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Posts Tagged: "Audrey Hepburn"

Let’s Play:” Name That Dress”

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Judy Garland’s iconic blue and white gingham dress in  The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Good Housekeeping)

Films, whether on the big screen or small, have always been a vehicle for escapism. And let’s face it, today, more than ever, we all need an escape. Whether we are binge-watching the next highly rated Rotten Tomatoes series while quarantining, or dipping back into movie history to watch Casablanca, Pretty Woman, or Sunset Boulevard, we thought it would be a hoot to focus on some of the most iconic film frocks (and their designers), some actually more popular than the films themselves!

Here now are our top 13 iconic dresses of all time, either in film, television, worn by our favorite royal, or, that hold a special place in history.

Let’s begin with Judy Garland’s dress in the Wizard of Oz. Designer: Adrian

 

MARILYN MONROE

Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating while in character for the filming of The Seven Year Itch in New York. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)

To this day, Marilyn Monroe is still considered one of the sexiest starlets of all time. Who can ever forget the iconic image of her standing over a NYC subway grate in a white pleated halter-dress blowing in the wind created by William Travilla for the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch?

However, according to according to the 1976 book entitled, Hollywood Costume: Glamour! Glitter! Romance! by Dale McConathy and Diana Vreeland, it was reported that Travilla did not actually design the dress but bought it off the rack (though Travilla denied this).

After the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, Travilla kept the iconic dress locked away along with many other costumes he created for the late actress. Upon Travilla’s death in 1990, all of his creations were put on display by Bill Sarris, a colleague of Travilla. Shortly thereafter, the dress joined the private collection owned by Debbie Reynolds at the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum. In 2011, Reynolds put the dress up for auction where it sold for more than $5.6 million.

AUDREY HEPBURN

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. (Photo credit: Yahoo)

Thanks to Coco Chanel, just about every woman has a little black dress hanging in their closet. However, the most iconic ‘little black dress’ of all time was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening screen of the 1961 romantic comedy film,  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and designed by Hubert de Givenchy.

Rumor has it that Givenchy first designed a shorter version of the dress, but Paramount Pictures thought that it revealed too much of the actresses’s legs and therefore called upon costume designer Edith Head to redesign the lower half of the dress; hence the floor length version that appears in the movie. In 2006, the dress was given by Givenchy to French author Dominic Lapierre, who had it auctioned at Christie’s where it sold for a whopping $920, 909. Dominic Lapierre, who was selling the dress on behalf of his charity City of Joy Aid, said: “There are tears in my eyes. I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools.” Sarah Hodgson, a film specialist at Christie’s said, “This is one of the most famous black dresses in the world—an iconic piece of cinematic history—and we are glad it fetched a historic price.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963. (Photo credit: The Film Experience)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film Cleopatra made its debut in 1963 and The New York Times called it, “one of the great epic films of our day.”  It is the tragic triangular love story between the ancient Egyptian Queen (Elizabeth Taylor) and Roman generals Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Mark Antony (Richard Burton).

Elizabeth Taylor’s costumes were spectacular and held a record-breaking costume budget of $194,800 (about $1.4 million today). American costume designer Renié Conley won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Costume Design (along with Irene Sharaff and Vittorio Nino Novarese), for her creation of Taylor’s stunning gowns, which placed emphasis on the actress’ beauty and sexuality over historical accuracy.

Taylor wore four costumes that were ceremonial, but the most iconic was the golden “Phoenix” ensemble worn for Cleopatra’s triumphal procession into Rome atop a huge black sphinx. It consisted of a cape made of gold-painted strips of leather embroidered with gold bugle and seed beads over a gold fitted embroidered dress and a crown, making Cleopatra look like a golden bird-goddess. It is the only costume that appeared twice in the film, the second time at the very end.

JACKIE KENNEDY

Jackie Kennedy in India. (Photo credit: JFK Library)

As we all know, First Lady Jackie Kennedy was a true style icon. Her impeccable taste never disappointed. When the Kennedys moved into the White House in 1961, Jackie appointed Oleg Cassini as her exclusive couturier. Cassini immediately went to work, creating her inaugural dress and many of the iconic looks that would make her the most fashionable First Lady in the history of the White House.

The clean lines, beautiful fabrics, and timeless silhouettes of Oleg Cassini’ created the “Jackie Look,” that still transcends fashion trends today. One of the most iconic dresses that Jacqueline Kennedy wore was an apricot silk zibeline dress with a simple bow at the waist; she wore this dress to tour the Palace of the Maharajah in Udaipur, during a state visit to India in 1962.

MADONNA

Madonnas scandalous dress at the 1984 MTV Music Video Awards. (Photo credit: Harpers Bazaar)

Celebrities today are always trying to “be different” and “shock” their fans. However, we really owe “shock & awe” to women like Cher and Madonna both of who paved the way!

In 1984, Madonna had her first award show performance at the MTV VMA’s, and left a lasting impression with her white sheer “Like a Virgin” look. Complete with the now iconic “Boy Toy” belt, lace gloves, and cross necklaces, it kicked off her knack for creating buzzy looks.

For children of the ’80s, Madonna’s racy, underwear-flashing, floor-rolling “Like a Virgin” performance was their defining televised music moment, and so a rebellious fashion icon was born. So, who was responsible for this groundbreaking look? Madonna’s stylist Maripol, who is credited for creating the early Madonna  look.

Maripol told Yahoo Entertainment, “Madonna had to break through; I knew she was going to make it big, because I could see how ambitious she was, in a very genuine and sweet way. The wedding outfit did help. I knew that [VMAs] day that she had made it,” adds Maripol. “Every journalist was rushing, running, going, ‘Oh my God, who is this girl with the white outfit rolling and crawling on the floor, with crosses in her ears and her name is Madonna?

JULIA ROBERTS

Pretty Woman (1990) catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom. Here she is in the iconic red dress. (Photo credit: Harpers Bazaar)

Can you believe it’s already been 30 years since Julia Roberts became America’s sweetheart when she starred as Vivian in Pretty Woman ? In the era of #MeToo, the plot of Pretty Woman might be problematic—but you just can’t deny the clothes. Watching a West Hollywood sex worker find love with the dapper businessman who hired her off a street corner, I mean really? But we all forgave the plot because the fashion was spectacular. Even the Armani suits worn by Richard Gere were great eye candy!

Through the film Vivian is transformed from a prostitute to an elegant woman (Cinderella redux?) with an array of sophisticated and fashionable clothes. Costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker and her team created an array of stylish and contemporary outfits, but the most famous costume of all? Her floor-sweeping red ball gown worn for the opera sequence. The gown was inspired by Valentino’s romantic gowns in his signature red.

But did you know that this iconic red dress was almost not red? There ended up being a dispute between the studio, the producers and the costume designer as they wanted Julia Roberts’ character to wear a black dress. Luckily costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker won the argument after plenty of screen testing and the red dress became an iconic moment not only in the film but also in fashion.

SHARON STONE

Sharon Stone’s iconic white turtleneck dress in Basic Instinct. (Photo credit: Costume Rocket)

Fast forward to 1992. Forget the little black or red dress. Sharon Stone wore a simple white turtleneck dress as she stared in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. The ‘interrogation scene’ is one of the sexiest moments in film history.  A turtleneck may not be traditionally thought of as sexy, but this one lends polish. It’s a look of absolute control. Plus there is far more going on here than the absence of underwear.

So who was responsible for this contemporary yet timeless look? Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick. “I thought the costumes and the look of the film were extremely classic” insists Mirojnick talking exclusively to Clothes on Film. “The contemporary feel of the film is even more contemporary today. It is a timeless piece.

PRINCESS DIANA

Princess Diana in the ‘revenge’ dress. (Photo credit: Hello Magazine)

Princess Diana, like Jackie, is another true fashion icon. Diana’s style became so emulated and loved around the world that we’re still celebrating her outfits two decades after her death.

On June 29, 1994, Princess Dianna shocked the world when she attended Vanity Fair’s annual fundraising event for the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, wearing a look that was anything but ‘princess-y.’ A rather short, off-the-shoulder, tight-fitting black silk dress designed by Christina Stambolian.

It also happened to be the night that an ITV ‘tell-all’ documentary featuring Prince Charles aired. In the interview, Prince Charles said he had tried to be “faithful and honorable” when marrying Diana. The interviewer asked if he had been, and Prince Charles answered, “Yes… Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.” This clearly became Prince Charles’ confession of his infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles, and suddenly, Princess Diana’s dress took on a whole new meaning. It was known thereafter as the “Revenge Dress.”

ALICIA SILVERSTONE

Alicia Silverstone in the cult classic film Clueless. (Photo credit: Glamour)

It’s 25 years ago that the film Clueless hit the big screen. The film’s starlet, Cher Horowitz (played by Alicia Silverstone) is still a fashion icon and defined a generation. Who can ever forget the iconic scene of Cher’s first date with the new guy from school. Cher selected a second-skin white mini dress, which elicited the question from her dad: “What the hell is that?” Cher: “A dress.” Dad: “Says who?” Cher: “Calvin Klein.”

In 2010, Ilaria Urbinati, the co-owner of  L.A. boutique Confederacy, met with Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa about stocking the Calvin Klein Collection. The stylist-turned-shopkeeper had one very specific request: Remake the little white dress from Clueless! Costa obliged and dug out the famous slim-fitting slipdress from the archives and recreated it for the Confederacy boutique for $915.00

JENNIFER LOPEZ

Jennifer Lopez backstage at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards 2000.(Photo credit: Womens-Health)

Who can ever forget the 2000 Grammy Awards when Jennifer Lopez, accompanied by P. Diddy, showed up in a plunging, jungle green Versace dress, causing so many searches on Google that the company was inspired to create Google Image search. The dress went viral before viral was a thing.

Almost 20 years later, for her spring 2020 show, Donatella Versace re-created the iconic dress and had no other than Jennifer Lopez close out her show. The entertainer looked just as stunning today as she did when she originally wore the dress in 2000.

The new version is similar in style with its dramatic neckline, but has a few updates. Its sleeveless, has cutouts at the waist and also embellishments.

The original dress will always be remembered as one of Donatella Versace’s most iconic dresses. In an interview with Vogue, to mark the 20th anniversary of “The Dress,” Lopez recalled walking onto the stage at the Grammys and hearing murmurs in the crowd, followed by enthusiastic clapping. Lopez told Vogue, “It was one of those perfect moments. I walked out on stage and it kind of blew open and the dress was just provocative enough I guess to make people really interested.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER

Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw was a true fashionista. (Photo from Daily Mail)

Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, became a fashion icon on the hit series and movie Sex and the City. Carrie’s costume designer/stylist, Patricia Field, pushed the boundaries when it came to fashion on television. She effortlessly mixed high end designers with vintage finds.

One of Bradshaw’s signatures was the flower. In an interview with New York Post’s Page Six, Field points to the oversize flower from the first film as her private wink to the franchise’s biggest fans: ”In the series, the flower became a trend. Then, when I did the first movie, we first see Carrie outside of Tiffany and she’s wearing that dress with that huge flower. That was like saying to my audience, Hi! We’re back! It’s good to see you! This is my greeting to you: a flower, bigger than anything. I can make little jokes. I know how to speak to them in the language of the wardrobe.”

The iconic ‘white flower-adorned dress’ Parker wears in the 2008 movie’s opening scene was originally designed by Eugene Alexander for Whitney Houston. The late music sensation wore it in a 1987 promotional photoshoot that later wound up on the cover of Life Magazine.

Patricia Field tweaked the dress for the Sex and the City film, by chopping the gown into a mini and subtracting one of the super-size hibiscus blossoms, while Houston’s original had two.

LADY GAGA

Lady Gaga wearing a dress made out of meat. (Photo credit: Glamour)

Lady Gaga is known not only for her musical genius, but also for her avant-garde fashion choices. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, she wore the infamous raw beef dress, which was designed by Franc Fernandez and styled by Nicola Formichetti. Naturally the dress was condemned by animal rights groups, but it was also named by Time magazine as the top fashion statement of 2010.

On September 13, 2010, Lady Gaga appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show and explained why she chose to wear a dress made out of raw meat. The singer used the platform to respond to the controversy surrounding the dress saying, “… it has many interpretations. For me this evening, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.”  She explained further that she was also using the dress to highlight her distaste for the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

In 2011, the meat dress was put on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after being preserved by taxidermists as a type of jerky for the price of $6,000.

A HISTORY LESSON

If you guessed Ruby Bridges, then you are correct! Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white school and wore this dress as she walked to her first day of school.

This history-changing walk, which integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960, later inspired Norman Rockwell to create a bold illustration for the January 14, 1964 issue of Look magazine. Rockwell was a longtime supporter of the goals of equality and tolerance.

Rockwell’s 1964 painting entitled, The Problem We All Live With

Ruby Bridges’ historic walk took place six years after the 1954 United States Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional, and represented a definite victory for the American Civil Rights Movement.

Ruby’s white dress and Rockwell’s painting entitled “The Problem We All Live With” was on display in 2019 at the New York Historical Society along with this quote:

“The  ‘problem’ Rockwell alludes to has been a part of our history since the first enslaved people were brought to the Americas over 400 years ago, and it is one that each of us must still confront today. For me, the painting…serves as an ever-present reminder of my purpose.” – Ruby Bridges 2010

Do you have a favorite dress to share with us?

 

The First Fashion Influencers – Before Social Media Mania

Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Kepburn ( Photo Courtesy of Movieboozer)

Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn ( Photo Courtesy of Movieboozer)

It’s hard to imagine life before social media became an integrated part of our everyday lives – there is just no escaping it. Our dependence on it has grown tremendously, especially over the last few years. It you are an Insta, Pinterest, Facebook or SnapChat follower, you don’t even realize how much of an ‘influence’ these channels, even subliminally, are having on your fashion choices.

In the not so distant past, however, fashion was presented to the world in an extremely controlled way, by a tight knit group of retailers and publishers whose stores, magazines, editorials and even the advertising that they chose, all projected a certain point of view…theirs. Every image presented was methodically staged and fully orchestrated by them. These carefully curated images usually represented a fantasy of beauty and inclusiveness that many in the ‘real world’ felt very out of touch with. Fast-forward to the digital age. Today, it’s a very different story. Thank goodness.

With platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, consumers have become their own magazine editors, as they share their personal style with millions of users. Fashion savvy customers no longer rely on magazines to tell them what the latest ‘must have’ item of the season is, and Millennials, Gen Zers and iGeners are looking to bloggers, influencers, celebrities and even their own sartorial friends for the latest fashion trends.

But when did the concept of the ‘fashion influencer’ begin? Let’s take a look back in time. The very first fashion influencers were royalty. When Rose Bertin (considered the first fashion designer) started dressing Queen Marie Antoinette during the 1770s, and Charles Frederick Worth (the Father of Haute Couture) became couturier to Empress Eugénie and Queen Victoria in the mid 1800s, these royal ladies became the first fashion influencers. This trend continued until the birth of cinema in the early 1900s, when starlets of the silver screen became the next wave of influencers.

While it appeared that these women wore whatever they wanted, the truth is, that many were dressed by famous designers and signature looks were created just for them (think Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn and designer Gilbert Adrian for Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Carol Lombard). Costume designers, such as Edith Head, also played a role in helping create  looks that accentuated that particular starlet’s figure type (think Dorothy Lamour, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Grace Kelly, Shirley McLaine, and Elizabeth Taylor).

It didn’t take long for socialites to join the royals and starlets and of course, lest we forget…  fashionable FLOTUS and British royalty, who, either with the help of some very talented designers, or by using their personal fashion sense, were added to the list of fashion influencers.

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Marlene Dietrich was the original style chameleon. In the 1930’s, she was the first woman to be photographed wearing a tuxedo and the first to introduce the androgynous look. At that time, women could be, and were, arrested if they wore pants in public and detained for “masquerading as men.” Dietrich’s penchant for menswear became her signature style and yet the look was both elegant and chic.

Babe Paley

Babe Paley  mixes high low fashion (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Babe Paley mixes high low fashion (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

While not a starlet, this society icon was the innovator of the high/low approach to fashion in the 1950s. Babe Paley inspired many women with her eclectic mix of designer clothes mixed with cheap costume jewelry. Who can forget that iconic image of her with a scarf tied around her handbag? This sparked a trend that still remains popular today. Babe dressed purely for her own pleasure, and her style was effortlessly elegant.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn in her classic cigarette pant look (Photo Courtesy of Pintrest)

Audrey Hepburn in her classic cigarette pant look (Photo Courtesy of Pintrest)

Audrey Hepburn was a major fashion influencer beginning in the early 60s and throughout her long career. In fact, her style lives on even today!  Her classic Holly Golightly look from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most iconic ‘Old Hollywood’ photos out there. That fabulous little black sheath dress by Givenchy and Edith Head’s straight, black-cropped pants and boatneck top, worn with slip-on loafers, which were designed by none other than Salvatore Ferragamo. Hepburn is arguably the originator of minimalism.

For a lesson in creating the little black dress, check out:  https://www.universityoffashion.com/lessons/sheath-dress/

 Grace Kelly

Princess Grace Kelly carrying the Hermes Kelly Bag (Photo Courtesy of Beyond Grace Kelly)

Princess Grace Kelly carrying the Hermes Kelly Bag (Photo Courtesy of Beyond Grace Kelly)

Grace Kelly’s classic, sophisticated style was always impeccable. Her iconic feminine dresses and tailored ensembles made her one of the most influential fashion icons of her time. In fact, Hermès renamed one of their purse designs, the Kelly Bag, after the actress was spotted toting one on numerous occasions. The American actress married Prince Rainier III of Monaco, on April 1956 and her grace and style were inspirational to women all around the world.

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn in a scene from the film 'The Philadelphia Story', 1940 (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Katharine Hepburn in a scene from the film ‘The Philadelphia Story’, 1940 (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Katharine Hepburn was one of the most idolized actresses of her generation. On and off screen,  Katharine fashioned her very own personal style that embodied the ‘American look.’ She was not only a Hollywood Star, but an icon that forever changed the landscape of fashion and feminism.

For a lesson in creating the perfect pant, click this link:  https://www.universityoffashion.com/lessons/basic-pant-sloper/

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jackie O signature look (Photo Courtesy of Town & Country)

Jackie O signature look (Photo Courtesy of Town & Country)

Jackie O influenced millions of women worldwide with her signature style. In the 1960s, as First Lady of the United States, she became known as the ‘First Lady of Fashion.’ Women everywhere copied her look – simple shifts, pillbox hats, elegant scarves, peacoats and oversized sunglasses. Today, women of all ages still sport the ‘Jackie O’ look. It’s timeless!

Nan Kempner

Nan Kempner in trousers (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Nan Kempner in trousers (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Nan Kempner, a New York socialite, was a clotheshorse, fashion rebel and an avid collector of couture. It was rumored that she never missed a Paris couture show over a span of forty years. In the 1960s, when Nan was refused entrance because she was wearing a pantsuit to La Cote Basque, a chic New York City restaurant, she took off her trousers and walked right into the restaurant wearing only her top. #womensliberation

Bianca Jagger

 Bianca Jagger in a white wedding suit (Photo Courtesy of Glamour)

Bianca Jagger in a white wedding suit (Photo Courtesy of Glamour)

Bianca Jagger had a style all her own. Married to Mick Jagger and a regular at Studio 54, Bianca epitomized the glitz and glamour of the 70’s. She often wore sequined sheaths, fur, high-waisted pants, crisp suits, and unbuttoned blouses. She had the eclectic flare to be able to mix and match old pieces with new in a thoroughly modern and entirely rock and roll kind of way.

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin in her signature denim style (Photo Courtesy of Marie Claire)

Jane Birkin in her signature denim style (Photo Courtesy of Marie Claire)

Jane Birkin, English actress, singer, songwriter and model, rose to fame when she married Parisian pop poet/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg in the 1980s. Birkin defined a new era of gamine chic. Known for wearing bell-bottom  jeans, simple knits, delicate jewelry, white tees, and short minis – all with effortlessly cool ease – her style is proof that casual can and always will be stylish when done in the right way. In 1984, Hermès created the now iconic ‘Birkin’ bag in her honor. Every influencers dream!

Princess Diana

Princess Diana in Versace (Photo Courtesy of Stylemagazine)

Princess Diana in Versace (Photo Courtesy of Stylemagazine)

Known as the People’s Princess, Princess Diana of Wales was known for her savvy fashion sense just as much as she was known for her humanitarian efforts. When she wed in the ’80s wearing a huge, fluffy white wedding dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves, brides around the globe copied her gown. Women also mimicked her signature style of off-the-shoulder gowns worn with classic pearls. Princess Di helped put British fashion on the map, wearing labels such as Catherine Walker, Bellville Sassoon, and Gina Fratini. She was also known to wear plenty of Gianni Versace’s creations and attended his funeral with her dear friend Sir Elton John.

You can learn more about fashion history and style icons in Francesca Sterlacci’s book: Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry Second Edition. Available on Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1442239085/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=univeoffash00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1442239085&linkId=aa3cfeb6a3083b551c5658a3fdff7f05

So tell us, who makes your top 10 list of 21st century fashion icon influencers? And Why?