keep an eye out for the patron saint


    'The Grace Kelly Years - Princess of Monaco', is the first ever organized and provides an intimate and intriguing glimpse of the Hollywood actress from Philadelphia who became a fairytale princess and made Monte Carlo synonymous with glamour and style.
    In the 1920's, Somerset Maugham wrote:"Monaco is a sunny place for shady people". That was all to change the day Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 19,1956, in what was called the "Wedding of the Century", wearing a bridal gown designed by Helen Rose, of MGM studios.
    The wedding dress is one of the focal points of the exhibition and has returned to Monaco for the first time since the marriage, having previously been donated to the Museum of Philadelphia by Princess Grace.
    Curated by Frédéric Mitterand, a nephew of the former French president, and designed by Nathalie Crinière, both of whom had unparalleled access both to the archives of Princess Grace herself and to those of the Grimaldi family, as well as close co-operation from Prince Albert and the Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, the exhibition has been two years in the making.
    It is divided into a series of different 'rooms', each of which focuses on aspects of her life, from the artificial lighting of Hollywood's great movie sets to the sun-drenched landscapes of Monaco.
    The Hollywood Room, for example, is conceived as a vast movie set featuring posters, film stills, trailers and excerpts from the 11 movies she made in just five years, including High Noon, High Society and The Country Girl (for which she won a best Actress Oscar) and leads into The Hitchcock Room, dedicated to the thrillers she made with Alfred Hitchcock, such as Rear Window, Spellbound and Dial M for Murder.
    The Ball Room documents her revival of Monaco's famous Red Cross and Rose Balls and features gorgeous gowns designed by the very best haute couture ateliers of the day including Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent.
    Display cases document her love of hats - especially flower creations, cloches and turbans by Jean Barthet and the Monagasque milliner Alice Delimel - as well as her predilection for funny, outsize sunglasses and spectacles.
    Her most famous accessory, the 'Kelly' bag, by Hermès, which became a cult which endures to this day, after Princess Grace was pictured carrying one on the cover of an American magazine in 1958, occupies an entire wall of exhibits. Her everyday, weekend and holiday clothes are shown, in wardrobe situations, matched with the shoes which went with each outfit.
    Apparently, Princess Grace kept everything in museum condition, bagged and labelled - a boon to the curator and designer. Other areas show a mock-up of her dressing table and office. She also kept a treasure trove of letters, billets-doux and MGM contracts, all of which are on display.
    There are the passionate telegrams and handwritten notes in which Prince Rainier declared his love to her before their wedding, countless thank-you notes and chatty letters from close, personal friends including the likes of Bing Crosby, Richard Burton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Greta Garbo, David Niven, Margot Fonteyn, Bob Hope, Cary Grant and Joan Crawford, some handwritten to 'Dear Gracie' or Dearest Graceling", as well as many from Hitchcock signed simply 'Hitch'.
    Other rooms demonstrate her close involvement with the ballet and the arts, her love of flower paintings and poetry, her devotion to humanitarian causes and, of course, the Princess Grace Foundation which she established for children.
    Home movies, family snapshots and toys emphasise the close family life the Rainiers enjoyed aware from the public spotlight. "It is a very emotional and indeed proud moment for me, knowing that a tribute is being paid to our mother, Princess Grace, on the 25th anniversary of her demise," Prince Albert said. "For the first time, in Monaco, this exhibition is to present personal effects and belongings that for my sisters and myself revive happy memories we shared with our mother, who was a peerless woman."
    "The Princesses and I have been keen to ensure that the choice of exhibits will bear faithful witness to Princess Grace's personality and influence.
    " I hope that through this exhibition visitors will discover all the aspects that helped make her personality so richly diverse and realize that behind her mythical image lay an extremely sensitive woman and a deeply loving mother whose sense of aesthetics engaged her in a permanent quest for perfection."
    The exhibition will remain on show in Monaco until September 23rd and will then subsequently travel to London, Paris and the United States.
  2. A WHOLE wall?? Whoa....must keep an eye out for that exhibition when it comes to the U.S.! GREAT info HH! Thanks!
  3. that photo of her is stunning.
  4. Sigh...she was such a classic beauty!

    I just checked out the site and there's more to this exhibition than bags that were owned by her. It looks as if Hermes is contributing rare versions done for window displays as well. :nuts:



    In the 1930s, Robert Dumas designed a handbag for women the strap-closure system of which was inspired by that of a saddle carrying bag from the late nineteenth century. This model was rapidly adopted by Hermès clients.
    In 1958, Grace Kelly, young Princess of Monaco, appeared on the cover of an American magazine carrying this bag, which she owned in several sizes and different colours. Since then the success of the Kelly bag has been unfailing.

    It takes a qualified craftsman approximately eighteen hours to produce a classic model.

    Over the years, exceptional versions have been created for the display windows of Hermès stores: Kellys in wood, organdy, plexiglass, embroidered by Lesage, and a giant one measuring 1.70 metres high by 1.60 metres wide. Many of these versions will be on display in the exhibition.

    In the year 2000, the year of the Hermès theme “The First Steps into the New Century”, the Kellydoll, a Kelly bag with a sense of humour complete with a cheerful smile, arms and legs, was created.

    In 2004, Hermès revisited the Kelly and introduced the Mini Kelly clutch bag at the presentation of the first women’s ready-to-wear collection by Jean Paul Gaultier (autumn-winter 2004).
    Very recently, for the spring-summer 2007 women’s ready-to-wear runway show, Hermès played with this great classic once again, creating the Kelly Flat: a Kelly reinvented in a totally unstructured saddle-stitched version, soft, rolled and tied with a belt that replaces the straps.
  5. Very nice information^^ Thank you for sharing.
  6. Wow! That Photo Is Absolutely Timeless:heart:
  7. ^^ Agreed! There is absolutely no way to date that photo. Could have been yesterday. Amazing! Grace Kelly was so stunning! She is our patron saint!
  8. Thanks, so interesting.
  9. oooooo orchids, you're good!

    bagluv i was thinking the same thing - totally timeless, that shot.
  10. *kawtowing deeply* All hail, St. Grace!

    Thanks for the heads up!
  11. HH, thanks for the info. Grace Kelly was such a beautiful woman.
  12. Thank you for posting this. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be able to see this in Monaco. I wonder when it will be in Paris.
  13. I must try and get to this exhibition, we are only a twenty minute train ride away. If I go, I will try and get pics for everyone, I wish I had brought my Kelly with me in holiday now, lol, they could have waved at each other.

    Another great scoop HH, thank you
  14. How beautiful....the article gave me goose bumps.

    We can relate to a person and a lady. I have read that Princess Grace also suffered through the same things as many of us, during her all too short life. At her death, she was as concerned with growing old and it's physical effects as the rest of us might be.

    She loved and worried about her family, her friends....and had her own concerns rearing her children. She had her own space ( an apt in Paris) her own friends, apart from Palace life. And, she loved passionately.

    She was a normal beautiful lady, in an abnormal situation. Much admired and easy to relate to, as a human being.

    I would love to see this exibition.....thank you, for this informative post, HiHeels.
  15. What a stunning photograph!