Apart from designing a range of couture millinery creations, I also enjoy playing with another of my talents to imagine how Hollywood’s brightest stars might look wearing some of my exclusive hand-made pieces. This not only provides a bit of fun for my lovely patrons and fans on Instagram and Facebook, it also shows the hats ‘in the wild’ giving a flavor of how they might perform in their natural habitat. But can you identify all stars in my Hollywood Legends series…
The first is of course the quintessentially elegant Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). Famous for her starring roles in classics like ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Here she is shown wearing one of my first original designs ‘A Passion for Peonies’. Featuring huge, lipstick red hand -made silk peonies on a shantung silk base, I felt that this is exactly the kind of chapeau that a contemporary ‘Holly Golightly’ would have worn to admire the jewels in Tiffany’s window. Her radiant beauty and sophisticated style have made her an enduring fashion icon and one of my all time favorites. This timeless fashionista was however more than just a pretty face. An avid supporter of charitable causes, she believed that true elegance and style were a reflection of the inner person.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”— Audrey Hepburn
Following her success in My Fair Lady the world of fashion had found a new heroine and every designer had found their muse. Miss Hepburn adopted the hat as her signature accessory and from then on she was seldom seen without a statement piece from one of the world’s top milliners. Another of my designs ‘Champagne and Roses’ is also inspired by the look Audrey created in this and other stunning fashion shoots.
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was aristocratic and cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch baroness; Audrey’s father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian descent, and was involved in several businesses. During World War II she changed her name to Edda Van Heemstra, as she lived in occupied Holland and didn’t want to be suspected as British. However, after the war, she moved to London and worked as a chorus girl, so she shortened her real name to Audrey Hepburn.
Although her professional career continued to be incandescent after My Fair Lady earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Audrey continued to struggle in her personal life with a series of failed marriages, miscarriages and finally ill health that lead to her death in Switzerland at the age of 63. Whether it was her struggles to survive as a child in Nazi occupied Europe or her later quest for motherhood, she remained a staunch supporter and Ambassador for UNICEF and other international children’s charities throughout her life.
“How shall I sum up my life? I think I’ve been particularly lucky. Does that have something to do with faith also? I know my mother always used to say, ‘Good things aren’t supposed to just fall in your lap. God is very generous, but he expects you to do your part first.’ So you have to make that effort. But at the end of a bad time or a huge effort, I’ve always had – how shall I say it? – the prize at the end. My whole life shows that.” — Audrey Hepburn