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The Royal Wedding: A Movie Star Becomes a Princess

Everyone knows the fairy tale about a girl swept away by a handsome prince. On this day in 1956, the bar was raised even higher when beloved, beautiful actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in what was dubbed “The Wedding of the Century.” As with another certain royal wedding, the media hype had been unrelenting since the couple announced their engagement a few months earlier. The fervor was fueled by the announcement that MGM’s Academy Award–winning costume designer Helen Rose would design the wedding dress. It didn’t help matters that Rose remained tight-lipped about Kelly’s look. When the big day arrived on April 19, 1956, more than 30 million people turned on their newfangled television sets just to see the dress the movie star–turned-princess was wearing.

The courtship had begun a year earlier after Kelly posed in a brief photo shoot with Prince Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi at the Canne Film Festival. Apparently, the couple clicked, because Read More »

Fashion Statement: Slim Keith

“I was a fabulous arm-piece, the ultimate decoration.” Slim Keith, American socialite and style icon, who died on this day in 1990. Lady Mary Raye Nancy Gross Hawks Hayward “Slim” Keith was the original California girl, an originator of American chic, the first non-designer to receive the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award (for her “impact on fashion”) and was named the Best Dressed Woman in the World in 1946. Men chased Read More »

Elizabeth Taylor in Green

While looking over all of the pictures of Elizabeth Taylor this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how well the late, great actress rocked the color green. Of course she would: She’s got the hair, eyes and skin tone for it. And we all know diamonds are her favorite gemstone but, after her famous Cartier pendant, Taylor’s second-most famous jewelry suite must be the dazzling Bulgari emerald necklace and brooch set husband Richard Burton gave her for their first engagement—they wed twice—and that she wore on their first wedding day in 1964.

I could go on and on praising Taylor’s movie star personality, acting talents, excellent book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, and, most importantly, extensive charitable work. But my all-time favorite tribute to Elizabeth Taylor comes from Charlotte of Sex and the City in two parts: First when she names her spaniel Elizabeth Taylor (best name ever), and next when she squares her shoulders and puts on her best Elizabeth Taylor game face when the going gets tough at the end of Season Six. I can’t top that. So in continuation of our history of color in fashion series, let’s just enjoy these images of the last great movie star wearing dazzling shades of green. Read More »

Fashion Statement: Inès de la Fressange

“Couture is things as they should be: farmyard chickens instead of battery hens; real tea instead of instant powder.”Inès de la Fressange, French model, one-time muse to Karl Lagerfeld and exclusive face of Chanel.

It was Fressange who, in the mid-80s, inspired what Elle magazine called a “French revolution” when she paired her Levi’s 501 jeans with a conservative Chanel jacket, a look that was copied by anyone who could afford it for years afterward. Before Read More »

America Copied What Jackie Wore, and Jackie Wore Halston

Before she was known for her sweater sets and sunglasses, and before he elevated Ultrasuede and disco dresses to high design, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Roy Halston Frowick were linked through a pillbox hat.

It wasn’t just any pillbox hat, either. It was the tan little number Jackie wore on this day in 1961 for the televised inauguration of the president, her husband, John F. Kennedy. While the world tuned in to hear him take the oath of office, millions of women shifted their eyes to Jack’s right, where Jackie stood a few paces away wearing a perfectly choreographed Oleg Cassini outfit. Through their black and white TV sets, women eyed the first lady’s black sable-trimmed boots, muff and neck warmer, white opera gloves and pale dress. They admired her smart A-line coat replete with over-sized buttons, large pockets and bracelet-length sleeves. And they noted how her outfit was capped with simple elegance: a fawn-colored domed pillbox created by a then-unknown 29-year-old named Roy Halston Frowick. The hat sat tilted toward the back, nearly doubling the size of her head, frankly, and creating a pretty contrast to her striking, dark locks. She was nothing the country had ever seen: A fashionable, beautiful and highly cultured First Lady, one who not only spoke fluent French but effortlessly shopped in Paris and New York. Across the country, women unanimously agreed: This young woman was their new Read More »

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