Oooooooooh, no not again, Audrey Hepburn!!!
That’s kind of how it feels, right?
When so many admire the same person, it becomes too common, too easy, and in the end whenever you hear her name you raise an exhausted eyebrow.
That didn’t stop me from buying the book Audrey in Rome the other day with the idea of looking at it on the beach in Montauk. Scott raised an exhausted eyebrow, obviously.
Of course, it rained (isn’t that how all stories are ending this spring?) and we found ourselves stuck in traffic (isn’t that how all weekends start in the Hamptons?) and I started flipping through the pages in the car.
Ten minutes later opening the book, I finally said to Scott…
“Wow, that Audrey Hepburn was seriously cool.”
He started cranking his neck to try to get a look at the book while driving – so we ended up pulling over to get a coffee. We then proceeded to devour the book in its entirety and came to some conclusions about her style.
Here are a few…
She’s practically perfect in every photo, her everyday style is of an amazing simplicity. She rarely wore jewelry, never anything ostentatious, nor too complicated, or too uncomfortable, and never anything overly affected.
She had a real weakness for headscarves – at the time, it was done much more than it is today – and she was an avid collector.
One of her signatures, even before Jane Birkin coined it, was wicker baskets. She wore them all through her life and would get them from the various markets she’d visit. Givenchy made some for her or she’d have one that the children would make for her when she was on one of her Unicef missions.
I’ve always thought it the ultimate sign of chicness to mix modest quotidian objects with more sophisticated items.
She was pretty tall and apparently, always thought her feet were too big (she was a 40)(Might be the only thing we have in common, she and I) which didn’t stop her from wearing flats, especially ballet flats but also a lot of moccasins, and her heels were never too high. She was a dancer and loved to be able to move.
Her moccasins, a true signature for her (you remember Funny Face?) were Gucci and Ferragamo.
She used to say that her eyes were not as big as you’d imagine. She owed her look to a makeup artist, Alberto De Rossi every time, who created her “mascara look” as well as her “wings” eyebrows. She starting wearing that look very early and never really stopped.
Her big sunglasses were a way of keeping the impression of oversized eyes.
Black and a bun.
It was her favorite thing to wear. It seems banal to us now but at the time, of voluptuous movie stars, it was a true revolution.
A light coat, ballet flats, gloves, and a little handbag.
It was her go-to look for daily errands.
Yeah, she ran errands – that’s why she loved Rome: people left her alone.
Her dog was often a part of her look. His name was Mr. Famous.
During the 70s, she started to put together a look that was a little more gypsy, with flowing dresses, capes, and open neck shirts… She made a place in her wardrobe for Saint Laurent and Valentino.
It’s at that time as well that she got a haircut that could be described as rather disastrous… Which makes her more human so even more irresistible in my eyes :)
Voilà, I promise to stop rolling my eyes everytime someone says the name her name – even more so that she was more than just a fashion icon. She was an incredible woman, played in iconic movies and was very much loved and so passionate about her mission with Unicef.
One of the reason the myth persist because she gives such a real feel to being stylish.
Scott was noting that today, we are used to see celebrities being dressed “off” and “on”. In sweatpants during the day walking their dogs in LA, and over the top, dressed by stylists for red carpet events. It creates such a disconnect in their style that it’s difficult to keep up the dream.
Audrey Hepburn was pretty much herself everywhere and it shows.
To close, just because Audrey Hepburn wasn’t only that awesome bouncy young girl her entire life, but also a particularly sublime older woman, I think we should finish with this.
And there you go.
Merde! I’m a big fan!
What about you? What do you think about the Audrey mythology? Do you roll your eyes or just love her?
Audrey In Rome, a book edited by her son Luca Dotti, and Ludovica Damiani, film and theater writer and producer, and with text by fashion director and stylist Sciascia Gambaccini, was published by HarpersCollins.
Translation : Tim Sullivan