Previously we looked at 50s style icon Grace Kelly. This week we look at the dark-haired 50s icon, Audrey Hepburn. One of Audrey’s most beloved films is Roman Holiday. The bored Princess Anne of a fictitious country strangely like Great Britain in its courtier’s approach to monarchy, decides to have a day off. Without asking. In Rome. I convinced that had Princess Diana, back when she was Lady Di, been made to watch this movie she’d have never taken the job…er…I mean..never married what’s his name. The gilded cage of royal life is shown off to perfection, as is the press. And, sadly for Diana, the way the press worms its way into the lives of the famous.
But Lady Di was years in the future. Roman Holiday gave us the free-spirited, fun-loving young lady on a Vespa, riding around with oh-so-handsome and older, wiser Gregory Peck. What’s not to love about THAT combination? Well, for me, what’s not to love is that famous hair cut!
While Audrey and anyone else with a hairstylist on par with 60s icon, Kenneth, looked great in it, the entire 60s generation of Lisa’s and Karen’s and Tracy’s and Amy’s didn’t always fare so well with it. Don’t believe me?
Here’s the proof…
…circa Christmas 1969 after a hair cut in a basement “salon” in Crete, Illinois. Yes, I’m the little mess on the left in the pink sweatshirt. (Sadly, while I hated the way my hair looked, I became devoted to short hair. Not always a good thing, believe me. You can read more about the struggle with body image here.)
Audrey, well Audrey in Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon and Charade, was one of my gateways to older man– younger woman romances, the sort I write today. She could was the total package–gorgeous, lithe, a smile and eyes that light up a room, that signature personal style–the whole package, which is why the 50s ladies adored her. She was also inspiring to me and to the generations that followed. When the Besty’s and Linda’s of the 50’s gave way to the Lisa’s of the 60’s and the Jennifer’s of the 70’s, Audrey didn’t bat a perfect eyelash. She went on to inspire the Molly’s and Megan’s of the 80’s, the Morgan’s and Madison’s of the 90’s and is now wowing the tween-aged Harper’s and Hadley’s and Ava’s and Zoe’s of today.
One fun novel imagines the impact of Audrey on a young woman of my daughter’s generation–the crew that grew up with Clarissa Explains it All in re-runs on t.v. In fact, that show’s creator, wrote this book.
I read this thinking I’d not finish it. Instead I came away charmed and having enjoyed every minute of it! I’d love to see it become a movie–that’s how fun it was. But I imagine to become a movie it would have to have full-frontal teen sex and all kinds of other bad changes. Instead, why don’t you read the story of how Lisbeth (funny–a corruption of my names!) follows a design-student friend to work one evening and ends up trying on the little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s–the real one. She then stumbles into an Audrey-inspired “Fake it till you make it” life. Just read it, ok? Becoming Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman.
All this week we will look at Audrey thru different lenses. I hope you come back and read more. Leave me a comment–what’s your favorite Audrey memory?