Friday, February 1, 2013

Audrey Style


While waiting in the grocery store check-out line today, I picked up and flipped through Life magazine’s re-issue of a tribute to Audrey Hepburn on 20th anniversary of her death, on Jan. 22, 1993.


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I didn’t buy it, as it was rather pricey: $12.95. Instead, I came home and pulled off the shelf my copy of Audrey Style, a 1999 book by Pamela Clarke Keogh.

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If you are an Audrey fan, I highly recommend this book. It contains more than 90 black-and-white and color photos and covers a lot of territory in its 230 pages.

It spans the year of her birth in 1929 in Belgium, to the years spent back and forth between Brussels, England and the Dutch town of Arnhem, where she spent the war years. You learn about her stage and film career, her two failed marriages, her work with UNICEF and finally, her later years in Switzerland, where she died of cancer.

One great thing is learning, if you didn’t already know, that with Audrey, beauty was more than skin deep. Her generosity of spirit, her kindness and her grace and manners were what so impressed everyone who knew her.

She was and is one of the most admired and emulated women of the twentieth century. Keogh writes, “Grace Kelly had her Hermes bag and Coco the little black dress, but Audrey popularized the gamine haircut, flat ballet shoes, the turtleneck, slim capri pants, extravagant dark glasses, cinched waists, three-quarter sleeves and fitted shirts wrapped at the waist. Her personal style was so compelling that, as Cecil Beaton wrote in Vogue, ‘nobody ever looked like her before World War II…now thousands of imitations have appeared.’ “

And so it remains today.

Who can ever forget her ethereal look when she appeared at the top of Professor Higgins' stairs, ready for the ball, in My Fair Lady? 


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 Or in the outfit she wore to the horse races:
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 I think I have seen all of her films. One of my favorites is Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck. 
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Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday
Quotes from the book:

"Audrey was known for something which has disappeared, and that is elegance, grace and manners…God kissed her on the check, and there she was."
---Billy Wilder

"There is not a woman alive who does not dream of looking like Audrey Hepburn."
---Hubert De Givenchy

"She was the first to make something that’s not sexy, sexy."
---Cynthia Rowley

"One got a sense that Audrey Hepburn didn’t know how beautiful she was. There was never another movie star like her."
---Issac Mizrahi

"Audrey came to town and everyone immediately wanted to lose ten pounds, including me – and I don’t have to."
---Audrey Wilder

"The more there is, the less I want. The more man flies to the moon, the more I want to look at a tree."
---Audrey Hepburn

Are you a fan of Hepburn? Do you admire her style?


10 comments:

  1. Is it really 20 years? How the time flies.. Of course I am a hardcore Audrey fan, always was. Like you, I think I have seen all her movies and I have always loved her look. I spent a good bit of the sixties trying to emulate that look... difficult when I am very short and she was very tall :)) Beautiful memories and photos Sanda, especially the My Fair Lady photos which are gorgeous. I am thinking about that book now ...

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    1. Twenty years have passed so quickly. Audrey was an original and I must say she is one of my main fashion role models. Of course she wore all those elaborate outfits in the movies, but when her time was her own she preferred the simple, which was sublime on her.

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  2. Sanda, I have the same book but haven't looked at it in ages. Will search for it this weekend. And yes, you said it all perfectly. There was no other like her before or since--the graciousness of her spirit is what truly made her so unique.

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    1. I enjoyed the book all over again when I got it out yesterday. I never tire of seeing photos of the divine Audrey. That smile was like no other.

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  3. Yes, I am a fan and have been for years. When I was in high school my Mom made me a black velvet sheath dress, sleeveless with a boat neck (I think that is what it is called, sort of straight across). I felt Very Audry when I went to a dance in that dress, LOL!

    Darla

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    1. I imagine you looked quite chic in your black velvet sheath with a boat neck.I wonder if my choice to wear mostly black wardrobe items has been influenced by her?

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  4. I am not a fan of Audrey. Maybe I was too young or interested in other things, at the time her celebrity was the highest, not meaning, that it still isn´t.
    I don´t even recall seeing her films.
    But through these blogs, I have come to understand, that she really has a large fan club. She seems to have reached the stage of an fashion icon.
    Pondering on that one..

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    1. Yes, quite a large fan club. I think it was beyond the fashion choices she made. I believe it was because of her inner beauty as well.

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  5. Even my daughter is a fan of hers - Breakfast at Tiffany's is her favorite.

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    1. That's a good one; such gorgeous clothes.

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