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Cassini enjoys dinner with his second wife, Hollywood actress, Gene Tierney at The Stork Club in New York City; the couple had been married for 12 years and had two children
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By the time of his death in 2006, Oleg Cassini had earned his reputation as a legendary Lothario who seduced some of the most celebrated women of the twentieth century. He was engaged to Grace Kelly, married to Gene Tierney, had affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and became famous as the couturier of Jacqueline Kennedy during the rest days of Camelot.

In the 13 years since Cassini & # 39; s death; a fight over his $ 60 million estate waged between his widow, Marianne Nestor, and his four grandchildren has dominated his legacy with sensational headlines. Only now, after years of lengthy litigation, is a settlement near news about a judicial public sale of Cassini & # 39; s legacy. A cache of personal letters from Jacqueline Kennedy and Grace Kelly, memories, photos & fashion drawings are auctioned under the items by Doyle – revealing the private life of an illustrious playboy and a bygone era.

Oleg Cassini was the son of an impoverished Russian count loyal to the Tsar and the Italian Countess who lost everything during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The family was forced to rebuild their lives in Florence, where Cassini & # 39; s mother a small clothing boutique opened. After completing his training in visual arts, Oleg left for America in 1936 with only & # 39; a tuxedo, two tennis rackets, a title and talent & # 39 ;, he wrote in his autobiography.

Cassini enjoys dinner with his second wife, Hollywood actress, Gene Tierney at The Stork Club in New York City; the couple had been married for 12 years and had two children

Cassini and Gene Tierney dine at the legendary Wesr-Hollywood nightclub, Mocambo. He met the 20-year-old actress while working as a costume designer in Hollywood
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Cassini and Gene Tierney dine at the legendary Wesr-Hollywood nightclub, Mocambo. He met the 20-year-old actress while working as a costume designer in Hollywood

Oleg Cassini and Hollywood actress, Gene Tierney dine at the Stork Club in New York (left) and the legendary West Hollywood night club Mocambo. The couple met while Cassini worked in Hollywood as a costume designer, they were married for 12 years and had two daughters named Daria and Christina

Their toxic marriage was marked by the affairs and tragedy of their daughter: Daria, who was born with severe mental and physical disabilities. Tierney had affairs with Tyrone Power, J.F.K and Howard Hughes; the latter paid the medical costs of Daria until the day she died

Their toxic marriage was marked by the affairs and tragedy of their daughter: Daria, who was born with severe mental and physical disabilities. Tierney had affairs with Tyrone Power, J.F.K and Howard Hughes; the latter paid the medical costs of Daria until the day she died

Their toxic marriage was marked by the affairs and tragedy of their daughter: Daria, who was born with severe mental and physical disabilities. Tierney had affairs with Tyrone Power, J.F.K and Howard Hughes; the latter paid the medical costs of Daria until the day she died

Oleg Cassini sits with actress Natalie Wood on a zebra lounge chair in the exclusive New York club El Morocco. Diane von Furstenberg told the New York Times: & # 39; He was a real playboy, in the Hollywood sense & # 39;

Oleg Cassini sits with actress Natalie Wood on a zebra lounge chair in the exclusive New York club El Morocco. Diane von Furstenberg told the New York Times: & # 39; He was a real playboy, in the Hollywood sense & # 39;

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Oleg Cassini sits with actress Natalie Wood on a zebra lounge chair in the exclusive New York club El Morocco. Diane von Furstenberg told the New York Times: & # 39; He was a real playboy, in the Hollywood sense & # 39;

Eventually Cassini was joined by his parents and younger brother, Igor Cassini, who himself became a powerful gossip chronicler under the pseudonym Cholly Knickerbocker. He was able to make or break reputations and make national news in 1939 when he was kidnapped, tarred and feathered by members of the Virginia high society in retaliation for a less than flattering story.

The Cassini brothers defined & # 39; the jet set & # 39 ;, in fact it was Igor (also known as Ghighi) who originally coined the expression. They were international playboys, elegantly dressed, and clearly old-fashioned in their pursuit: poloponies, sailing, skiing in Charmonix and exclusive dinner clubs. The common thread throughout Oleg Cassini & # 39; s entire life until his death at the age of 92 was the women he entertained: movie stars, models, debutants, heirs and ingenuity.

"They were like pirates with a brilliance of education and culture," said gossip columnist Liz Smith, who briefly worked as Ghighi & # 39; s assistant. & # 39; They have slept with everyone. Ghighi walked into the office and said: & # 39; Last night I went out to dinner with Mrs. (Babe) Paley's & # 39; s. I had slept with every woman at the table. & # 39; & # 39;

A note from Jacqueline Kennedy to Cassini in 1961 summarizes it best: & # 39; Casanova reminds me of you. & # 39; In an interview with Newsday in 2001, Cassini said: & Am I a Casanova? Of course, Casanova was a civilized man who conquered women. Women love me. I give them total dedication. We talk. We laugh. & # 39; He continued: & # 39; I have had the greatest women in the world. Women loved me, but men were my enemies. & # 39;

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One of these women was his first wife, Merry & # 39; Madcap & # 39; Fahrney, a cough-drop heiress who asserted that Cassini only married him for his aristocratic title. Count Cassini was her fourth husband in a row of eight marriages and they divorced after only two years.

Grace Kelly wears a dress designed by her fiancé, Oleg Cassini until the premiere of the 1955 film, Rear Window. Kelly broke their engagement with Prince Rainier of Monaco, but years later she admitted to a journalist: & Do you realize that if my mother had not been so difficult about Oleg Cassini, I would probably have married him? & # 39;

Grace Kelly wears a dress designed by her fiancé, Oleg Cassini until the premiere of the 1955 film, Rear Window. Kelly broke their engagement with Prince Rainier of Monaco, but years later she admitted to a journalist: & Do you realize that if my mother had not been so difficult about Oleg Cassini, I would probably have married him? & # 39;

Grace Kelly wears a dress designed by her fiancé, Oleg Cassini until the premiere of the 1955 film, Rear Window. Kelly broke their engagement with Prince Rainier of Monaco, but years later she admitted to a journalist: & Do you realize that if my mother had not been so difficult about Oleg Cassini, I would probably have married him? & # 39;

This photo of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Rasziwill in Pakistan was one of the items that could be auctioned. Cassini designed their wardrobe for the state visit and both sisters expressed their gratitude with messages on the reading: & # 39; For Oleg - Who made us the two best-dressed women in Asia - Jackie & # 39; and & # 39; For Oleg - Au revoir Givenchy, Bonjour Cassini! - Lee & # 39;

This photo of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Rasziwill in Pakistan was one of the items that could be auctioned. Cassini designed their wardrobe for the state visit and both sisters expressed their gratitude with messages on the reading: & # 39; For Oleg - Who made us the two best-dressed women in Asia - Jackie & # 39; and & # 39; For Oleg - Au revoir Givenchy, Bonjour Cassini! - Lee & # 39;

This photo of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Rasziwill in Pakistan was one of the items that could be auctioned. Cassini designed their wardrobe for the state visit and both sisters expressed their gratitude with messages on the reading: & # 39; For Oleg – Who made us the two best-dressed women in Asia – Jackie & # 39; and & # 39; For Oleg – Au revoir Givenchy, Bonjour Cassini! – Lee & # 39;

This letter was also written by Jackie in the block before her husband John F. Kennedy was elected president. In it she explains how difficult it will be for her to find and buy clothes like First Lady. She writes: & # 39; Givenchy is where I've always been - it would be so easy if I could get everything from him, but I can't and if Jack was chosen, I would never expose myself to that burden & # 39 ;
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This letter was also written by Jackie in the block before her husband John F. Kennedy was elected president. In it she explains how difficult it will be for her to find and buy clothes like First Lady. She writes: & # 39; Givenchy is where I've always been - it would be so easy if I could get everything from him, but I can't and if Jack was chosen, I would never expose myself to that burden & # 39 ;

This letter was also written by Jackie in the block before her husband John F. Kennedy was elected president. In it she explains how difficult it will be for her to find and buy clothes like First Lady. She writes: & # 39; Givenchy is where I've always been – it would be so easy if I could get everything from him, but I can't and if Jack was chosen, I would never expose myself to that burden & # 39 ;

This letter from Jacqueline Kennedy, written at the station of the White House, was also part of the estate. In it she thanks Cassini for a series of tapes that he and her husband, & # 39; Jack; & # 39; gave; Kennedy also congratulates Cassini on the success of his recent collection and writes: & # 39; Diana Vreeland called to say how well she heard ... Congratulations, I am so proud of you. & # 39; The letter ends with her complaining about the lack of space on their rented estate in Virginia, where she writes: & # 39; I can't even hide pony from Caroline & # 39;

This letter from Jacqueline Kennedy, written at the station of the White House, was also part of the estate. In it she thanks Cassini for a series of tapes that he and her husband, & # 39; Jack; & # 39; gave; Kennedy also congratulates Cassini on the success of his recent collection and writes: & # 39; Diana Vreeland called to say how well she heard ... Congratulations, I am so proud of you. & # 39; The letter ends with her complaining about the lack of space on their rented estate in Virginia, where she writes: & # 39; I can't even hide pony from Caroline & # 39;

This letter from Jacqueline Kennedy, written at the station of the White House, was also part of the estate. In it she thanks Cassini for a series of tapes that he and her husband, & # 39; Jack; & # 39; gave; Kennedy also congratulates Cassini on the success of his recent collection and writes: & # 39; Diana Vreeland called to say how well she heard … Congratulations, I am so proud of you. & # 39; The letter ends with her complaining about the lack of space on their rented estate in Virginia, where she writes: & # 39; I can't even hide pony from Caroline & # 39;

Cassini left New York in Hollywood in 1940, where he began a modest career in the wardrobe department for B-rated films. When he grew up, his mother always told him: & # 39; With a tennis racket and a tuxedo you can go anywhere. & # 39; Indeed, it was on the tennis court where Cassini got his first career break after fighting and winning a double play at the West Side Tennis Club. His partner happened to be the head of Paramount Pictures and happened to be looking for a new full-time designer, a job that saw him create groundbreaking looks for all Hollywood screen sirens: Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg and the glamorous 20th-century Fox talent – Gene Tierney. Cassini and his friends, John Barrymore and Errol Flynn cut Sunset Strip parties and night clubs, but eventually managed to fascinate Tierney with his effortless charm.

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Later in life, Cassini had memories of old Hollywood until Newsday: & # 39; Now all the girls want to show what great actresses they are, with jeans and no makeup. The men were beautiful then too – Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power. Today there are Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino. & # 39;

The start of Cassini and Tierney's twelve-year, stormy relationship began in 1941 after being evacuated to Las Vegas because her parents did not approve of the union. It wasn't long before both parties had business with different people. One of Gene & # 39; s was Howard Hughes; Cassini writes in his biography how he was reduced to fisticuffs with the aviation magnate at a party organized by Jack Benny. Cassini & # 39; s skirt hunters pushed Tierney into the arms of other prominent men of that time: Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy, Desi Arnaz and Kirk Douglas.

The start of Cassini and Tierney's twelve-year, stormy relationship began in 1941 after being evacuated to Las Vegas because her parents did not approve of the union. It wasn't long before both parties had business with different people. One of Gene & # 39; s was Howard Hughes; Cassini writes in his biography how he was reduced to fisticuffs with the aviation magnate at a party organized by Jack Benny. Cassini & # 39; s skirt hunters pushed Tierney into the arms of other prominent men of that time: Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy, Desi Arnaz and Kirk Douglas.

Cassini enjoyed telling the anecdote of the time he engaged the political patriarch, Joe Kennedy, to help Grace Kelly make the marriage. Instead of playing the role of wingman, Kennedy himself stepped on Kelly and said: & I know this donkey. He is a good boy, but you would make a terrible mistake to marry him & # 39;

Cassini enjoyed telling the anecdote of the time he engaged the political patriarch, Joe Kennedy, to help Grace Kelly make the marriage. Instead of playing the role of wingman, Kennedy himself stepped on Kelly and said: & I know this donkey. He is a good boy, but you would make a terrible mistake to marry him & # 39;

Cassini enjoyed telling the anecdote of the time he engaged the political patriarch, Joe Kennedy, to help Grace Kelly make the marriage. Instead of playing the role of wingman, Kennedy himself stepped on Kelly and said: & I know this donkey. He is a good boy, but you would make a terrible mistake to marry him & # 39;

Grace Kelly was absolutely crazy about Cassini, although her parents did not approve of their relationship. In one of the four letters for the auction, she wrote to Cassini: & # 39; I think I'd rather have a ring instead of a car. & # 39; In another letter, she chastises Cassini because she was jealous of her co-star Bing Crosby: & You upset me so I could die ... It's incredible to me that eating with Lizanne and the Crosby & # 39; s you can do behave like a school boy & # 39;
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Grace Kelly was absolutely crazy about Cassini, although her parents did not approve of their relationship. In one of the four letters for the auction, she wrote to Cassini: & # 39; I think I'd rather have a ring instead of a car. & # 39; In another letter, she chastises Cassini because she was jealous of her co-star Bing Crosby: & You upset me so I could die ... It's incredible to me that eating with Lizanne and the Crosby & # 39; s you can do behave like a school boy & # 39;

Grace Kelly was absolutely crazy about Cassini, although her parents did not approve of their relationship. In one of the four letters for the auction, she wrote to Cassini: & # 39; I think I'd rather have a ring instead of a car. & # 39; In another letter, she chastises Cassini because she was jealous of her co-star Bing Crosby: & You upset me so I could die … It's incredible to me that eating with Lizanne and the Crosby & # 39; s you can do behave like a school boy & # 39;

After the divorce with Gene Tierney was finalized, Cassini moved back to New York, where he launched his own label about the reputation he had built as a designer in Hollywood

After the divorce with Gene Tierney was finalized, Cassini moved back to New York, where he launched his own label about the reputation he had built as a designer in Hollywood

After the divorce with Gene Tierney was finalized, Cassini moved back to New York, where he launched his own label about the reputation he had built as a designer in Hollywood

In 1943 Tierney was pregnant with their first child, Daria, when she got measles in her first trimester from an enthusiastic fan during a tour with the USO in Germany. As a result, Daria was born blind with severe intellectual disabilities and had to be limited to an institution for the rest of her life. Thanks to Howard Hughes, he bore the medical costs of Daria until the day she died. Tierney never forgot the favor.

Gene Tierney posed for a photo in 1951 while she boarded a plane with her daughter, Christina. Tierney has never recovered from the tragedy of Daria & # 39; s health issues. She spent the rest of her life in psychiatric hospitals for bipolar disorders and underwent 27 rounds of electroshock treatment
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Gene Tierney posed for a photo in 1951 while she boarded a plane with her daughter, Christina. Tierney has never recovered from the tragedy of Daria & # 39; s health issues. She spent the rest of her life in psychiatric hospitals for bipolar disorders and underwent 27 rounds of electroshock treatment

Gene Tierney posed for a photo in 1951 while she boarded a plane with her daughter, Christina. Tierney has never recovered from the tragedy of Daria & # 39; s health issues. She spent the rest of her life in psychiatric hospitals for bipolar disorders and underwent 27 rounds of electroshock treatment

& # 39; Emotionally it's a horror … in my many disorderly thoughts I considered killing her – and killing myself & # 39 ;, Cassini told Newsday about the tragedy of his daughter's life. The event also affected Tierney, who spent the rest of her life in psychiatric hospitals for bipolar disorders, who underwent 27 rounds of electrocution treatment. The healthy birth of their second child, Christina in 1948, did little to resolve the relationship.

It wasn't long after that, when Tierney fell in love instantly with a young John F. Kennedy who had just returned from serving the war. They put together a brief affair in Palm Springs before he made it clear that his religious and political ambitions meant that he could not marry a divorced woman. By 1953, Cassini & # 39; s marriage to Tierney was officially over; Gene went on to Prince Aly Khan, whose own marriage to Rita Hayworth had deteriorated, while Oleg set his sights on Grace Kelly.

It wasn't long after that, when Tierney fell in love instantly with a young John F. Kennedy who had just returned from serving the war. They put together a brief affair in Palm Springs before he made it clear that his religious and political ambitions meant that he could not marry a divorced woman. By 1953, Cassini & # 39; s marriage to Tierney was officially over; Gene went on to Prince Aly Khan, whose own marriage to Rita Hayworth had deteriorated, while Oleg set his sights on Grace Kelly.

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By the mid-1950s, Cassini moved back to New York, where he launched his own label about the reputation he built in Hollywood. She lived with her father in his two-bedroom apartment on Fifth Avenue and Christina explained to Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair that it was too easy to & # 39; witness the movement of my father's many girlfriends & # 39 ;. She remembers the first days of Cassini & # 39; s relationship with Grace Kelly and how she caught them one night when he found that Kelly had no bow in her ponytail. & # 39; You can't go out like this & # 39 ;, said Cassini, before he attached one of his bows to her hair. Cassini designed many iconic looks from Kelly, in particular the mint green, satin dress she wore to accept an Oscar for her performance in The Country Girl in 1955.

During her tenure at the White House, Cassini designed more than 300 silhouettes for Jacqueline Kennedy, such as this orange silk dress she wore for a state visit to India. He also coordinated every aspect of her wardrobe, from shoes and hats to gloves and handbags - the First Lady called him her & # 39; Secretary of Style & # 39;

During her tenure at the White House, Cassini designed more than 300 silhouettes for Jacqueline Kennedy, such as this orange silk dress she wore for a state visit to India. He also coordinated every aspect of her wardrobe, from shoes and hats to gloves and handbags - the First Lady called him her & # 39; Secretary of Style & # 39;

During her tenure at the White House, Cassini designed more than 300 silhouettes for Jacqueline Kennedy, such as this orange silk dress she wore for a state visit to India. He also coordinated every aspect of her wardrobe, from shoes and hats to gloves and handbags – the First Lady called him her & # 39; Secretary of Style & # 39;

Cassini is responsible for designing the famous pillbox hats from Kennedy, which are often mistakenly credited to Halston

Cassini is responsible for designing the famous pillbox hats from Kennedy, which are often mistakenly credited to Halston

In one of the letters for the auction, Jackie complains that shopping for a new wardrobe can be a challenge as a First Lady. She said: & # 39; I tried to find American clothes that I like - it's so hard when I can't go to stores or wholesalers & # 39;

In one of the letters for the auction, Jackie complains that shopping for a new wardrobe can be a challenge as a First Lady. She said: & # 39; I tried to find American clothes that I like - it's so hard when I can't go to stores or wholesalers & # 39;

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Cassini has & # 39; Jackie & # 39; s look & # 39; made up of carefully tailored suits, sheath and A-line dresses, empire coats and, most famously, her pillbox hats, which are often incorrectly credited to Halston

Grace Kelly stands between Alfred Hitchcock (left) and her fiancé Oleg Cassini (right) at the premiere of her film: Rear Window. By 1955, Kelly had broken her engagement with Cassini after being introduced to Prince Rainier in Cannes for a photo publicity stunt organized by Paris Match. According to Vanity Fair, Cassini said: & # 39; Grace told me that she would rather be a princess than a countess ... & # 39;

Grace Kelly stands between Alfred Hitchcock (left) and her fiancé Oleg Cassini (right) at the premiere of her film: Rear Window. By 1955, Kelly had broken her engagement with Cassini after being introduced to Prince Rainier in Cannes for a photo publicity stunt organized by Paris Match. According to Vanity Fair, Cassini said: & # 39; Grace told me that she would rather be a princess than a countess ... & # 39;

Grace Kelly stands between Alfred Hitchcock (left) and her fiancé Oleg Cassini (right) at the premiere of her film: Rear Window. By 1955, Kelly had broken her engagement with Cassini after being introduced to Prince Rainier in Cannes for a photo publicity stunt organized by Paris Match. According to Vanity Fair, Cassini said: & # 39; Grace told me that she would rather be a princess than a countess … & # 39;

Once committed to his image, Cassini only wanted to be seen with what he called, & # 39; top girls. & # 39; Grace Kelly was healthy and glamorous and was a & # 39; top girl & # 39 ;, like Jacqueline Kennedy, whom he said he & # 39; is a hieroglyphic figure & # 39; had. However, Marilyn Monroe, one of Cassini's many conquests, did not make the cut. In his book he described her as & # 39; & # 39; the world's most beautiful marshmallow. & # 39; According to Orth, he told journalist Joe Klein that she just & # 39; a small showpony & # 39; used to be.

& # 39; Oleg was one of the greatest lady men who ever lived, better than Aly Khan or Porfirio Rubirosa. He can go to any girl and make her smile in a few minutes, & said one of his contemporaries at Vanity Fair.

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Cassini met Grace Kelly in a restaurant in New York City. After sending her flowers for ten consecutive days, she agreed to keep a date with him, accompanied by her sister. Kelly left for Los Angeles the next day, and while she was away, Cassini made sure he was noticed by gossip writers as she released other famous beauties such as Anita Ekberg and Pier Angeli – knowing that it would definitely go back to Kelly. Shortly thereafter, the two spent an evening together in Cannes, which Cassini in his biography & # 39; disturbingly platonic & # 39; called. Although his perseverance eventually pays off and Kelly suddenly falls in love with Cassini.

& # 39; Oleg was one of the greatest lady men who ever lived, better than Aly Khan or Porfirio Rubirosa. He can go to any girl and make her smile in a few minutes, & said one of his contemporaries at Vanity Fair.

Cassini met Grace Kelly in a restaurant in New York City. After sending her flowers for ten consecutive days, she agreed to keep a date with him, accompanied by her sister. Kelly left for Los Angeles the next day, and while she was away, Cassini made sure he was noticed by gossip writers as she released other famous beauties such as Anita Ekberg and Pier Angeli – knowing that it would definitely go back to Kelly. Shortly thereafter, the two spent an evening together in Cannes, which Cassini in his biography & # 39; disturbingly platonic & # 39; called. Although his perseverance eventually pays off and Kelly suddenly falls in love with Cassini.

A candid photo of Cassini with Kennedy reveals the power of their platonic friendship that went far beyond the Camelot years. One of Cassini & # 39; s contemporaries told Vanity Fair that & # 39; he could go anywhere to have a girl and make her smile in a few minutes & # 39 ;. Over the years, Cassini has brought a lot of joy and happiness to The White House, as both a close friend of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline

A candid photo of Cassini with Kennedy reveals the power of their platonic friendship that went far beyond the Camelot years. One of Cassini & # 39; s contemporaries told Vanity Fair that & # 39; he could go anywhere to have a girl and make her smile in a few minutes & # 39 ;. Over the years, Cassini has brought a lot of joy and happiness to The White House, as both a close friend of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline

A candid photo of Cassini with Kennedy reveals the power of their platonic friendship that went far beyond the Camelot years. One of Cassini & # 39; s contemporaries told Vanity Fair that & # 39; he could go anywhere to have a girl and make her smile in a few minutes & # 39 ;. Over the years, Cassini has brought a lot of joy and happiness to The White House, as both a close friend of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline

An abundance of pencil sketches from Cassini & # 39; s tenure as & # 39; Secretary of Style & # 39; from Jacqueline Kennedy were also available at the auction of Cassini & # 39; s estate

An abundance of pencil sketches from Cassini & # 39; s tenure as & # 39; Secretary of Style & # 39; from Jacqueline Kennedy were also available at the auction of Cassini & # 39; s estate

In one of the revealing letters for auction, Kennedy writes: & I want all my mine to be original and not fat little women hanging around in the same dress. & # 39;

In one of the revealing letters for auction, Kennedy writes: & I want all my mine to be original and not fat little women hanging around in the same dress. & # 39;

An abundance of pencil sketches from Cassini & # 39; s tenure as personal couturier of Jacqueline Kennedy were also available in the public auction of his estate. In an interview in 2001, Cassini said about his success: & # 39; Why am I a great designer? Because big women said it was me. I am who I am because of women & # 39;

A cache of letters from Grace Kelly auctioned in the Cassini estate sale revealed the intimacy of their relationship. At the Hotel Bel-Air station, Kelly writes flirty: & I think I would rather have a ring instead of a car & # 39; before signing the letter with & # 39; I love you & # 39 ;. Another correspondence reveals Cassini & # 39; s jealousy over Kelly & # 39; s co-star Bing Crosby, & # 39; You upset me so I could die … It's incredible to me that eating with Lizanne and the Crosby's you can do just like a schoolboy, & # 39; Kelly continues, & I said he said he was in love with me – but there are many people he feels that way about … Bing would never try to do anything about it – unless he thought I was wanted that way. & # 39; In all respects she completes her letter to Cassini, & # 39; I have few friends here – please do not ask me to give up their friendships. & # 39;

Despite John F. Kennedy & # 39; s affair with Gene Tierney; an honest friendship between Cassini and the senator who pursued girls began to flourish in the late 1950s. According to Vanity Fair, when Kennedy was in bed for his chronic back pain, & # 39; Cassini Kelly got dressed as a nurse and took him medication. & # 39;

Like Tierney's parents, Kelly & # 39; s wealthy family in Philadelphia did not approve of her marriage to Cassini. 'Hij was een buitenlander en ze hielden niet van buitenlanders. Hij had een accent. Ten derde had hij een snor en ten vierde was hij een Latijnse liefhebber … 'zei socialite John Cahill, een vriend van Cassini. Kelly verbrak uiteindelijk hun verloving in 1955 om een ​​jaar later met Prins Rainier van Monaco te trouwen. Volgens Orth zei Oleg tegen zijn dochter: 'Grace vertelde me dat ze liever een prinses dan een gravin zou zijn …' Grace Kelly betreurde de beslissing voor de rest van haar leven, in een boek geschreven door J Randy Taraborrelli, wordt zij geciteerd : 'Realiseer je je dat als mijn moeder niet zo moeilijk was geweest over Oleg Cassini, ik waarschijnlijk met hem zou zijn getrouwd?' Ze voegde eraan toe: 'We waren verliefd. We waren verloofd om te trouwen. Dat is de waarheid. Niet meer niet minder.'

Maar Cassini stond op het punt zijn grootste rol als persoonlijke hoveling van First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy op te nemen. Een brief over het veilingblok dateerde uit 'Fall 1960', schrijft Jackie aan Cassini waarin ze haar behoefte aan een nieuwe garderobe uitdrukt als haar man de verkiezing wint. 'Niets zou me meer behagen dan kleding van je te krijgen – want dat zal een groot probleem voor me zijn als Jack wint …'

Hubert de Givenchy, de Franse modeontwerper, was lange tijd de favoriet van Jackie geweest, maar in het naleven van de traditie dat First Ladies zich nederig moest kleden, schrijft ze: 'Givenchy is waar ik altijd ben geweest – het zou zo gemakkelijk zijn als ik alles van hem zou kunnen krijgen, maar Ik kan het niet en als Jack werd gekozen, zou ik mezelf nooit aan die aanval blootstellen. Ik heb geprobeerd Amerikaanse kleding te vinden die ik leuk vind – het is zo moeilijk als ik niet naar de winkel of in de groothandel kan gaan. & # 39; Ze verduidelijkt haar voornemen: 'Ik bedoel niet dat ik gewoon wil dat je Givenchy slaafs voor me kopieert – het is alleen maar om je te laten sturen op wat ik leuk vind.'

'Jackie was mijn triomf,' zei Cassini

'Jackie was mijn triomf,' zei Cassini

Oleg Cassini's koninklijke ivoren satijnen jurk, gedragen door Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 tijdens John F. Kennedy's presidentiële inaugurele gala, zette Cassini op de kaart. 'Ik weet precies welk soort jurk ik wil als ik naar een Inauguratie Ball ga, dus dat is geen probleem', zei Jackie in een van de brieven voor de veiling.

Oleg Cassini's koninklijke ivoren satijnen jurk, gedragen door Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 tijdens John F. Kennedy's presidentiële inaugurele gala, zette Cassini op de kaart. 'Ik weet precies welk soort jurk ik wil als ik naar een Inauguratie Ball ga, dus dat is geen probleem', zei Jackie in een van de brieven voor de veiling.

Cassini werd ervan beschuldigd de ontwerpen van Givenchy te hebben gestolen en daarop in te spelen. 'Natuurlijk kopieerde hij de hele tijd. Jackie zou hem vertellen wat hij moest doen, 'zei Letitia Baldrige, Jackie's persoonlijke secretaris van Vanity Fair in 2010

Cassini als een oudere man wordt gezien in strepen met een polotrofee naast Jackie Kennedy Onassis en Governor Carey. Cassini's verwantschap met de familie Kennedy ging veel verder dan zijn werk in The White House. He told Senator Ted Kennedy later in life: 'I am the samurai for your family' to which he replied, 'You are a member of our family'

Cassini as an older man is seen in stripes holding a polo trophy next to Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Governor Carey. Cassini's kinship with the Kennedy family went well beyond his work at The White House. He told Senator Ted Kennedy later in life: 'I am the samurai for your family' to which he replied, 'You are a member of our family'

Cassini as an older man is seen in stripes holding a polo trophy next to Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Governor Carey. Cassini's kinship with the Kennedy family went well beyond his work at The White House. He told Senator Ted Kennedy later in life: 'I am the samurai for your family' to which he replied, 'You are a member of our family'

Taking a more unguarded tone in a letter dated December 13, 1960, Jackie pleads with Cassini: 'Protect me – as I seem so mercilessly exposed and don't know how to cope with it.' Just one month before, on November 8, John F. Kennedy officially won the election. Jackie was suddenly thrust into the crucible of inaugural planning while preparing for her new role as First Lady.

Among the trove of letters, other highlights from the sale include a pencil drawing of the iconic gown he designed for the Kennedy inauguration balls – a look that Jackie had been planning for a while as she mentioned in a previous letter dated earlier that Fall, 'I know exactly the kind of dress I want if I go to an Inauguration Ball so that's no problem.'

Count Igor 'Ghighi' Cassini, Oleg's younger brother (also known by his pen name, Cholly Knickerbocker) was a powerful gossip columnist for Hearst Magazines. His former assistant Liz Smith, said: 'They slept with everybody. Ghighi would walk into the office and say, ‘Last night I went to dinner at Mrs. (Babe) Paley’s. I had slept with every woman at the table.’'

Count Igor 'Ghighi' Cassini, Oleg's younger brother (also known by his pen name, Cholly Knickerbocker) was a powerful gossip columnist for Hearst Magazines. His former assistant Liz Smith, said: 'They slept with everybody. Ghighi would walk into the office and say, ‘Last night I went to dinner at Mrs. (Babe) Paley’s. I had slept with every woman at the table.’'

Count Igor 'Ghighi' Cassini, Oleg's younger brother (also known by his pen name, Cholly Knickerbocker) was a powerful gossip columnist for Hearst Magazines. His former assistant Liz Smith, said: 'They slept with everybody. Ghighi would walk into the office and say, ‘Last night I went to dinner at Mrs. (Babe) Paley’s. I had slept with every woman at the table.’'

'Jackie was my triumph,' Cassini said to Newsday in 2001. Using the same technique and expensive fabrics as the French couture houses, Cassini created the timeless 'Jackie look' based on simple, clean lines with sophisticated silhouettes: boxy tops with oversized buttons, meticulously tailored suits, sheathe and A-line dresses, empire gowns, and most famously her pillbox hats, which are often mistakenly credited to Halston. Kennedy officially retained Cassini as her exclusive couturier in 1961, giving him the title as her 'Secretary of Style.' During his tenure he created 300 different, original pieces. In one of the personal letters up for auction she writes: 'I want all of mine to be original and no fat little women hopping around in the same dress.'

Givenchy accused Cassini of stealing his designs and capitalizing on them. 'Of course, he was copying all the time. Jackie would tell him what to do,' said Letitia Baldrige, Jackie's personal secretary to Vanity Fair in 2010. 'She'd give him the designer and have him make it in different colors and different fabrics.' In the same story, Kennedy's sister said: 'It's unfair to Oleg for Mr. Givenchy to say that. It was really Oleg who did the majority of her clothes. I don't think he was appreciated the way he should have been.'

Lot 29 on the auction block is a photo given to Cassini of the famous sisters while they were visiting Pakistan in 1962 for a state dinner. Radziwill signed the front of the picture, 'For Oleg – Au revoir Givenchy, Bonjour Cassini!'

Oleg Cassini poses for a photo with his third wife Marianne Nestor who he was secretly married to for 34 years. Nestor has  been embroiled in a 13-year-long battle between Cassini's four grand children over her husband's estate

Oleg Cassini poses for a photo with his third wife Marianne Nestor who he was secretly married to for 34 years. Nestor has  been embroiled in a 13-year-long battle between Cassini's four grand children over her husband's estate

Oleg Cassini poses for a photo with his third wife Marianne Nestor who he was secretly married to for 34 years. Nestor has  been embroiled in a 13-year-long battle between Cassini's four grand children over her husband's estate

Cassini's association to the Kennedy clan goes deeper than fashion. Other mementos up for auction are candid photographs of Cassini dressed in costume wearing earrings and a turban while performing a Russian Cossack dance at The White House; the President is seen laughing in the background. In other photographs, Cassini is seen teaching Jackie and Lee 'the twist' while dining at Lee's home in London. Years later, Cassini told Senator Ted Kennedy: 'I am the samurai for your family' to which he replied, 'You are a member of our family.'

Frank Mori, the business prodigy behind Donna Karan said, 'Cassini was not the most highly respected designer but he latched onto Camelot. Jackie Kennedy made him a star.' Cassini turned his sartorial success into a multi- million dollar cottage industry; becoming the first person to license his name to a whole range of items from perfumes, to sunglasses, cosmetics, bridal wear, home goods and a special edition of the AMC Matador. His brand became synonymous with his reputation as the high-society debonair man responsible for Jacqueline Kennedy's most famous looks. Despite his all-too-casual objectification of women, Cassini credits them for his success. In an interview with Newsday he said, 'Why am I a big designer? Because big women said I was. I am who I am because of women.'

At the end of his life, Cassini split time between his exquisitely designed Gramercy Park town home, his palatial 43-acre property in Oyster Bay, on the Gold Coast of Long Island and his Upper East Side town home that served as a headquarter to the Cassini business. A playboy till the end, Cassini kept his third marriage to his business manager, Marianne Nestor, a secret for 34 years. It wasn't until his death and the subsequent probate of his estate, that his daughter Christina, discovered he had been married all along. In fact, it came as a surprise to everyone, including Joe Klein, the journalist who spent countless hours with Cassini while ghostwriting his book. He told Orth, 'There was never any intimation of intimacy between the two. Marianne was not a top girl.'

Since her husband's death in 2006, Nestor has waged war over the right of his four grandchildren's inheritance to half his estate. The battle, which has resulted in Nestor being jailed twice for failure to comply with court orders, has been the center of scandalous headlines over the last decade. Which makes it ironic that Cassini told Newsday in 2001: 'The truth is, when I die there will be a story in the newspaper, and the next day nobody's going to remember me.'

Like most great American stories, Cassini's is one of classic reinvention – the story of an immigrant who arrived in the new world with only $25 in his pocket that became a beloved figure in one of the country's most celebrated presidencies. 'Yes, I was Pinocchio. I was ugly. I was poor. My feelings of inferiority were as long as my nose, so when I came to America I invented a different me.'

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