The Victoria and Albert Museum, London is hosting an exhibition of dresses and accessories once belonging to Grace Kelly. You have from now until 26th September to get there and gaze.
There are a multitude of Kelly’s finest and most memorable outfits on display. Some will look less than pristine as Princess Grace of Monaco was not averse to wearing garments and handbags until long past their best. A classier contrast to modern celebrities who sport an item once before consigning it to the bin marked ‘Seen’ and splashing out on another.
Author and all round society man Ian Fleming was the same in this respect. He apparently used to keep his clothes on rotation until friends suggested he take the buttons back to his tailor and have a new suit sewn around them.
In addition to handbags and dresses, the V&A’s Grace Kelly exhibition also features ornate jewellery worn by the Princess, some of which could put a dent in a battleship with the size of the precious stones involved.
Perhaps, though, the frocks and costumes will be the biggest draw for visitors. Many are recognisable from Kelly’s movies, such as a specially requested Helen Rose dress worn in The Swan (1956 – not the one directly above, that’s Rear Window), some feature in photographs from fashion books and biographies all sold in her name, such as Dior’s tulip-like 1950s ‘New Look’ gowns and Yves Saint Laurent’s op-art inspired ‘Mondrian’ dress from the mid-sixties.
The exhibition, official title ‘Grace Kelly: Style Icon’, was opened privately on Thursday night to her son Albert II, current Prince of Monaco, plus various lucky luminaries including Joan Collins, Paul Smith and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Clothes on Film shall join the great unwashed and take a good look around some time in the next couple of months. We all have until September to buy a ticket, so there is no excuse to miss out on this essential film and fashion event.
© 2010 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.