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Edith Head Sketches for Grace Kelly Costumes to be Auctioned

Christie’s auction house are selling several design sketches by the renowned Edith Head. Each are for roles played by Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock movies, one used in To Catch a Thief (1955) and three in Rear Window (1954). What an ideal early Christmas present. For yourself.

From To Catch a Thief is a watercolour and pencil sketch of the black halterneck beach ensemble with wide brimmed hat worn by Grace Kelly as Frances Stephens. Estimated to reach £6,000 – £8,000.

The most famous and popular designs from Rear Window are all available. First is a sketch of the extravagant ‘Paris dress’ Kelly wears as Lisa Fremont. It is an opulent gown of layered chiffon and tulle with delicate floral sprays. Again, estimated to reach £6,000 – £8,000.

Second is her celadon green, Cristóbal Balenciaga inspired two-piece suit with silk wrapover halterneck – which, rather shockingly for the time, is also backless. Expected to hit £5,000 – £7,000.

Third is the high neck flowery summer dress, its full skirt bolstered by extra petticoats, and worn as Lisa scales the apartment building to reach murder suspect Thorwald’s home. In the sketch she is also holding a straw sun hat, although this is not seen in the finished film. Also estimated at £5,000 – £7,000.

Each sketch is signed by their artist, costume designer Edith Head, framed and includes a publicity photograph of Grace Kelly in the actual outfit. Some of the sketches even feature more than one angle – please see Christie’s website for all the details.

For more information about the outfits themselves, try the following links within Clothes on Film. We have yet to cover To Catch a Thief, but promise it is not far off…

Rear Window: Grace Kelly’s Paris Dress

Rear Window: Grace Kelly’s Green Suit

Source: Christie’s

© 2010 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.