Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Grace Kelly

Just when you thought fashion was obsessed with all things wrong about the 80s and 90s, along comes a new obsession. Grace Kelly.

In my humble opinion this is a Very Good Thing.
Somehow the incredible Kelly, or Princess Grace of Monaco depending on your preference, had been overshadowed in the classic Hollywood style icon stakes recently. She's been sidelined by Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, but it seems that I'm not the only one who has really had enough of people using these lazy style references. They've become almost as two dimensional as that Jackie Kennedy/Marily Monroe ad pitch they came up with in Mad Men*.
It's especially baffling because one of the most iconic fashion accessories of all time was named after Kelly - the Hermes Kelly bag.

Her comeback is being spearheaded by the V&A who are staging an exhbition of fifty of Kelly's outfits and the original Kelly bag for six months, starting in April. This news has triggered a flurry of articles about Kelly's style online and in print, which amkes me feel rather pleased and also a little smug. After all I have been a life-long Kelly fan.
I loved her in High Society when I was a 1940s and 50s crazy adolescent. And then I loved her again in Rear Window when I was a little older. I even had a cut out and dress cardboard Grace Kelly doll at one point. I also had Heddy Lamar, Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth - there's nothing as satisfying as dressing a Hollywood style icon who can't fight back.

Plus Kelly makes me think of my Grandmas, both of whom had incredible style that owed something to Kelly's perfectly coiffed appearance. This week I am missing them both very much.
Her influence also hopefully means that we haven't seen the last of the elegant 50s silhouette in fashion, which I was beginning to worry about given the disturbing trend for all things 90s and jogging bottoms.
Galliano is among those leading the way back to Ladylike with his latest couture collection for Dior (which combines a soupcon of Kelly's style with added wit and not too much vintage drag), but if Dior is a bit too much for you and you're already fed up with the new nudes and sportswear trend then head over to Tara Starlet for a vintage style kick...

*Having ignored Mad Men for ages I am now completely obsessed and watched the entire first series in a day last weekend. I think it was the best day of 2010 thus far actually, because we got gussied up and went to Hix for the perfect dinner afterwards and just for one day things seemed ok. I'm now halfway through season 2 so don't tell me what happens please.

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