Tag Archives: Edith Head

Look-of-the-Day

Each, in its own way, was unforgettable. It would be difficult to – Rome!  By all means, Rome.  I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live,” Audrey Hepburn replies when asked what her favorite European city is, in the final scene of Roman Holiday.  The 1953 classic made Hepburn, Italy and Vespas wildly popular following its release.  Hepburn plays Princess Ann, a young girl feeling trapped and restless in her life of patriotic duty. While visiting various countries on a European tour, Ann decides to go AWOL in the historic city of Rome.  During her journey, she falls in love with an American journalist (played by the dashing Gregory Peck) and grows into an independent adult along the way. Princess Ann knows the fairy tale can’t last forever though, and after returning to her regal responsibilities, this sophisticated woman has appeared, leaving behind her youth and long locks.  Legendary costume designer Edith Head created Audrey’s outfits for this film (and won an Academy Award for it – as did Hepburn’s performance).  Here, Princess Ann demonstrates her poise in this mature, belted, white lace wrap dress with dainty gloves and a pearl choker.  Roman Holiday was the first American film to be made entirely in Italy, and it ended up being one of the most romantic movies ever made! ❤

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Look-of-the-Day

We’ve mentioned that one of our editors was almost named for this 1954 classic, but we’re amazed that we’ve only featured Sabrina one time over the last year, when nearly every look in this film could be walked down a runway!  Here is our idol, Audrey Hepburn, playing the title character, with the object of her affection, William Holden as David Larrabee.  Sabrina is the daughter of the Larrabees’ chauffeur on Long Island.  After studying culinary arts in Paris (and becoming a woman along the way), Sabrina returns to New York barely unrecognizable to her childhood crush.  David invites her to a party at his home, and she sports this stunning strapless black and white gown with long white gloves and black pumps.  The column dress has a detachable overskirt with an underlay of black tulle, and was hand-embroidered with silk thread and jet beads.  Hubert de Givenchy personally created most of the outfits for Hepburn, yet Edith Head went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Costume Design (which was not without controversy, since Givenchy did not receive due credit for his spectacular work.  Although Givenchy has been the one forever associated with the gorgeous wardrobe in the film.)  Fun Fact: The relationship that developed between Hepburn and Givenchy on the set of Sabrina resulted in a lifelong friendship, and Audrey became the French designer’s muse!  This work of art has to be one of our favorite fashion moments in history, and the perfect “Fancy Friday” tribute to romance this February.


Look-of-the-Day

This “Fancy Friday” happens to be 1940s screen legend Barbara Stanwyck from the romantic comedy Christmas in Connecticut.  This editor’s sister pulled this movie off the shelf at their local library years ago, and it was surprisingly hilarious!  Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth Lane, a single writer from New York who pens a column about traditional cooking and housekeeping from the point of a view of a housewife, even though she doesn’t do a stitch of physical labor…  When an injured sailor returning home from WWII is interested in visiting her fictional home in Connecticut, she realizes it’s her patriotic duty to… well, lie to him!  It doesn’t help that he’s drop-dead gorgeous, and Miss Lane is supposed to be a Mrs!  Here, Elizabeth wears a beautiful, long black gown and a cropped, white jacket with fuzzy trim, while she gets distracted trimming her fake Christmas tree.  Fun Fact: The legendary costume designer, Edith Head was actually borrowed from Paramount Studios to outfit Ms. Stanwyck, alongside Warner Brothers costumer, Milo Anderson.  Below, we’ve included the link of Dennis Morgan as the handsome serviceman singing to Stanwyck.  You can imagine why “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was our favorite holiday song for quite sometime…


What About Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s celebrated its 50th anniversary this month, which is the reason every article this week has been about the famous film.  Based on the novella of the same name by Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s tells the story of a seemingly glamorous party girl named Holly Golightly in New York City and her new neighbor, Paul Varjak, who she nicknames “Fred.”  While the book is certainly different than the film (Holly is blonde, Fred is gay – as made famous on an episode of Seinfeld), but the story of a lost Manhattan party girl laid the groundwork for many famous pieces of fiction with the same premise including, most notably, Sex and the City.  Directed by Blake Edwards, both he and Truman Capote preferred Marilyn Monroe for the lead role, but her agent thought it was a bad idea.  (We personally think the movie would have lost much of its charm if Marilyn was the star – while playing a well-dressed call girl is all Miss Monroe actually was, we feel it  just would have been a sad commentary on the troubled actress’s real life.  Plus, we’ve always preferred the elegant brunette over the blonde bombshell…)  Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of taste and elegance, so it made more sense to have her play against type in this romance.  While Holly Golightly seems like she’s always having a good time, she’s actually dying inside – and beautiful clothing is the perfect disguise.  The costume supervisor on the film was Edith Head – the 8-time Academy Award winning film costumer who outfitted Audrey in many of her movies.  The majority of Holly Golightly’s wardrobe was designed by the legendary Hubert de Givenchy.  The French designer and Hepburn met in their early 20s while they both worked on the 1953 film Sabrina (another Audrey flick with fantastic fashion).  The film went on to win an Academy Award for costume design, for which Edith Head received all the credit for (which also kind of happened on this set…), which Hepburn was not happy about and swore would never happen again.  It’s no surprise the two became lifelong friends, and Audrey became the elegant designer’s #1 muse.  (Fun Fact: Givenchy’s first perfume, L’Interdit, which means “forbidden” was made for Audrey!)  His gorgeous creations included the pink cocktail dress, orange coat, and several little black dresses.  Although Coco Chanel invented the LBD, the sensation of this movie and the stir it created with its opening scene, the little black dress became de rigueur for cocktail parties everywhere.  After 50 years, it still constantly makes it onto the fashion “must-have” lists of taste gurus, fashion designers, magazine editors, etiquette experts and even romance websites.  The costumers were quite clever in reusing Holly’s clothing throughout the film.  As a struggling city girl, it would make sense that she would have limited options, but each piece she wears again usually looks different do to her accessory changes.  For example, her little black dresses are seen several times, but she is usually sporting different accents – one LBD appears in the beginning complemented with a big black hat when she’s on her way to visit Sing Sing; it reappears again when she’s wearing a small black hat with a white muff and feathers attached; again at her party she highlights the outfit with sparkly earrings and a huge statement necklace; and another time she comes home from a date with a long, white silk scarf flowing from her neck in the same LBD.  Holly’s famous Burberry trench coat also makes an appearance twice.  Miss Golightly’s penny-pinching shows up in her apartment, too.  While there’s hardly any furniture, the single piece she does have in the living room is actually half a bathtub with some decorative throw pillows.  (Perhaps a metaphor for Holly herself?  A damaged piece searching for her other half that’s easily disguised with pretty accessories?)  Although Holly’s wardrobe is supposed to be “low-end,” she still looks damn good in every scene.  Even her nightwear is even super glamorous!  A pretty peach robe, tux shirt and eye mask with half-up, half-down hair and she still looks gorgeous!  Her accessories, including Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses, long black gloves, strands of white pearls and huge black hats, are legendary and have been associated with the film ever since.  If you’re donning one of those items, people inevitably ask you if you’re channeling Audrey.  (Well, of course we are!)  And even though the movie surrounds and constantly describes the allure of the most famous jewelry store on the planet (Tiffany & Co.), Holly cannot afford anything there.  She famously states, “I think it would be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m 40.”  It’s not age – it’s probably due to the fact she can’t buy them herself, and no man has ever bought her real jewelry.  The only piece she does receive is a Cracker Jack ring from Paul, but Tiffany’s does engrave it for them! ❤  In short, Breakfast at Tiffany’s has one epic wardrobe that still influences fashion half a century later.  It cemented Audrey Hepburn as a style icon and made several chic items as famous as the movie itself!  Its influence on costume design and classic style is legendary.  It’s theSkinnyStiletto‘s all-time favorite film wardrobe, and it forever changed the look of women everywhere.  Just as Paul said, “You’re a stylish girl, can’t we end this stylishly?”  Yes, we can.


Look-of-the-Day

“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s.  Calms me down right away.”  Earlier this week we described how Breakfast at Tiffany’s made the “little black dress” the essential go-to cocktail party outfit and showed the knee-length black frock Audrey wears several times throughout the movie.  Although the shorter dress is what many picture when they talk about the LBD, it is actually this stunning Givenchy gown that Hepburn famously dons in the opening scene of the film that created the sensation.  This dress went to auction in 2006 at Christie’s and was sold for a record-breaking $923, 187.  (Fun Fact: At the time it was the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold, until Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch went for $5.5 million this past summer.)  Made of Italian black satin, the gown has cut-out décolleté on the back and is fitted at the waist.  The accessories in this scene are just as famous as the dress; Holly Golightly’s big black sunglasses, long black gloves, elegant cigarette holder, miniature tiara and multi-layer pearl necklace have forever been affiliated with Audrey’s natural glamour.  If you’re wearing any of those items, people will comment that you’re channeling the majestic Ms. Hepburn.  Although the movie revolves around Tiffany & Co., none of Holly’s jewelry actually comes from the famous New York store, because she’s a struggling downtown call girl, so even though she looks like a million bucks, it’s all just an illusion (actually the dress did go for a million bucks – only 45 years later!)  This look is the definition of ultimate elegance, and our editors’ absolute favorite movie costume.  We could write about it for days, so we’ll keep it to a minimum.  We only wish we could look this good on a Sunday morning after a night of partying!


Look-of-the-Day

Orange has to be this editor’s least favorite color, although this is the only pumpkin spice I’m interested in this season!  (Okay, this and Blue Point Pumpkin Ale…)  When Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak go out and about in Manhattan, she chooses to wear a beautiful double-breasted burnt orange wool coat, mink hat, dark pumps and, of course, big sunglasses!  The coat, designed by Hubert de Givenchy, had a tie at the back and 7/8 kimono sleeves, which was widely copied after this film.  This outfit is what Holly is wearing when Paul finally kisses her for the first time in their apartment building’s stairwell, after scaring some pedestrians in some silly masks (pictured, below).  It’s no surprise the couple kisses when they remove the costumes and reveal their true selves…


Look-of-the-Day

Breakfast at Tiffany’s may have made the little black dress internationally famous, but Holly Golightly’s little pink dress is also quite adorable!  Designed by Hubert de Givenchy (like the rest of Audrey’s beautiful clothes in this film), this sleeveless cocktail dress is accented by its cute bow at the waist and highlighted by its matching coat and sparking tiara!  This frock sold for a whopping $192,000 in 2007 when it went to auction at Christie’s!  Although this outfit certainly looks like lots of fun, it’s unfortunately the dress Holly has on when she finds out that her brother has died.  Man, if you take out the pretty clothes in this movie, it might be one of the most depressing films ever made!  Fun Fact: When our editors were little girls, they received the limited edition Barbie dolls created to look like Ms. Audrey Hepburn in this particular costume (pictured, bottom left), but one of them just couldn’t keep her in the box… toys are meant to be played with!  And although Holly immediately lost all monetary value when she was freed from her plastic cage, at least she’ll forever remain in this editor’s heart as the prettiest Barbie doll she’s ever had!