The Pringle of Scotland team and Central Saint Martins students have been frequenting the 6am flight to Monaco over the last few months in order to learn about Grace Kelly, the Hollywood actress, the style icon, the mother and the Princess.
The eventual outcome of this collaboration (part of a long-term partnership) is to create a capsule knitwear collection for Pringle inspired by the at-home, day-to-day style of Princess Grace. But because it’s Pringle of Scotland, and because it’s Saint Martins, of course there is much more to it creatively than that. Last month, the BA Fashion History & Theory students, the most assured and capable bunch of 20-something-year-olds you’ve ever met, erected a small but perfectly formed exhibition at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. With guidance from the museum director, fashion and art royalty herself, Marie-Claude Beaud, and their course tutor Alistair O’Neill, the students produced a delicate and revealing portrait of the Princess and her royal family life. Granted access to the palace archives and Princess Grace’s wardrobe by her eldest daughter Princess Caroline, the exhibition focuses on Grace’s hobbies like flower arranging and interior design as well as her style, from headwear to eyewear via knitwear. In the archives, they found family photographs, press cuttings and home videos, which, although royal, are just as normal looking as normal people’s home videos, with scenes of family holidays and home-made theatre performances guest starring the family dog. Except of course everything looks better and more vivid, on Super 8. The exhibition title ‘More than an image’ is about converting the public image of Princess Grace: movie star, fairytale Princess, into the real woman; from pretty picture to personality. The BA students have now handed the baton to the MA Fashion Design students, who, under the direction of Professor Louise Wilson OBE, are currently working on their designs for the collection.
i-D online were invited to attend the exhibition opening in Monaco with Princess Caroline. In two (of four) films, we speak to Marie-Claude, Alistair O’Neill, Professor Louise Wilson and those assured capable students about the origins and outcomes and angle our camera around the exhibition to deliver you a virtual tour, because Monaco is relatively far to go.
‘Princess Grace: More than an image’ at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco is open to the public until 20th May 2012.