Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Grace Kelly

With her porcelain beauty and self-awareness, Grace Kelly could make even the simplest of fashions look effortlessly glamorous. She epitomized '50s style, from the carefully coiffed hair, shirtwaist dresses and fitted sweaters to the tailored jackets, full skirts and satin evening gowns. Those fashions, combined with her poise and confidence, brought forth a timeless style that continues to influence the likes of Hermès, Tommy Hilfiger and Mad Men's costume designer Janie Bryant. But as big a hit as Kelly was on the big screen — she won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Country Girl — she was an even bigger star as Princess Grace. When she announced her engagement to Prince Rainer of Monaco in 1955, the news set off a whirlwind of press and fanaticism over the prospect of an American girl becoming a real-life princess. Though she left her movie career behind once she became princess, her influence remained. Testament to her prolonged mark in the fashion world, the Hermès handbag she once used to conceal her baby bump is still known as the Kelly bag. It's no wonder that when Kate Middleton wed Price William earlier this year, she did so in a wedding gown clearly inspired by Kelly's 1956 wedding to the Prince.