Lee Radziwill, born Caroline Lee Bouvier passed away on Friday and I read the New York Times Obituary. Not being familiar with the more intimate details of her life I found it quite a fascinating read. This morning I read In Memoriam: Lee Radziwill on the Habitually Chic blog that gives a nuanced, life affirming portrayal accompanied by virtually a catalog of images.
Mrs. Radziwill’s greatest claim to fame was of course as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s younger sister. Growing up close to, but in the shadow of her much celebrated sister, she also endured a difficult and strained relationship with their mother. Despite those challenges, as an adult Mrs Lee led a highly glamorous and stylish life as an international socialite and one-time princess who was drawn to artistic and creative pursuits that included being an author, interior designer and briefly an actress in her friend Truman Capote’s TV film “Laura.” Of all these endeavors she was most perfectly suited to the role of Ambassador for Giorgio Armani another one of her friends, during the mid-1980s.
In her 2013 T magazine interview however, Mrs. Lee states her greatest achievement and most “fulfilling roles have been my friendships - Berenson, Nureyev Peter (Beard), even Andy Warhol because he was so wildly different - then, and now Bernard-Henri Levy and his wife, Arielle Dombasle, and Giambattista Valli and Diego Della Valle, who are all angelic to me.”
Lee Radziwill’s particular appeal for me was her impeccable style and flawless formal elegance in both her wardrobe and various homes. Everything perfectly appointed and precise. Looking through these images over the decades you clearly see how well timeless elegance does in fact play out.