Audrey Hepburn movie costume ensemble of white shirt and midi circle skirt in film Roman Holiday, 1953
In 1952, the then young and unknown Audrey Hepburn was cast in Paramount film Roman Holiday directed by William Wyler as Princess Ann, Edith Head the head costume designer of Paramount designed her wardrobe.
And among all of her outfits, the white shirt and colored circle skirt ensemble is most iconic outfit Audrey wore in the movie.
It's a simple button down long sleeve shirt with undefined shoulder and a separate jabot, and a ankle long circle skirt with belt.
As Edith Head explained:
"You see, she's supposed to be a princess disguised as an ordinary girl on the streets of Rome. So we made her a simple costume, so she wouldn't look different."
The white shirt
In the movie, Audrey Hepburn first wore the ensemble with the shirt sleeves buttoned as she left the embassy palace.
As the movie progresses, Audrey Hepburn would wear the shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
Edith Head obviously endorsed Audrey wearing the shirt that way even during the screen test: "In the picture, she had to look casual, informal and we felt, due to the heat of Rome in summer, a girl would really do this sort of thing.".
Edith Head's more thoughts on designing Audrey Hepburn's this ensemble can be seen in the following video:
During Audrey's test, Edith Head has also designed another two alternative jersey blouses for her, one with buttons, another slip on, but later the white shirt was chosen, perhaps as a Princess, the two jersey blouses could be too figure hugging.
The circle skirt
The length and silouette
The skirt is a circle skirt hitting below Audrey's mid calf, looking conservative and demure. It seems there exists an alternative skirt which Audrey Hepburn wore only for her screen test, one that is a little bit shorter with more volume(Or perhaps she is wearing some petticoat underneath?).
Blue or Beige? What is the color of Audrey Hepurn's circle skirt in Roman Holiday? Perhaps only Edith Head can answer this question by now. In some pictures, the color is sky blue, but then in another, it looks like a beige. And the doll makers seem like the beige version, and they all have Audrey Hepburn like doll wearing the beige skirt.