Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

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Based on Truman Capote’s novel, this is the story of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a young woman in New York City who meets Paul Varjak  (George Peppard) when he moves into her apartment building. Paul is a struggling writer who is with a wealthy, older woman, whereas Holly works as an expensive escort whilst searching for a rich, older man to marry. Holly’s lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they’re alone she changes completely.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a remarkable film, hardly anything like its literary counterpart, the film itself was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It is considered Audrey Hepburn’s most notable role, the image of her hair in a high chignon and carrying an oversized cigarette holder, is considered one of the most iconic images of 20th Century American cinema. However perhaps most iconically, it popularized what is now a wardrobe staple, the Little Black Dress. With costumes designed by the dynamic duo of Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy, the costumes in this film are as divine as one would expect, from one iconic look to another, this film is full of perfect fashions beautifully modeled by the ever delightful Audrey Hepburn.

 

One of the most iconic dresses in cinematic history, the “Little Black Dress” from the opening titles. There has often been a dispute over who created this dress, Edith Head or Givenchy, seemingly Givenchy designed the original dress which featured a split up the leg, however the dress was redesigned by Edith head to remove the split;

In 1961, Givenchy designed a little black dress for the opening scene… Audrey took two copies of the dress back to Paramount, but the dresses, which revealed a considerable amount of Audrey’s leg, were not suitable for the movie and the lower half of the dress was redesigned by Edith Head. The original hand-stitched dress is currently in Givenchy’s private archive, whilst one copy Audrey took back to Paramount is on display at The Museum of Film in Madrid and the other was auctioned at Christie’s in December 2006. None of the actual dresses created by Givenchy were used in either the movie or the promotional photography. The movie poster was designed by artist Robert McGinnis and in Sam Wasson’s book, Fifth Avenue, 5am, he explains that the photos he based the poster on did not show any leg and he added the leg to make the poster more appealing. The actual dresses used in the movie, created by Edith Head, were destroyed by Head and Hepburn at Western Costume in California after shooting. – Taken from Black Givenchy dress of Audrey Hepburn (Wikipedia).

The dress is made from a black Satin, and features a shallow neckline with strap narrowing a the top of the shoulder. The bodice is fitted and the skirt is floor length, tapering down the leg. The back of the dress is cut into a crescent moon shape, which is emphasized by a three strand pearl necklace. Additionally, it is teamed with a pair of back, over the elbow gloves, large sunglasses and a delightful looking Danish.

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One of the more colourful ensembles worn by Audrey during the film, the Fiesta dress is a bright pink, sleeveless dress. It has a fitted bodice, with a slightly flared skirt beginning at the waist. The dress also features a matching pink bow at the waist and fan style motifs decorating the dress. Teamed with the dress is a matching jacket and pink gemstone tiara.

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When running around any capital, an eye catching coat is a must. The rich orange of this wool coat is teamed with a black patent bag and fabulously oversized sunglasses. The coat features 3/4 length sleeves, a funnel neck and matching glass buttons.It is knee length and is fitted at the waist.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a delightful film, beautifully captured and gorgeously dressed. A film which catapulted the already well-known Hepburn into cosmic stardom. A fabulous adaptation of Truman Capote’s most famous novel, granted there are certain aspects which have not stood the test of time, but Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly is just as divine as her wardrobe. Everyone should watch this brilliant example of early 1960’s cinema and witness the wardrobe that spawned a world of copy cats.

 

 

 

 

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