Bombshells: Grace Kelly

It goes with out saying, that Grace Kelly would be on every Style Icon list. She was the epitome of simple, clean, effortless style. American sportswear mixed with Riviera glamour. She had it all, including a fairy tale life.

Her acting career spanned from 1950- 1956. Not a long career but one she had to give up when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. She starred in 3 of my favorite Hitchcock movies; Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and Dial M for Murder. 

She never took the "pin-up" route that so many of her actress peers took in the Fifties. She kept it cool, casual, and classy.

She died in 1982 at the age of 52. She suffered a stroke while driving in the Riviera. She lost control of her car and drove off the steep winding road. 

James Stewart said this at her funeral: 

"You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace."

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Retro Looks In The Modern World: Paule Ka Spring 2012

As much as the modern fashion world looks forward it also continually looks back in time. Here we explore Retro Looks in the Modern World.

The Spring 2012 campaign for Paule Ka brings us lady like looks inspired by the 50's and 60's. I can picture Grace Kelly wearing each of these outfits on the French Riviera.  I wouldn't mind wearing them myself! 

Model: Jessica Stam
Photographer: Venetia Scott

Images via

Bobbins: Sunglasses

Roman Emperors uses emeralds to watch gladiator fights. In 12th Century China smoky quartz was used to hide the eyes and facial expressions of judges in Chinese courts. But it wasn't until the early 1900's that fashionable sunglasses as we know them became more common place.

This was especially true amongst silent film stars that constantly had red eyes due to the powerful lighting needed for the extremely slow film stock used to make those films. If the stars do it so does the rest of the world so even when the harsh lighting used in films was improved with ultra-violet filters the sunglasses remained. And they've been cool ever since.

In 1929 mass produced sunglasses were produced and sold in America by Sam Foster. He sold the shades on the boardwalks of Atlantic City under the name Foster Grant from a Woolworth's. We now can't live without them at the beach!

Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly made wearing sunglasses in the 50's a classic accessory. Not just for sun protection but now a style necessity.

Bobbins: Espadrilles

Espadrilles are classic. These lightweight shoes made from linen or canvas with a rope or braided jute sole come from Spain and have been worn since before the 13th Century! Traditional espadrilles are handmade from Alpargateros, like the lady pictured above. The production of espadrilles quickly spread during that time and also became popular in France. They were worn by everyone from peasants, to military soldiers, to Priests!

In the 1950's and 60's espadrilles became more than just affordable and practical, they became fashionable. Yves St. Laurent special ordered espadrilles to be made with a heel, something that had never been done before. They were an instant hit and the fashion world hasn't given up on them yet! Now espadrilles can be found in the traditional handmade from Spain version ( I just bought a pair of red ones the other day!) or from a variety of shoe designers in all sorts of shapes and reinterpretations. I also have a pair of wedge heel cherry print ones with red ribbon ankle laces that I bought at Macy's a few years ago! Either way they make a stylish and comfortable summer shoe!

Picasso wore them! Love the stripes!

JFK wore them with ankle ties!

And the lovely Grace Kelly wore them!

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Bombshells: Hitchcock Blondes

There is a certain type of blonde that repeatedly appear in Alfred Hitchcock's films. They are not the "dumb blonde" or the "California blonde", they are the icy, fair skinned, smart, expertly coiffed, classy, brave, steely platinum blondes that have become known as the Hitchcock Blonde. In his movies, Hitchcock defined this look so well it has become a reference for fashion designers and a style inspiration for women across the globe. Hitchcock himself explains his preference as only he can; "You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films? We're after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they're in the bedroom....Because sex should not be advertised....Because without the element of surprise the scenes become meaningless. There's no possibility to discover sex." That is precisely the point that makes his movies and his leading ladies so memorable and inspiring.

While there were many blonde actresses in his films, here's a look at the top four most quintessential Hitchcock blondes.

Kim Novak : Vertigo (1958)

Of all the leading ladies, she is the iciest and most mysterious.

Eva Marie Saint: North By Northwest (1959).

She can look fabulous dodging bullets while running across Mt. Rushmore.

Tippi Hedren: The Birds (1963).

Marnie (1964). Her role in The Birds (as well as her relationship with Hitchcock) was perhaps the most difficult.

And finally, Hitchcock's favorite, Grace Kelly.

Rear Window (1954)Dial M for Murder (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955).

She represents the classic Hitchcock signature of beauty, brains, and high class.