“I never thought I’d land in pictures with a face like mine.” – Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn, Brussels-born (4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) Dutch-British actress and humanitarian was a beauty and one of the biggest style icons of our time.
Audrey Hepburn was one of the most successful film actresses in the world and performed with notable leading men such as Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Fred Astaire and Peter O’Toole. She won BAFTA Awards and received Academy Award nominations for Sabrina (1954), The Nun’s Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and Wait Until Dark (1967).
She starred as Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady (1964), becoming only the third actor to receive $1,000,000 for a film role. From 1968 to 1975 she took a break from film-making to spend more time with her two sons. In 1989 she made her last film appearance in Steven Spielberg’s Always.
Her war-time experiences inspired her passion for humanitarian work, and although she had worked for UNICEF since the 1950s.
Perhaps it was the elegance and wit she possessed, or that little black dress and white gloves in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” she made every women want to have, or quite possibly a combination of both.
Like style icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn kept it simple. She too loved clean lines and clothes the emphasized her tall and slim physique. Her physical attributes were very different from other actresses from her time, like Marilyn Monroe.
Audrey Hepburn set many trends since she first hit the big screen in the fifties, right up until her death in 1993. Her look has been very important and its still influential today. Her wardrobe contained a few basic but timeless pieces:
The Little Black Dress
Audrey Hepburn was the little black dress, as she made it famous on the big screen. Women from all over the world use this little closet staple for gala’s, black tie events, weddings and more, paying homage to Audrey’s unique sense of style. Simplicity is the key for this look. Put bold jewelry with it, and you can’t go wrong.
She made them famous in movies like Sabrina and Funny Face and today women still find them as a wardrobe staple. Whatever color you choose, you’ll look oh-so Audrey.
She loved ballet flats and wore them with everything – dresses, pants, Capri pants, etc. Do the same and you’ll find that being chic and simple is easier than ever.
Button-down Men’s Shirts
She pulled this look off beautifully. Audrey Hepburn loved feminine clothes; however, she knew how to pull off the men’s inspired look flawlessly as well. After her movie Roman Holiday (which catapulted her to fame – picture above), women everywhere were copying her short haircut, full skirts, cinched waists and men’s inspired button-down shirts.
Turtlenecks, Trench Coats and perfect Handbags
Audrey Hepburn knew how to take the simplest silhouettes and make them unique and special, as well as striking.
Her main fashion designer was Hubert Givenchy, who designed her wardrobe for films such as Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Paris When It Sizzles (1963), Charade (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966), and others. What the French designer Givenchy said about Audrey Hepburn…His first impression of the style icon may be surprise to you.
” I was told that Miss Hepburn was coming to look for clothes for her new movie, Sabrina. Since I loved Katharine Hepburn’s style and look, I thought this was fantastic. But when the door of my studio opened, there stood a young woman, very slim, very tall, with doe eyes and short hair and wearing a pair of narrow pants, a little T shirt, slippers and a gondolier’s hat with red ribbon that read VENEZIA. The disappointed couturier later admitted: “My first impression was of some extremely delicate animal. She had such beautiful eyes, and she was thin… I told her, “Mademoiselle, I would love to help you, but I have very few sewers, I am in the middle of doing a collection, I can’t make you clothes.” So she said, “Show me what you have already made for the collection.” She tried on the dresses – “It’s exactly what I need!” – and they fit her too. She knew exactly what she wanted. She knew perfectly her visage and her body, their fine points and their faults. Later I tried to adapt my designs to her desires. She wanted a bare-shouldered evening dress modified to hide the hollows behind her collarbone. What I invented for her eventually became a style so popular that i named it ‘décolleté Sabrina. ” – Hubert Givenchy
Audrey Fashion Facts
Favored Colours – Chic black and classic white. Audrey’s favourite colour was said to have been pink but she barely ever wore it.
Favorite Designer – Givenchy, of course.
Key Item – There are many which could help you create just a little bit of Audrey’s style, but a neck scarf like the one she wore in Roman Holiday is a perfect and versatile little item and one that you can add your own personality to by picking out a colour and design you love.
Off-Duty Style – Audrey’s favourite casual style was a pair of skinny pants, a turtle neck and some flat shoes – all in black. She wore this combination often as she went to and from the studios.
Hair and Make-Up
The eyes, as in all of Audrey’s looks are the key and focus of her face. The entire lid is covered with a warm beige eyeshadow. Top and bottom lid are lined with a soft dark eyeliner. Dark, warm, grey shadow is applied it over the top of the eyeliner to blend in to the other shadow. Eyes are accentuated with a coat or two of some dark mascara, on both sets of lashes.
Audrey’s face foundation was always as light as possible, with warm peach blusher on the cheeks. Her lips were always filled with a creamy red lipstick.
Audrey was a big fan of the ultra expensive Joy perfume and wore it while making My Fair Lady saying, whilst wearing her flower girl costume and spraying the $100 an ounce perfume, “I may look dirty but I aim to smell pretty.”
Unlike her glamorous character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (above), Audrey liked to keep her jewellery quite minimal. She never wore big chunky pieces. In life Audrey usually just wore a simple pair of studs, nothing to fancy or brash.
To get Audrey’s jewellery look you should just buy one or two items of great quality that you know you’ll wear and that will look good teamed with lots of colours and items.
It’s been commented that Audrey didn’t like watches and barely ever wore them; but she somehow always managed to be perfectly on time, knowing it was bad manners to be too or early or late.
She loved long gloves, white or black and hats played one of the most important parts in her appearance.
Diet and Body
Audrey kept her slim frame thanks to the fact she had a high metabolism but her slender arms and upper body were well shaped thanks to her ballet background. Ballet helps to tone muscle and also helps give good posture.
Audrey also ate healthily, she loved all sorts of fruit, especially apples and was a big fan of pasta and although she had the discipline of a dancer she still allowed herself a little treat now and then. Chocolate was one of Audrey’s favourite things but her trick was not to eat too much, she would eat whatever she wanted until she was full, then she would just stop.
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