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18.04.2010- Grace Kelly: Style Icon

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The latest exhibition at the wonderful Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington showcases the timeless elegance of one of the most iconic women of the 20th century: Grace Kelly. As well as featuring costumes worn by Grace in films such as Rear Window and High Society, the exhibition also includes items from her personal wardrobe, including the dress she wore upon first meeting Prince Rainier of Monaco (whom she later went on to marry) and couture pieces designed by Dior, Balenciaga and Givenchy. Much like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly has become synonymous with the sophistication, glamour and beauty of a bygone era and is regularly referred to as a style icon.

So what makes her style and approach to fashion so enduring and appealing to us today? Firstly, she was unquestionably naturally beautiful, with an exquisite bone structure, radiant complexion and luminous eyes. Secondly, her uncomplicated approach to fashion led to the development of a style that favoured simple elegance and classic shapes, leading retailers in the 1950's to develop the 'Grace Kelly look', so fans and the fashion conscious could emulate her style. Finally, the fairytale path her life followed saw her evolve from screen princess to real-life princess and forever made her a cultural icon. In her new role, she became patron of many Parisian fashion houses, and through the 60's and 70's her style continually evolved.

To me, Grace Kelly represents classic elegance at its finest; her intelligent approach to fashion demonstrates that style does not originate from slavish adherence to trends, but rather from a clear recognition that timeless fashion originates from a personal understanding of what works for you; after all, Grace wore the clothes, the clothes didn't wear her.

The exhibition opened at the V&A yesterday and runs until September 26th, I can't wait to visit for myself. 

For more information visit V&A Online.

(Image credit: V&A Prints.)

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