Thursday, May 9, 2013

Audrey Week: Fashion in Audrey's Movies

Today we will be focusing on Audrey Hepburn as a fashion icon. As well as her amazing film career, Audrey was most known for her timeless sense of style. Her style has been admired and copied by several generations of women. Even today, a decade after her death Audrey is considered one of the most beautiful and stylish women in the world.

Audrey was breaking into the film career at a time when actresses were invariably blonde, big bosomed and curvy and so being a skinny flat chested girl with short brunette hair, bushy eyebrows, a long neck and big feet she is an unlikely style icon but Audrey became a role model with a new look of androgynous yet feminine women dressed impeccably in Parisian chic. This offered women an alternative to the blonde bombshell of the 50's and 60's.
Audrey's image has always been linked to high fashion. From her first major role as Princess Ann Audrey was always conscious of her on-screen image. Audrey showed a flair for style by adding to costume designer Edith's heads outfit ideas adding a wide leather belt, rolling up her sleeves and neck scarf thus personalising an already pretty outfit.

After wining the Oscar for Roman Holiday Audrey was free to control her look without interference from the studio and she found exactly what she was looking for in the fashion house of one Hubert de Givenchy. Givenchy's innovative modern designs were suited to Audrey's figure and the persona she wanted to create and the pair struck a lifelong friendship that lasted for over 40 years.

Givenchy perfectly understood Audrey's appeal and dressed her in such a way to show off her natural beauty without her being overwhelmed by the dresses. Audrey once said "I depend on Givenchy the way American women depend on their psychiatrists".

The great Hepburn- Givenchy collaboration can be seen in the movies Sabrina where Givenchy's designs are integral to the story of a frustrated unhappy girl who leave for Paris and comes back an elegant lady. Emphasising this change Sabrina comes back with a completely new wardrobe designed by Givenchy.
Fashion itself took centre stage in Audrey's next movie Funny Face. Another story of transformation  Audrey plays Jo Stockton a mousy bookseller who is transformed into a fashion model. in Jo's first encounter with 'fashion people' that invade her store she declares that fashion is superficial and stupid but it is a kiss from Dick Avery and a Givenchy hat accidentally left behind that triggers her fantasies of romance The hat signals Jo's first step in her transformation. The transformation is complete when Jo appears in the Louvre in the stunning red strapless gown, gloves and diamonds with her red chiffon scarf floating behind her. She is the vision of ethereal beauty.
Breakfast at Tiffany's cemented Audrey's status as a movie star and fashion icon. The opening image of her exiting a cab in the stunning black evening gown and standing in front of the window of Tiffany's eating a danish and sipping coffee is perhaps the most famous and well remembered image of Audrey. That dress is cited as one of the most iconic of the 20th century and film history. It has been described as "perhaps the most famous little black dress of all time"
Givenchy continued to dress Audrey throughout the height of her movie career and also for her personal collection. In 2009 Audrey's Givenchy collection sold for £270,000. Audrey's iconic film looks are still much copied by celebrities today.


  1. She really was a style icon. Just stunning.