To me when it comes to style, true beauty, intelligence and grace no one comes close to Audrey Hepburn. She is the most perfect woman I have ever seen and as a child I couldn’t really understand what was it about her smile that radiated so much warmth and love. It was during the later years when I saw her work as a UN ambassador and the pictures of her in Africa that made me realize what it was. It was her compassion, intellect, absolute grace and courage that made her so beautiful.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo Da Vinci
No one really embodied this quote as perfectly as she did. Audrey came into the limelight at a time when the fashion was for sultry voluptuous glamour. Most of the Hollywood leading ladies were dressed in sexy sheaths with glossy pout y lips and cascading curls. In contrast Audrey was extremely lithe with a pixie haircut and barely there makeup. She always dressed in simple practical clothing that everyday people could identify with. She had very simple tastes in clothes, hairstyles and makeup and she continued to stay true to her self despite being a Hollywood star and the dictates of the studios she worked with. Perhaps it was her aristocratic background ( Her mother was a Dutch baroness) or the hardship of WWII which she endured, where they often had to without meals and had to wear handmade clothes or her discipline as a trained ballet dancer. Whatever it was decades later she remains one of the ultimate style icons. Women for generations and generations to come will emulate her elegant, sporty, immaculately tailored slightly androgynous style. I read somewhere that during the war she only had one blouse and skirt but had fourteen scarves which she used to style her outfit differently and give her simple clothes a fresh feel. This is secret European women know well. They know to invest in beautifully tailored high quality clothes that will last a lifetime.
But it was not just good taste that made her the living legend that she is today, Perhaps it was the rigors of ballet or the nobility that gave her the posture or inner stillness that gave her that grace. She carried off everything she wore with the ease of a swan. She was never overwhelmed.
Cropped pants and ballet flats has become the de rigueur staples for modern day women. Be it Mango, Zara or any other high street brand and this look is echoed everywhere on the fashion magazines. But it was Audrey who made this her uniform. I am still actually looking for the exact shoes she wore.
Though she was a favourite of Givenchy she wasn’t always clad in designer wear from head to foot and she always added interesting elements to make the simple silhouettes more polished by adding a interesting hat, scarf or a bow tie. These days we call it quirky, edgy and all sorts of names. Those days people just said she has that je ne se quoi touch.
Even her formal glamorous looks were very individualistic. She never tried to be anything she is not. She is the only woman I have seen who can do sexy with such a sense of elegance that can even drown a titan of sultriness.
This is perhaps one of my favourite pictures of her.One thing that she wanted above all was to be a mother and she withdrew from her career at its peak to fulfill this desire. She had episodes of great sorrow and distress but I believe she truly found her happiness in life, in family, her movies and later as a UN ambassador. She was truly a wonderful woman and the most graceful elegant creature I have ever laid my eyes on.