No 521: Style Icon Grace Kelly

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grace Kelly lived a fairy tale life; born to a wealthy Philadelphia family, she became Hitchcock's leading lady after roles in only three previous films. Just three years later, Grace married Prince Rainier III and became Princess of Monaco. While her contentment at this seeming fairy tale has been challenged since her tragic death in 1982, her sense of style is unquestioned.

Ms Kelly is the ultimate authority on cool elegance and classic styling. Her Grecian draped gowns and pearl earrings gained her entry to a royal family, but she may be best known for her casual clothes: Capri pants, twinsets and even the belted shirtdress she wore to announce her engagement. Because her film career was so brief, and her married life so sheltered, we know Grace best through her costumes and the clothes she wore during her five years of greatest stardom.

While I've always admired Grace's perfectly tailored wardrobe and her understanding of proportion and line, I think the elements of Grace's style that I pull into my own life are her accessories. Her Hermès headscarves were an American interpretation of French styling, and her white gloves made her just shy of untouchable. The dark sunglasses she wore in To Catch a Thief look just like a pair my great-grandmother was photographed wearing during the same year, and she often wore horn-rimmed glasses, despite the suggestion that they made her look dowdy. She was so self-assured, and never wanted to dress as anyone except the graceful woman she was.

I can't let a profile of the most stylish Ms. Kelly end without mention of her enduring fashion legacy: the Kelly bag. She used it to shield her growing belly from the prying lenses of photographers, and Hermès was so delighted by the publicity that they happily named the bag in honor of America's princess.

Grace Kelly remains an enduring icon not simply for her costumes, most designed by the celebrated Edith Head, or her Hermès bag. Her clean aesthetic, free of unnecessary elements, represents her excellent taste, and her life continues to inspire the fantasies of girls the world over.


  1. I love Grace Kelly, so poised and beautiful! She really lived every little girl's dream didn't she? Wearing beautiful gowns, marrying a real live prince. Truly like a fairy tale. I never tire of looking at her wedding photos she was the most stunning bride.

  2. Her wedding photos are some of my favorite! That gown was so incredible.

  3. what a terrible thing is not having her with us anymore...



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