Saturday, May 29, 2010

Addiction four: GRACE KELLY

I’ve just been to the V&A to see the GRACE KELLY: Style Icon exhibition.

Grace Kelly is one of the few iconic blondes that I admire; she was unbelievably beautifully and sophisticated yet sexy at the same time. The V&A has chosen to examine Kelly’s spectacular wardrobe, from three different stages of her life: The actress, The bride and The princess.

What I loved about this exhibition.....was seeing the actual dresses alongside pictures, posters and film footage of Kelly wearing them. It’s fascinating to compare the two, especially since I thought the pictures of Kelly in the dresses always looked better than the actual garments.

You might recognise some of the pieces at the exhibition from her movies. I absolutely adore the films Rear Window (costume designer Edith Head) and High Society (costume designer Helen Rose) with all the beautiful outfits Kelly gets to wear.

In particular I’d keep your eye out for a belted little black dress (above) made in silk chiffon from Rear Window, along with the teal satin dress and coat she wore to collect her Oscar. They’re both to die for!

The infamous Hermès bag named after Kelly because she was so often spotted carrying it is also on display. She clearly loved the bag as there’s a lot of obvious wear to it, unlike the pristine ones you see someone like Victoria Beckham carrying.
It’s obvious that Kelly still influences designers and styles today. One white lace dress in particular was clearly the inspiration for a recent Oscar de la Renta bridal gown (above right image).
What I wished......that there was more of the exhibition, lots more!! I also would have LOVED to see her wedding dress, as it's so iconic. It is a little known fact that the dress was designed by High Society’s costume designer, Helen Rose, and was a gift from MGM. It has inspired many contemporary bridal designers including Sassi Holford and Stewart Parvin who’ve both made a Kelly style wedding dress.

The exhibition is a must see for any dedicated follower of fashion!

It runs until the 26th September 2010 at the V&A

Top image: Photo courtesy of the Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
All exhibition images photographed by the brilliant Gareth Cattermole
Grace Kelly with Frank Sinatra in High Society Photo: REX

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