Sibylle’s Style Diary: Jackie Rogers, From Coco Chanel’s Muse to Top Designer

December 7, 2016 Last Updated: December 8, 2016

This week’s style diary is Coco Chanel’s former muse and top designer Jackie Rogers. The life of Jackie Rogers is so interesting and so rich with experiences that it is difficult to summarize it in a few sentences. Jackie was one of Coco Chanel’s favorite models in Paris in the ’60s. She was an actress who appeared in some of Fellini’s movies, was also a big band singer, and of course she is now mostly known to be a well recognized fashion designer who dresses so many women from celebrities to socialites. Jackie Rogers is sharing with us her perspective on style in this week’s Style Diary. 

Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?

Jackie Rogers: Unique, original, and well cut. 

Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?

Ms. Rogers: Loving, outspoken, and outgoing. 

(Courtesy of Jackie Rogers)
(Courtesy of Jackie Rogers)

Ms. Eschapasse: How has your style evolved since you were a teenager?

Ms. Rogers: It was too long ago; I don’t remember, but I have surely gone through numerous style changes since. 

Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you have ever worn?

Ms. Rogers: Hot pants in the ’70s. 

Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?

Ms. Rogers: Absolutely the same—stylish but comfortable, often in one of my own designs. My Jackie Rogers Collection for All Seasons features a lot of separates that you can mix and match so I often wear pants with a blouse and a button-up jacket or blazer. Doesn’t matter what day it is. 

There’s no such thing as style. It’s how you wear it that makes the difference.
— Jackie Rogers

Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without, and what’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?

Ms. Rogers: Earrings, diamond ring, and my jade necklace which makes me feel more confident. 

Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences? 

Ms. Rogers: Only one, Chanel. I still use sewing techniques that I perfected while working with Coco Chanel at her Paris atelier, and I continuously strive to achieve the perfect balance between classic style and modern trends. 

Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?

Ms. Rogers: Chanel. She has been the greatest influence in both my designing and in my attitude towards style—bold but timeless. 

Jackie Rogers and Coco Chanel. (Courtesy of Jackie Rogers)
Jackie Rogers. (Courtesy of Jackie Rogers)

Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.

Ms. Rogers: There’s no such thing as style. It’s how you wear it that makes the difference. 

Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of? What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?

Ms. Rogers: I’m most proud of my 635 CSI 1987 BMW. I would pay a lot of money for a recount for Hillary Clinton’s Presidency and I would never pay much money for a pack of cigarettes. 

Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?

Ms. Rogers: Sexy—I am a designer that can achieve this! 

Sibylle Eschapasse and Jackie Rogers at the exclusive showing of Jackie Rogers's Spring 2016 Collection in New York on Oct. 25, 2015. (Victor Hugo/PatrickMcMullan.com)
Sibylle Eschapasse and Jackie Rogers at the exclusive showing of Jackie Rogers’s “A Collection for All Seasons” collection in New York on Oct. 6, 2016. (Norah Lawlor)

Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?

Ms. Rogers: Come see me in my atelier so I can pull out a couple looks for you, because many women don’t realize what works for them or how to pull an outfit together. Style is something that needs to come naturally, which is why it is good to get advice from someone with an innate understanding for it. 

Jackie’s Favorites

Favorite color: Black or yellow
Favorite perfume: Mitsouko by Guerlain
Favorite restaurant in NY: It used to be Elaine’s, which unfortunately closed.
Favorite drink: ICE flavored drinks.
Favorite movie: “8 ½”—I was in it. In fact, Fellini wrote a part just for me into this film.
Favorite book: The Holy Bible
Favorite quote: “Money isn’t everything, health is ten percent.”

Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.

Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy a New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at sibylle.eschapasse@gmail.com