Back in August I used this picture of Grace Kelly as part of my information gathering on four key actresses of the fifties. It was part of my research on the Red Dress and related to differing views of femininity. Grace Kelly is my favourite actress and is in one of my favourite films Rear Window.
She wore this dress to the 1955 Academy Awards where she won best actress for her role in Country Girl. This was the year On the Waterfront won best film and Marlon Brando won best actor. Thrilling times!
Edith Head the most famous Hollywood costume designer made this dress for Grace Kelly to wear. It was still in the days when the costume design department of the studio still ruled the roost. It was when two costume design Oscars were awarded one for colour and one for black and white. In 1955 in the black and white category Edith Head won for Sabrina, however more importantly this was a collaboration with Givenchy because Hubert Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn. Watch the film it is worth it for the dresses. Head never publicly thanked Givenchy and the intrigued of who designed what rumbled on. Givenchy continued to dress Hepburn and he became the first real success story for a Paris designer to break the Hollywood mode. Chanel failed and Schiaperelli wouldn't travel!
How wonderful is this dress, Edith Head was very good, and more wonderful is that it will be part of the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A which I know doubt will keep banging on about.