Celebrating Women - Audrey Hepburn

Hello Blog Buddies!

Following on from the amazing response to the first 'Women of Style' post on Grace Kelly, I have put together another in the series inspired by the simply beautiful Megan Hess drawings...

A truly exceptional woman, and one of my personal inspirations... Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4th, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. 
Her mother Ella Van Heemstra was a Dutch Baroness and her father Joseph Ruston 
was a businessman.

(Source: Huffington Post)

Following Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939, Hepburn's mother relocated her daughter to Arnhem in the hope that the Netherlands would remain neutral and be spared a German attack. While there, Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945. She had begun taking ballet lessons during her last years at boarding school, and continued training in Arnhem under the tutelage of Winja Marova, becoming her "star pupil".

(Source: Backinstyle.com)

During the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, Audrey Hepburn developed acute anaemia and respiratory problems as a result of malnutrition. After the war ended in 1945, Hepburn moved with her mother and siblings to Amsterdam, where she continued to train in ballet. 

Later that year, Audrey moved to London to take up a ballet scholarship. Here, she supported herself with part-time work as a model. After she was told by the ballet school that despite her talent, her height and weak constitution (the after-effect of wartime malnutrition) would make the status of prima ballerina unattainable, Audrey decided to concentrate on acting.

(Source: Backinstyle.com)

In 1953, after several small roles, Audrey Hepburn landed her first starring role in Roman Holiday. In it, she played Princess Anne, a European princess who, while escaping the reins of royalty, falls in love with an American newsman. Director, William Wyler, was so impressed with Hepburn's screen test that he commented;  "...She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence, and talent. She also was very funny. She was absolutely enchanting..." 

The film was a box office success, and Hepburn gained critical acclaim for her portrayal, unexpectedly winning an Academy Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best British Actress in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. 

Audrey Hepburn was promptly signed to a seven-picture contract with Paramount Films with 12 months in between films to allow her time for stage work.

(Source: Quotesgram.com)

Audrey Hepburn's entire film career would encompass less than thirty movies - but it is a career that contains some of the best films of the fifties and sixties, including;

Sabrina (1954)
War and Peace (1965)
Funny Face (1957)
Love in the Afternoon (1957)
The Nun's Story (1959)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
The Children's Hour (1961)
Paris When it Sizzles (1964)
My Fair Lady (1964)
How to Steal a Million (1966)

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' provided Audrey Hepburn with the role of Holly Golightly, a character still considered today, to be one of the most iconic in American Cinema, and most certainly, a defining role for Ms Hepburn. The Givenchy dress she wears in the opening scene is considered an icon of the twentieth century and perhaps the most famous "little black dress" of all time.

(In December 2006, the iconic dress was auctioned at Christie's in London and purchased for approximately US$ $923,00)

It is strongly believed the no-one has ever captured the hearts of the fashion industry more than Audrey Hepburn. Her clean style sensibility and radiant grace have inspired the great fashion designers to try and translate her spirit into their clothing and accessories. Audrey Hepburn's style is one of the most emulated and admired in the world. Her ability to combine simplicity, comfort and elegance into timeless, singularly European sophistication, was her trademark.
Audrey Hepburn's allure was mostly about subtlety and effortless gracefulness rather than brash sex appeal. Hepburn's style was not manufactured by a studio, but was instead driven by her own ideals influenced by the understated elegance of her upbringing.
(Source: Audreyhepburnfashion.com)
In her personal life, Hepburn married twice: to American actor Mel Ferrer and to an Italian doctor, Andrea Dotti. She had a son to each husband, Sean in 1960 by Ferrer, and Luca in 1970 by Dotti. At the time of her death in 1993, Hepburn was in a long-term relationship with Robert Wolders. Although they never married, she said the nine years spent with him in Switzerland, were the happiest years of her life. 
Throughout her life, Audrey Hepburn had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself. Following her final film role, she was appointed a special ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Grateful for her own good fortune after being a victim of the Nazi occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the world's poorest nations. Her dedication was great. During this time, Audrey visited countries in Africa and South Asia as part of UNICEF programs. She dedicated herself to spreading awareness of the conditions of these nations.

Whenever I think about Audrey Hepburn, I always imagine her as elegant and kind... A true humanitarian who always considered the comfort of others before herself. I seem to always feel a great sense of humour and fun about her. 

Here is a flat-lay I created inspired by the Megan Hess card, and of course, Ms. Hepburn herself!

The 'Tiffany blue' will always be associated with Ms. Audrey. I found I had a number of items around my house that were in this colour palette.

Tiffany boxes are always wrapped with a crisp white bow.
To learn how to tie the perfect Tiffany bow click Here

(I know this has Grace Kelly on the front... but it was the right colour!!)

Just a few items I have around me... 

Has Audrey Hepburn inspired you at all? Let me know.

1 comment

Read Me said...

Audrey has always been a special name in my family because my grandmother was Audrey H.! I see another book that I might need. I love that beautiful quote and must ask, what was in the Tiffany box? :) x

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