Grace Kelly, female icon of cinema, fashion, royalty, elegance, and poise, comes to life in a wonderful exhibition held at the McCord Museum. Produced by the Grimaldi Forum Monaco in collaboration with the McCord Museum and its partners Elle Québec
, Holt Renfrew, Ritz-Carlton, and Air France, the showing spotlights Kelly's journey from film darling to Princess of Monaco.
"Who was Grace Kelly?" asks the retrospective as it travels through the beginning of her life rooted in Philadelphia and ends with her role as Princess of Monaco. From Hitchcock blonde to Grace of Monaco, it is no wonder she left behind such a timeless legacy.
The exhibit begins at the early days of Kelly's acting career in the fifties until her very last picture before her marriage. Upon entering, the Oscar she won for The Country Girl
can be seen on display in a glass case accompanied by the dress she wore to the Academy Awards ceremony. Surrounding the first room is an assortment of original film posters of the movies she starred in along with clips, which include classics Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief,
and Rear Window
From there, it is off to Kelly's fairytale romance and the story of how she met the Prince of Monaco. Personal home videos show her role as wife and mother, while quotes and words of praise are printed on the walls by people who knew her best. Magazine covers and handwritten letters are set out from Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Alfred Hitchcock, and dear friends Josephine Baker and Cary Grant, among other notable figures. Also touched on are her jobs as a model, singer, philanthropist, including the foundation in her name.
The strong focus on garments will please fashion aficionados. The "Kelly bag" by Hermès is not to be missed. Her civil wedding ceremony dress is revealed, as her actual wedding dress is now too frail for travel. Designer ensembles she once wore by YSL, Chanel, Balenciaga, Givenchy will send you to vintage label heaven. The display also hits home as it showcases the outfit she sported when visiting Montreal for the Expo '67. The most dazzling is the array of lavish gowns the princess donned at balls held at the Monte Carlo casino.
The visit ends with a mature, natural-looking Kelly posing for a portrait photo taken in 1979, three years prior to her accident. Overall, the presentation is an elegant and honest portrayal of the icon throughout her life from beginning to end, and one that shows her influential legacy while remaining true to her benevolent spirit.