AMAZ­ING GRACE

This sea­son, de­sign­ers pay trib­ute to the enig­matic glam­our of Grace Kelly. By Jus­tine Pi­cardie.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Cinematic Style -

hat comes to mind when you think nk of Grace Kelly? elly? Is it the sen­sual so­phis­ti­ca­tion cation that de­fines her star­ring roles in Hitch­cock’s hcock’s Rear Win­dow and To Catch A Thief, ief or the more static el­e­gance of her r per­sona as princess and con­sort to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco? Do you see her as a tri­umph or tragedy; an em­blem of fem­i­nine per­fec­tion or of sur­ren­dered in­de­pen­dence? For Hitch­cock, she was “a snow­cov­ered vol­cano”; to John Ford, her di­rec­tor in Mogambo, a “dame [with] breed­ing, qual­ity, class”.

What­ever one’s view, it is likely to be in­con­clu­sive, for Kelly was a film star as elu­sive and enig­matic as Greta Garbo; a ci­pher who slips from our grasp, how­ever hard we may y seek to cap­ture her.

All of which is worth bear­ing in mind this sea­son, as fash­ion – and Hol­ly­wood, too – turns again to­wards wards Kelly for in­spi­ra­tion. While Ni­cole Kid­man is film­ing a biopic that ex­am­ines amines the con­fines of her life as a princess (a a ver­sion of events dis­puted by the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion ner­a­tion of Monaco roy­als), Kelly’s cin­e­matic ic ghost is per­cep­ti­ble in the lat­est col­lec­tions ns from Prada, Bot­tega Veneta, Lan­vin, and d oth­ers. The Prada show, in par­tic­u­lar, seemed emed to evoke Kelly as Hitch­cock hero­ine, with an at­mo­spheric pro­jec­tion as the back­drop to the cat­walk, fea­tur­ing swirling flocks of birds, a black cat, and the dark shadow of a woman sil­hou­et­ted in a door­way.

If Mi­uc­cia Prada sug­gested the pos­si­bil­i­ties of fash­ion as a cin­e­matic nar­ra­tive (“Sto­ries of women and life,” she said), Raf Si­mons took Dior’s Cruise col­lec­tion to Monaco in May, and staged an equally dra­matic show. As a lo­ca­tion, it was a con­sid­ered re­minder of Chris­tian Dior’s his­toric con­nec­tion with Princess Grace, the con­sum­mate model for the house’s supremely poised cou­ture. But Si­mons avoided the trap of cos­tume drama by adding a mod­ern flu­id­ity of move­ment to Dior’s legacy of re­fined, con­trolled tai­lor­ing.

Could this sar­to­rial bal­anc­ing act be­tween free­dom and con­straint pro­vide a clue as to why Kelly con­tin­ues to grip our imag­i­na­tions? Per­haps in con­tem­plat­ing her ra­di­ance that still shines on-screen, 31 years af­ter her un­timely death in a car crash (on the very same cor­niche on which Hitch­cock had filmed Kelly in To Catch A Thief), one can­not help but ask what lies be­neath the sur­face of such ex­cep­tional beauty. De­sire, yearn­ing, fragility, frus­tra­tion – the tur­bu­lent heart of a woman at odds with the cool ve­neer of a star ...

Bot­tega Veneta Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 Lan­vin Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 Prada Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13

Grace Kelly in Rear Win­dow

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