Grace Kelly was naturally beautiful, but that wasn't all. She was Hollywood royalty, and a princess in real-life, too. She was an Academy Award-winning actress, a global fashion icon and the epitome of style, elegance and charm. Working with the best clothing designers, directors, and co-stars in the land, she wore some of the most breathtaking on-screen outfits of all time. We chart 10 of the best here...
When Grace as Tracy Lord tied the knot in High Society, she wore one of the most beautiful wedding dresses ever seen, matched only by the dress she wore for her real-life wedding to Prince Rainier III – with both being designed by the famed costume designer Helen Rose. The calf-length A-line dress featured divine sheer detailing and intricate floral appliques, and still has brides desperate to mimic Grace’s floppy hat and white gloves 60 years later. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that she looked this good while (supposedly) hungover.
Grace wasn’t only glamorous in long, striking dresses: she also looked bewitching in a simple swimming costume. Seen here in High Society, her halterneck bathing suit and perfectly coiffed hair could give us all in lesson in poolside chic.
When most of us have a bit too much to drink, we’re embarrassing, to say the least. But in High Society, when Grace’s character was so drunk she escaped her own bachelorette party by climbing out of the window, her elegance knew no bounds, as she danced with Frank Sinatra in this dreamy embellished tulle dress with sheer sleeves and a fitted bodice. We don’t know if the dress survived Grace’s character jumping in the pool, though.
And in a film (yup, High Society again) of incredible outfits, one after the other, this dreamy creation has to get a mention. When Tracy assumed the elaborate act of an affected heiress with her head in the clouds, she chose this voluminous striped creation to make a statement – and it certainly worked.
The Hitchcock-directed thriller Rear Window was one of Grace’s most successful films, and this sensational monochrome evening gown was created by iconic costume designer Edith Head, who often collaborated with the famed director. The low-cut, off the shoulder neckline, full tulle and chiffon skirt, embellished floral pattern and cinched-in waist on this spectacular dress make for an oft-imitated style that is enduringly chic.
While given the choice to raid Grace’s on-screen wardrobes, we would, of course, like to borrow the many couture gowns she wore in her varied roles, some mention has to be given to how well the star wore trousers in films like Mogambo, with this simple outfit showing off a nipped-in waist and some fabulous accessories, such as the studded belt and patterned silk scarf.
Every outfit the Oscar-winner put on in Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder was elegant and eye-catching, but the silk and lace white gown she wore in one of the most tense scenes in the film has to get a special mention for its chic simplicity.
In one of her most famous roles, as Frances Stevens in To Catch A Thief, Grace wore some breathtaking dresses, not least this ice blue chiffon creation with spaghetti straps. The stunning creation with a fitted bodice and floaty scarf was created, again, by Edith Head.
The white, strapless, column dress Grace wore in another scene of To Catch A Thief would make a dream wedding dress, with its nipped-in waist, floaty chiffon layers, and gathered bodice – and that’s not even mentioning the diamond cocktail necklace, which, aside from being an important plot device, is the stuff any leading lady’s dreams are made of. Of course, this was once again designed by Edith Head, who encapsulated Grace’s elegance in one simple but magnificent gown.
As she showed in High Society, Grace knew how to wear a swimming costume, but none are so memorable as the gorgeous outfit she wore in To Catch A Thief, as she lounged on the sands of Cannes in white-rimmed cat-eye sunglasses, a chic turban and a light yellow bathing suit. Once again, stylish, effortless, and incomparably graceful.
Which outfit do you think is most beautiful? Let us know @marieclaireuk