Grace Kelly Moments

Screenshot of Grace Kelly from the trailer of ...

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I’m really excited today. I’ve just booked my ticket to the Grace Kelly style exhibition at the V&A for the 23rd September.  I can’t wait to take a look at her fabulous outfits and to admire her timeless elegance and ageless style. Grace Kelly has always been an idol of mine, a real life beautiful Princess in the days before Diana, another lady who lived the fairytale that had an unhappy ending. Grace was always a real lady, in clean gloves and neat handbags, but with real sex appeal shining through.

Every women should have a Grace Kelly moment. A  few years ago I went to see a stage performance of High Society. At the end of the play, the Traci character wore the most stunning strapless, shimmering wedding gown with layers of tulle and shimmering Swarvrovski crystals. I was getting married later that year and I turned to my best friend and whispered “that’s the dress I want, that’s the one for me.” A few weeks later I went shopping for my dress and lo and behold the first dress I tried on was Traci’s dress. It fitted like a glove, I felt like a Princess and I had my Grace Kelly moment.

Grace Kelly is the perfect icon for this season. Prada, Louis Vuitton and Jason Wu have embraced the ladylike elegance of Grace, with full skirts, nipped in waists, ladylike handbags and bow front shoes. Hollywood stars are also embracing their inner grace.

Diana Agron in Carlina Herrera Resort

Glee’s Diana Agron in Carolina Herrera resort, Rachel Bilson in Louis Vuitton at the Met Ball, Camilla Belle at the Cartier Polo and Eva Mendes have all been channelling the spirit of Grace Kelly in their groomed appearance, feminine frocks and pretty styling.High street stores also have plenty of 50’s styles on offer. Mylene Klass has been pictured in Look magazine in the most fabulous 1950’s style red mac from M&S, whilst House of Fraser has a whole collection of fabulous Kurt Geiger shoes and phrase eight dresses in true ladylike style. Below are some examples of Grace Kelly styling from the high street.


sundress from Pearl Lowe range at Peacocks

Great prom dress from m&co

Fab pink prom dress from Evans.

Don’t forget that Charity shops, car boot sales and vintage stores will be your best source for authentic accessories. Look in particular for inexpensive, ladylike beaded evening bags, thin evening gloves and fabulous paste brooches that can be pinned onto cute cardigans for a great daytime look. Structured Kelly style day handbags by labels like Jane Shilton and Joyland can also be picked up relatively cheaply. I found two over the bank holiday for a grand sum of just £4!

If the whole look isn’t for you, then just pick elements. A Wear has a great range of 50’s style vintage cardigans that would look great just worn with jeans or over a pretty evening dress.

Grace Kellyesque bags picked up from car boot sales.

ladylike gloves £1 from charity shops.

My love/hate for Rodarte.

La Bohème (1926 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’m in love/hate for Rodarte. I really don’t know whether I love the designs, or hate them. At their most creative the Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy conjure up designs that can be described as beautiful, ethereal, wispy, ghostlike, and truly stunning. You imagine tragic heroines like Ophelia, Juliet, Camille and Mimi from La Boheme experiencing glamorous suffering in Rodarte. Rodarte would’ve been the designers of choice for those lost generation divas Zelda Sayre and Lady Otterline Morrell. D W Griffiths would’ve used their costumes to clothe Lilian Gish in all those fab silent weepies like ‘The Wind’. Rodarte is truly beautiful…

But then I get to thinking again and my love affair turns to hate. Is Rodarte beautiful or is it merely tatty? It can look distressed, ripped and ruined, Cinders before the fairy godmother gave her a helping hand. It can look uneven, unfinished and pulled and torn.  Maybe the tragic heroine it most provokes is Miss Haversham in her wedding dress covered in dust and cobwebs!

Maybe I just don’t get it.  Rodarte has been described as ‘Romantic’, but this is romance in a dishevelled, wasted state. Courtney Love and Amanda De Cadenat in their lace nighties and tiaras scream Rodarte…and yet, the sisters also created Kiera Knightley’s most beautiful look, turning her into a goddess rather than a geeky girl with fab abs.

This season, Rodarte have moved slightly away from that bad romance look and have embraced a heavier textured, baboushka lady feel. There are lots of fabrics and print that shouldn’t be mixed together and still work, yet somehow they have managed to create a collection of beauty. But this shouldn’t be the case!

Lets just imagine you got your net curtains, quilt and tablecloth and decided to make an outfit. Well that’s what it looks like Rodarte have done. And yet it evokes special memories and times for me. When I was a little girl spending time at nanny and grandads house, I used to play dressing up in with their wardrobes. I always went for my nans long silky nightdress, but in the days before central heating it was always slightly chilly so I’d stick a big chunky Arran night cardigan over the top. I’d feel warm and snug but with a little bit of cotton and lace still peeking out. I feel that’s Rodarte – original, whimsical and utterly nostalgic.

So would I wear Rodarte, and would it suit a plus size girl.  I think to answer that you need to look at the celebrities who do embrace the label. Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst and Mia Wasikowska – waifs one and all.   Emma Watson wears Rodarte and that really says it all. Because for all the promotion of Emma as a new style icon, she still resembles a cute little girl experimenting with a dressing up box. And in the final analysis maybe that’s what the Rodarte collection is – a beautiful, opulent, but for most real women an unwearable collection of dressing up costumes.

The Royal Wedding of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Titiana Blatnik | LATEST LIFESTYLE PICTURE GALLERIES | Marie Claire

The Royal Wedding of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Titiana Blatnik | LATEST LIFESTYLE PICTURE GALLERIES | Marie Claire.

Don’t you just love a fabulous royal wedding! Come on now William, put a ring on Kate’s finger and give us all something to smile about this winter.