Audrey Hepburn – a young girl who did ballet to raise funds towards Nazi resistance and a woman who spent her post-film career as a charity ambassador – is usually simply remembered for her pretty face. The Austrian/English beauty was voted by People’s Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful women in the world; unsurprisingly, she is admired internationally. It is believed by many that they simply don’t come this elegant and chic any more. ‘Sabrina’, Billy Wilder’s 1954 romantic comedy film, flaunts Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina Fairchild and is a classic example of the wonder that Hepburn was capable of. The film is an incredible example of the plethora of styles that Audrey is able to flatter.
Sabrina initially appears youthful and modest – appearing to emulate the stereotypical image of a continental female in her late adolescence. A harsh black rounded top covers her body and there is nothing to see of Audrey but her fresh face. She then undergoes a rather incredible transformation.
The film in itself witnesses an evolution of fashion: Sabrina later attends a culinary school in Paris, and returns as a charming and refined lady. David Larabee, the man that Sabrina that has been enduringly infatuated with, arrives for a date with Sabrina, to find her in this demure two-piece suit.
This particular outfit, in fact chosen by Hepburn herself, was crafted by Givenchy during their meeting in Paris; she herself referred to the piece as “that Jazzy suit”. However, the word “finesse” mingles in my head, alongside Audrey’s overwhelming beauty. The double-breasted collarless piece is contrasted with a lavish, pleated pearl-grey turban, which illuminates her face. She poses as a woman who is so feminine and graceful, and yet strikingly defined; a concoction that allows us to be so easily enamoured by both Audrey and Sabrina.
A single black top and a pair of capris have never looked as sultry as in this instance. This Parisian style is one that gratifies one of the many styles that Audrey is most known for. Givenchy was able to truly affirm “The Hepburn Look”. The outfit is able to complement her slight frame, whilst still remaining modest and sleek. Sabrina appears as a slyly sexy woman, yet without the cunning characteristics and with a far sweeter appeal.
This minimalistic piece, with little range of colour, is able to reflect upon how beautiful Audrey truly is; a plain top and trousers becomes a catwalk piece. But that is an aura that she seems to be capable of creating with every outfit that she wears.