK Jr – dressed modestly, according to her husband's one-time assistant, RoseMarie Terenzio
'She loved making people feel good about themselves. She was so generous and down to earth,' the author of memoir, Fairy Tale Interrupted, told the New York Post, going so far to say that it was her 'mission' to boost those around her.
The assistant found herself in the enviable position of receiving some designer pieces from the American socialite and once found herself on a high-end shopping spree at exclusive department store, Barney's.
According to Ms Terenzio, a hot date
in 1996 – shortly after the couple's secret nuptials – spurred her boss'
wife to present her with a vintage faux-leopard coat.
Paired down: The famous blonde favoured simple designs by high-end labels
Ms Bessette Kennedy told the then 27-year-old: 'It looks perfect on you. You should keep it. I’ve been photographed in it so many times, [the media] are going to start making fun of me.'
The double-breasted coat was a loud change to the public figure's usual outfits of Levi's jeans paired with Gap T-shirts or tops from Petit Bateau, according to the assistant.
She says the high-profile couple had
relatively paired-down wardrobes and no walk-in closet. 'If you saw her
closet, you would think, ‘Oh my God', she said, describing it as no
bigger than that in her own studio apartment.
had a top shelf for her sweaters and bags, her hung clothes, and then
she had her shoes and boots at the bottom. [She and John] had a
living-room closet where they hung their coats' she told the newspaper.
were often donated to charity and the couple did not accept gifts from
designers. 'I have to pay for it … and if not, unfortunately, I
have to send it back,' Ms Terenzio recalls the blonde beauty saying.
She still loves the coat – although at
the time, the attention did not come without a cost. Ms Terenzio admits
that others at George, the magazine that JFK Jr owned, were ruffled.
'People in the office were jealous. They’d say, “Oh, she’s trying to look like Carolyn.” And who wouldn’t want to look like her'
They saw the assistant wearing a black leather Ann Demeulemeester skirt bought from Barney's and taking an Italian alligator clutch purse to the White House Correspondents' Ball. 'She had a similar one, so she said, “You can have it”', says Ms Terenzio.
Tell-all: JFK Jr's assistant RoseMarie Terenzio penned a memoir of her time with the Kennedy clan and continues to divulge details from the fateful couple's life
A white Prada coat was another present, along with a heavier, belted navy version by the same label.
Favourite labels were Yohji Yamamoto, Prada, Miu Miu and Ann Demeulemeester.
She owned just several handbags – one of which the author now owns; a simple black design that was used by the Kennedy wife as an 'everyday bag' for a year.
The writer said of a black Yohji Yamamoto jacket that it was chosen so as not to conflict with advertising interests at George magazine: 'She wore a ton of Yohji because they didn’t
advertise at all.'
Wise words from the understated fashion maven, according to her friend, included the lesson that 'If you’re going to wear really bold
colors or prints, the fabric has to be really nice. If you’re not going
to spend tons of money, you should stick to gray, navy, black, nudes and
white. It usually works.'