Going Grace Kelly Blonde: One Vogue Editor Takes the Silvery-Platinum Plunge
Today, Grace Kelly returns to Cannes—the city where in 1955, she began her transformation from Hollywood actress to Princess of Monaco—by way of the biopic film Grace of Monaco, which opens the Cannes Film Festival tonight. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Vogue's Grace Fuller is making a different kind of debut—enjoying her first day in the office as a Grace Kelly blonde and marking her own transition from Fashion Assistant to Associate Accessories Editor.
Moving her focus from ready-to-wear to jewelry, Fuller suddenly felt ready for something more polished when it came to her beachy, dark blonde, highlighted hair. "I've always wanted to do something drastic," admits Fuller, so when Vogue Creative Digital Director Sally Singer suggested that Kelly's iconic "oyster blonde" would make a natural fit, it was the push she had been waiting for. "The timing is perfect—it seems right to lighten up for summer, and I'm already in a transitional phase in my life; change is good."
Whittemore House's Victoria Hunter—who, along with being Guido Palau's go-to colorist for major editorial shoots, is also the force behind everything from Prada's spring 2014 campaign to Marc Jacobs's ethereal pale wigs for the fall 2014 runway—was on board to assist with the task. "It's a very particular blonde," explains Hunter. "Grace Kelly's hair was cool beige with a little silver in it. When I saw a photo of Grace [Fuller], I thought it would look stunning—especially with her blue eyes and great cheekbones."
Which brings us to yesterday evening at 5:45 p.m., when Fuller took a seat in Hunter's West Village salon. As the colorist stirred up the bleach, Fuller showed her first and only sign of nerves. "I get a bit tan in the summer. Will it clash?" she sheepishly asked. "Not at all," said Hunter firmly. "It's going to be great." And, with that, Hunter set to work rhythmically painting a lilac-colored cream formula onto Fuller's strands to the beat of Modern English and the Kinks.
They passed the first 40 minutes discussing Grace Kelly—Fuller, like the iconic film actress, is from Philadelphia and has always considered her a style icon—before musing on the subject at large: "Hitchcock blondes were always icy. It's powdery, muted, almost antiqued," explained Hunter of the director's meticulousness when it came to hair color. "They had to look fragile."
The excitement built as she washed out the first bleach, "Now this is what I call a total transformation!" exclaimed Fuller. After a quick survey, however, Hunter announced that the tone was still too golden. "We need to lift it more," she said, before painting on a fresh layer.
Before long, the conversation had shifted to Googling Hitchcock hair. Hunter and her assistant Douglas dished over images of To Catch a Thief and Vertigo. After another 40 minutes, with Fuller nearing a shade of complete white, Hunter set in with the toner—and started talking maintenance. "Davines Alchemic Silver Conditioner," said the colorist, who also suggested ditching detergent-based shampoos for Purely Perfect, a gentle cleansing formula, and keeping a hat on at the beach. ("Going into the sun is like dipping your hair in a bucket of bleach.")
Just before the clock struck ten, Fuller looked in the mirror and let out a small shriek of delight. "Oh my god—is it me? It's so different! I'm going to have to wear all Oscar de la Renta now," she continued. "And stud earrings," she added. "Something more refined—I have the urge to put on a blazer."
The pearly shade will certainly befit the Fred Leighton and Cathy Waterman diamonds that she'll be handling in her new role. And though her new hair color errs slightly on the side of silvery, when it comes to her day-to-day stack of rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, it may provide a pretty point of contrast. As Fuller admits with a laugh, "gold is my thing."
By: Mackenzie Wagoner