Tag Archives: Grace Kelly


The Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses

Toronto might have a shoe museum, but Amsterdam has a little museum dedicated entirely to handbags. The Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses is a must-see for anyone who is interested in fashion history or hoards all of the latest it-bags.

It houses the world’s largest collection of bags – with 4000 pieces. But even if bags aren’t your thing, you can enjoy the stunning decor of this updated canal house originally built in 1664.

I fell in love with many pieces, and my camera phone went a little bit nuts taking pictures of the collections.

A silk-embroidered clutch from the early 1920s.

This shell and enamel handbag from the height of the Art Deco era was stunning. It was my favourite piece in the museum by far.

The leopard skin bag (1940s), sunnies, scarf and Schiaperelli catalogue epitomize an era of glamour and luxury.

I would die for this set of travelling luggage.

They had many vintage exotic bags, including the armadillo above.

Of course, they had to have one of the most famous (and probably the first) it-bag. The Hermes Kelly. This one was in immaculate condition!

The museum had a lot of quirky and unusual character bags. I love this Moschino tote!

And of course, there were a couple items for the cat lady in every woman.

This Judith Leiber crystal bag was named “Socks” after President Clinton’s cat.

This is the Judith Leiber cupcake bag Charlotte’s daughter Lilly wore in the Sex and the City movie. I was obsessed with the handbag, and found a cupcake for prom.

Another Leiber creation. I love this Diet Coke can, it is an ironic statement of capitalism and our society’s obsession with being thin.

This was a stunning expression of nature. I think it’s so creative.

The museum had an excellent permanent collection of bags from the 18th and 19th Century, right when the handbag started to emerge as a functional status symbol. The curation was excellent and profiled the progression of the handbag and categorized them according to material. From tortoiseshell to ivory to lace, these historical handbags are truly timeless.

This beaded bag was hand-knitted. In the 19th Century, beaded bags were a symbol of wealth, until weaving techniques allowed them to be manufactured on a mass scale in Czech Republic and Germany, using beautiful Bavarian crystal beads.

The museum had a little section devoted to Free Masons. Strangely, the descriptive poster was gone – the society must be behind this mystery!

These mother-of-pearl, shell, acetate and plastic bags were all so beautiful. I can picture them slung on the wrist of a beautiful 50’s housewife.

Dutch designs depicting Amsterdam and Paris.

Minimalism. Issey Miyake’s corrugated tote from 2010.

One of my dreams is to own a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. The wear of the canvas are memories of life, travel and love.

This post was so long, but I had to share my favourite pieces and my experience. I easily got lost in this wonderful little museum… It was definitely my dream accessory closet.


Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess

Yesterday, I had the chance to catch TIFF Bell Lightbox’s exhibition, “Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess”. In honour of the event (and outing), I wore this look inspired by Grace Kelly herself.

I wore a pale blue dress from Forever XXI, a cognac Kelly bag and a vintage leopard topper. I think the colour of my dress echoes Kelly’s cool, composed elegance and the bag is one of her signatures! At the exhibition, I got a chance to see the sac à dépêches Kelly herself toted on her white gloved arm.

The whole city has been taken over by posters of the image behind me. I tried to mirror her pose in this picture. I think it’s funny how are dresses are similar yet very different at the same time. The dress was designed by Edith Head, who designed the costumes in the film that won her the gold statuette, Country Girl.  To be honest, I was very disappointed with the dress in real life. Pictures always make the colour out to be a gorgeous pale greyish turquoise, but the actual colour is more of a muted green-gray. The dress kind of lost its mystique to me, and I wish TIFF displayed it better as well.

Kelly was known for her elegant, ladylike style, and I channelled that with this leopard cropped jacket. While the Princess might have been privvy to mink, I brought the silhouette into modern times with a punchy leopard print and oversized buttons.

Naturally, I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, and tried to take some at the stop and repeat on the way out, but was accosted by nosy volunteers! I tried to tell them that everyone was taking pictures on this wall, but I was out of luck that day… It’s fun to see all of her magazine covers and how Kelly was revered as a symbol of beauty and talent.

The fashion at the exhibition was extensive, they had many garments chronicling her rise as an actress to a Princess.  My favourite was undoubtedly the replica of her Helen Rose wedding gown.  While it was only a replica (the real one is definitely locked away in the Grimaldi forum), it was captivating! I found it interesting how the costume team at MGM was behind her gown, and that it only took six weeks to create! (While it took the team at McQueen six months to create a bad copy of Kelly’s original).

The exhibit closes this Sunday, January 22, so if you’re a member (you get in free), or a fan of the American Princess, it’s a must see! Don’t expect endless hours spent admiring articles and artifacts, but a true fan would be delighted to be in the presence of her beautiful things.

”If there is one thing that is foreign to me it is shopping for pleasure. On the other hand, I believe that it is right to honor all those who create beautiful things and give satisfaction to those who see me wearing them.” – Grace Kelly


Grace Kelly

I have been dying to see TIFF’s newest exhibition, Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess.  They recently held a contest to win two tickets to a Michael Kors fashion show in NYC! I decided to enter the style challenge to embody Grace Kelly’s style.

This look is Grace-inspired because it emulates her timeless elegance.  My dress is by Breeyn McCarney.  I fell in love with it when I saw it on her blog, it’s part of her line, Another Word for Pink. This frock takes the classic new look silhouette of the 1950s, but it is updated with a modern, sustainable fabric.  I love the way the fabric is translucent and is as light as air.  When you wear it over a slip, I feel like it’s a cotton candy striped cloud.

Grace was known for wearing feminine white gloves with her outfits, and I borrowed a vintage pair from my grandmother, who probably wore them when Grace was a rising star. A vintage mink stole helps complete the regal look.

I’m wearing a demure pair of pumps by Salvatore Ferragamo.  A low heel is so elegant, feminine, and a lot more comfortable.  I’d love to see people finally give up their platforms.

But the piece that ties everything together is my Kelly bag. Even today, fashion’s elite tote the iconic bag named after a princess on the crooks of their arms.

There are plenty of gorgeous entries in the contest, but to help draw attention to my style and Breeyn’s dress, please like and comment on my entry here.

I try to be like Grace Kelly…

In honour of the exhibition, Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess at TIFF, here are some items to help you pull off the Grace Kelly look.

The Women’s Post is giving away both the necklace and tickets to the exhibition so be sure to enter before time runs out!

Stellfox Shopper Bag
The Hermes Kelly bag is one of the most iconic handbags of all time. Channel the bag that was named after a Princess for a lot less!  This leather handbag features a croc-embossed texture and a rich cherry red colour that’s perfect for the holidays.  The top zip closure is pracitcal and makes it easy to grab your cellphone while it’s still ringing.  The gold padlock ads a signature touch to this chic bag that can go from day to evening.  Until you save up enough money for a real Kelly, this one will make you look like a jet-setting Princess in a pinch!
Find it at Asos.

Matte Finish Shortie Beaded Gloves
As a Princess, Grace Kelly always wore white gloves when she went out to events.  White gloves add a touch of retro elegance to a cockail dress or swing coat, while keeping your hands warm and protected.  The pearl beading on this pair is a beautiful detail.  White gloves can be found at vintage stores or costume shops, but a quality pair made of cashmere or silk will be an heirloom passed down for generations to come.
Find it at Great Gloves Online.

Luminiferous Necklace
Kelly was known for her love of elegant jewelery that complimented her ladylike style.  This necklace is a gorgeous modern twist on a classic multi-strand pearl necklace.  Designed by Darlene Martin, the piece is part of The Shine Collection. Made by hand, her jewelry is created from an array of Swarovski® crystals, sterling silver, imported glass beads from Japan and the Czech Republic, the finest quality lava, and pyrite semi-precious gemstones.  Women’s Post has teamed up with Darlene Martin to offer one lucky reader a Luminiferous necklace of her very own.
Enter the contest here.

Embellished Woven Organza Dress
This dress by Lela Rose takes a classic silhouette of the 1950s and brings it into modern times with the deconstructed asymmetrical skirt and unfinished edges.  Featuring a crystal beaded belt, the dress has beautiful details without overpowering the wearer.  Kelly was a fashion icon, and the elegant cocktail dresses she wore are still chic today, and this pale blue number echoes her Princess style.
Find it at Net-a-porter.