Monday 20 October 2014

The Hepburn Project - The Audrey Hepburn Story

It was after seeing all the wonderful projects shared over the web for this year's Me-Made May  (I was overwhelmed with just how many people wore homemade all month, you guys are amazing!) that I realised that there was a real lack of practical clothing in my wardrobe, especially separates. I have a lot of dresses which I love and wear, but there are far more dressy 'going out' dresses than I will ever need in my wardrobe.

So when I spotted that Sarah from The Creative Perfectionist was updating her Hepburn Project I was as keen as mustard to join in, I figured it would help to motivate me to create some practical yet pretty separates which could be mixed and matched!

I knew instantly which of the two lovely Hepburn ladies I wanted to emulate, my favorite actress of all time, Audrey Hepburn.

1954 La Vigna, Italy {Image Source}

I have already made myself some Audrey inspired items (this black dress and this eye mask) But when contemplating a wardrobe full of Audrey 'inspired' clothes where do you start?

Well, obviously you go wild on Pinterest, pin everything Audrey related...

{Image Source}


Then you go back over her films to oggle/research her style a bit more. So today's post is actually a sneaky way of me introducing another Film Fashion Post, remember those! I am actually going to start somewhere you might not expect, with made for TV movie, The Audrey Hepburn Story.

The Audrey Hepburn Story is a biopic from 2000, it stars Emmy Rossum as young Audrey and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the older, as you would expect from a biopic it charts her life from her early days growing up in Belgium and Holland during the war, barely surviving by all accounts, through her early ballet and acting career and leading up to her filming of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

So let's have a quick look at the fashions, shall we ...

Brown Circle calf length skirt, with a white lacy blouse with cute little slit sleeves and round collar, pulled together with a brown leather belt and ribbon neck tie.

I can't be sure if this is a dress or a blouse and skirt as we don't get much of a look at it, but its still lovely! It has a button through front, trimmed pointy black and white polka dot collar and matching sleeve cuffs.

White, head scarf, cream oversized knitted jumper, embellished with red scalloped (looks crocheted) edging around the neck hem and cuffs above which is a red band which has been woven through the neckline and finished in a bow/ Paired with capri pants and red wooden clog shoes.

This outfit is the costume departments attempt to capture the essence of the iconic scene where Audrey sings 'Moon River', in reality, the outfit in the film is much less interesting Audrey's hair is wrapped in a white towel she is wearing grey jersey sweater, with denim capris and ballet pumps.

When Audrey meets Hubert Givenchy for the first time she is wearing a silk button backed blouse embellished with beads around the collar and yoke and a simple grey pencil skirt.

Well, I know this is a dress but it's rather lovely, especially the colour, again more polka dots a full circle skirt topped with a sleeveless bodice and v-shaped neckline which has a slim collar and is gathered by a bow.

I am rather smitten with this little red cap, it looks like it's crochet, but could quite as easily have been woven straw.
The same brown skirt as above, this time, it's worn with a simple yet lovely short sleeve black blouse with buttons down the front and cute little necktie style collar.
A Mid blue V-necked jersey with embellished neckline and a little stand-up collar teamed with a pair of 'classic' Audrey Capri pants.

I honestly set about watching this expecting to hate it, but I really didn't, I actually really rather enjoyed it! The reason I started here rather than with one of her classic films, was I thought it would give me a better idea of what Audrey's most iconic pieces were when distilled through the eyes of the costume department. If someone had to find the essence of Audrey's style what would they pick? what colours would they use and would it be believable?

And I think it certainly is, they have obviously changed a few things but nothing major and it's given me a good starting place for isolating what would make a 1950's Audrey inspired wardrobe.

Bold Colours - Browns, Pinks, Blues, Black & White.
Patterns - Essentially very little in the way of patterns mainly a little embellishment here and there and a few polka dots!
Separates - Obviously!  Full Circle skirts are always worn with a belt; capri pants and short sleeve blouses, with some neck embellishment, tie or brooch.

So now it's time to seek out some appropriate patterns to fit the job and I'll be back with my findings soon!

Wendy x


  1. Thank you for mentioning my little project! Now I want to sew or knit every single thing you've pictured in this post! I adore classic Audrey cigarette trousers/capris and have been wearing them constantly this year. I'm about to make a charcoal grey pair from Vogue 2396 - a sewing pattern for all of her iconic styles. If you can grab one, I highly recommend it!

  2. Ooooo...absolutely love Audrey (and Pinterest too)! Watching Roman Holiday...just brings her vibrancy of character to mind, even in black and white. Simply a beautiful role model for the world in different ways, and utterly unique. Have a fabulous week ahead my dear!
    May x

  3. Love this post and reading about your research into Audrey's style! It's timeless and I look forward to seeing what patterns you find to match her look.

  4. When I watched the movie it surprised me also. I didn't think I would like it but I did

  5. I've been looking for inspiration for a work wardrobe but just haven't had the time to research and then you went and did it for me! I love all this and am going to be borrowing heavily from this post (including fringe styles). Thanks for the inspiration, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  6. Oh, this is perfect! I'm having the same issue, too many impractical dresses and not enough everyday wear. I recently purchased a fabulous pair of high waisted cigarette pants which I have already worn to death so I definitely think the Audrey look is the way to go. I also really want to watch this film now! I've always avoided it thinking it was going to be horrendous but it's definitely being added to my watch list.

  7. Thank you Cate! Oh I love cigarette pants, perfectly Audrey, they are so easy to wear with everything plus they seem to make any outfit look a little more sophisticated! Its certainly worth a watch she certainly lived an interesting life! x

  8. Thank you Tors, glad I could help! I think Audrey's style is just perfect for work, its simple yet classy with all with a vintage nod. Ooh I sense an imminent haircut, sounds exciting! x

  9. Your more than welcome Sarah its such a fabulous idea! Those pants sound fabulous, I know of the pattern, so far it has remained elusive, though one day it will be mine! ;-) x