Monday, 3 May 2010

Princess Grace

“There hasn't been such a demand for a girl since (Ingrid) Bergman. She's a lady without being starchy - that's how they dub Grace Kelly" quote from the article - New Queen of Hollywood.

I might not have been alive during her time, and in fact she had sadly passed away four years before I was born, but having lived in Philadelphia for a while I like to think that we might have crossed paths spatially, if not temporally. Before Grace became Princess Grace of Monaco she was a Philly girl – born and raised – and started her acting career at the wee age of 12 starring in popular MGM movies including 14 Hours, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief and High Society alongside Bill Crosby and Frank Sinatra. MGM costume designers Edith Head and Helen Rose kept Grace looking stylish in all her roles and Helen also designed Grace’s dresses for both the civil and traditional marriage ceremonies to Prince Rainier III. Interestingly a sub-plot of the movie High Society, Grace’s last, paralleled her own forthcoming marriage to the Prince – imagine the media frenzy when the queen of Hollywood as she was dubbed became actually royalty. Back to the wedding; David Evins made matching shoes to go with her dress for the civil ceremony dress, she wore jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels and smelled of Fleurissimo, the exclusive scent made for Grace by perfumery House of Creed. Wedding presents from the Prince? But of course. The wedding must have been quite an elegant sight as even the Prince designed the uniform he wore himself. Speaking of her wedding day Oscar de la Renta said she gave a new meaning to the word icon and described her as an ageless bride.

Now, these wedding dresses might have been the last outfits made for Grace by Edith or Helen, but it was far from being the end of a stylish Grace (or the last time a dress was made for her full stop. She was loved by designers and wore dresses by the best couturiers of the time – Balenciaga, Marc Bohan at Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy; lucky girl). Grace Kelly was a style icon before she became a princess, and even up until she died she still inspired modern day fashion. I could go on for a lot longer about the details of her wedding alone, and that only lasted for two days, let alone the rest of her very fashionable life. Princess Kelly continues to be a standard for beauty, grace and style and the exhibition at the V&A celebrates her life looking through her fabulous wardrobe.

Grace Kelly, Style Icon. Now at the V&A until 26th September 2010

Pictures are courtesy of Grace Kelly Online and from Tom Tierney’s Grace Kelly Paper Dolls in Full Colour.

1 comment:

Andiva said...

Interestin that you blogged about this. I was just looking at getting tickets to go there some time soon. Like minds think alike, no? Well, if you book online the tickets are £6.00. No need to thank me...x