First up, TO CATCH A THIEF:
The 1955 classic Hitchcock film, based on the novel by David Dodge, is somewhat eerie in that the winding French Riviera roads where Francie Stevens (Grace Kelly) recklessly drives a convertible with a frightened John Robie (Cary Grant) in the passenger seat are the same roads where Grace Kelly also veered off the road & lost her life in 1982.
However, the movie itself is uplifting in its beauty, attention to detail & thrillingly suspenseful story (a tale you can literally watch over & over again & still be on the edge of your seat). Edith Head does the costumes and the mix between Grecian Goddess & princess of the Riviera that she achieves may well be a career highlight for a costume designer whose career was a series of costuming successes. Grace Kelly's own granddaughter, Princess Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco, already a fashion icon in her own right, recently paid tribute to her grandmother's costuming by wearing a blue dress to part of her Uncle's wedding celebrations that was reminiscent of the gown Francie Stevens is wearing the first time we are formally introduced to her in the film (we see her briefly on the beach prior to that introduction when she watches John Robie swim ashore on the beach outside the beach club at Cannes).
Costume Designer Edith Head
Grace Kelly as Francie Stevens in Blue Dress
Charlotte Casiraghi Channeling her Grandmother in To Catch a Thief in Giambattista Valli at her Uncle, Prince Albert's Wedding Celebrations
To Catch a Thief Barbie
The white dress Francie Stevens wears to a room service dinner where the dinner conversation is dripping with sexual innuendo far more seductive than the explicit sexuality typical of 21st century films is a dress that reflects the tone of the conversation. She is all in white,a regal gown that reaches the floor but the dress is strapless & reveals the diamond necklace (fake) that she hopes will lure John Robie into admitting his true identity & the fact that he has met his match. I often think that the dress in this scene has as much of an influence on contemporary wedding fashion (see every subpar strapless white gown flooding the market) as Grace Kelly's actual wedding dress (see Duchess of Cambridge/Ivanka Trump).
The White Dress
Seducing John Robie aka "The Cat" into..."Watching Fireworks"
Grace Kelly Real Life Wedding Dress (also "on location" in the South of France)
Duchess of Cambridge in a Grace Kelly-Inspired Wedding DressI am often inspired to give a modern spin to my favorite To Catch a Thief costumes:
Noticing a Theme?
Noticing a Theme?
Francie Meeting John for a Swim in the Mediterranean
Francie Watching the Fireworks with John
and the following as well:
Francie Walks Down the Hall Determined to Kiss John for the First Time
Above: The View of the Riviera for Francie & John's Picnic Lunch
Below: Two Movies & Two Separate Lessons in Chemistry
The Beach Club at Cannes is in fact the real life Carlton Hotel in Cannes, a location I happily visited two years ago on a day trip from my hostel in Nice. My traveling companions literally had to chase me down as I sprinted towards the scene of one of my top three favorite movies. Unfortunately, photographing the interior of the hotel is not permitted if you are a non-guest so I only have these pictures of the exterior until I can afford to upgrade from hostel to a hotel fit for a princess.
The Real Life Beach Club at Cannes: The Carlton Hotel in Cannes
More elements inspired by TO CATCH A THIEF:
KAFUMANFRANCO Gown Looks Similar to the Metallic of Francie's Costume at the Costume Ball with the Draping of the Blue Grecian Gown:
Looks Similar to John Robie's "I'm Just Your Average Retired Frenchman/Horticulturist" Look:
Looks similar to Francie's "You can have me and the necklace, have you ever had a better deal" look:
Victorias Secret Swimsuit
Karen Walker Tortoise Frames
Looks Similar to Francie's "Why are mysterious men who swim ashore from boats driven by teenage french girls the most intriguing type of man" look:
Signing off for now but surely the inspiration from My Favorite Jewel Thief/American Heiress love story will continue in later posts.
I leave you with one of my favorite images: