Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace, and New York plans to pay tribute with a series of events next month.
The many sides of the Philadelphia-born blonde — movie star, Princess of Monaco, style-setter, wife, mother and humanitarian — will be shown in remembrances, including Saks Fifth Avenue store windows, a Sotheby's exhibition, the annual Princess Grace Awards Gala, a Wynn Resorts-backed benefit casino night, radio interviews with her friends and never-before-seen photographs that will be published in Town & Country magazine. Estée Lauder is developing a limited edition lipstick in her honor that will be sold exclusively at Saks' flagship and online starting Oct. 15.
The gala, "Grace, Princess of Monaco: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly" is being organized by the Consulate General of Monaco, the Monaco Government Tourist Office here, Sotheby's, the Princely Palace and the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Visitors to the Sotheby's exhibition, which runs from Oct. 15 to 26, can eye dresses, jewelry, photographs, letters, video and other items that have not been on view outside of Monaco.
The Edith Head-designed blue satin column dress and cloak that the former Grace Kelly wore when she picked up the Best Actress Oscar at the 1955 Academy Awards, her engagement ring with the 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamond and a leather version of the rectangular crocodile Hermès bag she used to conceal her pregnancy in a 1958 edition of Life magazine — which inadvertently led to it being known as the Kelly Bag — will be exhibited in the Manhattan auction house. The show will be free and open to the public.
The princess has a special tie to Sotheby's vice chairman James Niven, whose father, the actor David Niven, befriended the young starlet during her Hollywood days. When James Niven was a young man living in France, Kelly took him under her wing and invited him to palace events. "The pieces selected for this exhibition highlight her great beauty and style, for which she is well-known, and her personal letters and correspondence show that she was open, friendly, interesting and had a great sense of humor," he said.
Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and her husband, Prince Ernst of Hanover, will be on hand Oct. 25, when Larry King emcees the Princess Grace Awards at Sotheby's. The previous evening the auction house will be transformed into a high-stakes casino to benefit the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Final bidding for the outfits, to be displayed in Saks' windows, will be held at that time.From Oct. 22 to 26, Saks will showcase Princess Grace-inspired outfits created by American designers, and window shoppers will be able to bid on the pieces through a silent auction. Others can get a taste for the principality by sampling Monégasque cuisine prepared in part by Sylvain Etievant of Hôtel de Paris' Le Grill restaurant.
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