Thursday, 10 May 2012

Grace Kelly

In Bendigo at the moment it is hard to avoid Grace peering at us over her shoulder. She is everywhere, and the exhibition Grace Kelly Style Icon at the Bendigo Art Gallery has been packed out since it opened. It seems her popularity never wanes, and yet who is, or who was, Grace Kelly? I have no idea...and the show reveals as little of her personality as her wardrobe reveals of her flesh. It is an interesting fashion journey from the tailored, almost matronly suits of the Fifties through to some attempts at modernity in the Seventies, and as such reflects the moral standards of the passing decades, but nowhere do we get any indication of what Grace thought or what her motivations were. Famous yet anonymous, and one wonders in today's tabloid and Murdoched world whether such a feat would be possible.

However we do get to see the great fashion designers at work for what must have been their most prestigious clothes horse. Yves St Laurent's tent dress inspired by the painting of Piet Mondrian is pure perfect Sixties, thankfully he didn't use Picasso as a point of departure! Edith Head's little black number from Rear Window is probably the closest we ever get to sexy, and Cartier's jewellery comes from a period when a rock looked like a rock...

Personally Grace is not my kind of gal, but I don't mind this photo that captures the undeniably classic beauty with the untouchable virginal princess...

Photo by Howell Conant

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