The (sex) life and (kinky) times of a ThirtySomething nymphet in London
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
12 steps to princess poise - the Grace Kelly way
My favourite ones being about men and marriage, of course!
Adapted from A Touch of Grace: How To Be A Princess, the Grace Kelly Way by Cindy De La Hoz:
Follow your dreams
Grace’s goal was to pursue a career in the performing arts. Her wealthy parents didn’t approve, but her ambition gave her a determination that they had never before seen in their daughter. When she graduated from high school in 1947, her parents insisted that she go on to some form of higher education. She auditioned for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York and was accepted.
Be prepared to change
At the AADA, Grace’s teachers noted that her voice was high and nasal. Determined to get rid of the unmistakable Philadelphian twang, she studied with voice coaches and listened to records until she achieved the unique Grace Kelly brand of perfect diction – a ‘near British’ lower, gentler register.
Stand on your own two feet
Grace could easily have used family connections to get ahead in her career, particularly when she was pounding the pavements of New York looking for stage work (she had two uncles who worked in theatre). ‘I knew if I started trading on the reputation of my uncles to get jobs, it was a sure way to win enemies and lose out in the theatre,’ she said. Grace worked on being worthy of distinction because of her achievements. To her, what you accomplish in life was far more important than who you are.
Although ecstatic about winning the Best Actress Oscar in 1955 for her performance in The Country Girl, she was also realistic about the transient quality of fame. ‘Next year, it will be somebody else… I’m delighted it’s me right now,’ she said. ‘Having won the Oscar puts you in a wonderful position. You get a better choice of roles. But it does put you up for more criticism. You’re judged more severely. The important thing is to just keep working.’
Don’t be a diva
A wardrobe woman who was interviewed on the set of one of Grace’s movies said, ‘She’s so nice, she doesn’t seem like other actresses. By that I mean that she’s undemanding. Most movie actresses get so accustomed to having things done for them – their hair combed, a chair reserved, a wrap delivered – that they expect people to jump at their slightest desire. Not Grace Kelly. She never asks anyone to do anything she can do for herself.’
Find a signature style and stick to it
Grace had an instinct for fashion and knew what looked good on her. Her signature accessories are still the hallmarks of class today. She wore pearl necklaces, usually a single-strand choker, white gloves of every length, large sunglasses and hats that complemented her outfits rather than competed with them. In 1956 she began to be seen toting a structured Hermès crocodile handbag at all times. The Kelly bag has been a fashion staple ever since.
Don’t try too hard
Her casual style – sophisticated, yet unpretentious – still looks good today. She wore flat shoes, capri pants, jeans and classic men’s shirts. The fact that Grace didn’t take her role as a style icon too seriously was part of her appeal. Her look seemed to say ‘less is more’. In the mid-1950s, as she began winning fashion awards and being named on best-dressed lists, she couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about.
Be a savvy shopper
Before buying new clothes, Grace, who was famously frugal, had to feel that they would last for years – she simply never threw things away. Accessories were the only fashion items on which she was known to splurge – occasionally. ‘I just buy clothes when they take my eye, and I wear them for years,’ she said.
Grace was well known for keeping up correspondence with those she cared about. From a note to a former co-star on her birthday to a message of congratulations to her brother or a thank-you message for a gift, Grace’s personal notes were a mark of her loyalty and thoughtfulness. ‘All my friends go back a long time, further back than Hollywood,’ she said. She also faithfully made her way back to Philadelphia for events such as family weddings.
Make him do the running
Fashion designer Oleg Cassini became fascinated by Grace and was determined to win her affections. When she went to France to film To Catch a Thief, she sent him a note which said, ‘Those who love me, follow me.’ He promptly did so, and they spent a lovely vacation together during which they became engaged, although the relationship didn’t last. Grace was truly charmed by Oleg and basked in the glow of his devotion – but his love for her was greater than hers for him.
Know how to choose the right man
In her personal and professional life, Grace tended to be most devoted to strong men with dominant personalities. She wanted someone who would not be overshadowed by her. ‘I have never wanted to marry a man who would have allowed himself to become Mr Kelly,’ she said.
Don’t be afraid of love
Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco had spent fewer than 24 hours in each other’s company before deciding to marry. ‘It seemed right and it felt right, and that was the way I wanted it. I knew that I was going to do it, and even if there was a chance I was making a mistake, I would find out later. Right then and there, nothing mattered to me except staying together,’ she said.
Adapted from A Touch of Grace: How To Be A Princess, the Grace Kelly Way by Cindy De La Hoz