New images from the upcoming miniseries, "The Kennedys" show actress Katie Holmes personifying Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in almost exact replicas of some of the late first lady's most storied fashions.
Holmes' wardrobe, created for the controversial series by costume designer Chris Hargadon, includes uncanny renderings of the pink day suit and pillbox hat Kennedy was wearing in Dallas on the Nov. 1963 day her husband was assassinated. Also spot-on: recreations of her black Oleg Cassini funeral suit, sleek White House sheath dresses, iconic ballgowns and her casual chic khaki pants paired with crisp white blouses.
The series, which features Holmes and Greg Kinnear in the John F. Kennedy role, was dropped by the History Channel earlier this year amidst a debate over whether it was historically accurate and disparaging to the Kennedy name. It was picked up by the Reelz Channel and debuts on April 3.
In a lengthy interview posted by the network, Hargadon described the process of recreating Jackie Kennedy's wardrobe, which was streamlined, yet intricate in construction and heavily influenced by French couture.
Hargadon also collaborated with Holmes who "was always representative with the things we presented because she loved Jackie's style in clothes, the simplicity of the lines, the fabric and workmanship. She came with a lot of research under her belt and she had certain likes."
The costume designer said he relied on meticulous research and extensive photographs and film images of "one of the most documented families in the world," to create replicas of many of the looks in the fashion icon's wardrobe. He also scoured the United States and Canada and shopped online through vintage dealers for fabrics that helped him achieve authentic looks.
Hargadon notes that from the day of her husband's inauguration, Kennedy made a "fashion statement and stood out from the crowd" with her cream-colored suit with its sable collar and matching pillbox hat. He created the same look for Holmes, complete with big buttons, in lightweight cashmere to keep the actress cool during summer filming.
He had the most fun creating a pink silk ballgown, originally made with textiles given to Kennedy by the King of Saudi Arabia, by taking images to a textiles designer who recreated the stunning fabric by hand-painting and stenciling.
Another historically significant suit Hargadon designed for Holmes was a replica of the black wool mourning suit the first lady wore to her husband's funeral. "The original suit was a Cassini and had interesting tassel buttons....Jackie wore the suit quite a bit in the days of her mourning because she didn't have a lot of black clothing."
As for dressing Holmes, Hargadon says he relied heavily on the script: "There are moments of elation and moments of sadness throughout the series so I chose colors that would be mood representative."
Meanwhile, we're still trying to decide if it is really Holmes performing in this mystery ad.
And read about a royal seductress whose vintage apparel recently hit the auction block.