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© Archives Princely Palace of MonacoHer distinguished career, indeed Her life, has been characterized by an innate sense of style, classic beauty and inherent good taste. Always atop the “world’s most beautiful” lists, admired as a fashion leader and setter of trends, She “graced” the pages of many a glossy magazine with a dazzling smile, warm, enigmatic eyes and vivacious expression. “Grace Kelly style” is a well-known, well-used phrase in the English lexicon signifying incomparable beauty and all that is chic, natural and lady-like.

Grace Kelly knew how to wear clothes. This became quite obvious to Edith Head, Paramount's chief costume designer on the 1953 film Rear Window. Under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, Grace's character, a fashion model "who never wears the same dress twice," sports an extremely stylish wardrobe: glamorous short evening dresses, an impeccably tailored suit, a full-skirted floral dress, and casual jeans all contributed to establish the "Grace Kelly Style". She collaborated again with Hitchcock and designer Edith Head on To Catch a Thief in 1954. The glamorous costumes play a role almost as great as the plot with Grace Kelly, as a spoiled American heiress, dressed in fabulous clothes and jewels.

Her friend Edith Head also designed the dramatic ice blue satin dress and matching coat she wore in March 1955 at the Academy Awards ceremony where she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in The Country Girl. A favorite of hers, she had worn it before at the premiere of the movie and donned it for the cover of Life magazine in April 1955.

© Archives SBM MonacoCartier, Mikimoto and many of the world’s leading jewelers created magnificent precious pieces and the world’s foremost designers flocked to dress and accessorize Her. Hermès, the French haute couture fashion house, created and named a hand bag - the Kelly bag – in Her honor and it has since become one of the world’s most sought-after luxury products.

Her look was clean, classic and simple - something startlingly different from the voluptuous screen sirens of the 1950s. She wanted to be considered serious and was the antithesis of the showy starlet. She wore elegant outfits: shirtwaist dresses, understated evening gowns, well-cut tweed suits, hats with little veils, low-heeled shoes, and gloves. She made no secrets of the horn-rimmed glasses she needed for nearsightedness. Her tasteful style, rare in a young Hollywood star, appealed to many in the 1950s.

In December 1955, Women's Wear Daily ran a feature of the opportunities offered by the Grace Kelly Look for the clothing industry. Soon her stylish image was everywhere, including department store windows. She had started a whole new trend in fashion.

© Georges LukomskiAfter her engagement to Prince Rainier in 1956, Grace Kelly's influence on fashion reached new heights, spreading from the United States to Europe. Before leaving for Monaco in April, she spend two weeks in New York to complete her trousseau, a who's who of America's designers. Accessories, a major part of a ladylike look, included silk chiffon scarves, shoes, hats and gloves.

On April 19, 1956, she married Prince Rainier in a legendary wedding dress offered by MGM, created by the studio's wardrobe department and designed by its costume designer Helen Rose. Fifty years later, the high-necked, long-sleeved dress with a fitted bodice and billowing skirt made of rose point lace, yards of silk faille and taffeta and seed pearls, is one of the most elegant and best-remembered bridal gowns of all times.

As Princess of Monaco, She continued to influence fashion with Her natural sense of style: dazzling at social functions, chic and stylish at official events, casually elegant on the town. Today She remains one of the most admired women in the world for Her beauty, poise and style.

 

 

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