Authentically Audrey By Victoria Rio

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”
Audrey Hepburn

Almost a quarter century after her death, we are still in awe of Audrey Hepburn.  We turn to her for eloquently optimistic quotes about life and love, we admire her philanthropic achievements, and, most of all, we see her as a (perhaps the) beauty icon.

These words of Hubert de Givenchy ring as true today as they did when first spoken: “There is not a woman alive who does not dream of looking like Audrey Hepburn.”  The thing is, she never thought of herself as beautiful.  She used what she had and carried herself with poise, class, and confidence.  And with that, she became timeless, immortal.

Audrey Hepburn chose clothes that reflected her personality, that let her shine: classic, elegant, simply beautiful.  Of course, she wore the best designers and the most luxurious gowns and jewels, but we don’t remember her for that.  She developed a signature “look” with staples that we all have: the LBD, pearls, ankle-length slacks and white button-downs, big sunglasses, boat neck tees, and ballet flats.  Her clothes never overpowered her; instead, they accentuated her beauty and her vivacious personality.  Her fashion choices communicated her classy confidence to the world.

When asked her beauty secret, Audrey replied, “I just do my own thing.”  Rather than trying to change herself with makeup, gym memberships, and surgery, she emphasized her unique assets.  Instead of lamenting that she lacked Marilyn Monroe’s curves, she dressed to accentuate her long legs.  Instead of complaining about her wide-set eyes, she made sure that they were always beautifully made up.  Instead of padding her bras, she emphasized her elegant neck.  Audrey Hepburn was unapologetically herself, and that’s the key to her beauty.

With her smiling brown eyes and softly upswept hair, Audrey’s style is classy, yet playful and flirtatious.  Today, in the age of cut-outs and crop tops, when sex appeal seems synonymous with shredded-looking skin-tight outfits, it’s hard to imagine Audrey’s look as sexy.  But she undeniably was, as generations of men would eagerly testify.  How?  In her words, “Sex appeal is something that you feel deep down inside.  It’s suggested rather than shown…I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness.  I can convey just as much sex appeal picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”  Audrey proves that suggestive is sexy, that sometimes, there’s more appeal in the subtle hint of what’s underneath, paired with nothing but confidence and some pearls, than in our most body-baring get-ups.  That doesn’t mean that we should ditch the crop tops, just that tasteful doesn’t equal puritanical and that classy can be sexy and fun.

This is not to say that we immediately go out and build an Audrey-inspired wardrobe; her style doesn’t work for everybody.  Rather, hers is a lesson of using simple fashion to express individuality.

In her words, “Why change?  Everyone has his own style.  When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

VIDEO: 20th CENTURY STYLE ICONS: Nut Just Audrey by The Ultimate Fashion History

Written, Hosted & Produced by Amanda Hallay

And to quote Amanda, “Today’s fashion press make it seem like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Grace Kelly were not only the only style icons of the ’50s and Early ’60s, but the only women on the planet! In this UFH special, we’ll look at 50 (yes, FIFTY!) other style icons of ‘The Audrey Hepburn Era’.

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel – The Ultimate Fashion History.

And by the way I don’t know of anyone else who has tackled fashion history in this factual but entertaining fashion … with a writing style that swings from comedic to stylishly serious.

See Amanda’s books on Amazon.
And check out her Website: AmandaHallay.com

A Wild Child in London

Yes, I was a bit of a wild child in London in 1967. Don’t get me wrong though. It wasn’t so much that I was a party girl. It was more about being a fashion sleuth, always checking out the social scene and the 5-party Friday nights to see what everyone was wearing, what everyone was saying. Here I am in my favorite outfit – a black leotard – with shocking pink cotton fabric ties in my hair and my diamond earrings. My best ideas in the world are always about unique ways of dressing.  LR

To be continued…

To be a Fashion Forecaster you need supplies.

I started with a few sketch pads, pencils and notepads. And my Diary!! It was always under my bed or in one of my humungous polka dot bags. I would put in random notes and doodles about inspirational things I had observed.  Like a new color combination … or a particular print … or a 1930’s bias-cut dress from my favorite fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet. Where do you get your inspiration? LR

 

My Armoire for Vintage Inspiration

I have always collected Vintage accessories and special pieces, garments from past eras like the Flapper period of the 20’s. I would visit my friends’ Grandmas and beg for accessories of theirs from the olden days.

That’s how I got my first Cocktail Hats which I now wear with my blue jeans wherever I go. You don’t have to spend a million on Vintage. Make a list of every thrift shop and second-hand shop and start Retro-Digging. Do you have any old stuff that is inspirational? LR