Last weekend the husband and I drove all the way down to Lorne on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria for my cousin's wedding. On the way back we were lucky enough to make it to the opening day of the Grace Kelly Style Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, only hours behind Princess Charlene.
Whether or not you like Grace Kelly as an actress, or you care for royalty or not, you can't deny that Kelly influenced 20th Century Style. When your very name becomes an adjective for a certain type of simple and relaxed glamour - if you hear someone say that a look is very 'Grace Kelly' you immediately know what they are they are talking about - you probably do deserve an exhibition all of your own.
Courtesy of the V&A in London the Bendigo Art Gallery is currently displaying four rooms full of Grace's clothes, hats, gloves, handbags (hello the Hermes Kelly bag) as well as tonnes of photographs and clips from her films. A movie star for a short time before quitting the business, Grace made only eleven feature films in her career but was at the height of her Oscar winning popularity when she met and married Prince Rainier, regent of the tiny municipality of Monaco. The year that High Society was released and she wed her Prince in the 'Wedding of the Century' saw her celebrity reach its peak. Every element of her wedding trousseau was pored over, and many of those dresses and suits are on display in Bendigo, as well as costumes from Rear Window (Edith Head), The Swan (Helen Rose) and High Society (also Helen Rose). There is a replica of Grace's famous wedding dress (perhaps only rivalled by Princess Diana's wedding dress for icon status) - the most expensive dress ever designed by Hollywood costumier Helen Rose - as well as many stunning couture gowns Grace wore once she became a Princess. These had me mesmerised: there is Madame Gres (such as the green suit above), Balenciaga, Givenchy and tonnes of Dior and Marc Bohan. Marc Bohan was a huge favourite of hers; the silver dress in the state photograph above is a Bohan and is on display at the exhibition.
After finishing up at the Art Gallery we took a stroll around the sites of Bendigo, checking out the impressive architecture of the gold rush town. Here's me on top of the town's water tower.
And it was a little chilly for me in Lorne (although not so much for the New Zealanders who made up the bulk of the guests and bridal party) so for the wedding day I chose a dress I'd worn before, to the lovely Pia Andersen's 30th Birthday Party. In this case I paired it with my new Chloe suede pumps that remind me of Neapolitan ice cream and a sweet lime green 1960s purse picked up at the Vintage Fashion Emporium.
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