Edith Head and Grace Kelly  Rear Window, 1954
Edith Head and Grace Kelly Rear Window, 1954

Edith Head and Grace Kelly Rear Window, 1954
A watercolour and pencil costume sketch of Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont in the Paramount film Rear Window, 1954, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the sketch showing Hitchcock's vision of a black and white evening gown worn by Grace Kelly in her opening scene, the outfit shown at two different angles, titled in pencil Grace Kelly and signed Edith Head, ink-stamped on the verso Paramount Pictures Corporation -- 20x15in. (51x38.5cm.), framed; accompanied by a black and white film still [printed later] and a publicity photograph of Grace Kelly wearing this costume (3)
SPOTO, Donald High Society; The Life Of Grace Kelly, New York: Harmony Books, 2009, pp.124-127
SPOTO, Donald The Arts of Alfred Hitchcock, Fity Years of His Motion Pictures, New York: Dolphine Boook, 1979, pp.237-249
SPOTO, Donald Spellbound By Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock And His Leading Ladies, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008, pp.211-213
HAUGLAND, H. Kristing Grace Kelly Style, the Actress, Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue, 2010, pp.8

Lot Essay

Alfred Hitchcock had definite ideas as to how Grace Kelly would be dressed as his leading lady in Rear Window. He envisaged each costume to inevitably aid the development of Kelly's character to the audience, add to the conflict within the film and assist in advancing the narrative. Hitchcock noted his stipulations for each of the five costumes Kelly should wear in the script. Edith Head recalled There was a reason for every colour Grace wore, every style, and he was absolutely certain about everything...Hitch [sic] wanted her to appear like a piece of Dresden china, something slightly untouchable.
Edith Head and Grace Kelly worked closely together to create the costumes Hitchcock desired. Aided by Grace Kelly's beauty, understated glamour and modelling experience, it is perceived that these costumes are some of the most elegant that Edith Head designed. An example of this is visible in Grace Kelly's entrance in the film. To emphasise Kelly's introduction to the audience she wears a three quarter length evening gown comprising a black v-neck top and full white skirt embellished with black beading, identifying the character's love of fashion and affluent social status. Assisting Edith Head with the sketching of the costume designs was Grace Sprague, who was brought in from New York specifically to work on Rear Window.

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