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May 23 2010

Weekend Review: Grace Kelly, Princesses And Elephants

Busy weekend with cultural stops across London and a lot of Elephant stalking. As my mum was in town it was the perfect excuse to take in a few exhibition. First up was the Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibit at the V&A, followed by the Enchanted Palace aka Kensington Palace, and in between tales of the Elephant Parade, cream tea at Selfridges and a cute buy from Uniqlo.

Grace Kelly: A Style Icon

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This exhibition was always going to need to do a lot to impress me – as I loved Grace Kelly in movies High Society and Rear Window. To me she is one of the true style icons of the great Hollywood era. I have to admit I was a little disappointed, I loved what was there – but for me there just wasn’t enough.

I liked the fact that they broke her wardrobe into three sections, The Actress, The Bride and The Princess, which made for a great time line of her style. The Actress focuses on her work from the ’50s, The Bride centers from when she met Prince Rainier of Monaco until their marriage in 1965, and The Princess showcases her exquisite taste thereafter. But I left feeling like I wanted more.

What I did like was the fact that it wasn’t just her love of Dior, Chanel and Givenchy that were on show, there were also outfits designed by her costume designers off High Society, Helen Rose and Rear Window, Edith Head.

When I expressed on Twitter my disappointment I was greeted by very strong views, of course many people loved this collection of her outfits as it is nice to see inside such an icons wardrobe, and don’t get me wrong I will recommend everyone to see it as her dresses are amazing, but even when you enjoy something you can still be disappointed.

It was nice to gain an insight into what clothes she liked, her love for draped, flowing chiffon gowns were evident throughout the three main areas. There was also her famous Hermes ‘Kelly’ bag from 1955, and one of my favourite sections were her sunglasses and brooches.

If you love Grace Kelly, clothes, and old Hollywood glamour then I would say check it out, the exhibition runs at London’s Victoria & Albert until September 26. I would also suggest that you book in advance as it was packed. Check out more information on the V&A website.

Enchanted Palace

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this temporary exhibition at Kensington Palace as it has basically been put together while they undertake a £12m renovation of the palace. To be honest I was very pleasantly surprised they’ve created a wonderful installation using the best in fashion, design and performance and challenged visitors to find the seven princesses who one lived inside its walls.

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I had such fun, even as an adult it is good to use your imagination once in a while and this exhibit certainly does that. There were so many highlights, like Princess Margaret’s dress (above), to the gorgeous Vivienne Westwood creation to represent the story of Princess Charlotte (below).

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What I loved was the interpretation of the palace’s hidden stories, from the rebellious princess who ran away, to the sad queens who lost babies and the young heir who escaped her overprotective mother.

For some this experience was too much I think some just remember that it was Diana’s home for so long, and they expected that this would be a tribute to her. If that’s what you’re expecting please don’t go as you’ll be disappointed – this exhibition was full of drama, cultural poet, interaction and some gorgeous designs. Full marks to the Royal Palaces for commissioning such a beautifully imaginative concept.

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This dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales is displayed in the finale room of the tour, the Room of Dancing Princesses. A gorgeous end to such a sublime experience. The Enchanted Palace runs until August 20, find out more at the Kensington Palace website.

Elephant Parade

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Pic: Ziggy by Matthew Williams (in Selfridges)

This is kind of one of my obsessions at the moment, The Elephant Parade. There are 250+ life sized baby elephants painted by established and emerging talent from the art and design world, a few fashion designers and celebrities, and they are all dotted across London until late June.

So when I say I saw 19 in a day I feel like this was an achievement!! It was fun finding them, photographing them, not quite understand them, getting frustrated with people sitting on them, perching on them for a cigarette and even doing the annoying I need to be in every picture I take. To display all 19 on this blog would be OTT even for me, so here are my favs and I will posted all of them on my flickr *as soon as I figure that out*.

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Pic: Little Moo by Turdsak Pironkraipak

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Pic: Heaven's Haathi by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosia

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Pic : Seymour by Emma Elizabeth Kemp

If you spy any of them roaming the streets of London do me a favour and tweet me a picture @fashionnbarbie. I’ll be very grateful.

Find out more about the Elephant Parade at their website, and if you find one you love and need in your life they’re auction them all off for charity or you can buy mini replicates at their shop.

Finale

To top off the day Mum and I had a very nice cream tea in Selfridges Yellow Cafe, anyone done with shopping on Oxford Street such check out this gem of a cafe on LG. It does the most superb cakes, and a divine cream tea – the fruit scone were perfection.

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The day wasn’t really about shopping, but I couldn’t resist this Runaway tee, £12.99, from the Agyness and Emily Deyn collection for Uniqlo – perfect to team with leggings.

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Pic: Uniqlo

Such a good weekend!!

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