Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To Catch a Prince Grace Kelly Costume Barbie Princess

The Bride, The Movie Star: Grace Kelly Costume Mattel Barbie Doll :

May 1955, Grace Kelly was working on the Alfred Hitchcock movie To Catch a Thief with her costar, Cary Grant. She visited Prince Rainier at his palace in Monaco.
Mattel Grace Kelly
The Romance Silkstone
Barbie Gift Set

The Barbie Doll, Barbara Millicent Roberts, made her debut on March 9, 1959. There is, however a debate about Barbie's birthdate. *More about this below. The Ken Doll, Barbie's boyfriend, was introduced in 1961.

The 60th anniversary of the film is fast approaching. Interest in the film, any of Mr. Hitchcock's films, and of course in the legendary Princess Grace, never wanes. Do you remember where you were when you first saw the film? When you saw the wedding?

This collectible doll wears a gorgeous floral print dress just like the one Miss Kelly wore when she first met her future husband.

Mattel tells us that the dress was from an "easy to sew" pattern the actress modeled for McCall's magazine.

Many of Grace Kelly's signature dresses had a similar simple and very attractive silhouette. This dress features details taken from the actual dress she wore, including a fitted bodice and full skirt that flares out.

As is customary with Mattel's best Barbie dolls, she's further styled as Miss Kelly was on that romantic day. Her hair is just right, her headpiece and navy pumps are just as Grace wore herself. A true lesson in couture, in that 1950s to 1960s, fashion through the decades, costume. How fun this doll will be.

Sometimes we can't afford actual movie memorabilia, actual costumes or props. Maybe we want to add to a collection. I like finding something like this that's pretty and movie-related and will fit in a small space. 

Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer III of Monaco on April 19, 1956. Their civil ceremony had been held the previous day.

Another Silkstone Collector Barbie, this doll wears a special replica gown just like the one Grace wore on her wedding day. Details of the real wedding are there:

She carries a small ivory prayer book, the bouquet. Collectors of film memorabilia or bride dolls will both adore this beautiful item. She will be passed down.

There are more pieces of clothing with this doll. A now iconic deep navy blue coat and dress, white, wide-brimmed hat and matching scarf that so many fans saw on theater newsreels, the outfit that Miss Kelly wore as she arrived in Monaco for her wedding to the Prince.

As you'll notice in one of the videos, as she gets off of the boat, she is carrying Oliver, the poodle given to her as a gift from her friend, Cary Grant. The Prince picks up the leash as they get into the car.

The doll is sculpted in Grace Kelly's likeness. Silkstone body. Silkstone, popular among collectors and used for many fashion and celebrity dolls, is made of a very hard plastic that is intended to mimic porcelain. She's a doll to build a dream on.

A crossover collectible as film, celebrity, history and fashion collectors just as a start would love to have her Grace their shelves.

Grace of Monaco, 2014. A film starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III, Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Alfred Hitchcock.

To Catch a Thief, 1955 Trailer, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Jessie Royce Landis. Alfred Hitchcock, director.

Grace Kelly arrives in Monaco, you see the famous hat and coat. She gets off the boat carrying the poodle given to her by Cary Grant. The prince kindly picks up the end of the leash as Grace gets into the car appx 3:10 on video

Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum pays homage to the style of Grace Kelly throughout her life and in her films. (Exhibit has now closed.)

Barbie Collector To Catch A Thief Grace Kelly Doll
It was during the filming of To Catch a Thief that Kelly would meet her prince, her future husband. 

The Academy Award winning fashion designer Edith Head created Kelly's clothes for the film.

Madame Alexander 16" Jet Set Chic Grace Kelly Doll

How many people knew that Madame Alexander created Grace Kelly dolls? She has different styles, all lovely. 

This is part of the 2009 Grace Kelly Couture Collection.

The Barbie Hollywood Legends Collection
Of course there is the premiere piece, the Jean Harlow FAO Schwarz Silver Screen Barbie Doll By Mattel Exclusive Limited Edition. This one I have featured in my review of the film Reckless. (link below)

Just a sampling of others.... The 1994 introductions to the Hollywood Legends collection were Barbie as Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind in the Green Drapery and Red dresses. Perfect for this 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind. 1995 saw more Scarlett O'Hara dolls and the addition of Barbie Doll as Maria in The Sound of Music and Barbie as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, a film also having its 75th anniversary in 2014. 

I'll never forget the amazing Lady Gaga's musical tribute to Julie Andrews and  The Sound of Music at the Academy Awards in 2015.

You'll find James Dean in his famous jacket and jeans from Rebel Without a Cause. There are two Rhett Butler figures. That makes an actor, a costume or a star iconic? There are characters such as the witch from The Wizard of Oz are represented, and Ken as the Tin Man is a favorite. They're characters we can share with generations.

Debate over Barbie's Birth Date: Toy Fair 1959 March vs February

There has been debate as to the date of Barbie's debut.

Some said the doll first went on sale February 13, 1959. Some say Barbara Millicent Roberts made her premiere on March 9, 1959. In either case, what I usually see both times with a claim that it was at the New York Toy Fair.

Going back a few years, the Toy Fair appears to have been held the second week of February. The people at Mattel and Barbie collectors celebrate her birth date as March 9, 1959.

Doesn't seem realistic that the New York Toy Fair of 1959 went on from February 13 - March 9, nearly a month.

A possible answer comes from a sort of contemporary of Barbie and Ken, GI Joe. He turned 50 in 2014.

With G.I. Joe, too there was some controversy as to whether the action figure was introduced in February or March of 1964 at the Toy Fair.

Apparently Hasbro said it was February but fair organizers say it was held in March that year. This was quoted on several blogs and news sources February 2014. No actual quote has been found to date.

If it's true, that could mean that when Barbie was introduced, the New York Toy Fair was held in March in the 1950s and 1960s and the date she went on sale, the date of her premiere could in fact be March 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair.

The fair has been going on since about 1903. A history was not very apparent on the web site of The American International Toy Fair. Will check again because it would have some great images.

Related Pages of Interest:

Jean Harlow is Reckless 1935 : Harlow was a Living Doll, First of the Barbie Hollywood Legends Collection

Oliver, a poodle fit for a princess, Cary Grant's wedding gift to Grace Kelly

Wedding Bridal museum shows

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