Full of Grace

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Stylist Team
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Few people radiate effortless glamour in the way Grace Kelly did. Throughout her four decades in the limelight, the movie star turned Princess came to embody the concept of classic elegance, combining a girl-next-door allure with a sensual charm that was irresistible to all who crossed her path. On the 30th anniversary of her tragic death, we take a look back at Grace's greatest style moments - from movie stills to THAT wedding dress and the everyday, flawless fashion sense that put her name in history books. Read on to immerse yourself in the world of a very natural style icon...

Picture credit: Rex Features

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Grace Kelly's porcelain skin, delicate features and carefully coiffured hair made her a natural on the big-screen but she never overstated her appeal - and this in itself made it enduring.

    Pictured here in the mid-1950s with her movie career in its zenith, it's easy to see how she captivated the cameras with a subtle charisma that was both wholesome and sultry.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock spotted Grace's potential early and sought to capitalise on her beauty and sense of mystery. The movie star came to personify Hitchcock's ideal of feminine beauty in cinema - she's pictured her in a Studio publicity shot for his 1954 romance-thriller Rear Window.

    Her co-star in the film, James Stewart, later claimed Hitchcock was a little in love with her. "How could Hitch not help but fall in love with Grace? Everyone loved her," he was quoted as saying.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Off-screen, the Princess' appeal was equally as potent. In 1955, she took Cannes Film Festival by storm in what would soon become a staple appearance at the annual film gala.

    Promoting her Oscar-winning role in The Country Girl, Grace showed the rest how fashion was done with simple statement pieces such as these patterned Capri pants.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Little wonder "the Grace Kelly look" quickly gained fashion currency as women rushed to emanate her very particular brand of je ne sais quoi.

    Here she's pictured in a black flower print organza dress just before she met her future husband Prince Rainier III for the first time - also at Cannes. Ironically, her appearance at the film festival also spelt the end of her movie career as she married the Prince and settled into life as the Princess of Monaco.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Grace's appearances at Cannes over the years are an interesting measure of how she moulded her style to trends of the time.

    Though always streamlined and chic, she embraced the 1960s vibe with bold accessories, vivid colouring and intricate up-dos.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Even when showcasing the wackier end of the 60s trend spectrum - note this chiffon rainbow-shaded slip teamed with stand-out jewellery - Grace retained a sense of elegance, proving time and again that you just can't buy style, and fashion is all in the wearing of it.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Above all though, it was Grace's 50s style that became the stuff of legends. In 1955, she wore an ice-green dress by American costume designer Edith Head to pick up her best actress Oscar for The Country Girl.

    Interestingly, she wore the same dress to the premiere of the movie - something that would be unthinkable in today's world and a clear indicator of the movie star's pragmatic, accessible approach to fashion; just another reason why she was revered for it.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    "I think it is important to see the person first and the clothes afterwards," Grace once said - but in her case, fashion became synonymous with self.

    Her impeccable, understated sense of style went hand-in-hand with her sophisticated persona; something that's clear to see from this graceful dress-stoal pairing at the 1956 Oscars.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    Last and most famous of all among Grace Kelly's style moments is the incredible lace gown she wore to marry her Prince in 1956.

    Created by MGM costume designer Helen Rose - who had previously dressed Grace for two of her movies - the wedding gown comprised 25 yards of silk taffeta and 100 yards of silk net, with a full skirt of ivory peau de soie and a fitted bodice made from Brussels lace.

  • Grace Kelly: greatest style moments

    The event was dubbed "the wedding of the century", an accolade it could easily have earned from the dress alone.

    "Grace is a dream to work with," designer Helen said at the time. "I showed her two sketches of the final design and she chose the one she wanted. That is all there was to it."