Audrey Hepburn still inspires our wardrobe choices with simplicity and timelessness, but also with the desire for taking small risks. In the 50s and 60s, her movie character looks coincided with her personal style. Opting for understated glamour, she could have been called the ‘normcore’ of her days. She kept her original ballerina and model looks past her stints at both careers, before and after WWII. Her Belgian origins, Dutch toddlerhood, and British upbringing account for her minimalist attitude. At 22 she moved from London to New York to star in the Broadway production of ‘Gigi’. A couple of years later, the up-and-coming actress would be dressed by the promising French Couturier Hubert de Givenchy for her role in ‘Sabrina’. Ever since, she was his muse.
Dressing up the Actress
Givenchy created the 50s fit & flare dress with boat neckline in which she received the Best Actress Oscar Award for ‘Roman Holiday’ in 1954, thus setting the norm for her tailored eveningwear choices. In 1961, Audrey, as Holly Golightly in the first scene of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, wore Givenchy’s most memorable creation, the slim, sheath-style Little Black Dress, or LBD, with the black oversized ‘Manhattan’ sunnies by Oliver Goldsmith. Another classic from this movie was her Burberry trench coat. As a full-time Hollywood star, she contributed a chic factor to the red carpet scene. Pearls, attention-grabbing coats, and opera-length gloves were part of the image.
Audrey's Daytime Street Style
Her casual wardrobe exuded tomboy attitude with girly accents. She combined high-waist capri pants with collared shirts, monochrome crewneck sweaters, or striped sailor shirts. Often she had a matching boyish haircut. She spiced it all with ballet flats, headscarves, and lady-chic purses. Ralph Lauren was preppy, working perfectly with her Christian Dior, Givenchy, and Chanel items in her classy closet. It was a mix of American and French elements channeling Riviera chic during vacation time. She tucked fitted button-downs into slim high-waist full skirts at tea-length.
Audrey wanted to be playful, mostly with headgear, handbags and fashionable sunglasses. She loved wide-brim and delicately trimmed hats, even the quirkiest shapes, because they offered stylish sun protection. She rocked silk scarves in the summer and cashmere wraps in the winter. She loved Ferragamo ballet flats and mid-heel pumps mostly for the comfort and the effortless femininity they offered, and she immortalized penny loafers paired with thick socks. Her favorite purses included the iconic Louis Vuitton ‘Speedy’, the Hermes Kelly bag, and her signature basket purse. She was once daring enough to combine mink outerwear with a straw bag. Well-defined thick eyebrows and bangs were ‘accessories’ too.