12. Think Pink
In those times of doubt, standing before your closet without a mere glimmer of inspiration, remember the enlightening words of Maggie Prescott: “Banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige! From now on girls… Think pink!” Audrey Hepburn definitely abided by this motto once quoted as saying “I believe in pink.” The ultra feminine color, delicate and alluring complimented the striking actress, accentuating her pale complexion and rose tinted cheeks. Always lovely in pink, Audrey made many movie appearances draped in the demure color. In Funny Face Audrey’s alter ego, Jo Stockton, is transformed from mousy bookshop clerk to Paris’s premier model. Debuting her new look, Jo confidently reveals the metamorphosis. With her hair tightly pulled back, crowned with a jeweled adornment, she gracefully makes her way across the catwalk cloaked in a pink capelet and white silk sheath dress. The crowd of hopefuls muse at the young girl’s unveiling. In My Fair Lady, another one of Audrey’s character goes through a transformation. Eliza Doolittle, a simple flower girl, is taught proper English by the ornery Henry Higgins. After having been made over, the newly sophisticated Eliza Doolittle enjoys a cup of tea with Higgin’s mother. Audrey wears a blush colored organza dress, embellished in petals, with a high collar emphasizing her long neck. Audrey Hepburn is the absolute embodiment of exquisiteness in this Cecil Beaton design. Whether Audrey is wearing pink ballet slippers or a hot pink cocktail dress like the one worn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she always manages to “think pink!” So remember ladies “Red is dead, blue is through, green’s obscene, brown’s taboo. And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce or chartreuse. Think pink!”
(side not - probably not necessary: although the concept of pink may be borrowed, the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
Just like the hat and the scarf, sunglasses helped create Audrey Hepburn’s well defined style. In 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey catapulted sunglasses from daytime wear into a new realm of fashion necessity. Paired with her legendary little black dress and an oversized hat, Holly Golightly gave character to sunglasses and made them a must have accessory. Although, many claim those famous sunglasses to be Wayfarers they were in fact the design of Italian eyewear company Persol. However, Ray-Bans aren’t a bad substitute for the popular style. In recent years Ray-Bans have made a comeback with today’s youth giving the classic style a remodel for the 21st century. Another popular look was the rounded frame sunglasses seen in the movie How to Steal a Million. The spectacular eye catching white ensemble involving a white suit, hat and sunglasses took our 1950s darling into a new era of 1960s mod. The sunglasses were by designer Oliver Goldsmith who was also responsible for Audrey’s sunglasses in Charade, Two for the Road and Roman Holiday. You can see a similarly inspired look from fashion juggernaut Chanel. They’re fresh take on the round frames are a popular design among celebrities such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Nicole Richie. Sunglasses are the perfect finishing piece, adding an air of mystery and seduction; there is a style for every occasion.
(side not - probably not necessary: although sunglasses may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
10. The Little Black Dress
The most influential fashion in Audrey’s expansive collection of inspired looks, without any hesitation, is and will always be the little black dress. Surely it would be a crime to only credit Audrey, considering the master designer behind the look was no other than courtier Givenchy. However, without Audrey as his muse the timeless look would have never made such an incredible impact in the world of fashion. Originally, the little black dress was the creation of legendary Coco Chanel, but in 1961 through the combined forces of Hepburn and Givenchy, the little black dress was reborn and fashion enthusiasts took notice. The little black dress was designed for the ageless movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Walking the streets of New York, in the early hours of the morning, an elegantly dressed Holly Golightly makes her debut in a black Italian satin dress draped in pearls holding a throw-away cup of coffee and a breakfast danish. In that short scene history was made, and the little black dress became the staple of every woman’s wardrobe. Today the LBD is recognized by every designer as an essential. The elegant dress stills holds the same acclaim it did when it first premiered in 1961, that in 2006 Natalie Portman was photographed wearing the Givenchy masterpiece for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Although the dress may have out lasted the muse, it was Audrey Hepburn who forever transformed cocktail wear and the closet of the everyday woman.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the little black dress may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
9. The Coat
One style that definitely lasted through the years was Audrey’s choice in coats. She daringly chose bold colors like the one worn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly and Paul having just fled a drug store in which they stole two children’s masks, Audrey is shown wearing a brick orange wool coat with large buttons, soft shoulders, and a funnel neck. Such was a trend in Audrey’s choices of Givenchy coats; brave colors with sizable round buttons, either a boat or funnel neckline and at times three-quarter length sleeves. The style suited her well. Audrey donned similar style coats in Charade and How to Steal A Million. In How to Steal A Million her character Nicole pairs a bright pink coat with a thin, rose colored night gown and black rain boots. Only Audrey Hepburn could make such an eccentric outfit desirable. No matter the ensemble, Audrey has proven time and again that a well designed coat can make any outfit fashionable. When in doubt think simple and clean lines, allow the jacket to be the statement piece. Fashioned with sunglasses and a pair of modest earrings a sophisticated coat is revamped from a means of warmth to an inevitable eye catcher.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the coat may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
8. The Kitten Heel
The kitten heel, introduced in the late 1950s, was Audrey Hepburn’s style of choice when it came to footwear. With a short, slender heel the shoe was a perfect fit for Audrey’s tall, delicate frame. During Audrey’s time in Rome for the shooting of Roman Holiday, she made a very special connection with none other than Salvatore Ferragamo. Ferragamo, the acclaimed shoe designer, at the time already had an esteemed clientele such as Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner and the Duchess of Windsor. After spending a day with Ferragamo at his workshop Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence, Audrey became a loyal customer choosing only to wear his heels for the duration of her life. Once again the kitten heel has made its comeback in fashion; Manolo Blahnik added the feminine shoe to his recent collections, recreating the kitten heel for a newer generation.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the kitten heel may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
7. The Capri Pant
The capri pant, originally named after the Isle of Capri, became one of Audrey’s most talked about fashion statements in the 1950s. We are first introduced to the mid-calf, warm weather pant in the movie Sabrina. Audrey in a black top, matching black capris and her soon to be signature ballet flats stands before Humphrey Bogart disheartened. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly go anywhere” Sabrina exclaims to Linus Larabee as she gestures to her modest outfit. The outfit may not have been extravagant, but it surely made an impact. Capris became the it item. In her 1957 film Funny Face she is shown again wearing the popular pant. Dressed in a pink and white ensemble, Audrey once again makes a statement in a pair of white capris and soft pink slippers. Capris are the ideal summer pant, they can be worn casually with a simple top and a stylish straw hat or as an evening outfit with a fitted shirt and a pair of pearl earrings. This versatile pant is a seasonal stunner.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the capri pant may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
6. The Trench Coat
The trench coat has become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. In the latest issue of Vogue, with cover girl Kristen Stewart, there is a wonderful layout featuring a new spin on the trench coat. The models are seen wearing the traditional look made popular by Burberry as well as more fun spins such as a polka dotted trench and a vibrant red trench. Through the years we’ve seen it transform from convenient outwear worn by the British and French soldiers in World War I to an example of elegance and sophistication especially when worn by the dapper Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. However, Audrey Hepburn took this look one step further transforming the timeless outerwear from smart to chic and thus becoming an essential for every fashionista. In the last scene of Breakfast At Tiffany’s a tragically sad Holly Golightly is shown wearing a trench coat tied at the waist, worn with a pair of kitten heals and her hair pulled back into a fun, modern twist on the school girl pigtail. Soaking wet Paul and Holly share a kiss in the rain forever cementing the trench coat as the sleek, seductive outwear of choice.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the trench coat may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
5. The Hat
One of the most ideal ways to finish off any outfit is by adding a whimsical hat. On Audrey’s first encounter with couturier Hubert De Givenchy, Audrey decided on a “black, ribbed-cotton-pique dinner dress for Sabrina’s date with Linus Larabee” (quote from Audrey Style by Pamela Keogh Clarke). The dress fit her perfectly, modestly hiding her collarbones (an insecurity of Audrey’s) and yet, the dress wasn’t complete. Audrey felt the dress needed something else, something to add a bit of charm. “Her eye caught a snug-fitting cap with a spray of rhinestones”(Audrey Style by Pamela Keogh Clarke). Adding the small accessory catalyzed the look from pleasant to enchanting. The hat added a sweet sophistication reminiscent of the woman wearing it. If we take a look back through Audrey’s movies we will notice that most of her awe-inspiring outfits were topped off with a fun and stylish hat. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s her iconic little black dress was worn with a fabulous black hat. The wide, slightly-turned-down brim with a fashionable satin sash that loosely fell below the shoulder line, added a dramatic appeal that perfectly finished the ensemble. Also, let’s not forget Cecil Beaton who created the incomparable designs for the fantastical movie My Fair Lady. The over the top hats weren’t worn intentionally as decorative pieces they were focal points in the movie, especially during one in particular, the Ascot scene. The background actors transformed into models overshadowed by the divine creations seated upon their heads. In a 1964 edition of Vogue, Audrey modeled Cecil Beaton’s stylish hats for the cover story. Audrey delicately showed off the alluring pieces of art, each hat more spectacular than the next. The hat is a wonderful way to smartly tailor an outfit for any event. It’s an accessory that never deters from the outfit but confidently enhances the polished look you’re achieving. Whether it is simple sophistication or dramatic elegance, the hat always lends a pinch of panache.
oops I forgot to add (side not - probably not necessary: although the hat may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
4. The Ballet Flat
Before Audrey Kathleen Ruston morphed into the celebrated actress Audrey Hepburn, she was a young girl with the dream of becoming a ballerina. “Once I started [dance lessons] in Holland,” she said years later, “all I wanted was to be a ballerina,”(quote taken from Enchantment by Donald Spoto). However, Audrey’s life steered her in a different direction. At five foot seven Audrey was told she was much too tall to be a dancer. The news devastated her. Audrey, as self-deprecating as she was, was always aware of her “short-comings”. Taking a note from her character in Love in the Afternoon, Arianne said “I’m too thin! And my ears stick out, and my teeth are crooked and my neck’s much too long.” All things Audrey believed to be true about herself. Perhaps, if Audrey was never told she was too tall we would have never been exposed to the ballet flat. Because of her long physic Audrey didn’t like wearing high heels she much preferred a delicate shoe with a thin heel. We were first introduced to this stylish shoe in Sabrina. Audrey was shown wearing her soon to be signature capri pants with a pair of ballet flats outside the Larrabee building downtown. A confounded Sabrina reluctantly debates whether or not she should keep her dinner date with the unfavorable, workaholic Linus Larrabee. The flat heel complimented her slender physic creating a new trend that to this day is still at large. Ever so popular, the ballet flat is still seen worn by models on the runway. Design houses like Chanel and Michael Kors recently put their personal touches on the stylish shoe. Audrey, the dancer that she was, didn’t just wear ballet flats, she also wore traditional ballet slippers. Whether it is her alter ego Jo Stockton from Funny Face fishing by the Seine wearing a pair of white capris and pink ballet slippers, or Audrey herself wearing a pair of white ballet shoes bicycling on the set of My Fair Lady; it can be said with absolute certainty that ballet flats are a shoe for every occasion.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the ballet flat may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
3. The Suit
Like anything Audrey wore, she had an innate ability to transform clothes from ordinary to extraordinary. It was the same with the suit. Audrey could a take what is typically perceived as stuffy and conservative and translate it into sexy and demure. On top, a fitted suit jacket typically cinched at the waist showing off a more feminine figure in an attempt to avoid the boxy structure of a regular suit jacket. Audrey was never one for showing too much skin (less is more) thus having the skirt fall just at the calf creating a clean, slender look. “Sex appeal is something that you feel deep down inside. It’s suggested rather than shown,” Audrey once said. In fact if it wasn’t for the suit there would possibly be no Hepburn and Givenchy. When Audrey first met Hubert de Givenchy she approached him about designing her wardrobe for the movie Sabrina. Givenchy was too busy with his own collection at that time to create entirely new outfits for Audrey, that it was suggested she should try finding something from one of his previous shows. There amidst the racks Audrey spotted “an Oxford–gray wool-ottoman tailleur with a cinch-waisted, double-breasted scoop-neck jacket and a slim, calf-length vented skirt,” as described by Vanity Fair. The minute Audrey tried on that perfect creation Givenchy saw an immediate change in the young woman, a sparkle. It was because of that initial meeting they became immediate friends, a relationship that lasted 40 years.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the suit may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
2. The Scarf
Although Audrey showed off some of the most elegant examples of jewelry in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady, in her daily life Audrey wore little to no jewelry. She relied more on simple accessories one being the scarf. The scarf is a perfect example of how to jazz up any ensemble. It’s versatile; it can be worn casually, by simply tying it at the neck like Princess Ann exploring the streets of Rome in Roman Holiday. It can also be worn fashionably as a head piece, covering the hair, looping it at the neck with the knot falling just below the chin. Audrey preferred this look on January 18, 1969 when she married Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti. A simple pink scarf, matching her pink Givenchy dress, protected her hair from the light drizzle outside. The scarf is the perfect accessory for any occasion when trying to add that bit of color or pattern to an already chic look.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the scarf may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
1. The White Shirt
The White Shirt was first made popular in Audrey’s debut film Roman Holiday. As the runaway princess Ann, Audrey showcased her natural talents as an actress and as a trend setter. The white buttoned down shirt paired with a full skirt and belt was an original concept showcasing a new, feminine spin on the man’s shirt. Today its an accessory no woman should be without. To add to its already chic appeal, tie it at the waist to add a bit more style, similar to that of Audrey’s outfit in Sabrina, when Sabrina and Linus shared an afternoon on his sail boat.
(side not - probably not necessary: although the white shirt may be a borrowed concept the paragraph above is written entirely in my own words.)
Audrey Hepburn Signature Pieces
While looking through the book Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh I came across a list titled “Audrey’s Closet”. It was a compilation of the essential Audrey pieces that embody Audrey’s style. Well, looking through that list inspired me to create my own list of what I thought were the Audrey essentials. I’ve borrowed some ideas from the original list and added some of my own. For the next couple of days I plan to post one Audrey signature item a day. I’ve also created collages to help detail Audrey’s look. However, before I start posting I thought I’d share with you what I have on my list already, just in case you felt I should add something new or so you could simply embellish on what I already have. I love hearing from you guys and your thoughts on Audrey. So, here is my list thus far:
1. little black dress 2. ballet flats 3. kitten heel 4. white t-shirt 5. sunglasses 6. hats 7. touch of pink 8. simplicity 9. jewelry 10. suits 11. coats (outerwear) 12. The trench coat 13. Knowing your body, knowing your size. 14. capri pant 15. scarves
Have anything to add?
“Audrey arrived at Edith’s hotel room wearing a dark suit with white collar and cuffs, a sprig of white lily-of-the-valley in her buttonhole and white gloves. ’This was a girl way ahead of high fashion,’ according to Edith. ’She deliberately looked different from other women and dramatized her own slenderness into her chief asset…But what impressed me most was her body. I knew she would be the perfect mannequin for anything I would make. I knew it would be a great temptation to design clothes that would overpower her. I could have used her to show off my talents and detract from hers, but I didn’t. I considered doing it, believe me.’ That she did not was a testimony to Edith Head’s cool professionalism - and Audrey’s polite but firm insistence on her own ideas.” (quote taken from the book Enchantment by Donald Spoto)
Edith Head, American costume designer, first worked with Audrey on the movie Roman Holiday. Both Edith and Audrey won Oscars for the movie Roman Holiday, Edith for Best Costume Design and Audrey for Best Actress in a leading role.
Photograph: Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn help Edith Head celebrate her birthday, 1955.