If Audrey Hepburn were still alive, today on May 4th she would be celebrating her 84th birthday. To remember one of the most beautiful, elegant and talented women of the twentieth century, Label Style reminds us of just why the world fell in love with Audrey’s grace and style.
Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium, on May 4th 1929. When she was seven, her family moved to England where Audrey spent a large part of her youth at a boarding school learning ballet. After the World War II she started getting small roles in the stage productions and low budget films.
However, her career started blooming once she was discovered for the role in the film Roman Holiday (1953). Successive roles in Sabrina, Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s not only established Audrey as a critically acclaimed and award-winning actress, but also as an international beauty and fashion icon whose style became emulated all over the globe.
While Audrey looked very different from the other icons in that era, such as curvy Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall, with her big sparkling eyes, enviable bone structure, and mesmerising grace, Audrey was named the most beautiful women of all time. But the film that made Audrey a fashion icon was Breakfast at Tiffany’s; who could forget the black Givenchy dress with her necklace, black gloves, bangs & chic? A simple yet sophisticated look which has become a part of fashion history.
In 2006, that very black Givenchy dress was sold for £467,200 – the highest price paid for a dress from a film. Her friendship with Hubert Givenchy lasted throughout her life and Audrey wore his clothes exclusively for all of her films and personal appearances. She later said, "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality."
Her clothes were perfectly tailored, clean-cut and timeless. For glamorous red carpet events, Hepburn always emphasized her slender dancer’s body. While other actresses wore over sexualized outfits, she went against the norms of her era and stuck to simple gowns that showed her incredibly tiny waist and ballerina’s shoulder line. Jewelry, hair and makeup were always minimal; pearls were always a Hepburn staple.
Her casual style was also classic – jeans, turtle-necks, day dresses, trench coats – it was always simple and elegant. She rarely wore any bright colors or bold prints but preferred to keep things low key accessorizing black dresses with wide belts and coloured scarves. Her fashion legacy includes sunglasses, headscarves, ballet shoes and 1950s frocks, especially ‘The Little Black Dress’, all of which remain popular to this day.
Hepburn passed away on January 20th, 1993 after a battle with colon cancer, but even two decades after her death she remains one of the most imitated women of all times. Deviating from the fashion norms, she not only made it big, but gave true meaning to what she still stands for today – classic style, elegance and simplicity.