Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grace Kelly Style

Perhaps no American actress, dead or alive, had more style than Princess Grace. Her cool and calm demeanor, regal features and exquisite taste made her a favorite with everyone from Hitchcock to Christian Dior and ultimately the Prince and principality of Monaco. At a time when the studios were churning out glamorous stars by the dozens, Kelly stood miles apart.

Kelly won the Academy Award for Best Actress her performance in the 1954 film Country Girl

Written by Kristina Haugland with Jenny Lister and Samantha Erin Safer, Grace Kelly Style (V & A Publishing) is the companion book to the Victoria and Albert Museum's exhibit in London. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations of Kelly's wardrobe, including creations from Madame Gres, Christian Dior, Chanel, Yves St. Laurent and Balenciaga that display both her personal, film and royal style. And who but Grace could have an iconic handbag named after them?

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer Engagement Photo

Kelly with James Stewart in the Hitchcock classic Rear Window, 1954

You can order the book on Amazon and read an excerpt at 1st Dibs.

Photo Credits: Grace Kelly cover-Photograph by Erwin Blumenfeld New York, 1955.
© The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld 2009

Grace Kelly with her Academy Award for Country Girl: 30 March 1955
© Everett Collection/Rex features

Engagement of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, 1956:
© Snap/Rex features

Grace Kelly in ‘Rear Window’ with James Stewart, 1954
© Everett/Rex features

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Legend In Its Own Time

One of the most successful advertising campaigns during the sixties was Blackglama fur's "What Becomes a Legend Most." The brainchild of copywriter Jane Trahey in 1968, the campaign featured luminaries from Hollywood and New York to the Met and Motown in glamourous black and white photos. It was a time when wearing fur was considered glamorous (along with smoking) and an interesting window into social, fashion and Madison Avenue history.  Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Shirley MacLaine and even Ray Charles were  a few who lent their famous faces. Ironically Brigitte Bardot, now an arden animal activist, was also a part of the ad campaign.

Brigitte Bardot

The campaign ran from 1968 to 1994, went on hiatus and has been back in full swing in the 2000's. Next up is singer Janet Jackson as this fall's cover girl (and facing the wrath of PETA). Ad Age even named it one of the Top 100 ad campaigns of the 20th Century.

Lauren Bacall

Shirley MacLaine

According to a wonderful story on the New York Social Diary, Ava Gardner is one of the few who would not do the photo shoot as she wanted to wear leopard (which was outlawed).

While I don't condone the use of fur (I prefer mine on the backs of four legged animals),  I thought this was an interesting walk down memory lane...

Photos courtesy of Paper Pursuits, New York Social Diary