While still alluring, as practically anything is on Grace Kelly, this is perhaps her least successful outfit overall from Rear Window (1954, as Lisa Fremont).
The jacket seems slightly too long and loose for the slenderness of the skirt; it doesn’t fit Kelly’s figure as comfortably as it might. However even with its faults the suit still reflects a vital side of Lisa’s complex personality: her professional, tailored femininity.
Celadon green midi-length jacket with stand up collar, likely shantung-silk and trimmed in tulle, no buttons, white satin contrast lining, ¾ Length sleeves and sloping round shoulders.
Influences for shape and style can be attributed to Cristóbal Balenciaga (soft round shoulders) and Charles Creed (stand collar), two popular designers of the age. The cool green colour was chosen by Alfred Hitchcock and would later be worn as a Chanel style suit by Tippi Hedren for The Birds (1963). Edith Head designed both outfits.
Matching calf length pencil skirt in slim tubular cut.
This ‘I-line’ cut represents the second popular silhouette of the 1950s alongside the full and flouncy skirt. It is still severely nipped in at the waist however, with only a small rear vent in the hem of the skirt to allow for movement.
White silk halterneck top (possibly rayon), gathered at the waist with wrapover front.
There is quite a shocking reveal when Grace Kelly removes her jacket; the halterneck shows a lot of her bare back very quickly. It’s rumoured that Hitchcock took several fetishistic shots of Kelly’s shoes during Rear Window that never made the final edit. Maybe he made do by erotising her back instead?
Black leather shoes with pointed toe and stiletto heel. White satin pillbox hat with removable half veil.
The veil gives this hat something of a formal air. Lisa would probably have been at work all day before arriving at L.B’s (James Stewart) apartment, in meetings or wining and dining publicists.
Short necklace with single row of pearls. Large stud earrings with glass cameo. Costume gold and silver pearl bracelet with heavy ornate lockets.
The bracelet, with its heavy lockets and padlocks, is very similar to one worn by Judith Evelyn as Miss Lonelyheart later in the film (a reflection of each other? See HERE). Grace Kelly’s outfit begins as an ensemble and is then slowly peeled away before our eyes. Her striptease concludes with her wrapped in a full length negligee (that she apparently refused to have padded to boost her assets).
Grace Kelly’s confidence is what makes this crisp suit smart and sexy. She knew that to look good she just had to be herself.
© 2009 – 2013, Christopher Laverty.