Friday, August 13, 2010

Grace Kelly - Style Icon

Yesterday I visited a wonderful exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London showcasing the wardrobe of the the beautiful Princess Grace of Monaco and celebrating her life.

Featuring her film costumes, items from her trousseau and many of the haute couture gowns she wore in her real life role as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, the collection is a wardrobe timeline of her progress from movie star to princess - and her life as consort to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Accompanied by two film reels of archive footage of her life, the exhibition is a real pleasure to go through. This was a woman who really loved and wore her clothes, often much more than once. One of her famous Herm√®s bags, the Kelly that was named after her, is part of the exhibition. Do you know what I loved about it? It was clearly a handbag she actually used. Although beautiful and well cared for, the bag does have the odd scuff and mark on it. A traditional museum piece it isn’t - and that is what makes it so wonderful. From the 1955 McCall’s pattern dress she met her prince in to the costume headdress so tall she had to travel to the ball on the floor of a van, this is the wardrobe of an extraordinary woman.

The light in the exhibition wasn’t really suitable for picture taking (something I think was done on purpose to protect the collection), but I did take one photograph of this beautiful piece.

Definitely a fairy tale princess dress - and though I know that fairy tales don’t always come true even for princesses, Grace Kelly certainly appeared to be the embodiment of one.

Having seem so many press photos of Grace Kelly at balls and state occasions when I was growing up, it was fascinating to see the actual clothes from photographs. But even if that wasn’t the case, I would have loved looking at the many wonderful clothes, costumes and accessories showcased in this exhibition.

Well worth a visit if you find yourself in London, do be sure to book in advance as getting tickets for this popular exhibition on the day is nearly impossible. The exhibition runs until 26th September. For more information you can click on the banner at the top of this blog entry, or here. To book tickets, click here.

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