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Philadelphia Style Icon Grace Kelly Gets a Close-Up at Drexel’s “Style Saturday”


Clare Sauro, curator of Drexel's Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, stands next to a Givenchy dress worn by Grace Kelly

PHILADELPHIA, April 17, 2014

Beloved Philadelphia native and fashion icon Grace Kelly’s star-powered style will captivate audiences once again on Mother’s Day weekend at Drexel University’s “Style Saturday” event, hosted by the recently renamed Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection.

An Academy Award-winning actress and wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Kelly had impeccable, elegant style with timeless appeal that defined the 1950’s and continues to inspire the fashion world today.

Grace Kelly was an American film actress and wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco“Grace Kelly: Icon of Beauty and Style” is the third installment in a series of quarterly events which include an educational seminar on a particular aspect of fashion history and a specialized viewing of the collection. The event will include an exclusive look at the coral-encrusted couture gown worn by Kelly – then Princess Grace of Monaco – in 1965, as well as designer fashions of the 1950s and 1960s that exemplify the “Grace Kelly look.”

The event will take place on Saturday, May 10 from 9:45 a.m.1 p.m. in the URBN Center (3501 Market St.). It includes a presentation by the collection’s curator Clare Sauro, coffee and light refreshments and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the collection. Sauro presented an earlier version of this lecture at the Drexel Alumni Association in Jan.

Tickets are $50, and can be purchased here or by calling 215-571-3504. Space is limited. All proceeds will benefit the Fox Historic Costume Collection.

A coral-encrusted couture gown, worn by Grace Kelly in 1965, which is now in Drexel's collection. Housed in Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, the Fox Historic Costume Collection is a museum-quality collection of more than 12,000 garments, textiles and accessories spanning more than 200 years. It was previously open to the public by appointment only. The first "Style Saturday" event, held in Oct. 2013, explored the history of 1920’s fashion, and the second event in March 2014 focused on floral motifs in fashion.

The Fox Historic Costume Collection is one of the oldest teaching collections in the United States. The oldest documented objects are a man’s waistcoat dating from the 1750s and a group of 16th century velvets. The internationally recognized collection has lent objects to exhibitions in Paris and Milan.

University founder A.J. Drexel formed the Drexel Collection, out of which the Fox Historic Costume Collection was later formed, in the late 1890s to serve as an educational resource for the students. Through the remarkable generosity of donors, the collection has become one of the finest research collections in the United States. The mission of the collection is to educate and inspire, while providing a significant resource for an ever-expanding community of historians, scholars, artists and designers.

In January 2013, the collection was relocated into new facilities in the Westphal College’s new URBN Center, which has greatly improved the accessibility and visibility of the collection while preserving the collection for future generations of researchers and admirers.

 

Sauro, curator of the collection, joined Drexel in 2008 and has more than 15 years of experience in the field of historic costume and museum environments. She previously served as an associate curator for the historic collection at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. During her tenure at Drexel, Sauro has contributed to the exhibitions “Rest Your Feet” (2008) and “A Legacy of Art, Science & Industry: Highlights from the Collections” (2013.) In 2011, she curated the exhibition “Brave New World: Fashion & Freedom, 1911-1919,” in conjunction with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA.)  

Sauro is a frequent lecturer on the history of fashion and research collections and is regularly interviewed and consulted by journalists and scholars. In addition to her role as curator, she teaches courses in the history of fashion to students in Drexel’s nationally ranked fashion program. Sauro’s current research includes fashion from 1919 to 1939, and the role of the artifact in education.

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Alex McKechnie

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