Text by: Annarosa Laureti

Among the several Ladies in Dior there was a star that shone bright over the others: Grace of Monaco was one of that women who could turn her life in a real fairy tale.

Blondie, simply beautiful, with an innocent look but with a truly vulcano in her, she stole lots of great men’s hearts – Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, James Stewart, David Niven, Bing Crosby and again Clark Gable, Ray Milland and, of course Alfred Hitchcock – until been caught from United States and, above all from Hollywood, by the Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

Never completely accustomed to court life, she decided, however, to quit the acting career, forget her American past as Grace Kelly and devote herself to the new beloved family as Grace of Monaco.

Although the no happy ending – she died at 52 in a car crash – her fairy tale seems to be never-ending and for sure Grace still lives in our hearts, and she will do forever, as a legendary figure and a fashion icon too.

The male conquests long list, in fact, sees also the names of Christian Dior and, after the designer’s death, Marc Bohan: “Grace de Monaco: Princesse en Dior” exhibition at Christian Dior Museum in Granville wants to celebrate just the strong and long-lasting relationship between the Princess and the French maison on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of her birth.

The exhibition – curated by Florence Müller with the assistance of Gwenola Fouilleul – will go on stage from April 27 after the just ended up retrospective “Dior: From Paris to the World” completely dedicated to the revolutionary gaze of the master couturier.

This time a selection of around eighty-five dresses from a wardrobe carefully preserved at the Monaco Palace, will reveal the intimate and private side of a legend who was, beside a princess, a modern woman, a wife and a lovely mother.

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From that first famous dress tailor made by Dior’s ateliers and worn for the ball given for her engagment with Prince Rainier at Waldorf-Astoria in New York, in fact, Grace of Monaco chose the French maison not only for public events but also for daily life.

Shortly, a simple business affair became an authentic and sincere bond enought to make Marc Bohan a close Princess’s friend.“She was emblematic of my style, a style that captured attention but was never aggressive” Marc Bohan confided in an unpublished interview.

Grace of Monaco was also the patron of Baby Dior label and inaugurated the first children’s boutique in Avenue Montaigne, Paris, in 1967.

The retrospective, well-finished in details, presents also official portraits – such as that of Yousuf Karsh, in the “Colinette” haute couture dress from the Fall Winter 1956/1957 collection designed by the founder couturier – photographs, media reports, sketches, excerpts from news films, correspondence letters with the House and ideas for party settings by the decorator and theater costume designer André Levasseur.

Finally a celebrative book, written by the very exhibition curator Florence Müller and Frédéric Mitterrand, will narrate this dreamy fashion love and all of its anecdotes.


“Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior”
Christian Dior Museum, Granville
From April 27 to November 17


Cover: Grace of Monaco, circa 1967 © Photo 12/Picture Alliance