Grace Kelly 'transformed' Monaco's image says expert
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It is common knowledge among royal fans that the Duchess of Cambridge was inspired by Grace Kelly’s wedding dress when she married Prince William in Westminster Abbey in 2011. Kate’s gown had the same long sleeves and thick white lace as the dress the Princess of Monaco wore almost seventy years ago.
Some fashion experts have also noted that Lady Kitty Spencer wore a similar white gown to Grace and Kate for her wedding this year.
Princess Diana’s niece, 30, wed 62-year-old millionaire fashion tycoon Michael Lewis in Italy in July.
However, Grace’s timeless style did not only influence the young royals’ wedding dress choices, but it also continues to inspire their everyday-wear.
Fashion stylist Miranda Holder spoke to Express.co.uk about why this seems to be the case.
She said: “Grace Kelly is the perfect style muse for the British royals such as Kate Middleton and Lady Kitty Spencer as she epitomises refined glamour, and understated elegance which sets the perfect tone for their royal duties.
“There are many occasions when such royals have clearly taken fashion inspiration from Kelly’s immaculate wardrobe, and why shouldn’t they?
“Kelly was the queen of sophisticated minimalism, iconic for her streamlined silhouettes that were utterly classic but executed so perfectly, they could never be called boring.”
Grace was a style icon even before she became a princess – her best fashion moments included the moment she won her Oscar in 1954, wearing an ice-blue satin gown designed by Edith Head.
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“She was known originally for her Hollywood calling card of bucking the trend and wearing white gloves on the red carpet while her peers favoured a more opulent glamour,” Miranda said.
The fashion expert added: “The prestigious Hermes Kelly bag was given the Princess’ name after she was seen wearing it at Cannes Film Festival in 1955 following the announcement of her engagement to Prince Rainier.
“It is a testament to her status as a fashion icon that the bag is still one of the most highly sought after luxury accessories today.”
Miranda went on to explain that once Grace became Princess of Monaco, her style changed a little to suit her new home country.
The stylist said: “Grace forged relationships with Parisian design houses such as Balenciaga, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
“Her personal favourite were the clean, sleek lines of Dior, which were very much in vogue and complemented her tiny frame perfectly.
“Princess Grace of Monaco also made wearing glasses fashionable, known as a member of the ‘sunglasses set’ along with Brigitte Bardot and Jaqueline Kennedy, inspiring women globally to follow suit.”
Grace’s Parisian style of “crisp white shirts, wearing a single colour head to toe, neat, feminine fit and flare dresses with a nipped in waistline, kitten heels and more” are fashion trends royal fans will have seen Kate and other young female royals wearing today.
Miranda explained: “This is partly because the 1950s are back in vogue – you only have to look at the current popularity of cardigans and cat eye sunglasses in the high street to see this – but also because these style choices are the perfect attire for being a royal in the spotlight today.
“Both Kate Middleton and Grace Kelly display impeccable taste, selecting crisp, quality pieces that stand the test of time.
“Both are icons in their own right, the ‘Kate effect’ has been well documented over the years as loyal fans clamour to buy the latest ‘Kate outfit’.”
Miranda added that a major difference between Grace and Kate is the fact that Kate supports smaller, sustainable fashion brands, often rewearing her outfits to show a regard for the environment and budget.
The fashion expert concluded that when Kate has been pictured in clothes similar to what Grace wore, “she glows”.
“The simple, chic lines of the belted dresses she wears are just so elegant and truly timeless,” Miranda said.
She added: “Like Grace, she has become bolder in her fashion choices in more recent years, becoming more comfortable in the gowns and royal decorations that the state occasions demand.
“When Kate is off duty, she echoes the stylish, simple and chic Parisian style which is also what Grace Kelly was known for – effortless basic clothes worn well and never overdressed.”
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