Monday, November 12, 2012

Grace and Mom

Happy Birthday to the ever-lovely Grace Kelly, who was born on this day in 1929.

Here she is in a publicity shot for 1954's Rear Window, one of my favorite Hitchcock films:

a great example of the influence of Dior's "New Look"

Anyone who loves Hitchcock films like I do, and who loves vintage clothing, certainly has to be fond of Grace...
Her clothes in Rear Window and Dial M for Murder (also released in '54) are so gorgeous! They were designed by costumer Edith Head (I'm reading a fabulously entertaining book about Ms. Head right now...stay tuned for a review very soon!)

I particularly love this beautifully graphic black and white dress:

Ms. Head loved to design beautiful back details

and this fabulous sage-green and white outfit...when she enters the room, it looks so prim and covered-up...

Miss Priss, right?

and then she removes the jacket and the top is so (relatively) can't see it here, but it's almost totally backless!

Hmmm, not so prissy after all!

Another favorite is the beautiful red dress from Dial M for Murder

Scarlet woman

I must admit that for a long while I had a bit of a crush on Ms. Kelly! I think it was because of my Mom. You see, my Mom passed away when I was 17, just a few years after Grace Kelly tragically died in a car crash. I always thought that my Mom looked a bit like Grace, and in that way that teenagers have, I sort of mashed the two together in my memories as this sort of Beautiful Mother Tragic Princess figure...boy, there's one for the analyst's chair!

Here's my Mom:

This Grace Kelly-Mom thing stuck in my head for a long time, and then something funny happened:  I saw  the 1953 movie Mogambo. In this film, Grace plays the young, naive wife of an anthropologist, who meets the rough & tumble game hunter played by Clark Gable on an African safari. She plays opposite Ava Gardner, who's a plucky world-wise show girl.

That was it! Grace's character in this movie is such a simpering wuss, and so annoying, that it snapped me right out of my crush!

Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner in Mogambo

 I wanted Ava to kick her whimpering little butt, but alas, Ava's character was too classy for that. Funnily enough, apparently the three actors, Grace, Ava, and Clark, got along famously during the shoot and became fast friends.

Now, with my crush dissolved (mostly!) away, I can just appreciate Grace for the talented actress that she was...and appreciate her beautiful costumes & style!
What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie?
Think your Mom looks like a famous actress? I'd love to hear!


  1. Your mom was beautiful! My mother was a little cutie when she was young, but it was my dad's mom who looked like a movie star. She definitely had Bette Davis eyes when she was young.

    1. Thanks, Dana!
      Isn't it fun to see pictures of your Grandparents when they were young?

  2. Your Mum was gorgeous, such poise! x

  3. I love Grace Kelly in rear window, so many themes to explore in that one. And like you said, even a little scandalous for its time, she bought over a train case for a sleep over after all. Damn, now I want to watch this movie again! Your mom was so cute, great style! My mom is beautiful with a decidedly retro style and love of 40s glam but can't say she looks like any particular actress. Can't think of too many raven haired, light-skinned Mexican ones out there :)