Friday, 17 August 2018

Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen

Audrey Hepburn, born 88 years ago today, remains a constant source of inspiration. An actress and humanitarian, Hepburn was renowned for her elegant and timeless style and gamine beauty.   ‘Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen’ at the Proud Gallery revisits classic and timeless portraits celebrating Hepburn’s legacy on the 25th anniversary of her death. The Proud Gallery exhibition will display rare portraits of Hepburn, captured by a number of high profile twentieth-century photographers- Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson, Bob Willoughby, Eva Sereny, Mark Shaw and Douglas Kirkland.

From a photograph of a 24-year old Audrey on the set of Sabrina having her hair towel dried to a poised Audrey in a pale pink Givenchy - we’ve included some of the stand-out images below.

Audrey Hepburn Being Towel Dried, taken by Mark Shaw in 1953. Image courtesy of Proud Galleries

Audrey Hepburn at Studio Boulonge
Audrey Hepburn photographed in Paris by Douglas Kirkland, 1965. Image courtesy of Proud Galleries

Audrey Hepburn Wearing Givenchy
Audrey Hepburn, photographed in Italy by Norman Parkinson, 1955. Image courtesy of Proud Galleries

Audrey Hepburn’s acting career and influential fashions are widely documented, but lesser-known are the struggles of her early life. Born in 1929 to a Dutch baroness, Hepburn studied ballet throughout her formative years and had ambitions of becoming a professional dancer.  After the Nazis invaded the country, Hepburn and her mother struggled to survive under occupation. She helped the resistance movement by delivering messages and performing secret dance shows to raise money for the cause. Hepburn relocated to London after the war ended where she worked as a chorus girl in the West End. After after a steady stream of minor roles, she was eventually cast as the titular role in the Broadway production of Gigi.

Audrey Hepburn rose to fame after her starring role in the 1953 classic ‘Roman Holiday’- the tale of Hepburn’s European princess and Gregory Peck’s American reporter captured audience’s hearts and introduced the world to Hepburn’s gamine beauty.
Audrey’s next film Sabrina not only confirmed her status as one of Hollywood's finest but introduced her to the designer to whom she would become muse - Hubert de Givenchy. The two quickly struck up a friendship and their resulting working relationship went on to span 40-years ending only on Hepburn’s death in 1993. He dressed her for a total of seven films, including timeless films such as Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Givenchy also went on to design the actress' personal ensembles, including her wedding dress for her wedding to Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti in 1969.

Just as Hepburn’s films became imminently rewatchable classics, so her style endures. 
Vintage fashion and jewellery is the perfect way to incorporate that classic Hepburn style into your wardrobe and there are plenty of special pieces to choose from here at Alfies. We’ve selected a few of our current favourites…

Proud Central Exhibition: Audrey Hepburn Beyond the Screen is on from 17 August to 20 September 2018. You can find out more here 

1950s Rhinestone Tiara. Available from Linda Bee
1970s Burberry Trench Coat. Available from June Victor
1960s Black French Couture Dress with bow. Available from June Victor
Faux Pearls . Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
1950s Cat Eye Sunglasses. Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
1960s Navy Patent Leather Handbag. Available from Dream Retro

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