Rear Window_Grace Kelly_green suit_white halterneck.bmp-1 © 2009 Lord Christopher Laverty. All rights reserved.

Rear Window: Grace Kelly’s Green Suit

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 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.

  • Tracy

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for this posting! I just watched Rear Window again yesterday, and became enamored (again) of the white silk halterneck top that went with the celadon suit. Thought I’d do some research on it, and came across your site.

    I am a somewhat advanced home sewer (not a pro, though!), and I’d love to make this top. Would you happen to have ever come across a pattern for something like it, or would you be able to direct me in where to look for a pattern?

    Thanks so much!

    Tracy

    • http://clothesonfilm.com Chris Laverty

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Tracy. Two excellent resources for movie related sewing are Maggie at The Costumer’s Guide and Anna’s site The Art of Clothes: Reflections of a Seamstress. I’m sure one of these guys could help you out. If not, come back to me and I’ll have a proper scour round for you.

    • http://google beverly pavlik

      Hi tracy, I was wondering if you did end up making this suit, I am very much interested in having one made. could you give me any info of what pattern you used???

    • Tracy Roberts

      Hi Beverly,

      No, I never did find a pattern for it. I was particularly interested in the halter-top blouse. I have looked through several collections of vintage patterns and just could not find anything that even came close! It must have been a custom design, as I’m sure a lot of Grace’s clothes were!

      I did get in touch with one person, Anna Zapp http://www.annazappdesigns.com/, who has a shot of the suit she made on her site, and she has been working on developing a pattern for it. You might want to reach out to her to see if she will send you a pattern too, once she gets it done. She is involved in a lot of other things, so it’s been a while since she said she’d send it to me, but I do think that eventually she will.

      Thanks for reaching out – wish I could have found more options on actual patterns to share with you!

      Best,
      Tracy

    • LaMease Theis

      Hi Tracy,
      Do you have any idea where I can purchase or find the bracelet that Grace is wearing with the green suit and white halter top? I just love it!

  • Tracy

    Hi Chris,

    I checked out those sites – thank you so much! They don’t seem to have any patterns I could use, so…

    I think I will try my hand at draping. Which I’ve never done. But maybe this is the one to start with!

    Thank you again.
    Tracy

    • http://clothesonfilm.com Chris Laverty

      Best of luck with the draping (I know it isn’t easy!). If you get stuck maybe fire off an email to Anna at The Art of Clothes, she really knows her stuff.

  • Eunice Hayes

    I think that celadon suit may be a rayon blend. I have a piece of vintage rayon from my aunt. She purchased it in the fifties. It has the look of linen, but drapes much like the fabric in the celadon suit worn by GK.
    Just my opinion, I haven’t researched it.
    I’d love to copy this suit. Fortunately there are plenty of vintage patterns very similar that could look just like it with a little tweaking.
    E

    • http://clothesonfilm.com Chris Laverty

      Excellent, Eunice, thanks for that information. I am attending a Grace Kelly exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum in London in April and I’m very much hoping that suit will be there.

  • Tracy

    Hi Eunice,

    Thanks for that info on the celadon fabric. I’m really trying to locate a similar pattern to the halter top blouse she wore. I love how it crosses in front. If you have any scoop on where I might find a similar pattern for the blouse, I’m all ears!

  • Ken

    Hitchcock I am noticing had a fetish for suits. Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren and Grace Kelly all wear suits in their 50s and 60s Hitchcock movies. Even Cary Grant’s suit is a focal point to North By Northwest (1959).

  • David

    Any ideas on where I can find a bracelet like the one Grace wears with this suit? My wife loves the look and has mentioned the bracelet several times.

  • Venessa

    David, there is a website called Etsy.com that has a bracelet similar to Grace Kelly’s. They have it in goldtone and sterling silver. The goldtone has one charm. But, you might ask the designer if she will add additional charms. I love the bracelet. Best wishes in finding what you want.

  • Terry

    I may be a little late to this party, but I just happened to come across this page when doing some research. My great-aunt was one of the costumers on Rear Window. According to her, the suit was made of silk shantung, the hat was made of the same satin as the jacket lining, and it was trimmed with tulle, and the blouse was of silk (or silk-like material).

    • http://clothesonfilm.com Chris Laverty

      Thanks for your input, Terry. I’ve made some amendments to the article.

    • Tracy

      Hi Terry,
      Thanks so much for the note about your great-aunt having worked as a costumer on Rear Window. Oh, how I wish I could talk to her to hear more about Ms. Kelly, and Ms. Head! Good to know the fabric content, that helps – I’m still exploring how I might do it!

  • http://stylemaniac.blogspot.com Style Maniac

    Just saw Rear Window again and am obsessed with that bracelet! Any idea of the source?

    New to your blog — found you searching for info on this outfit. Love it!

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