Grace Kelly's story is the stuff dreams are made of. Enjoy iconic gems from the Hollywood star's wardrobe at Bendigo Art Gallery's newest exhibition
Grace Kelly dances circles around Frank Sinatra in a shimmering lavender dress by a swimming pool. The silk organza lights up under the Hollywood studio’s faux moonlight as Sinatra croons, “Mind if I make love to you?” He pulls her close, plants one on her, and as if to declare the need for a cold shower, Grace plunges into the pool.
Diving into the water happens off camera in the film High Society, so we can rest assured the dress isn’t destroyed. (Phew.) Now we’re able enjoy the dress in all its glory at Bendigo Art Gallery’s newest exhibition, Grace Kelly: Style Icon.
“Within this exhibition we hope to move you a little closer to the person, her classic style, her timeless elegance and, ultimately, I hope to enhance our understanding of this 20th century iconic woman whom we admire and still love,” says gallery director Karen Quinlan.
The exhibition is Bendigo Art Gallery’s latest coup from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (who also provided last year’s The White Wedding Dress). The collection on display is impressive, charting the evolution of her wardrobe as she transformed from Hollywood star, to a princess. You can see the gown she wore when accepting an Oscar in 1955 for her performance in The Country Girl. Only a year prior to this did she appear in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and was made an instant star, becoming Hitchcock’s muse – “a snow-covered volcano” is what he called her.
On display, there’s also a silk dress she wore when she first met her future husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco. Then there’s a range of couture gowns by Dior, Givenchy, Yves St Laurent and Balenciaga. You know, the usual. There’s the beloved ‘Kelly Bag’, a Hermes accessory that became famous worldwide when Life magazine snapped Kelly clutching it to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi.
Grace Kelly: Style Icon is even better than wandering up the Paris End of Collins Street, if the most iconic designer gems of all time were on display. Aka – taking a painfully serious dose of wardrobe envy.