Grace Kelly was born in a super sportive family. Her father John B. Kelly Sr. won three Olympic gold medals for sculling, and her mother Margaret Majer had taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and had been the first woman to coach women's athletics at Pennsylvania. Although she was shy and bookish as a child, she could not avoid being physically active with her close-knit family, including spending time with them on the beach in swimwear.
As she grew into a teenager, Grace Kelly started to show her preferences of halter necked swimsuit with simple cut, and her love of this particular neckline would remain with her.
At the early stage of her career as an actress, Grace Kelly had been put into those satiny and ruffled swimsuits which did not suit her. As she quickly lost her baby cheek, rised speedily into stardom, Grace Kelly became more assertive about what kinds of swimsuits she would wear on screen, and her clean cut halter neck swim-wears in mat finished fabric were back, and the most unforgettable creations in such styles must be Grace Kelly two swimsuits she wore in To Catch a Thief)(1956), one in canary yellow, one in pitchy black, which showcased her uttermost sophistication and elegance as a rich American socialite.
Then suddenly, everything changed drastically. Grace Kelly bid farewell to Hollywood and became bride of Monaco. As the princess of a principality living in a palace, she had to live with new life code, more private in some ways and more public in other ways.
And publicly and privately, Grace Kelly became mother, and she started to age, her body became heavier, and she was seldom seen in a halter neck swimsuit anymore.
Grace Kelly square neck floral dress by McCall on her first meeting with Prince Rainier III in Monaco in 1955
In early May, Grace Kelly went to Cannes France for the 8th Cannes Festival, the editor of Paris Match Pierre Galante, then husband of American actress Olivia de Havilland, suggested that Grace Kelly have a photo shoot in the Prince's Palace of Monaco(Palais princier, Monaco) then a meeting with Prince Rainier III. Grace Kelly was reluctant at the beginning, but she decided to say yes.
On 6 May 1955, after some difficult start and the late arrival of Prince Rainier of Monaco, Grace Kelly finally met him, they took a walk around in the palace, then Grace Kelly left for her other engagement.
For the meeting, Grace Kelly wore a square necked floral dress with long sleeves and drop waist.
About 7 month later in January 1956, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco announced their engagement publicly, and three months after the engagement, on 19 April 1956, the couple were married in St. Nicolas Cathedral, Monaco.
The floral dress Grace Kelly wore on 6 May 1955 thus became the most symbolic dress in connection with her future as Princess of Monaco.
It is a taffeta dress of long sleeves with floral print, featuring square neckline and drop waist, it was designed by McCall Patterns for Grace Kelly, who appeared on the company's Spring patternbook of 1955.
Whether sleeveless or long sleeved, black, or white, or cream colored, Grace Kelly knows how to wear her turtleneck sweaters. She wears it alone, inside an open jacket or a loose fit sweater, letting the turtleneck in solid color framing her delicate face features and slim body. No embellishments, just solid color and simple silhouettes.
Her favorite turtleneck sweater is the Aran turtleneck, the Irish turtleneck sweater with intricate cable knit originally made for sheep farmers and fishermen. She wears it for boating in summer, and skiing in winter, pairing with a pair of fitting tapered pants. For those sheep farmers and fishermen living on the small islands of
Calway Bay on Ireland's west coast, where the Aran sweater came from, Grace Kelly in their sweater must look like a goddess wearing their creations, blessing their livelihood, which she did. Grace Kelly, as well as Alain Delon, makes Aran turtleneck sweater a staple in the wardrobes of those style conscious people all around the world, even decades later.