Event: Grace Kelly—Style Icon Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

 

Yesterday I attending the much-hyped (both in the media and in my mind) Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

I’ve been a fan of Kelly since I first saw her in Rear Window three Christmas’ ago, and when my mum showed me the gallery’s brochure on upcoming events this time last year, I was wetting my pants with excitement to see an exhibition based around one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of the golden age of Hollywood.

In preparation, I watched High Society and To Catch a Thief (still have to check off Dial M for Murder on my list of Grace must-sees), but Rear Window will forever remain in my heart as my favourite Kelly film (and one of my favourite films, period).

While the exhibition disappointingly didn’t feature Kelly’s signature Rear Window dress, the black and white cocktail length ballgown from her opening scene in the movie, it did have on display the black mid-length dress from the film, which is so classic and timeless it could be seen on the street today.

The dearth of clothes from her first ten films were made up for in the several pieces from High Society, her last film and one from which she was allowed to keep her wardrobe. These were followed up with the dress she met Prince Rainier in, the famous Hermès Kelly bag, her bridal trousseau and, of course, a replica of her wedding gown (the original’s fabric is too delicate to travel).

The rest of the exhibition consisted of a myriad of Grace’s own clothes after she became a princess: a powder blue gown to conceal her baby bump and some elegantly embellished suits were my favourites. Despite references to the Princess’ reluctance to embrace the sky high hemlines of the sixties, there was an Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress, a staple of the times, and some flowing seventies-style gowns.

From the fairytale exhibition I had dreamed up in my head, I had much higher expectations than what was presented at the gallery. This is not to say that Grace Kelly: Style Icon isn’t an exhibition worth seeing, if fashion and movies and Kelly are your thing. But, compared with some of the other exhibitions Bendigo Art Gallery has hosted, it might be their most hyped one but certainly not their best.

Related: Bendigo Art Gallery: Giving the Metro Museums a Run for Their Money.

Loving… Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window.

Images via Grace Kelly Bendigo, Clothes on Film, Costumerism, YouTube.

Bendigo Art Gallery: Giving the Metro Museums a Run for Their Money.

As past posts this week would indicate, I spent the weekend in Bendigo, in country Victoria. I visited some old friends, went secondhand book shopping, got my hair did, and attended the opening of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s American Dreams exhibition.

There were some stunning portraits by some of America’s most gifted and famous photographers, like Walker Evans, Cindy Sherman and Richard Avedon.

While this exhibition isn’t the greatest I’ve seen (FYI, that was The Golden Age of Couture, also hosted by the Bendigo Art Gallery, which displayed gorgeous garments from the likes of Christian Dior and his 1940s “New Look”, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Balmain), it is one in a long line of coups for the country gallery.

Last year I saw Frederick McCubbin’s Last Impressions and Looking for Faeries, in addition to 2009’s Golden Age of Couture, and this year the gallery has The White Wedding Dress display in store for us. But the exhibition I’m most looking forward to won’t be opening until 2012, but it’s well worth the wait: Grace Kelly—Style Icon, featuring costumes from her most famous films (Rear Window, I’m looking at you) and couture gowns from her reign as Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco.

With stellar exhibitions like these, Melbourne’s galleries and museums had better watch out!

Related: Book Shop: Book Now, Bendigo.

Loving… Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window.

Gustave Moreau’s The Eternal Feminine Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Elsewhere: [Bendigo Art Gallery] Homepage.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] American Dreams: 20th Century Photography from George Eastman House.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] The Golden Age of Couture: Paris & London, 1947–1957.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] McCubbin Last Impressions: 1907–1917.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] Looking for Faeries: The Victorian Tradition.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] The White Wedding Dress: 200 Years of Wedding Fashions.

[Bendigo Art Gallery] Grace Kelly: Style Icon.

Images via Bendigo Art Gallery, Ethical Style.