Audrey Hepburn: Timeless Icon
Posted On May 04, 2016
Audrey Hepburn remains an icon for all generations decades after her on-screen success.
Rising to fame during Hollywood’s Golden Age Audrey was always a luminous presence. Considered not only a brilliant actress but also a tireless philanthropist and timeless fashion icon, she established trends that revolutionized the fashion industry.
Born Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston (Later Hepburn-Ruston) on May 4th, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium, today she would be turning 87.
She came from a multicultural background; her father was British, and her mother was a Dutch Aristocrat. Hepburn also knew how to speak five languages. English and Dutch because of her multinational background, and French, Spanish, and Italian due to the frequent traveling required by her father’s job.
Hepburn made her debut as an actress in 1948 in a movie titled Dutch in Seven Lessons, where she played an air stewardess. Right after filming her first movie, Hepburn moved to London to take up a scholarship with Ballet Rambert, a leading British dance company. To support herself she worked as a part-time model; it was also around this time she dropped Ruston from her name.
After being told that her height and small frame made her goal of becoming a prima ballerina unattainable, she decided to shift her focus to acting. She started gaining recognition after she was cast to play the lead role in the Broadway play, Gigi. The press acknowledged her talent and called her a “hit.”
After that, the actress was on a roll to take over Hollywood. Hepburn had her first starring role in Roman Holiday in 1953. This movie introduced her to the world and skyrocketed her to stardom, winning an Academy Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best British Actress, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.
It was then, parallel to her success in Hollywood, that her personal style also made an impact. She was featured on numerous magazine covers including, Time Magazine in 1953.
Her next big role, and one that brought her back to her glamorous roots, was not until 1961 when Breakfast at Tiffany’s hit theaters and became a success at box office. The movie not only had an impact in Hepburn’s Hollywood career, but set her up to become the style icon she is today.
I mean who can forget her elegance and grace she embodied in that movie? Women around the globe wanted to be her and imitated her style. And the movie still influences women around the world today.
You may never have seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but you definitely know the look: little black dress, black gloves, pearls, a tiara, and a foot-long cigarette holder, which has since transcended the film and become an image that many women and girls look up to. Her beauty captivated the audience and the movie and character also changed Hepburn’s life.
To me she is one of the best dressed of all times, and I am not the only one who thinks this as she was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1961.
Many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Olivia Culpo, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more have channeled her and emulated the star’s classic style through their fashion at some point.
Happy Birthday to my favorite Hollywood Icon, Audrey Hepburn!
Cover Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jurow-Shepherd