Many celebrity hair experts, when designing beautiful hairstyles for their famous clients will look to the past for inspiration.
One famous hair icon who is often used as the basis for the creation of classic styles is Philadelphia born and bred Grace Kelly who was beloved for her timeless fashion, beauty and hair looks.
Although Grace made her last appearance on screen in 1956's "High Society", she went out with a bang by showcasing an iconic white halter swimsuit and shimmering light blonde tresses.
Her fashions worn in "Rear Window" were also much admired. Famous fashion designer Carolina Herrera designed her own modern version of Grace's signature dress from the film.
Grace had star turns in '50s Hitchcock movies "To Catch a Thief," "Rear Window," and "Dial M for Murder." She won a best actress Oscar for "Country Girl" in 1954.
Grace's stunning hairstyles and fashions are often copied because she captured a patrician beauty that was unique and original from the roots of her blonde strands to the tips of her perfectly painted toes. Her beauty was described as serene, yet ethereal.
The blonde beauty was famous for wearing her blonde waves swept in a classic hairstyle off her model-perfect face which balanced her petite frame, demure stature and sparkling eyes.
She was never without a splash of luscious lipstick which worked well with her various hairstyles. Her hair, like her beauty was natural and elegant.
Inspirational Hair, Beauty, Fashions
Grace, who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco, left Hollywood to become Princess Grace of Monaco. Although she stepped up to the throne and a life of royalty, she also was a famous muse to couture houses such as Dior and Givenchy.
Even though she died 27 years ago, her beautiful hair, skin and fashions continue to inspire designers and celebrity hairdressers with her elegant style. Grace always carried herself with a regal air, becoming the namesake for the still sought-after Hermes Kelly bag.
Eveningwear designer Reem Acra says about Grace "she has always been on my mind, whether I do ball gowns or wedding dresses. Beauty, but always with a modern twist," Reem continued "I'm sure, if she was in my era, or her in mine, I could have dressed her. She would have been my muse."
Grace was honored in 2009 with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award in Beverly Hills, along with French jeweler Cartier.
Past honorees include Manolo Blahnik, Tom Ford, Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani.
Epitome Of American Beauty
Famous designer Tommy Hilfiger, who wrote the forward to 2007's tribute book "Grace Kelly: A Life in Pictures" (Pavilion), noted how Kelly's look in "High Society" broke her out from the pack, exemplified by a cinched-in white wedding dress with sheer, blouse sleeves.
He said "she really epitomized American beauty," said Hilfiger. "Her swimwear was amazing, but her dresses became iconic. She was not only royalty, but she was a mother, down-to-earth, athletic. She loved the outdoors. She had a lot of qualities women aspire to today."
Both Acra and Hilfiger pointed to Kelly's ability to look put-together without too much effort. That consistency, from a belted skirt suit in "Rear Window" to a simple, white strapless gown in "To Catch a Thief," shows her style staying power, they said.
Fashion Collections Channeling Grace Kelly
She sometimes showed a hint of attitude, too, added Acra, particularly in a three-quarter sleeve, off-white dress from "Rear Window." She wore it with a fur cape and black bag.
"Most of what she wore consisted of timeless classics. That's what we look at for inspiration throughout the years," said Hilfiger. "Many looks keep coming back to the runway. Her coat dresses, the way she wore prints, the way she wore ballgowns. Even her casual sportswear, wearing gingham, her country club looks."
Hilfinger's spring 2007 collection channeled Kelly with shift dresses paired with scarves.Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren are among the others to cite her as a fashion icon.
Acra, who boasts red-carpet credits on Angelina Jolie and Eva Longoria, among others, said she is working on a new Kelly-influenced collection, with dresses and gowns made out of tulle and organza in blush colors and ivory, accessorized by ribbons in green or taupe.
Inspiration For Mad Men's Betty Draper
Janie Bryant, costume designer for Emmy-winning AMC television show "Mad Men," gushed about Kelly's tea-length wedding gown in "High Society," and a later photo of her wearing a boucle suit, standing and watching her children at a swing set.
"It's so simply beautiful and haunting, in a way," said Bryant. "She does possess containment, but it's also propriety. ... It's also about the image of perfection and happiness. People look at her, and see that, whether it's true and not."
With the show set in the early '60s, Kelly was the primary influence for the character of Betty Draper, another lithe blonde with impeccably fitted garments. Kelly was a blend of frailty and femininity, Bryant said, but with a mysterious quality.
"She was one of the most elegant women in history," said Hilfiger. "A woman of class and grace, and on top of it, incredible style.
Red Carpet And Formal Hair Inspiration
Celebrity hairdresser Ken Paves has looked to the styles of Grace Kelly when designing some of the award winning Red Carpet hair he has created for his celeb clients such as Eva Longoria Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson.
Even so many years after her death, her blonde waves and perimeter curls continues to inspire hairstyle trends and will most likely continue to do so for many years to come.
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- Revised Date: 06/01/10