At the Movies + Bonus

To be honest, I was going to write about a different movie today to kick off the Oscar season, but a little discovery caused me to change my mind (more on that in a bit). Today’s film is a classic Hitchcock that I’m sure most readers have seen. If by some chance this film has eluded you all these years, please make sure to add it to your Netflix list immediately.

Rear Window with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart

Rear Window showcases Hitchcock’s uncanny ability to focus on our human foibles and make them not only entertaining but suspenseful. Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. Jeffries, a photographer, wheelchair bound from a job related accident. Confined to his NYC apartment, he passes the time peering into his neighbors’ homes with his binoculars.

Through Jeffries’ voyeurism, we get slice-of-life glimpses into the lives of those living across the courtyard – a young dancer (Miss Torso), above, a struggling composer, young newlyweds and “Miss Lonelyhearts,” for example. Add to this a wise-cracking Thelma Ritter as his visiting nurse, Grace Kelly as his “too perfect” fashion  industry girlfriend and Raymond Burr as the suspicious husband across the way and you have a winning stylish yet thrilling combination. As Jeffries becomes convinced foul play is involved, the suspense builds to a nailbiting climax.

Grace Kelly black and white Paris dress in Rear WindowPlaying a fashion maven, Grace Kelly’s outfits, designed by the legendary Edith Head, are divine, the most famous probably this classic black and white dress from the opening scene. The original sketch for this dress, below, was sold at Christie’s for over $12,000 a couple of years ago.

Edith Head sketch for Grace Kelly black and white dress in Rear Window

While the clothing in the film is stunning, the real star is the now famous Mark Cross bag that Kelly’s character carries.

Grace Kelly with Mark Cross overnight bag in Rear Window

A chic box shaped purse, it opens to reveal a mirror and an area large enough to hold the negligee that emerges.

Grace Kelly in negligee in Rear Window

The combination of the classic tailored geometry and overnight bag-in-a-box appeal has led this to be one of the most coveted fashion items in films. The actually bag was also sold at Christie’s ten years ago.

Original Mark Cross overnight bag from Rear Window
The good news is that Mark Cross, which had closed in 1997 is back. Reborn in 2010 with new owners, the historic company is issuing a new premier collection with Rear Window allure. Made at the same Florentine factory as the original, the bags are available exclusively at Barney’s. Including several stylish models, they are launching the collection next week. I particularly love the Scottie Small Satchel

and of course the Grace box bag.

There’s an idea that I’m sure someone will figure out eventually – shopping directly from the movies! In the meantime, enjoy this Hitchcock classic.

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18 Responses to At the Movies + Bonus

  1. Jane says:

    How wonderful that Mark Cross is back! “Rear Window” is such a fabulous movie for numerous reasons. That “Hitch” was such a master. Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Raymond Burr and alfred Hitchcock…and a good story with a hefty dose of high fashion, what’s not to love?

  2. pve says:

    One of my all time faves.
    I love structured bags and spotted a few vintage bags the other day. They are perfect for organizing.

  3. Love the movie one of my all time favorites but those Mark Cross bags are fabulous! Enjoy your weekend!


  4. Easily in my top 5 of favorite movies of all time!! The Scottie just might be the most perfect bag of 2012! LOVE. Have a great weekend! ox

  5. Oh, that original sketch is so lovely. How wonderful this must look framed in someone’s home!

  6. Ah now I understand! I was a bit surprised by your choice as it seemed like too obvious a choice for you! :) Yes, it is one of my very, very favorites of all-time. And I have a vintage Mark Cross train case that is just so lovely inside–I want to live in it!

    Bon Weekend!

  7. elle says:

    This is a favorite movie and I never tire of watching it because there is at least one new detail I notice each time. I love every accoutrement in this movie and I’m thrilled you discovered the reincarnation of Mark Cross. I am in love with that satchel!

  8. stitchfork says:

    Q, you always pick movies that I love! I usually try to catch glimpse of the great monograms in these films – now I’ll be looking for bags too! Wish list!
    xo Cathy

  9. Leslie says:

    Love this post! Grace K. is gorgeous. Look at that dress and bag! I may be having a senior moment, but I don’t think I’ve seen this one. I’ve got to rent it this weekend!

    xx leslie

  10. imperio jp says:

    Q always rocks!!!!!!

  11. Mark Cross has the most beautiful line. Happy to learn they are back.
    I will have to watch the movie again. Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. What women doesn’t need a purse to hold her negligee? Life might be better if we all packed a bit of allure-lol! Great movie choice, I haven’t seen it in years. XO

  13. designchic says:

    A wonderful classic with an all star cast. Adore the Grace box bag!! Hope you’re having a great weekend ~

  14. Tabitha says:

    Oh if that small satchel comes in tan, it’s mine!

  15. Karena says:

    One of my favorite Hitchcock films. I admit I spent a great deal of time looking at Grace’s ensembles, so classic and she always was impeccable! The bags are divine!

    Art by Karena

  16. Vicki Archer says:

    I watched this again just recently… Such a wonderful film and as for Grace kelly’s wardrobe… It always makes me swoon… xv

  17. mary jo says:

    Oh I love this little tidbit of fashion/film history! She had such an amazing wardrobe in this movie!

    xo Mary Jo

  18. One of my favorite movies- I can watch it endlessly. Great post.

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