Audrey Hepburn, the woman who created the little black dress. Simple, elegant, beautiful and charming. Her style is one that has been revered throughout the ages, her outfits and poise material for inspiration. Who doesn’t recall that classic black dress, hairdo and pearls in front of Tiffany’s window? It has reached icon status and is right up there with Marilyn’s white dress and Channel’s suit. Granted Marilyn may have been sexy and Channel a fashion powerhouse, but no one has class or style like Audrey.
She is no doubt the only woman in the world eligible to play both a nun and a call girl with effortless beauty and grace. Albeit Julia Roberts was lovable in Pretty Woman, her leather boots couldn’t hold a candle to Givenchy’s dress on Miss Golightly.
What has spawned Audrey into the good graces of fashion was her love of designer Hubert de Givenchy. And he loved her right back, catering to her whim and desires and designing almost every outfit in every role she played. The two became inseparable, and with Audrey’s charm and Givenchy’s grace they set the trend that rocked through the 50’s, through Vogue covers, the runway and the movies.
When she’s remembered for her fashion style, it’s mostly in those of the films she starred. The dress and pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the towering hat and parasols in My Fair Lady, her Capri pants in Sabrina and running around Rome in a pair of pumps in Roman Holiday. But whilst the camera stopped rolling, Audrey’s eye for style continued.
Her tight hairdo’s, fitted pants, slim silhouette and basic colours. She refrained from bold colours, preferring instead staples of black, grey and brown which equalled Instant 50’s glamour. She brought Italian demure to Hollywood, with ballet pumps and clinched waistlines we could only hope to get around our ankles. She brought Parisian sophistication to New York, with turtle necks and trench coats. And she brought Hollywood glamour to the world, with satin dresses and long gloves that never looked tacky.
Audrey in her time was never rivalled, and still no one has managed to step up to the plate and remain standing. She is the poster girl for sophisticated glamour. She was always modest, never self-important or arrogant, and grateful for her good fortune and fame. Even to her lasting legacy and in the face of icon status, she remains refined and effortless – “I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” And we will always love her for just doing her thing.