Grace Kelly's Wedding Dress and Accessories

Designed by Helen Rose, American, 1904 - 1985. Made by the wardrobe department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Culver City, California, founded 1924. Worn by Grace Kellyat her marriage to Prince Ranier of Monaco, American (Philadelphia), 1929 - 1982.

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
1956

Medium:
Silk needle lace (rose point), silk faille, silk tulle, and seed pearls

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1956-51-1a--d--4b

Credit Line:
Gift of Her Serene Highness, the Princesse Grace de Monaco, 1956

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Label:
From the crownlike wreath topping the headpiece to the bows down the back of the graceful train, Grace Kelly's wedding ensemble is simple but exquisitely detailed. Delicate rose point lace, a type of nineteenth-century Brussels needle lace that features elaborate floral motifs, forms the bodice, which appears seamless because the lace motifs were detached from their original ground and pieced together to follow the shaping of the dress. Touches of the lace, accented with lustrous seed pearls, unify the gown and accessories. The dress itself is constructed in four complex parts: the lace bodice with an attached underbodice, skirt support, and slip; a heavily pleated silk faille skirt that incorporates a smoothing petticoat, ruffled petticoat, and foundation petticoat; a triangular tulle and lace train insert; and a pleated silk faille cummerbund.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Movie actress Grace Kelly, a Philadelphia native, wore this wedding dress for her marriage to Prince Rainier III in the cathedral of Monaco on April 19,1956; Academy Award-winning designer Helen Rose, who had created Kelly's costumes for the films High Society and The Swan, was chosen to design the gown, which was constructed by the MGM wardrobe department. In style and detail the dress was conceived to complement the "fairy-princess" image of the bride. Above a bell-shaped skirt of ivory peau de soie supported by three petticoats, a high-necked bodice of Brussels lace was re-embroidered so the seams would be invisible and then accented with seed pearls. Pearl-embellished lace also covers the prayer book, shoes, and cap, which is surmounted by an orange-blossom wreath. The circular silk net veil, especially designed so that the bride's face could be seen, is decorated with appliquéd lace motifs including two tiny love birds. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 100.