Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Inimitable Audrey Hepburn

I have no hope of ever looking anything like Audrey Hepburn - I would have to lose more than a few pounds and go back to ballet class - but I admire her grace. This week I found her official website, which is chock full of biographical tidbits and wonderful photos. The site is encoded such that I can't grab any of the beautiful childhood photographs, so you'll have to go to Audrey's site and see them for yourself. (I did find a few elsewhere on the web to share in this post.)

Did you know that she grew up in the Netherlands during WWII and experienced great deprivation due to Nazi blockades? (I wonder if being a starving pre-teen disrupted her hormones and her growth, and kept her svelte as an adult? Anybody know about such things?)

Audrey at age 10, in 1939.

She studied ballet, and was apparently quite good, but was told that she was "too tall," so in order to make ends meet she turned to modeling and acting.

Did you know that she had a pet fawn named Pippin that she took everywhere, even grocery shopping, with her? He was a gift from her then-husband, Mel Ferrer.

Now I ask you, who else could carry off a hat like that?

From early on, Audrey worked with UNICEF to fight child poverty and hunger. Having experienced it herself, she was dedicated to helping others escape the pain of starvation. There are lots of pictures of her in different countries, talking with those who were suffering. She was known to take children in her arms who were ill, covered in parasites, and hold them. What wonderful heart she had.

A style icon for many, she had a special working relationship with Givenchy. He designed the first "celebrity perfume" for her, L'Interdit, along with many fabulous outfits and gowns. She was his muse, as she is for many still.

About the only thing I have in common with her is that our first names end in "y", and we have Dutch heritage...and we love clothes. I guess that's not so bad!


  1. The skirt on that dress in the first pic is amazing--loooove the fullness in the back. I was just looking at a Vogue pattern book from 1957, and there are a lot of dresses with that style of skirt.

  2. I really loved that dress as I'm going to have to find a pattern for something similar!

  3. Nancy, have you seen Vogue 1084? It's a recent vintage reissue. It has this shape of skirt. I think you should give it a whirl! Unless you're against reissues, which I know some people are. :) The Vogues are supposed to be pretty good though.

  4. That dress in the first picture is almost like this one (no sleeves but that can be altered, if wanted):

  5. Thanks for the pattern tips, Gertie and Una! I'll definitely take a look at Vogue 1084! I'm not against re-issues at all; heck, that way I can get the pattern in my size and don't have to do as many adjustments!


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