Monday, 10 May 2010

Bottom drawer prize draw giveaway

Grace à

Okay, the times they are a changing - and today things ain't looking so good in the UK. I suggest you take a moment out to comment on this post - you may even win a copy of the 112 page hardback book, Grace Kelly Style.**

If you're going to be swayed by the media, why not escape into a fantasy world of free stuff that's fabulous, frivolous and fun? For the moment at least.

Grace Kelly was a fashion icon long before her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, so it’s hardly surprising there was such a lot of interest in her wedding trousseau and bridal wear. By the way, the word ‘trousseau’ derives from an old French word for ‘bundle’, though it’s a term familiar to many cultures. Throughout the ages, the trousseau has traditionally comprised of the articles assembled in preparation for a wedding, honeymoon and the initial months as a newlywed – things like clothing, accessories, jewellery, beautifying lotions, potions, bed-linen and so on.

Previously stored in chests of drawers, sometimes known as ‘hope chests’, the Victorians even created an event called the ‘trousseau tea’, where they showed off the crate loads of china, linens and silks that had been collected for the wedding party. (No such preparation for any potential union of UK political parties, of course).

By 1956, when Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco, trousseaux were generally much less extravagant. However, Grace Kelly’s wedding trousseau was certainly fit for a Princess, consisting of around forty day and evening outfits, including two Helen Rose-designed wedding gowns, and a dozen High Society film costumes, donated by MGM.

One doesn't often hear the ‘t’ word mentioned these days, (unless it stands for thong, perhaps), as pre-wedding shopping is more likely to mean sexy lingerie, stockings, suspenders and frilly garters. Nowadays, you can purchase these sorts of items online too: If you’re in search of unusual pieces for a wedding trousseau, ShopCurious has some curiously original accessories, though we prefer the more natural, old fashioned variety of wedding attire - and gifts with provenance, as well as purpose.

…And what about men? Isn’t the whole concept of the trousseau a tad sexist? I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas for unique pre-wedding gifts and examples of things you’ve purchased, or stashed away in anticipation of your impending nuptials. I reckon there must be some huge bottom drawers out there, full of curious bits and bobs that have been hoarded up, but never used.

Do you?

Win a copy of the book, pictured right.

Comment on this post within the next week or so, (with a link to your blog or profile so we can contact you if you win), to be entered into a prize draw for a copy of the book, Grace Kelly Style:

Published by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, to accompany the Grace Kelly Style Icon exhibition, this book, written by H Kristina Haughland, with an introduction by the curator, Jenny Lister is full of fabulous photographs of Grace Kelly as ‘The Actress’, ‘The Bride’ and ‘The Princess’.

(Closing date for entries Tuesday 18th May)


Make Do Style said...

Susan you spoil us! Of course Grace is the perfect antidote to it all!!
I'll mention this giveaway in my post tomorrow even though I've got my fingers crossed xx

Susan said...

Thanks so much - though no mention of your trousseau?! Can't wait to read your post.. x

Jan said...

Whenever I think of Grace it's always tinged with sadness, which is a shame.
Anyway, hope you had a good holiday (presuming you got back without incident)

Eri said...

Hi honey! Hope you are well... I am cool!
Count me in in this fantastic giveaway! Wow, great gist really... I still have to have a look at the V&A intend to go there soon.

Loads of love, hope to win! ;)

Leah said...

Love Grace! Such a stylish lady!

Cheslyn said...

Ahh,the appropriately named Grace. Thanks for the nostalgia and the respite from the Prime Minister's resignation, which is rather Grace-less!

Susan said...

Curiously graceless - or should that be tasteless?

Devon Dudgeon said...

Who wouldn't want to have Grace Kelly's style? I think I need a new wardrobe, but the book might have to substitute for now!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Wish I could be there, how the exhibition will make its way here!

Make Do Style said...

I swore at the age of 18 never to indulge in such things as trousseau when some girls confessed they were compiling theirs! I was revolted by the thought and have stayed true to my 18 yr old views!

Olivia said...

I absolutely love Grace Kelly. This is such a wonderful idea for a giveaway!

Jill said...

For my first wedding I wore my Mother's blue lace garter that she had worn at her wedding. It was just beautiful and fulfilled the borrowed and blue requirements. I purchased a similar one to use during the traditional "taking off the garter by the new husband and flinging it into the horny hands of his groomsmen". He flung my Mother's garter and the idiot friend who caught it almost refused to exchange it for the replacement garter. Men!

Hameeda Mangera Sidat said...

she was the epitome of style n new how to wear it n when......always an icon!!

HelsBells said...

Oh to be as graceful and stylish as Grace!

I'm so anti-trousseau that I won't even go to bridal showers because they're disgusting gift-grubbing, trousseau-building affairs.


Grace Kelly an eternal Princess of graceful timeless style. What Her Royal Highness Grace of Monaco inspires me at only age 17 to someday attain: sophisticated elegance.