Audrey hepburn at 50

Moviestore/REX/Audrey Hepburn: the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star remains a style icon even 26 years after her death (in fact, people are still dressing up as her for Halloween). She played a major part in the popularity of the little black dress, and, with a 5’7″ stature and 110-pound weight, had an enviable figure. In fact, many have speculated that she had an eating disorder, but she did not. For most of her adult life, she led a very healthy lifestyle. In an interview with People, Hepburn’s family revealed the “secret” to her lifelong slim figure—and there’s really nothing secret about it.

Kobal/REX/According to Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, his mother never dieted; in fact, she “loved Italian food and pasta.” He adds that she ate “a little bit of everything,” but ate more grains and less meat. Robert Wolders, Hepburn’s significant other for the last 13 years of her life, also shares details about her daily eating habits, and they’re really…normal. For breakfast, she would eat toast and jam; for lunch, veal, chicken, or pasta; and for dinner, often soup with meat and veggies. After dinner, Hepburn would indulge in a few pieces of chocolate and often a little bit of Scotch as well.

SNAP/REX/And yes, she did exercise, but again, nothing extreme. Wolders says that he and she used to walk a lot, and that “she could outwalk .” However, her exercise regime was always balanced and manageable.

So it seems that she owes her slim figure, in part, to practicing moderation, though Wolders admits that she did have a very healthy metabolism. Here’s how to boost your own metabolism at any age.

However, Hepburn’s weight wasn’t always healthy; in fact, she spent much of her youth battling starvation. She was born in 1929 in Europe, and lived in the Netherlands during the German occupation of the nation. For a traumatic few years, she survived mainly on plants such as tulip bulbs. Until the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, she was sick with jaundice and dangerously underweight. However, as we know, she went on to lead a very healthy lifestyle…not to mention become a cultural icon. Here are 7 style tips we can take from her even today.


They seemed to have it all – glamour, power, wealth and adoration. Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Indira Gandhi, Madame Chiang Kai-shek… they were worshiped, loved and sometimes even feared by millions the world over. These were the pioneers who showed that a woman could be the equal of any man. But behind the public success, there was so often private heartache and personal tragedy. Featuring archive, interviews and dramatic re-enactment, this series reveals the price these extraordinary women paid for their achievements. Yet in the end, they overcame all adversities to emerge as triumphant, inspirational icons of the 20th century.


“Audrey Hepburn” – Audrey Hepburn was one of the most stylish women the world has ever seen, and she took Hollywood by storm. Winning an Oscar for her first major film role in “Roman Holiday,” she went on to star in the iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the huge box office hit, “My Fair Lady.” Her natural, effortless beauty charmed millions. Audrey was more than just a movie star – she was a fashion icon the world over.

But behind the glamour was a life marked by tragedy and loss. When Audrey was just 6 years old her father walked out on the family. His abandonment haunted her for the rest of her life. She endured the horrors of the Nazi-occupation in wartime Holland, and aged just 12 years old, Audrey witnessed the deportations of Jewish families to the death camps.

In 1945, the joy of liberation brought with it the harsh reality that her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina had been crushed. Her near starvation through Holland’s Hunger Winter had left her without a dancer’s body or a dancer’s strength. But it quickly became clear that it was only a matter of time before she would become a movie star.

A hugely successful film career followed, and even through the joys of the birth of her two children and the sadness surrounding her two divorces, Audrey Hepburn would never forget the terrible suffering during the war, nor those humanitarian organizations who saved her from it.

In 1988, Audrey Hepburn was able to repay her debt of gratitude when she became a Special Ambassador for UNICEF. And in what was to be the last few years of a life cut short by cancer, she traveled to some of the poorest regions in the world, dedicating her life to making the world a better place for children.

Distributed by BBC Worldwide

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At the height of her career, she worked with such directors as William Wyler and George Cukor and acted with the great male movie stars of her day, playing the younger woman opposite Gary Cooper (“Love in the Afternoon”), Cary Grant (“Charade,” 1963) and Rex Harrison, in the 1964 movie version of “My Fair Lady.”

There was some grumbling from the theater world when she was cast as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” winning the role over Julie Andrews, who had originated it on Broadway. Ms. Hepburn’s singing was dubbed in the film by Marni Nixon. The film won several Oscar nominations, but Miss Hepburn was not nominated. A Blind Woman Terrorized

Throughout her career, she also took on dramatic roles. She won an Oscar nomination for the title role of a woman questioning her vocation in “A Nun’s Story’ (1959). She played a woman enduring 20 years of an embattled marriage, opposite Albert Finney, in “Two for the Road” (1967). And she won her fifth Oscar nomination for her role as a blind woman terrorized in her own home in “Wait Until Dark” (1967). Other nominations were for “Sabrina” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

After “Wait Until Dark,” she left full-time acting and lived mostly in Switzerland.

Miss Hepburn returned to the screen occasionally. In “Robin and Marian” (1976) she played the middle-aged Maid Marian to Sean Connery’s Robin Hood. The role was considered the triumph of her later career and a reflection of the graceful way the actress herself had moved into middle age.

She also made some poorly received films, including “Bloodline” (1979) amd “They All Laughed” (1981).

Miss Hepburn, whose name originally was Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston, was born on May 4, 1929, near Brussels, to a Dutch mother and an English father, and was educated largely in London. During World War II, she and her mother were caught vacationing in Holland when the Nazis invaded and her family endured much hardship during the occupation. During the war, one of her brothers was taken to a labor camp, and an uncle and cousin were executed. She once said the family was reduced to eating tulip bulbs. Spotted by Colette

What Would The ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ Dress Look Like Today?

Today is a sad day for the fashion community, renowned designer Hubert de Givenchy passed away at age 91. Givenchy had a wildly successful and memorable career in fashion, with one dress leaving a major impact on the fashion world.

As someone who has watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s close to 1,000 times, I don’t think I am exaggerating all that much, the black Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wears at the beginning of the film has been a dress I have desired. While the dress has very little screen time, it is without a doubt iconic. Most of the marketing materials used for the movie showcased that famous black dress.

Keystone Features, Getty Images

Givenchy created the wardrobes for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as Funny Face. Hepburn was also the inspiration for Givenchy’s first perfume l’Interdit. Arguably, that little black dress catapulted Givenchy into the American market. The phrase “little black dress” has become synonymous with Givenchy.

It is hard to imagine Audrey eating her pastry in front of Tiffany’s in any other dress, but that classic gown. Unfortunately, people don’t dress like they did in 1961. Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, is wearing that gown while having a night out on the town. You won’t see too many people wearing long black gowns, long black gloves, and dripping in jewelry while going out in Manhattan. What would she be wearing if the movie was set in 2018? I weep to think of it.

You could imagine Holly would be going to a more upscale venue, since her taste in men is men with money. She was a quote “a free spirit, a wild thing” and didn’t like to fall into the stereotypes society would place on a woman. I scrolled through so many fashion icons of today to get an idea of what the leading ladies are wearing. I made the heartbreaking decision that since Holly liked to think of herself as a free spirit she wouldn’t be wearing a dress at all. I found three black jumpsuits that could be used for Holly’s night life today.

The first I chose was by the designer Balmain. I specifically chose this designer because Givenchy and Balmain were friends.

The thigh high slit, made popular again by Angelina Jolie, is a popular fashion choice for today. A thigh high slit is also found in the original posters for the movie, although is not actually in the famous black dress.

My next choice reminded me of the gown Audrey wore in the movie Sabrina. In that film Hepburn wore a gown with a straight strapless neck line, very much like the neckline of this next jumpsuit. There was also something about the bows that attracted my eyes and off the shoulders are very much in style right now.

My final choice, is also my favorite choice. This jumpsuit by Brandon Maxwell is very reminiscent of that famous little black dress by Givenchy. The neckline of the jumpsuit has the same feel as the back of the Givenchy gown. It is quite simple and could be dressed up with jewelry like Holly did in the movie.

While all these jumpsuits are perfectly fine, I don’t think they are half as nice at the iconic Givenchy. This may be my own personal opinion and many may argue, but I don’t think there will be a gown more iconic than that little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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Audrey Hepburn, Up Close and Very Personal

The young woman staring back at us is good looking enough. Standing in a field in the Netherlands clutching a bouquet of daisies, her face has a sweet fullness, especially at the cheeks, and her hair is loose in curls that hit below her neck.

Her broad smile is warm but absolutely plain.

This teen might be pretty, but she is unremarkable. And therefore, she can’t be Audrey Hepburn, one of the most recognizable and adored icons in movie history.

GALLERY: Inside the Audrey Hepburn Exhibit (PHOTOS)

But she is.

This is the first Audrey we meet at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition’s title, Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, proves fitting when one witnesses the sell-out crowd.

Even two decades after her death, Hepburn still draws a crowd: men and women, young and old eager to simply look at her. Hepburn is the embodiment of being an icon.

The exhibition takes us on a journey to show how a failed aspiring ballerina became one of the most famous and revered figures of cinema and fashion.

It begins with photos of Hepburn as an adolescent studying dance in the midst of World War II and immediately following the end.

This was a pivotal point for her and many other children of her generation.

Hepburn was born in Brussels in 1929. Her mother moved her to the Netherlands, thinking it would be safer during World War II.

The adolescent Hepburn suffered through the Dutch famine of 1944 and developed malnutrition disorders, but continued dancing and performing for Dutch resistance fundraisers.

I stared at these early photos and most of the time, I could not find the ingenue who won over the world with her uniquely chic and charming style.

In a shot from a 1942 dance recital the girl in the photo exudes a subtle playfulness as her arms are delicately raised and bended, and in this minute but palpable playfulness one can sense the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ that would emerge in the 1951 stage production of Gigi and hit its apotheosis in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

But in terms of the physical looks, all the signatures of Hepburn—dramatic eyes, chic, cropped hair, the askance look—are absent.

When Hepburn did one of her first major magazine photo spreads in 1950 for Picture Post, she is almost unrecognizable.

At this point in her career, Hepburn had started to make a name for herself in theater with 1948’s Sauce Tartare and 1949’s Sauce Piquant in London, but she hadn’t yet originated the title role of Gigi, which would begin her launch to international fame.

In the spread, Hepburn certainly appears good looking, but her eyes lack the drama and sparkle that are essential to the Hepburn look we know so well.

She’s wearing full skirts and her hair is relatively loose, rather than the closely cropped hair paired with black slacks. She looks like any other wannabe star with a pretty face—which makes it utterly un-Hepburn.

We see the Hepburn we know and love emerge in photos from the following year when Irving Penn photographed her for Vogue.

Here we see the drama of her eye, heightened by her manicured brows and now much subtler, coy glances at the camera. It’s the Hepburn version of sexy and chic.

This look did not arise overnight nor did it emerge from the masses: Hepburn redefined feminine beauty.

Because Hepburn is regarded as one of the ultimate Hollywood stunners, it’s hard to conceive of a time when she would not be considered one of them. But she wasn’t always the standard for beauty.

The exhibition stresses how utterly unique Hepburn’s look was for her era. She “used fashion to define her individuality” in a period in which curvaceous, busty women and especially blond ones, like Marilyn Monroe, ruled Hollywood.

Specifically, against her more curvy and traditionally feminine peers, Hepburn exhibited a “new independent form of femininity.”

Her ballet dancer build and posture gave an almost athletic look to her. She opted out of luscious curls and perms for neat and tightly cropped hair. Instead of broad, sexy smiles right at the camera, she looked askance or smiled slightly.

As the exhibition says, “In Hepburn’s choice of hair cut and clothing, she blurred boundaries between conventional depictions of male and female.”

Mark Shaw, a photographer who regularly worked with Hepburn, explained her sexy dual gender dynamic best: “Audrey is the most intriguingly childish adult, feminine toyboy I’ve ever photographed…she’s many women wrapped up in one.”

The epitome of that Hepburn style is in Philippe Halsman’s shot of her for LIFE magazine in 1954.

In the shot, Hepburn’s boyishly short, closely cropped hair is paired with a bright pink blouse, exuding that “feminine tomboy” fashion aesthetic.

She is looking over her shoulder as she walks away from Halsman. The stare from her dark eyes with her perfectly manicured brows is nothing short of penetrating.

She creates an intense sense of intimacy. Her lips are painted a bright pink, almost magenta. They are pursed so naturally that there is something so sincere about her whole facial expression.

While this is the look that would become and remain Hepburn’s signature, the exhibition illustrates how she evolved in her stylistic and acting choices over time.

Hepburn’s legacy has become so interchangeable with 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly that it can be easy to forget she had been a screen star for a full decade before the role—and that playing a quasi-call girl was a risky move.

But Hepburn embraced the role and made Holly Golightly a character that would go down in Hollywood and fashion history.

The famous little black dress by Givenchy—a favorite designer of Hepburn’s, with whom she worked on several of her movies, including for her not-quite-as-famous red gown in Funny Face—is arguably the most famous ensemble to ever grace cinema.

The exhibition does a commendable job of adding value to the Hepburn canon rather than simply displaying a series of classic publicity stills.

It’s certainly not easy to bring new insight to the life of not only one of the most beloved, but written about (and filmed about) Hollywood icons.

But there is a flaw to the exhibition: It’s too small. It barely fills three or four tiny rooms, but visitors are expected to pay an additional £10 ($15.49) to see it.

As well curated as “Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon” is—and as much as I enjoyed it—I can imagine another viewer being a bit let down after coughing up the extra money and queuing along a wall.

But Hepburn’s dedicated fans, young and old, will revel in viewing snippets of her life when she wasn’t on the screen.

One black-and-white photo from 1958 captures an intimate moment between Hepburn and future husband, actor, and director Mel Ferrer.

While he sits in an elevated director’s chair, Hepburn reaches up and grabs his hand. Though Ferrer and Hepburn would divorce after 14 years of marriage, Hepburn’s tenderness and affection for him is tangible.

The photographic journey through Hepburn’s life continues to the later years when her film career took a back seat to personal obligations. The first was to mothering her sons. The second was taking on the role of UNICEF ambassador and making the fight to end child malnourishment her personal battle.

Hepburn’s own childhood of starvation during World War II made her incredibly sympathetic to the plight of the world’s hungry youth.

She traveled to Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh as a UNICEF ambassador. Images of Hepburn walking in rural villages, surrounded by throngs of children, are some of the final in the exhibition.

A shot of Hepburn in 1992 shows her walking a dirt road in Somalia.

Gone is the Givenchy. She is in khakis and a plain blue Lacoste T-shirt.

Her face is older with some (but remarkably few) wrinkles. A young boy clutches her arm as she leads dozens of other children.

This may not be the image of Audrey Hepburn that most of us think of when we hear her name. But maybe it should be.

Audrey Hepburn Hats – As we know, Audrey Hepburn was no stranger to style. The first lady of fashion almost single handedly established the concept of dressing minimally to emphasize the female form, in a time where women’s clothing was designed to stand out and bare all (think Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor). Her custom designer, Hubert de Givenchy, became attuned to her preferences for unique pieces that fit a certain standard for style. She had preferences for the type of fabric, how it felt and how it fit. No media personality since then has had such a definable style that was simultaneously so neat, minimal and smart.

That being said, the many suits, gowns and outfits of Audrey would be nothing without the accessories she paired with them. Most notably, Audrey Hepburn was a fan of hats.

The Roman Holiday Tiara

Sure, you can question whether or not a tiara is technically considered a hat. It doesn’t cover the hair and it’s not made of fabric. But who are you, the hat police?

What is not debatable is that this is an iconic fashion statement that Audrey made her own. The tiara is so fitting of Audrey’s brand that costume designers chose to feature the style in several of her movies including some of the most notable: Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady.

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The tiara, a delicate but flashy piece of head wear, accentuates Audrey’s striking cheekbones and thin neck and jawline that so many designers adored. Multiple styles of the tiara have been documented on the fair lady’s head, but all of them had some outstanding similarities: thin metal frame, covered in jewels, and as reflective as possible. Without the tiara, the timeless image of Audrey as fashion royalty (and actual royalty in some cases) would not be the same.

Get the Look!

Get this gorgeous tiara made out of a metal alloy and Rhinestones. Best for any special occasion like weddings, Bridal showers, parties, Anniversaries, Proms, Pageants, etc.


The Chapeu du Matin

This famous wide-brimmed marvel is responsible for some of Audrey’s most recognizable photographs.


The Chapeu du Matin was featured on Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, paired with her oversized sunglasses and pearl earrings. This Audrey Hepburn hat has proven desirable for many women and to this day is considered to be quite fashionable.

The wide, curved brim provides contrast from the small, delicate features of Audrey’s noggin. Her nose, mouth and chin come far from protruding out of the headpiece. Adding to the effect is the overly long silk scarf tied around the hat’s base. It contributes to an air of mystery and superiority when paired with her form-fitting alluring black dress, designed for her by Givenchy. She certainly fits the part of Holly Golightly as she strides around Manhattan, seducing men without so much as a glance! This one is my favorite one out of the all the Audrey Hepburn hats… i think it has a bold look but it’s timeless.

The CLOSEST replica of the hat from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s! This one was hard to find. It’s a little expensive but totally worth it. Oversized PREMIUM wool hat with a removable 100% silk scarf.


The Chiffon Turban

Fitting snugly on her spritely crown, Givenchy’s chiffon turban in Sabrina sparked a slew of inspired designs that are still in vogue to this day. The delicate layering of the fabric and the low profile draws attention to the symmetry of Audrey’s features, and conveys both independence and sophistication.


Sabrina, unlike Holly Golightly or Princess Ann, is not a wealthy or royal personality. When she is finally sent to Paris, where she is seen with the turban, she has achieved the role of cultured, desirable movie vixen. The look is a staple of Paris fashion in the Golden Age of Hollywood film. Fun fact: while the film’s costume director was infamous industry figure Edith Head, Audrey chose the hat and the associated wool suit herself! This was when she first met Hubert de Givenchy, the designer that would help define Audrey’s image for much of her career to come. I believe this one is the most chic out of the Audrey Hepburn hats.

Sabrina Turban – Get the Look!

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The Straw / Woven Hat

Okay, Audrey Hepburn actually wore many straw hats. They varied greatly in size and style.


Large Woven Beach Hat – A perfect woven floppy beach hat which perfect for the beachy days in the summer, traveling, or going out on a Saturday to shop at the mall.


Perhaps the one that was most iconic is that which is featured in a portrait for Funny Face, the double-banded wide-brimmed straw hat that so perfectly frames Audrey’s. She carries herself with elegant poise in the photo, channeling Princess Diana with her high chin and knowing eyes. Actually, Princess Diana would have had to be channeling her! With their shared enthusiasm for fashion, we can be sure that they would have had a lot to talk about.

The Pillbox Hat

Last but not least, the style that was so influential, Jackie O couldn’t resist it. Ladies and gentlemen, the Pillbox hat.


Get this Vintage Wool Felt pillbox hat. 100% Wool. The only bad thing is that ships from Hong Kong. TONS of great colors! Worth the wait if you can wait that long.


This is a slightly different Pillbox hat that has a better shipping option, still looks great and is 100% wool!


The pillbox serves practical (NOT as a box for pills) as a comfortable hat for women who wear their hair up, as Audrey often did. It is beautifully textured and unique in its profile, fitting of a woman who too was unique in her features. This fashion, which Audrey by many accounts made her own, has become quite popular even to this day, with the Duchess of Cambridge herself Kate Middleton being seen with one more than once in recent years.

Audrey Hepburn Hats Honorable mention: Kentucky Derby hat from My Fair Lady

One article referred to it as “sculptural.” This piece by Sir Cecil Beaton is certainly a work of art!

Kentucky Derby Hat #1: These exquisite vogue hats are designed for horse racing events such as the Kentucky Derby, tea parties, resorts, cruises, or any special event. Plenty of colors to choose from!


Kentucky Derby Hat #2: High Quality beautiful designed hat with floral elements, 100% polyester which means that it’s more wrinkle resistant. Light and airy, perfect for wearing out in the sun while still looking fashionable.


Kentucky Derby Hat #3: The largest brim that I could find! Beautiful floppy design made for all occasions especially horse derbies


Let me know if there were any other Audrey Hepburn hats that I missed or you think should be on this list! I’ll do my best to put them up!