As anyone who has visited my website will notice, many of my designs have been inspired by Audrey Hepburn. Her timeless elegance and simple style always impressed me. Even though I love trends, I always go back to the classics. I feel a classic design is much easier to work around than a trend.
How did I start designing around Audrey Hepburn? While studying at FIT in New York, we were told to design our hat line around a theme. I had always loved Audrey Hepburn’s movies, so I decided to design hats based on her films that I loved most. It was such a fun project. I researched her movies, life and her friendship with Hubert de Givenchy. I noticed that her style of dress favored simple lines in black and white. The clothes she wore in her movies and private life were classic then and could still be worn today.
My favorite movies tend to be “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “My Fair Lady”. The best hat scene of all time is the Ascot scene in “My Fair Lady”. All those wonderful black and white hats! I designed many hats based on the emotions that scene stirred up for me. Eliza’s Day at Ascot was designed while I was listening to the soundtrack.
What I most admired about Audrey Hepburn though was not her fashion sense, but her amazing depth of character. She lived through World War II and almost died while running messages for the French resistance. In her later years, she worked on behalf of UNICEF and saw incredible starvation that we can only imagine. She not only “talked the talk”, but “walked the walk”. Audrey Hepburn had gone through hard times and that instilled a strong sense of compassion in her.
When I lived in New York City, I was walking home one night. It had been a stressful day and I could hardly think. Walking along Central Park South I saw a crowd of people and this delicate lady being incredibly gracious, signing every autograph. She then looked up and smiled at me, giving me a smile that could melt the coldest glacier. It was Audrey! I wasn’t star struck, as I had met lots of famous people working in the music business. What most impressed me was her warmth and kindness. I feel so fortunate to have had that experience.
By Polly Singer