The Iconic Style Of Audrey Hepburn And Her Relationship With Hubert de Givenchy


Lately I've been thinking about one of my favorite actresses, Audrey Hepburn, watching several video clips from her movies and a few documentaries about her life. And I noticed that what always stood out about Audrey Hepburn, besides her uniquely delicate, fawn-like beauty, was her sense of style. Whether it be a gorgeous gown, or the way she donned a simple and casual white shirt with capri pants, Hepburn always looked impeccably chic.


Much of that had to do with her meeting French fashion designer, Hubert de Givenchy.


Audrey’s first meeting with Givenchy is often retold. She went to his Paris salon looking for a stylish wardrobe for her starring role in Sabrina in 1954. She was announced as movie actress Miss Hepburn. Givenchy met her, somewhat shocked that this was clearly not Katharine Hepburn, but was immediately smitten by her charm and beauty. He was also impressed that she spoke to him in French.

When the film came out, Sabrina won an Oscar for the dresses but Givenchy didn’t get any credit, Edith Head did. And this made Audrey furious. She demanded “Each time I’m in a film, Givenchy dresses me.”

From that moment on Givenchy and Hepburn shared a professional and personal bond that lasted until Hepburn passed away. Their meeting was the beginning of an enduring friendship that crystallized her image as a fashion icon.

Ironically, as beautiful as Audrey was, she did not see herself as beautiful or exceptionally talented as an actress. She saw herself as just adequate. Therefore, wearing Hubert's clothes was like wearing armor. It protected her. She said it made her feel safe and more confident.



The creations of Hubert de Givenchy...


From the movie Sabrina


A dress created by Givenchy for Audrey at the Academy Awards for the movie Roman Holiday


From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's 





L'Interdit' was a perfume created in 1957 by Hubert de Givenchy for Audrey. Its name means "forbidden". It has a delicate, floral, powdery aroma. It contains notes of rose, jasmine, violet and, at the heart, a blend of woods and grasses. First created privately for Hepburn by Givenchy, she wore it for a matter of years until finally releasing it to the public in the 1960s.


Audrey's favorite color was pink.



From the movie Funny Face




Hepburn and Givenchy in later years...




Yes Audrey, your beauty, style and class will be forever remembered!

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
-Audrey Hepburn

Have a beautiful week everyone!
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34 comments

  1. Oh Ron, I was a big fan of Audrey Hepburn so I really enjoyed reading this post! I had no idea about her close relationship with designer Givenchy and how it began. I also didn't know that he was responsible for the wardrobe in her films. I've seen all the films you mentioned and thought she looked stunning. No one could wear clothes like she could. I loved that dress in Sabrina. Wasn't she a beauty? And she had a look all her own. There was something very special about Audrey Hepburn. She was beautiful in a very unique way because she looked like a true movie star but she had a very down to earth quality that made her approachable to her audience.

    I love the photo of her in the pink dress standing in front of the pink flowers. And the last picture of her with Givenchy is so sweetly tender.

    Great post, Ron!X

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  2. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comFebruary 01, 2016

    What a fascinating post - had no idea about the beginnings of Givenchy's friendship with the elfin beauty, Audrey Hepburn!

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  3. Ron, what a fascinating post! It's so hard for me to comprehend that Audrey Hepburn didn't see herself as beautiful and talented because she was both of those tenfold, and she kept her beauty even in later years. She had such beautiful eyes. I love the selection of photographs you chose. That pink dress is gorgeous! I think the clothing style back then was so classy.

    I didn't know about the perfume Givenchy created for her. Is it still made? I'm curious to know what it smells like.

    Great post, Ron. Have a wonderful week x

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  4. I suppose it's tricky to see ourselves as others see us, isn't it? But Audrey's fans still think she's fabulous, in spite of her own perceptions!

    It's funny, but I always thought of her as tiny. Her features, except those enormous eyes, appear delicate and gamine-like, and so I was surprised to learn she stood 5'7" tall and as a child wanted to be a ballerina! Her son's book (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3134910/How-Audrey-Hepburn-weighed-88-pounds-suffered-jaundice-anemia-survived-boiled-grass-tulip-bulbs-dream-ballerina-crushed-Nazi-occupation-Netherlands.html) tells more about it. Neither did I realize what an awful death she must have had.

    Thank you, Ron, for this loving tribute to a talented actress and her designer -- they made quite a team! xo

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  5. Oh wow! You found some fabulous photos! I adore Audrey Hepburn and loved everything about this post. I didn't know how insecure she was....hard to believe that was her self-image. Thank God Givenchy crossed her path to provide that much-needed boost in confidence. I've always thought my oldest resembled Audrey...especially the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's shot. A poster of that hung in her room for a long time. Oddly, she shared a lot of the same self-image issues when she was younger. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tribute to a beautiful and classic woman.

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  6. You'll be unsurprised to hear that none of this was news to me, but it was a joy to read anyway.
    By coincidence, I watched Funny Face again the other day.
    Great film, but Fred Astaire really was way too old for Audrey's character, even then.

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  7. Fabulous post, Ron! You really did justice to this beautiful woman and her wonderful relationship with Givenchey. It's incredible that she didn't consider herself beautiful. Seriously? And I love that quote at the end--it really comes in handy now!

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  8. Hi, I found your blog on Instagram today. What a wonderful post about someone who I've always thought was beautiful. And it wasn't only because of the stunning way she wore clothes, it was also because of the beautiful light that shined within her. There was and will never be anyone like Audrey Hepburn!

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  9. Hey there Elaine! So glad to hear that you enjoyed this post because I had so much fun putting it together. I too didn't know just HOW close Givenchy and Hepburn were. I knew he designed several of her dresses for some of her movies, but after doing some online research and watching several documentaries on her life (which included a documentary by her son, Sean), I discovered the depth of their relationship and that it lasted her whole life. She described her relationship with Givenchy as a close brother and sister.

    Yes, she sure was a beauty. I agree, she had a look all her own.

    "she had a very down to earth quality that made her approachable to her audience."

    Amen! Yes she did.

    I didn't know that pink was her favorite color, so when I found that photo of her in the pink dress, I HAD to use it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Have a fantastic week!
    X

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  10. I didn't either, Fiona. I knew that Givenchy was responsible for many of the dresses in her films (and that he created a fragrance for her), but I didn't know all the details of just how loyal and deep their friendship was.

    I agree, she was an elfin BEAUTY!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaabulous week!
    X

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  11. Hola Denise!

    Yes, it's hard for me to comprehend that Audrey didn't see herself as beautiful and talented as she was as well, but I guess we don't always "see" ourselves the way others do. Also, from what I've seen in the documentaries on her life, she was brought up to be modest.

    I agree, her eyes were beautiful! The were such sweet yet, wise eyes. You could see the depth of her soul in her eyes.

    Yes, the fragrance that Givenchy created for her is still made, however, they changed/updated the bottle design and the formula as well. They made it more modern. I think Nordstroms carries it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful week too!

    X

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  12. Hey there Debbie!

    Yes, I think you nailed it perfectly.....it's tricky to see ourselves as others, you're so right. But to me (and her fans) she was fabulously beautiful!

    I cannot thank you ENOUGH for sharing the link to her son's (Luca) book because I read the book her other son (Sean) wrote several years after she passed away and thought it was such a beautiful tribute to Audrey. When I have more time this week, I will go back to that link and read more. Can't wait :)

    I've watched several documentaries about her life, so I did know that she wanted to be a ballerina but couldn't because of what her body went through (severe malnutrition) during the war. Apparently, from two of the documentaries I watched in which both her son's spoke about Audrey's death, she never complained about her illness, right up until the end. In fact, her son Sean said that she accepted her illness and death with grace. She told her family, "This is part of life. Death."

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week!
    X

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  13. Hellooooo there Dale!

    Ha! Yes, I am not the least bit surprised that none of this is news to you because of your mutual admiration for Audrey. In fact, I was SO thinking of YOU while I was putting this post together.

    Can you believe that I have never seen Funny Face in completion? I've seen scenes and certain parts of the film, never the whole film. I really must watch it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a super week!
    X

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  14. Hey there Lisa!

    Thank you. I searched and searched for these photographs for almost two weeks. I eventually had to delete certain ones and keep others because I had so many, there was no way I could post all of them. It was so hard to choose though.

    "I didn't know how insecure she was....hard to believe that was her self-image. "

    Yes, I didn't either. And I also didn't realize just how much of a confidence impact Givenchy's clothes had on her. In fact, she mentioned that several times in some of the interviews I saw with her.

    " I've always thought my oldest resembled Audrey...especially the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's shot. A poster of that hung in her room for a long time."

    Oh wow! How wonderful is that! Your daughter must be BEAUTIFUL!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantabuluos week!

    X

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  15. Aw thanks, Rob :) I got so much joy from putting this post together. I also discovered so many things about Audrey that I never knew; especially the depth of her friendship with Givenchy and how much of an impact he had on her.

    Isn't that quote fabulous? There were so many words she was quoted on throughout her lifetime. She had a lot of ups and downs during her life, but she always maintained such a positive attitude.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  16. Greetings Candice! Welcome...and thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to shared a comment.

    I LOVE what you said....

    "And it wasn't only because of the stunning way she wore clothes, it was also because of the beautiful light that shined within her. There was and will never be anyone like Audrey Hepburn!"

    Yes, and I TOTALLY agree!! And you could see that light within her eyes.

    Thanks again for stopping by, Candice. Have a fabulous week!

    X

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  17. Ron, I always learn things from you. What a wonderful tribute to such a beautiful lady. I knew of Audrey Hepburn but honestly didn't know that much about her or her career. I found all this fascinating. She certainly was a beauty!

    When did she pass away, how old was she?

    Fabulous photos, dude. I love the black and whites!

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  18. Oh you must, it has possibly her greatest dance number in it, in the philosopher's basement café, you can SEE the joy on her face, it's absolutely wonderful.

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  19. Hey there Matt!

    I decided to post this a few weeks ago, but it took me awhile to find the photographs and do the research before I could publish it. I had WAY more photographs than these, but knew that there was no way I could publish them all. I knew a lot about Audrey Hepburn because I was big fan and still am of hers, however, I did know a lot of other things. Like, how close she and Givenchy were and how much of an impact he had on her career. They had a very close and special bond.

    She passed away in 1993. And she was only 63 years old.

    I love the black and whites as well. Black and white photographs are so classy and dramatic.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent week!
    X

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  20. Will do, Dale! And I look forward to it :) She was a wonderful dancer, wasn't she?

    The only dance number I clearly remember from Funny Face was, Think Pink, but she wasn't even in it.

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  21. Ron, I will be sharing this post with my mother because she is also an admirer of Audrey Hepburn.I think she has every one of her films on either VHS or DVD. So she's going to really love this post!
    I don't know whether my mother knew about her friendship with French designer Givenchy, so she's going find this post very interesting.

    What a great selection of photographs. It's no wonderful her favorite color was pink because she looks gorgeous those dresses. Love the dress from Sabrina as well. Wow!

    What a classy lady she was. The last two photographs really show the close friendship she and Givenchy shared. That last pic is so sweet.

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  22. Wow Ron, 63, that was so young. How sad.

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  23. Yes, that was SO young. Sad indeed. Yet, from several documentary interviews that I watched, Audrey Hepburn seemed to embrace her mortality and lifted her family and loved ones up when they were sad and angry about her prognosis. She was such an amazing human being.

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  24. Hey ho Robert!

    Your mother is also an admirer of Audrey Hepburn? How cool is that! I knew a lot about her, however, after doing research for this post I discovered a lot of things I didn't know. Such as her close friendship with Givenchy.

    Yes, didn't she look gorgeous in the color pink? The dress from Sabrina was a dress that Givenchy had designed from a previous collection of his, which he offered to Hepburn to use in the movie. I think he gave her three dresses for the film.

    I love that last picture of she and Givenchy too. It's so candid, natural and sweet!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have fabuloso week!
    X

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  25. What a beautiful collection of photos you put together. I'm so unfamiliar with Audrey and her movies, but I appreciate the education, Ron! XO

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  26. Hey there Bijoux!

    Thank you :) It took me a couple of weeks to gather these photographs for this post. And then it took me FOREVER to decide which ones to use because I had so many. I finally narrowed it down to the ones you see here.

    Wasn't she a beauty?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a fantastic week!

    X

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  27. Geraldine H.February 04, 2016

    I've always been a fan of Audrey Hepburn too but I did not know about her long-time friendship with Givenchy. What an absolute treat it was to see all these gorgeous clothes and of course, Audrey too. She was beautiful throughout her life, I think in some ways even more beautiful when she was older. There is a softer beauty then, more relaxed looking.

    I remember that gown from Sabrina, wasn't that a marvelous scene? Make that, marvelous movie, but when she arrived at the party, dressed in that gown, it was extra special. She was a dazzler! :-)

    I am so glad I stopped in to read this this morning! Again, what a treat. :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend, G

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  28. I didn't either, Geraldine. I knew that Givenchy had designed dresses for Audrey for certain films (like Sabrina), and I knew about the perfume he created for her. However, I didn't realize how "personal" their friendship was and how dedicated they were to each other. Givenchy was loyal to Audrey, right up until the time of her death.

    "She was beautiful throughout her life, I think in some ways even more beautiful when she was older. There is a softer beauty then, more relaxed looking."

    Yes, I soooooooo agree with you. I think she was even MORE beautiful when she was older. You said he perfect words....more relaxed looking. She seemed more relaxed "within" herself.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week and weekend!

    X

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  29. Wow Ron, she sounded like an amazing human being! Thanks again for posting this.

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  30. You're so welcome, Matt!

    Here is a link to a WONDERFUL documentary of her life on A&E Biography if you're interested in knowing more about Audrey....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GS-AQRDf7Q

    Enjoy!

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  31. Thank you for this lovely post. Now I know why I like Givenchy. I didn't know about their close relationship, though. As for Audrey, I always thought she was wonderful, so stylish as well as beautiful, and a great actress. I like your description - elfin face. It sure was.

    Thank you, Ron. Your support in recent weeks was very much appreciated. Life is still difficult but I know it will get better as time goes by. It just feels so strange at the moment, and I really will have to stop talking to myself.

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  32. Hello there Valerie!

    Yes, I also did know how close Givenchy and Hepburn were throughout their careers. And I was so touched by how loyal and supportive he was when Audrey became ill. He was responsible for flying Audrey back to Switzerland so that she could be with her family.

    " As for Audrey, I always thought she was wonderful, so stylish as well as beautiful, and a great actress."

    I agree with you completely!

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers these past few weeks. I know how difficult it can be right now because it's exactly how I felt right after my mother passed away three years ago. I felt so strange. But you're right, things DO get better as time goes by.

    You take care, my friend. And know that you are loved and cared for by many....

    ((((((((((((((((((((((( You )))))))))))))))))))

    Have a great week!
    X

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  33. benzekneesMarch 08, 2016

    I have always loved Audrey Hepburn! I got the name of my blog from Charade, starring Audrey Hepburn & Cary Grant. I loved her "unfussy" style!

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  34. Yes, i know how much a fan you were/are of Audrey Hepburn. LOVE the movie Charade! And you're so right, she had such a wonderful "unfussy" style about her.

    And she was soooooooo classy!

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