Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cinema Style File--Audrey Hepburn in the Iconic BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

I recently spent a wonderful evening sipping champagne at a party at Tiffany's on Rodeo Drive.  Afterward, I couldn't help but be inspired and reflect once again on the iconic images from Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Though there were a lot of talented people involved with making the 1961 film, it was all about Audrey Hepburn the second it was released.  The main character, Holly Golightly, is essentially a call girl in Truman Capote's popular novel, but Audrey's class and vulnerability immediately erase any negative impression you might have right from the start and you find yourself rooting for her.

That said, it's Audrey's style in the movie that is most memorable and continues to captivate its audience.  That style comes largely as a gift from her best friend, Hubert de Givenchy, who was responsible for her wardrobe both on- and off-screen from the movie Sabrina onward.  Here, thanks to Givenchy, Breakfast at Tiffany's opens with one of the most iconic images in classic cinema.

Black column gown, strand after strand of pearls, black opera length gloves, and oversized cat's eyes sunglasses...
oh, and a tiara...everything you need to look lovely walking home the morning after

In addition to the famous opening gown, other formal frocks fill the film including more in classic black

Givenchy is known for the refined elegance found in his perfect cut, and you can really admire that skill in the designs of his gorgeous hats and coats.  One of my favorite outfits in the movie is the one that Audrey chooses when finally visiting Tiffany's...a mink hat and orange wool coat paired with a smart brown tweed dress.

These two characters--who both live off the money of others, and struggle to find love while struggling to find themselves--
don masks at one point in the movie to literally and symbolically hide their identities

Audrey is so gorgeous that it's often hard to remember that she was not the only glamorous woman in the movie.  Audrey also shared the screen with Patricia Neal, who played the wealthy benefactress (read: sugar momma) to George Peppard's character.  The director wanted her to look and feel different than Audrey, so Patricia was actually dressed by a different designer:  Pauline Trigere.

Like Givenchy, Trigere was known for the cut and fit of her garments. But where Givenchy erred on the side of restraint in his design, Trigere's elegance was decidedly more outspoken, much like the designer herself.  Elegance came from a series of details--color, fabric, volume, buttons, brooches--all within an outfit.  Trigere once astutely stated, "Fashion is what others tell you to wear.  Style is what comes from your own inner thing."

Though Breakfast at Tiffany's is known for its extraordinarily elegant gowns and dresses, Audrey eventually wears
 more and more casual looks--Givenchy's interpretation of casual, of course--as the movie goes on

Even for sleeping, Givenchy puts Holly Golightly in a man's formal tuxedo shirt and adorned eye mask

This peach robe hints of the fashionable trench she'll wear later in the movie, including 
the last climatic scene where she finally gives herself in to true love

1 comment:

Those Four Words, Proposal & Wedding Planners said...

In love with Breakfast at Tiffany's. In fact love it so much it serves as the inspiration to our newest post about my dream proposal. I used one of your photos and posted the link to your blog. And one of your newest followers!!

Check out what Those Four Wrods we're talking about this week if you please, PLEASE!!

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