An actor par excellence, a muse to Givenchy, humanitarian, a ballet dancer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a legend - these are some of the words that define the icon that was Audrey Hepburn. She has charmed millions with her performances on the silver screen and her style hasn’t been dampened by the test of time. But it is her undying love for fashion and her revered style sense that still lives rent-free on our minds as it' been for over 60 years.
She remains one of Hollywood's greatest style icons and one of the world's most famous actresses. The Belgian-born British actress is renowned for her radiant beauty, elegance, an air of sophistication and her efforts to help children in need.
During the WWII, Hepburn aided the resistance, although her parents were Nazi sympathisers. She handed the money she earned from her ballet recitals to the Resistance.
Audrey focused her efforts on behalf of children in her later years. In the late 1980s, she became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. She sought to raise awareness about children in need while travelling the globe. She knew all too well what it was like to go hungry during the German occupation of the Netherlands.
Additionally, Audrey was an EGOT (The phrase EGOT refers to those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award). Hepburn is one of just 14 individuals to have accomplished this. She also received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the 1953 film Roman Holiday.
She is still one of the most famous style icons. The doe-eyed beauty was known for her easy style, which consisted of practical items with a feminine touch.
Her style came to be known as the ‘Hepburn look’.
So, what is the Hepburn look? Cigarette pants, gingham, garden dresses, black polo necks, trench coats, ballerina flats, head scarves, pixie haircuts, thick eyebrows and LBD’s for starters. Her style also extended to classic gowns and Parisian chic. Scroll down to delve into some of her memorable on-screen looks.
1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The elegant black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's takes the crown as it is her most iconic on-screen ensemble. After Audrey wore this dress on-screen, owning a black dress became a must for any modern woman. The classic Givenchy-designed dress is truly iconic. The style is timeless, having lasted through generations and will continue to do so in the future. The most unique part of the dress is the distinctive cut-out back. The dress was accessorised with a classic pair of sunglasses, a layered pearl necklace and a pair of black elbow-length gloves.
In the movie Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn plays a naïve girl who, after staying a few years in Paris, evolves into an intelligent and fashionable young lady. Not only does her manner and personality grow, but her appearance also improves greatly. When the main heroine Sabrina makes her high-society debut at a reception wearing this strapless organza dress upon her return home, it is one of the most significant moments of the film. The dress featured a high-low cut, a detachable train, and floral embroidery which ran throughout the dress.
3 Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn first appeared on the big screen in the 1953 picture Roman Holiday, as Princess Ann. Audrey donned light linens, flowing midi skirts, and silk scarves for several of the moments in the film. She also undergoes a drastic change, chopping off her long hair in favour of a short, cropped pixie cut. In this look, she is seen wearing a blue belted midi skirt and a simple white blouse. She wore a number of beautiful gowns in the movie but this simple outfit is the most memorable and charming one of them all.
4 Funny Face
Audrey portrays a modest New York librarian (Jo) who is discovered by a famous fashion photographer who is smitten by her appearance in the film. He whisks Jo away to Paris, where she begins her career as a high-fashion magazine model, donning plenty of exquisite Givenchy designs. In all of the couture outfits Audrey wore in Funny Face, the heroine looked stunning, but this red gown is the most elegant. She wore the strapless red gown for a photoshoot, in which she gracefully cascaded down the stairs, arms in the air, revealing her matching transparent crimson shawl, heels, statement necklace and sleek white gloves.
5 My Fair Lady
Hepburn's black and white ascot attire from My Fair Lady, which she showcased as Eliza Doolittle is an unforgettable look. The fashion moment marks Eliza's debut appearance in high society which puts her on the map among the wealthy. She transforms from a working-class woman to an elite society figure. A large hat tops off the dramatic ensemble, which includes a long-sleeve lace gown with striped ribbons throughout.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. -Audrey Hepburn