Our early look at TIFF Bell Lightbox’s much-anticipated Grace Kelly exhibit | Toronto Life

Our early look at TIFF Bell Lightbox’s much-anticipated Grace Kelly exhibit

Our early look at TIFF Bell Lightbox’s much-anticipated Grace Kelly exhibit

Grace Kelly’s famous wedding gown (Image: George Pimentel)

The possibly staged, monstrously over-publicized, now-failed marriage between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries (which lasted a mere 72 days after a $10-million televised ceremony) left us cynical for anything even remotely attached to the phrase ”Hollywood Wedding.” But the Grace Kelly exhibition at TIFF reminded us that film stars can be glamorous (as opposed to trashy) and that sometimes fairy tales do come true (it opens Friday, but we got a sneak peek earlier this week). The Philadelphia-born, Oscar-winning Kelly starred in just 11 films, but worked with the best directors (Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford) and actors (Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant) to create the kind of pictures that still resonate (Rear Window is our personal favourite). Her global stature ballooned when she bowed out of Hollywood at 26, not in a LiLo-esque blaze of drugs, booze and thievery, but to marry Prince Ranier of Monaco and become a bona fide princess (pretty much our lifelong ambition). Check out our shots from behind the scenes of Toronto’s most anticipated exhibit after the jump.

The show, called Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess, surveys her life, with film clips of the actress as a child, early modelling stills and the Oscar she won for The County Girl in 1954. The majority of the displays, however, are dedicated to the couture that helped make her an international style icon, including the Grecian-style swimming wrap she wore in High Society and her spectacular Helen Rose wedding gown, which reportedly helped inspire Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen look (as well as the wedding gowns of lesser mortals Nicole Richie and Ivanka Trump). Our favourite styles include a stunning gold lamé Dior dress that Kelly used for an official royal portrait and the short YSL silk taffeta gown Kelly wore to meet a 19-year-old Princess Diana in 1981. The most impressive thing about the dresses, however, isn’t the craftsmanship, the draping or the fabrics—it’s that, with the exception of a flowy, chiffon maternity gown (from Dior, of course), most of them have a 21-inch waist. Grace Kelly must have had an amazing trainer or followed a strict diet, because she was basically the same shape at 26 as she was at 46. Damn.

Accessories such as sunglasses, hats (we love the bright red pleated Balenciaga turban), and of course, jewels—a diamond-studded Van Cleef and Arpels tiara—round out the collection. The show runs from November 4 to January 22 at TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W., 416-599-8433).