Thursday 17 April 2014

Irish firm pays €246,000 for iconic Grace Kelly dresses

This chiffon ballgown, modelled yesterday in Dublin by Aisling Crowley, was worn by Grace Kelly in the movie High Society in 1956

<>The Hollywood star, who married Prince Rainier was killed in a car accident in 1982

Fergus Black

an Irish company has just forked out $355,000 (€246,000) at a New York auction for two dresses worn by Hollywood icon Grace Kelly.

Newbridge Silverware, more renowned for its classic tableware and jewellery products, has just added another two items to its own special collection in its museum of style icons, which opened earlier this year.

One of the outfits bought by the Co Kildare company for $135,000 is a vivid green Givenchy-designed sleeveless dress with matching fringed bolero jacket worn by Princess Grace during her first visit to her ancestral Ireland more than 47 years ago, and during an official visit to the White House for lunch with President Kennedy in 1961.

Also snapped up by the company for $220,000 was a Helen Rose-designed layered chiffon ball gown with rhinestones and pink and white embroidered flowers which was worn by a young Grace Kelly in the 1956 musical 'High Society'.

The Hollywood star, who married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956, was killed in a car accident in Monaco in 1982.

Both her outfits went under the hammer at a Sotheby's action in New York with the proceeds going to the Princess Grace Foundation in the US and they will now go on display in the company's museum of style icons in Newbridge.

The classy outfits were showcased yesterday in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier stayed and where a suite is named after the princess.

Company CEO William Doyle yesterday described Princess Grace as the "epitome" of feminine style and elegance.

"Grace Kelly was indeed a true princess and we are honoured to showcase these very special garments within our museum of style icons," he said.

The museum contains a huge collection of garments worn by icons of the silver screen.

A recent addition was the hot pink cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie, 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' for $160,000.

Other acquisitions include a vintage Giorgio Armani suit worn by actress Susan Sarandon in 'Elizabethtown' and a two-piece costume worn by Barbra Streisand in 'Funnygirl', the sleeveless gown worn by Julie Andrews in 'Star' and shoes worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in 'Failure to Launch'.

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