THE 25th ANNIVERSARY PRINCESS GRACE AWARDS GALA The Princess Grace Foundation-USA had its 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala on Thursday, October 25th, last week, the culmination of the exhibition Grace, Princess of Kelly.
Hanover, H.E. Ambassador & Mrs. Gilles Noghes, Pamela Fiori, editor in chief of Town & Country, designers Ralph Rucci and Tommy Hilfiger, Lynn Wyatt, Phillip Bloch, Anne Randolph Hearst, Anne Hathaway, Renee Fleming, Amanda Hearst, Celeste Holm, Star Jones, Aerin Lauder, Chris Le Vine, Hon John F. Lehman, Robert O. Marx, Carolyn Murphy, Yves G. Piaget, Renny Reynolds, and Michael Smurfit
Past winners of the Award are eligible to win the coveted Princess Grace Statue, which was presented at this year’s Gala to Robert Battle for his accomplishments in dance and Michael John Garcés for his accomplishments in theater. The Award includes a $25,000 unrestricted cash gift and a special limited edition Bronze Statue of Princess Grace created by Monegasque artist Kees Verkade. Robert Battle received his original Princess Grace Award in 1993 as a student at The Juilliard School and is Artistic Director of his NYC dance company, Battleworks, which he founded in 2002. In 2005, Battle was honored as a Master of African American Choreography at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Michael John Garcés received his original Princess Grace Award in 1995 with INTAR Theatre and is the Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, CA. Garcés has been an award-winning freelance writer, director and performer for over sixteen years and is also a resident playwright at New Dramatists in NYC.
A highlight of the Gala included the sale of two one of a kind outfits worn by Princess Grace, with proceeds to benefit the Princess Grace Awards program of PGF-USA. William Doyle of Newbridge Silverware purchased both outfits for $355,000. The outfits were personally selected by Prince Albert and Princess Caroline and auctioned by long-time family friend and acclaimed Sotheby’s auctioneer, James G. Niven.
The first outfit was sold for $135,000 -- a Givenchy-designed sleeveless dress with matching fringed bolero jacket in vivid green worn on an official 1961 visit to the White House for lunch with President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy. This outfit was also worn on an official visit to her ancestral Ireland, accompanied by Prince Rainier, in June 1961 and was sold with a coordinating hat (also worn by Princess Grace but not the one accompanying the original outfit).
The second dress was sold for $220,000 -- the beautiful Helen Rose ball gown worn by a young Grace Kelly in the 1956 musical comedy, High Society. The layered gray-over-rose chiffon gown is appliquéd with rhinestones and pink and white embroidered flowers. Helen Rose was responsible for creating Princess Grace’s iconic wedding dress, a gift from MGM studios, as well as the suit she wore to her civil marriage ceremony and her costumes for the films Mogambo and The Swan.
This year’s 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala marked the jubilant culmination of the ten-day Grace, Princess of Monaco: The Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly exhibition (October 15 – 26) at Sotheby’s, presented by the Consulate General of Monaco and the Monaco Government Tourist Office in New York,