When one thinks of Audrey Hepburn (14 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) elegance & beauty come into mind. With her big eyes, thick eyebrows and tall slender figure she succeeds in becoming timeless through both her beauty and talent, in a time when the world had a thing for Marilyn Monroe or Lana Turner, and men and women alike lusted for curves and big bosoms. Different than her time’s standards she not only made it big but gave true meaning to, what she still stands for today – classic style, elegance & simplicity in all its forms.
It was Audrey Hepburn’s style that has granted her a place on the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1961 and timeless descriptions such as ”most beautiful woman of all times” or ”most beautiful woman of the 20th century’‘.
Never regarding herself as neither beautiful nor stylish she has always believed that simplicity and understated elegance say much more than any bling or unnecessary adornment. ”What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric, and just two earrings?”
Her longtime friendship and partnership with Givenchy has put both her and the designer in the history of fashion. Though not an exciting 1st memory for Givenchy, this collaboration has turned out to be the most memorable in time, with Givenchy dressing the actress for both on and off screen occasions. Creating and designing her outfits for films like Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Paris When It Sizzles – Givenchy fell in love with Audrey Hepburn’s style. She became his muse and, him to her, irreplaceable in terms of fashion choices. ‘‘Givenchy gave me a look, a kind, a silhouette. He has always been the best and he stayed the best because he kept the spare style that I love”.
For Givenchy it was a partnership and admiration that grew with time, or at least with their 1st encounter. When told that he was about to create dresses for Miss Hepburn he was over the moon, only to be completely disappointed upon discovering that it was Audrey (not Katherine as he had thought). Trying to elegantly dismiss her, he told Audrey he had little time to spare but completely changed his mind and fell in awe with the elfin featured lady when he discovered her true beauty and amazing personality.
She knew exactly what she wanted and how to look. She knew what fit her best and had an inborn elegance and attitude that is still emulated and copied by millions of women and advertising campaigns. Givenchy has later confessed that even after 35 years of their collaboration Audrey Hepburn‘s ”measurements had not changed an inch”. Yet Audrey Hepburn was not so self confident and even said ”I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat or too tall, or maybe just too ugly”.
Audrey Hepburn was the image for Salvatore Farragamo, who created a shoe for her and made her his fashion house ambassador and Ray-Bans, that she popularized in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. It was with this film that she became a style icon reference. Audrey Hepburn dress to this day remains the definition of elegance. Who could forget the black Givenchy dress in Breakfast and Tiffany’s?
With her necklace, black gloves, bangs & chic simple yet sophisticated look she went down in the history of style. In a time when women played the femme fatale roles, she came and never left, with her rather androgynous look, skinny figure, sheath dresses, bangs and understated elegance. Her flat pumps, minimal outfits, basic color and lack of curves told the world it was all possible!
Director Billy Wilder couldn’t have said it better ”This girl… may make bosoms a thing of the past.” Well… I wouldn’t hold my breath on that. She made nothing a thing of the past, she only proved a whole world that it’s OK to look different, while showing that sometimes all a girl needs to turn heads is grace. After all… elegance is an attitude, right?