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From Monaco With Love: Grace Kelly at the McCord Museum

Jul 22, 2013 | Published by | Leave your thoughts

Review of the Grace Kelly exhibit by: Angélie Tétrault

Grace Kelly, one of the most memorable fashion influencer of the 20th century, comes back to life at the McCord Museum through the exhibit From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon.

From an actress to a princess, the exhibit depicts the life of the women behind the icon through her most memorable looks. Amongst them, the famous green gown she wore for the Oscars in 1955 and the one she sported for the Expo 67 in Montreal. There is also the square bag renamed the ‘Kelly bag’ by Hermes, the twinset she wore for her civil wedding to prince Rainier III, as well as many other outfits created by the greatest fashion houses of the world.

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Although these attires had an undeniable impact on fashion, they are all incredibly simple and classic, which is probable how, surprisingly, Grace Kelly stood out from the rest of the actresses of her time. While all of Hollywood beauties were trying to provoke and sexualize their image, a very stylish Grace opted for neat buns, chic scarves, and immaculate dresses that are still an inspiration for many designers up to this day.

But the exhibit goes beyond the image of the beautiful blond always perfectly dressed up and explores her personal and professional life through film clips, letters, posters and citations from those who were close to her, including Alfred Hitchcock.

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Princess or not, the exhibition shows us a women who remained true to herself and her entourage even when she was skyrocketed to the top of Monaco royalty in 1956. It also sheds light on her personality, her values, and her talents. We learn, for example, how devoted she was to the social causes she adopted as a royal and how she remained close to her family and friends in the United States when she became princess of Monaco.

The exhibit is overall very interesting, as it goes beyond the fashion impact of Grace Kelly. Even those who are more or less interested by clothes will be able to enjoy the original pieces of correspondence and the films presented. It really covers the multiple facets of the actress and the different roles she adopted throughout her life, from a muse to a royal figure. Grace Kelly was the subject of fascination her whole life and this exhibit proves that our captivation for the famous actress is definitely still alive, as much as her fashion legacy.

From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon from June 6 to October 6, 2013.

Photo credit: McCord Museum and Angélie Tétrault


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