Take a look at Audrey Hepburn’s iconic style statements as her personal memorabilia gets auctioned at a museum in London.
As a leading fashion house in London hosts the auction of Audrey Hepburn’s personal memorabilia, we take a look at the diva’s timeless style statements
Oxford defines ‘iconic’ as a person or thing that is regarded as a representative symbol or something which is worthy of veneration. Some film stars attain greatness for their acting skills, while some are immortalised as icons because of their sheer persona. True to the definition, the demure Audrey Hepburn is one of the greatest style icons the world has ever seen.
Many have been called gamine, but only she did justice to that identity with her charm and innocence. Billy Wilder once said: ‘God kissed Audrey Hepburn on the cheek, and there she was’, meaning she was born a star. Little would she have known that her effortless style and the grace with which she carried herself would catapult her to the iconic status she has today. When enthusing about sunglasses, little black dresses or gloves, it is still de rigueur to mention that scene from Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), where Hepburn is clutching a paper cup of coffee and a croissant, sheathed in the quintessential black dress, her slender neck adorned by the famed pearl choker staring coolly into a window full of jewellery.
Designer Sailesh Singhania affirms, “The cynosure of every party, Audrey Hepburn is best known for her timeless style. She has redefined the classic black dress. However, she has also adopted various styles and made them her own.” HER FASHION TRYST WITH GIVENCHY Reportedly, ahead of filming for Sabrina (1954), Hepburn went to Paris to acquire the wardrobe for the movie, beginning her lifelong collaboration and friendship with designer Hubert de Givenchy, who went on to design pieces that would become as famous as the star herself. In her best style moments, both on and off screen, Hepburn has worn Givenchy. Like the black dress she wore in Sabrina which had a hign lateral neckline and the long-sleeved pink jersey dress that she adorned on the day of her wedding to Andrea Dotti on January 18, 1969. There is also a book, Audrey and Givenchy: A Fashion Love Affair, which explores the dynamics of their friendship. The auction includes a pale blue satin cocktail dress trimmed with blue satin fringes from the movie, Two For the Road (1967).
Today is the last day of the online auction of her treasured personal collection held by Christie’s in London. It has reportedly made more than $6 million (approx Rs 39 crore), including a world record for her script of the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Here’s a nostalgic roundup of some of those looks that are synonymous with the fashion icon herself. Winged eye makeup – Singhania feels this element has been immortalised by Hepburn. “Her wingtip eyeliner look has been adopted by Bollywood stars such as Sharmila Tagore and in more recent times by Deepika Padukone. This look instantly creates an enigmatic and mysterious persona and can be used to accentuate your eyes with ethnic and western looks alike.
Audrey hair fringe – While we are more familiar with the bang these days, it was Hepburn who first introduced the fringe before it evolved to the bang. Singhania is of the opinion that one cannot simply think of her without her iconic fringe and beehive hairstyle. “Her square face, accompanied by her pixielike features, is effortlessly highlighted by her short fringe,” he says/ Ballerinas – Few would recall the black slacks and ballet flats she wore in Sabrina, which catapulted the popularity of the less worn footwear. A selection of her ballet pumps too were put up for auction at Christie’s. Cat eye sunglasses – “Fashion is very cyclic,” says designer Ritu Kumar. The cat eye glasses, she feels have made a comeback like most styles. But she says, “This type, especially, is something that is synonymous with Hepburn. We always think of her look in Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s with the glasses adorning her face.” Little black dress – While most fashion is seasonal and is in vogue when it reaches its peak, there are some styles that are timeless. The little black dress (LBD) is one of them. Hepburn was seen in one of these in Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Beehive hair style - Fashion designer Pam Hogg’s show at the London Fashion week saw models wearing frilly headdresses which are somewhat similar to the beehive hairstyle sported by Hepburn and other yesteryear actors. Kumar feels, “The beehive is making a comeback, maybe not a big one, but it is trickling down on the runway.”
Hepburn with her then husband, Andrea Dotti, after their wedding in a pink Givenchy.
Hepburn in a black high neck Givenchy dress in Sabrina.
Hepburn in her iconic winged eye makeup
A still from Breakfast At Tiffany’s with her famed beehive hairdo
Her ballerinas at the auction at Christie’s