Grace Kelly ‘formed a blueprint of chic royal style’ – Kate Middleton’s ‘reference point’
18th June 2022

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier's wedding in Monaco in 1956

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Starring alongside Hollywood cinema greats Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, High Society was Grace’s last film before becoming Princess of Monaco. Although the actress only starred in 11 films in total, she received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1954 drama The Country Girl and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 1953 adventure film Mogambo. She also won the Golden Globe for the latter. However, High Society stands out not only as Grace’s last ever film, but for the incredible outfits she wore in every scene.

High Society gave Grace the freedom to wear everything from a stylish pair of trousers with a boyish shirt to an elegant white halter-neck swimsuit.

As Tracy Lord, Grace donned a beautiful sheer floor-length dress in one scene, and a striped, voluminous blue dress in another.

The film ends with Tracy’s marriage to Dexter, played by Bing Crosby, and Grace is seen in another sheer dress – this time decorated with intricate floral appliques in white and green.

The dress was cinched in at the waist and its skirt flounced outward slightly in an A-line shape.

The look was completed with a pair of white gloves and a floppy, cream hat.

The dress was designed by famed costume designer Helen Rose who, a few months later, designed Grace’s real wedding dress when she tied the knot with Prince Rainier.

Looking back at the stunning scenes in High Society, fashion expert and personal stylist Samantha Harman said: “Despite her death some 40 years ago, Grace Kelly is still a style icon.

“Lots of my clients cite her as inspiration for what they’d like to achieve with their style, and we can still see her influence on celebrity looks and fashion trends today.

“Her appeal is the timelessness of her looks.

“From crisp white shirts to chic tailoring, to beautifully-cut dresses, Grace Kelly’s style was chic and elegant and would still be just as lovely today as it was then.”

Samantha noted there are some similarities between Grace’s style and that of Kate Middleton.

She said: “We can definitely see the influence of Grace Kelly when we look at the style of the Duchess of Cambridge.

“Like Grace Kelly before her, Kate had to step into royal life and has the eyes of the world upon her every outfit. She also has plenty of royal protocols to contend with.

“Grace Kelly formed a blueprint of chic royal style and if I was Kate, I’d definitely be using her as a reference point.

“It’s common knowledge that Kate was inspired by Grace Kelly’s wedding dress when she married Prince William in 2011.

“Now we see her in tailoring, shirts, wearing one colour head to toe, and fit and flare dresses – all straight from the Princess Grace immaculate style playbook.”

Samantha went on to discuss High Society further, saying: “With this film we can really see the relationship and fluidity between Grace Kelly’s on and off-screen looks.

“In fact, her real-life wedding dress was a gift from her studio, Metro Goldwyn Meyer – and it was designed by Helen Rose, the very designer who created Grace Kelly’s film looks, including High Society.

“Helen Rose often designed close for Grace Kelly’s real life, so in this film we are getting a snapshot of her tastes. She even wore her engagement ring in the film.”

The personal stylist continued: “What’s so interesting in this film is how the clothing reflects what’s happening in the plot – clothes are used as character extensions.

“Tracy Lord wears this amazing chiffon blue dress when she’s giving reporters the run-around, and the way it moves matches her behaviour.

“Then there is a scene where the conversation is about her being a cold goddess – and she is wearing a beautiful Grecian style dress.

“Whether she’s in casual trousers like at the start of the film, or a stunning dress at the end, Grace Kelly’s style in this picture is the stuff of a fashion lover’s dreams,” Samanatha added.

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