Archive for the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ Category

Paris – City of flowers and lights!

February 16, 2017

‘I want to be there, NOW!’ to quote Axel Sheridan.cafe-de-flore

It might have been fun in 1954 with Barthes but in Summer 2015 I was on my way but I had to cry off.  I will make do with a Chanel presentation in London this July and maybe I can make Paris somehow, before 2018.

‘What was it about her face?” thought Roland Barthes sitting in Café Flore, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, after seeing Audrey Hepburn in the first French screening of ‘Roman Holiday’ on April 4th, 1954. Surrounded by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Butor, Françoise Sagan, Nathalie Sarraute, Romain Gary, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Marcel Rochas, Gunnar Larsen, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Paco Rabanne, Guy Laroche, Tristan Tzara, Alberto Giacometti, Dali, Jacques Lacan, inspiration came thick and fast for Barthes.

Between 1954 and 1956 his stunningly provocative and most influential text, ‘Mythologies,’ observing cinema, advertising, fashion magazines, motor shows, began challenging ideas about Hollywood, striptease, steak, wrestling, wine, and film forever.

 Born in 1915, Barthes has become the ‘go-to’ guy for story angles and inspiration for 21st century art, media, advertising, fashion professionals and his reputation today rivals that of any of his Parisian contemporaries.

Of Fashion he wrote that it became an industrial synthesis between its making, and its selling. He recognised the contradiction, inherent in the industry, of Fashion being readily available for the many, without losing its ability to raise stakes or status for an individual.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Parc Citroen, Parc Asterix and the pack of peanut butter sandwiches!

The Saint Wears Black

February 14, 2017

THERE’S really only one stylish religious icon. It’s the image of Pope Joan wearing a tiara.  She appears on my blog with Amy’s hysterical outburst in ‘Big Bang Theory’ when Sheldon buys her the diamante encrusted headpiece as an apology gift.

Really this opening paragraph is just a way to get back in to my meanderings and connecting with today. St Valentine’s images are all too garish to collect and so I’m posting Fashion.

Sarah Pacini, the 20 year old high end, chicest street styles puts clothes you and I have in our wardrobes together twice a year and makes them look new. Here’s one for today which is inspiring me to layer up and walk.

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For ex convent girls there’s nothing as inspiring and intimidating than black, especially if spiked with white near the face. Sarah Pacini’s looks are much more friendly and relaxed. When the nuns layered up it was with thick pleated serge and heavy rosary beads.  Since ‘Roman Holiday’ when Audrey became everyone’s favourite gamine we are suckers for the sacred and everyday clashing together on our streets.

Saints should wear black. Then Rock chicks and Goth sweets can be doubly confused and no-0ne needs to do the embarrassing goody-goody Adele act, trying to disguise our passion for well-natured tarts and kindly villains.

So this brings me to my favourite, totally delightful destination, haunted by Hollywood stars,  gardens overflowing with exotic scented flowers, the sea pannning out from cliff tops over a never-ending sparkle of reflected sunlight, at 26 degrees on the breeze.  Yes we’re back to Normandy as this Oscar de la Renta number recalls the gardens Christian and his mother tended in Granville.

diorsgarden

Most Photographed

December 8, 2015

lucadotti

It’s official! Audrey  Hepburn is the most photographed woman of her generation, BBC 2, yesterday and on iPlayer.

So it’s no wonder Anton Storey  and I had masses of scintillating images to inspire us when we collaborated to feature her in print  in 2009.

So lovely is she in her movies we have at least two wonderful reworked pieces to publish in each part of ‘IMAGES OF PASSION Audrey Heburn and Breakfast at Givenchy’s’

Last week we published part 1 PARIS  as a tribute to her greatest fan, Roland Barthes.  He described her face as an ‘event.’

http://tinyurl.com/zjb6ors

More Audrey Hepburn than Bridget Jones – for Burberry babes off to the office!

September 16, 2013
A transparent vinyl jacket embellished with light-reflecting crystals. Cut with a clean silhouette, the design features hand-applied gemstone motifs in a geometric placement.

A transparent vinyl jacket embellished with light-reflecting crystals.

WATCHING Anna Wintour’s arrival to the black-cloaked coven of Fashion’s wizards and witches wonder if Christopher Bailey had stage-managed this contrast to his S/S14 show of  light, lacey, palest lilacs, peaches, and hybrid roses imaginable?

Counted among the Cartiers, the Tiffanys, the Armanis of world Fashion, for Burberry, there was no need to re-work images, or ethos, or make connections to officers in the trenches for this London Fashion Week!

Models appeared in jolly embroidered peach and pink with a grey slender belts.  The soft wool overcoat, thrown over filmy lace, is  four inches below the knee, slightly curved from the shoulders to the hem, in cream, white any number of delicious pastels.  Mortitia  Addams would be appalled!

Looking like elegant maiden aunts in wonderful perpendicular shoes everyone walked to acoustic guitar Nashville strains, surprising  choice for European post-Sloane rangers. Have cohorts of trust fund babies joined the working classes? Is the label set on more Audrey Hepburn and less Bridget Jones?

Applique blossoms,  a bit Gucci’s Autumn 2012 buttons, attached to a clear acrylic jacket, over cream short sleeved silk and a coral pencil skirt, the shape de jour, were echoed in a rose petals-falling finale.

This year the clothes are the story, rather than the dramatic reveal as darkness rolled back to show Hyde Park’s massive greenery in September 2012. Today we had Autumn’s own natural light and shimmering shades  to harmonise with looks for a returning summer.

Tired of London? – Not me!

September 14, 2013

IN town, on Tuesday, heard Audrey Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti  speak of his family life with the broadcaster, Gianluca Longo, at the V&A. We celebrated the publication of the book ‘Audrey in Rome’, containing snapshots of Hepburn during the three decades she lived in the Italian city.

So far London Fashion Week is thrilling me, more than usual.  The clothes, the looks, the colours are Modern, again.  Not in a Givenchy, Quant way, but now more reliant on cut and drape for drama than since the 1970s.

Will see how Burberry fits into the scene  and let you know if Christopher Bailey is able to suggest the epaulettes  yet catch the moment?  I really do care. Have an unending faith in the Fashion system.  It’s a marvel.

The women who led UNICEF with her own younger son, Luca Dotti, in their garden in Rome.

The woman who led UNICEF with her own younger son, Luca Dotti, in their garden in Rome.

Audrey Hepburn and the Big Bang Theory

October 14, 2012

WITH crowned kings and queens and actresses wearing tiaras, no-one’s too sure about jewels as status symbols anymore. But as Sheldon’s girlfriend discovers her, diamond-studded, apology gift, the worlds of fantasy and reality collide.  See video below.

There’s more than just a tiara linking Audrey Hepburn, outside Tiffany’s in that hit 1961 movie, and Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in my favourite sit com, The Big Bang Theory. I can hardly write this blog for wanting to view the Youtube videos below. That’s not part of the connection, although it may be.

Audrey Hepburn frees modern woman to be more herself, than she has ever been before, as she steps out between New York skyscrapers from a yellow cab in the early hours of the day. Gazing into Tiffany’s window, ‘nothing really bad could happen to you there,’ holding her portable coffee, taking a bite from a do-nut, wearing tiara and pearls, we are convinced that anything is possible at any time.

When Amy is offended by Sheldon’s dismissal of her scientific journal article and he is persuaded, by Penny, to give her a gift, he chooses a tiara. For him this will be far more confusing than understanding String Theory! Yet without the Hepburn film moments, from the 1950s and 1960s, none of us would be able to get the ironies in the situation, either.

Before Hepburn in Roman Holiday, when Princess Ann realised she could lead a more ordinary life, even if for only one day, and in B@T’s when Holly Golightly throws off mid American domesticity for the glamour of New York, we did not know we could question status.  From then on we could play with symbols, such as tiaras, to create our own individual personas through Fashion.  We now, no longer, have to be either feminine or Feminist.  We can be both!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JfS90u-1g8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i_WpYc3YI4

Privileged paradise and cyber space trenches!

September 19, 2012

AS Fashion students, VFX directors, journalists set foot on acres of soft cream plush, outside the perpendicular-tech pavilion, at Christopher Bailey’s, 2013 S/S, Burberry Prorsum show we are in a privileged paradise.

The  drama begins. Dark-suited security staff check credentials.  The tension mounts as each tiny, taupe, picnic stool is taken up and millionaires rub shoulders with the recently employed.  In a hushed dusk conversations continue.  Suddenly, pounding techno music rebounding and reverberating, throbbing through carpet, platforms and seating.

As the first model steps out on the runway, blinds, along each side of the vast venue, are slowly lowered to let in the blazing natural light.   On view outside, Kensington Gardens’ ancient trees in late splendour, predict another summer yet to come.

Sweet models express the Burberry look represented in see-through acrylic, shoulder length, capes – the new epaulettes.  Shorts, it seems, are essentials for next summer for Westwood and Bailey.   Each separate, particular, Prorsum design makes subtle reference to the Burberry archive, interpreted through recently developed colours and fabrics .

Every piece, translated through designer’s eyes, references the  status Burberry imparts in official details.  At first the capes are Burberry enough, but in homage, and  a return to the actual Trench, for the finale, Christopher Bailey delights us.  Seventeen glowing pink, purple, aqua, green, gold coats  are totally referential and especially irreverent.  Cyber princesses at the beginning of the 21st century will look beyond science-fiction in these dreams of delight.  We’ll all want one!

http://uk.burberry.com/store/shows/#/ss13-womenswear/show

http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchnews/fashionintheageoftheimage.php

Audrey Hepburn and the discreet charms of the LBD

July 26, 2012

Ever-lasting Elegance: Our fascination with Audrey Hepburn

AT this year’s Paris’ Haute Couture show, July 2012, Hubert de Givenchy re-styled his Little Black Dress. The original, made famous by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961, was iconic in its simplicity and made the LBD the wardrobe staple of today. So, what is it with our lasting obsession with Audrey Hepburn?

She represents simple elegance, ultimate femininity and natural beauty. She is an actress as well known for her style as her films, wearing classic pieces made by top Fashion designers especially for her. What’s not to love? But has anyone come close since?

Apparently not.  In 2011 she was voted by British women as the most beautiful woman of all time. Personally, I think it’s her wonderful expressive smile and her compassion. She won us all over as the Princess Ann in Roman Holiday appealing to everyone’s inner princess. She made the character of Holly Golightly into a new fairy tale figure.  How many of us have that picture of her with the cigarette holder,  smiling mysteriously, on our walls? Editors and stylists love her as well as fans? Her look is truly exceptional; recognised in an instant.

Indeed, on July 22nd  the Sunday Times travel supplement mocked up the image of Hepburn in sunglasses and a hat. That ‘Audrey sells,’ is  a given.  It’s an inner beauty which shines through and yet she’s more known for her commercial potential!  She’s helped liberate women’s sense of identity by being feminine, stylish, yet strong and distinctive.  Let’s hope her sons gave permission to the Murdoch vehicle to use her photograph to copy.  If so, then the newspaper group will need to send a donation to UNICEF!

Picture Ref: Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Givenchy’s: Fashion Media Promotion: the new black magic p. 92 : Wiley Blackwell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urQVzgEO_w8

http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchnews/fashionintheageoftheimage.php 

Magic, Miniskirts and Modish Queens: an exploration of fashion over the royal Jubilee

June 27, 2012

Image  From a Press Release

“In 1952, when the lovely young Queen Elizabeth came to the throne bringing with her a revival in Tudor-style bodices and modest high collars, Marilyn Monroe was shocking the world by appearing in a calendar in just a bikini top and a pair of Levi’s.

Fashion Media Promotion: the new black magic  looks at how fashion, as an industry, has adapted itself over the last 60 years to always command an important role in the global marketplace. It explores how, through communication methods such as advertising, digital and print media and cinema, fashion has waved its magic wand and entranced the whole world.

Revelling in the nostalgia of some classic fashion firsts since the Queen came on the throne, Fashion Media Promotion explores, with some humour, the impact of quintessentially British designers such as Mary Quant, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood on both British culture and fashions abroad.

This insightful book will appeal, one trusts, to fashion students and lovers, film buffs and writers as it searches every corner of the fashion world’s monopoly, from the inspiration of Hollywood classics such as Gone with the Wind to a critique of Roland Barthes’ promotional work.

The book, published by Wiley-Blackwell, includes 60 original full colour illustrations. Images of Audrey Hepburn’s glamour, Mary Quant’s Mini-skirts to Kate Moss’s androgynous appeal really bring to life how fashion has evolved over the decades.

 “I have always been fascinated by how fashion links the generations and this has never been more the case than over the last 60 years. To keep us talking about it, fashion always has to find new ways to shock and thrill people, yet it also draws on past trends. Today a granddaughter might envy the clothes her grandmother used to wear in the 1950s.”

http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchnews/fashionintheageoftheimage.php

Fanfare, freedom and fun

June 1, 2012

Since watching Roman Holiday* I can’t help feeling it must have had an influence on Queen Elizabeth II.  Everyone watched popular movies in the 1950s.  I’m sure the Palace had masses of screenings for Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Or maybe they slipped out, incognito, to the Odeon,  Leicester Square.

Roman Holiday deals with celebrity and public image.  Through the eyes of the young, fictional, Princess Ann we see the difficulties and restrictions of being a head of state; always in the public eye. In the opening scenes Hepburn’s character is compared to the British royals of the time; to the British Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret, who was something of a dissenter; preferring unpredictable commonplace experiences rather than the strictures of public service. The film’s opening scenes include montaged, actual, footage of state visits in Europe and a voice-over tells  how they improved trade relations.

In 1980 when Princess Margaret visited a Haberdashers’ School in Cheshire, during a tour of the Science rooms, she told me, as a journalist, how her children would rush up and down carpeted areas to create static electricity before coming over to give her a slightly electrifying kiss. This liking for simple everyday experience was felt as an emotional need by the princess in Roman Holiday.  As a reverse Cinderella story audiences are able to empathise with the heroine’s longings even though her life was far removed from theirs.

After Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn was seen as the movie actress to be cast in parts dealing with transformation through Fashion.  She was not perceived as a Hollywood starlet plugged into the general 50s dynamic.  She carried her own romantic mystique a more elaborate, European, mythology with her.  Although she was seen as a Hollywood product, a Paramount Studio property, she only ever owned homes in Europe. Far from socialising with the movie glitterati she used her influence to fight for children’s rights.  At 16 years of age she danced, in secret, to raise money for the Dutch resistance to the Nazis.  Remembering the subterfuge and fear of the time, she said, ‘the best audience I ever had made not a single sound at the end of my performance’. Princess Elizabeth drove army vehicles as part of the war effort in England and married Prince Philip a serving naval officer. Their lives were lived in similar times and contexts.

The admiration audiences felt in the movie for Princess Ann, when she gave up the fun and the freedoms of being with the charming American journalist, Gregory Peck, to return to her European regal duties is the same respect many  feel for the current Queen of England.  She would  probably much rather be an aristocratic horse breeder than the person having weekly political meetings with twelve different Prime Ministers, even if one  was Tony Blair!


*  
http://www.hud.ac.uk/staff/fashionintheageoftheimage.php