Fit for a Princess – A virtual tour of TIFF’s Grace Kelly Exhibition

George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF.

From the recent royal visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Ottawa, to the brand new Grace Kelly exhibition in at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Light Box, Ontario has royal fever!

Running from November 4, 2011 to January 22, 2012, Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess will feature rarely displayed items and artifacts ranging from Kelly’s days as one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses to a princess in one of Europe’s oldest royal families. We took a wander through the exhibition to admire Kelly’s vintage movie posters, personal letters, and of course stunning fashions. Join our virtual tour of Grace Kelly’s treasures.

  George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF

You won’t have to wait long for your first thrill of the exhibition. Among vintage movie clips and correspondence from Kelly’s early career, you’ll find the Academy Award she won in 1955 for her role in The Country Girl. Displayed along with the Oscar is the Edith Head designed gown Kelly wore to accept the award.

Left: George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF
Right: © Magnum Photos

While the Oscar gown is sure to impress, some of the simpler fashions on display are just as memorable. Kelly’s combination of high fashion and down to earth thrift fascinated the public, and she was known to be as loyal to her clothes as she was loyal to old friends.

While at first glance this McCall’s Pattern “Easy to Sew” dress looks simple, Kelly added her own flair to it and transformed it into fashion history. This was the dress she wore when she first met Prince Rainer of Monaco, who later became her husband.

Left: George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF
Right: REX Images

Kelly was often spotted in classic silhouettes, like the 1955 dress she wore for the announcement of her engagement to Prince Rainier. Her fashion icon status was solidified when the Hermes bag, seen below, was named after her.

George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF

While the exhibition offers a glimpse of Grace Kelly, the screen legend, it also exposes pieces of her personality. Kelly’s home movies – featuring her famous friends and family – provides visitors with an extremely rare glimpse into her personal life.  Her jewelery collection includes several playful broaches she used to add personal flair to her appearance as Princess of Monaco.

George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF

For many, the most anticipated sight of the exhibition is Grace Kelly’s famous 1956 Helen Rose-designed wedding gown. TIFF’s display presents the dress from a striking angle, giving the viewer the feeling of stumbling upon the wedding.

George Pimentel, Wire Image for TIFF

For the film buff the treasures found at the TIFF exhibition go well beyond fashions. You’ll see a letter from Bing Crosby wishing Kelly a Merry Christmas, correspondence with Alfred Hitchcock, and letters of congratulation following her 1955 Oscar victory.

Film fans can also pair their visit with one of the films that made Kelly famous.  TIFF’s program Icy Fire: The Hitchcock Blonde highlights several high points in Kelly’s film career, including To Catch a Thief, Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.

Snap/ REX Features

The exhibition runs from November 4, 2011 to January 22, 2012. To plan your own visit to TIFF Bell Lightbox’s “Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess” visit TIFF.net.

Love Rear Window, Dial M for Murder or The Country Girl? Share your favourite Grace Kelly film moment!

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