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September 2, 2019

Audrey Hepburn’s Styles Through the Years

Ever an eternal icon in film and fashion, Audrey Hepburn was famous for her distinctive appearance. Upon her rise to stardom in the 1953 film Roman Holiday, with her short hair, thick eyebrows and “gamine” looks, Hepburn presented an alternative feminine ideal that engaged women’s attention more than of men, in comparison to curvy bombshells of the time. In an article for Vogue in 1954, the renowned fashion photographer stated Hepburn as the “public embodiment of our new feminine ideal,” and added, “Nobody ever looked like her before World War II… Yet we recognise the rightness of this appearance in relation to our historical needs. The proof is that thousands of imitations have appeared.”

Audrey Hepburn’s fashion styles in the 1950s

It is undeniable that fashion has a big hand in Hepburn’s career, in fact, it even plays an unusually central role in many of her films, as stated by Rachel Moseley, that “the costume is not tied to the character, functioning ‘silently’ in the mise-en-scène, but as ‘fashion’ becomes an attraction in the aesthetic in its own right.” This remarkable consequence comes from a lifelong friendship between Hepburn and French designer Hubert de Givenchy, who initially disappointed that “Miss Hepburn” whom he was hired to design the on-screen wardrobe for the 1954 film Sabrina was not Katharine Hepburn. Givenchy later designed many costumes for his style muse, both on and off-screen. Hepburn herself once stated that the French designer “gave me a look, a kind, a silhouette. He has always been the best, and he stayed the best. Because he kept the spare style that I love. What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric, and just two earrings?” While according to Givenchy, “It was a kind of marriage.”

Take a look back at the timeless style of the icon through these photos:

May 1, 1950. Audrey Hepburn leaning on an ornate urn in Kew Gardens. Photo by Bert Hardy-Picture Post.

1951. Audrey Hepburn carrying a net on the beach at Rottingdean, East Sussex. Photo by Joseph McKeown.

May 1953. Audrey Hepburn posing for a publicity shot in London. Photo by Sunday Pictorial.

May 21, 1953. Audrey Hepburn waves as she stands in front of the steps of her plane at London airport after arriving from New York. Photo by Daily Mirror.

October 1953. Audrey Hepburn on the set of 'Sabrina,' New York.

1954. Audrey Hepburn wearing a Givenchy red coat dress while browsing through the wardrobe on the set of ‘Sabrina.'

March 25, 1954. Audrey Hepburn entering the NBC Century Theater for the Academy Award ceremony in New York City. Photo by Leonard Mccombe-LIFE.

1955. Audrey Hepburn wearing capri pants and a white tunic with black sleeves.

1955. Audrey Hepburn riding a horse and wearing chaps, Italy. Photo by Pictorial Parade.

1955. Audrey Hepburn on the terrace of the Restaurant Hammetschwand at the summit of the Bürgenstock, Switzerland. Photo by Graphic House.

1955. Audrey Hepburn on the terrace of the Restaurant Hammetschwand at the summit of the Bürgenstock, Switzerland.

March 27, 1957. Audrey Hepburn and husband Mel Ferrer pose for a photo at the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Richard C. Miller.

March 27, 1957. Audrey Hepburn, in a Givenchy dress, posing for a photo with husband Mel Ferrer and her dog Mr. Famous at the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Richard C. Miller.

1957. Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer wearing cowboy hats. Photo by John Swope-LIFE.

1957. Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy for a publicity still for ‘Funny Face,’ Los Angeles, California.

1957. Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy emerges through the smoke of a locomotive in a scene from 'Funny Face.'

1950s. Audrey Hepburn with Hubert de Givenchy in his workshop in Paris.

1958. Audrey Hepburn writing a letter in a palm grove during the filming of 'The Nun's Story' at Belgian Congo. Photo by Leo L Fuchs.

1959. Audrey Hepburn with her pet yorkshire terrier Mr. Famous. Photo by Hulton Archive.

December 1, 1959. Audrey Hepburn, in Bergdorf Goodman coat, strolling with her dog in Rome, Italy. Photo by Mondadori.

October 1960. Audrey Hepburn on bicycle with her Yorkshire Terrier Mr. Famous.

1960. Audrey Hepburn in Rome with her pet Yorkshire Terrier. Photo by Pictorial Parade.

1961. Audrey Hepburn in the black Givenchy dress on the set of 'Breakfast at Tiffany’s.'

October 19, 1961. Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy at the charity premiere of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in London with former British Prime Minister Lord Attlee.

1962. Audrey Hepburn at a Hollywood event in a long white gown.

1963. Audrey Hepburn eating an icecream while chatting to Cary Grant during the filming of 'Charade,' Paris. Photo by Alan Band.

August 1, 1963. Audrey Hepburn in I. Magnin & Co. Shirt, Givenchy Boutique Paris pants and Céline flats. Photo by Cecil Beaton.

March 11, 1964. Audrey Hepburn steps out of a car in Rome, Italy. Photo by Keystone-France.

December 21, 1964. Audrey Hepburn wearing a Givenchy coat dress in Paris. Photo by Philippe Le Tellier.

March 5, 1968. Audrey Hepburn with a Louis Vuitton bag at Rome's Airport, Italy. Photo from Bettmann Archive.

April 1, 1968. Audrey Hepburn wearing a beige wool coat and sunglasses at the airport. Photo by Art Zelin.

April 21, 1968. Audrey Hepburn getting into her car in New York City. Photo by Santi Visalli.

March 26, 1971. Audrey Hepburn strolls between parked cars in the Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy. Photo by Popperfoto.

1975. Photo by Pictorial Parade.

1981. Audrey Hepburn with co-star Ben Gazzara on the set of 'They All Laughed.' Photo by LIFE.

1982. Audrey Hepburn with Hubert de Givenchy in Paris.

March 28, 1988. Audrey Hepburn in London for a UNICEF conference for further famine relief for Ethiopia. Photo by Arthur Sidey.

January 1, 1990. Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy dress and D. Swarovski & Co. for Givenchy earrings.

January 20, 1990. Audrey Hepburn and Robert Wolders during the 47th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Ron Galella.

January 20, 1990. Audrey Hepburn posing with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 47th Annual Golden Globes for her contribution to film, Beverly Hills, California.

October 1, 1990. Audrey Hepburn with Deputy Prime Minister, General Vo Nguyen Giap, in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Peter Charlesworth.

October 1, 1990. Audrey Hepburn, UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador, visits very young children in a daycare center on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Peter Charlesworth.

1992. Audrey Hepburn at a press conference for her charity work in Somalia, London.




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