Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany black floor length sheath dress with back cutout of silk satin designed by Hubert de Givenchy
Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film directed by Blake Edwards, written by George Axelrod, adapted from Truman Capote's 1958 novella of the same name, and starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, a naïve, eccentric café society girl who falls in love with a struggling writer (George Peppard).
The film received five nominations at the 34th Academy Awards: Best Actress (for Hepburn), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, winning Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Moon River". The film is considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2012.
Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of Holly Golightly is generally considered to be one of her most memorable and identifiable roles, partly because of the wardrobe designed by French couturier Hubert de Givenchy.
Audrey Hepburn first met Givenchy in Paris while she was looking for authentic Parisian outfits for Sabrina, the protagonist she played in the film Sabrina. Givenchy was busy preparing his coming collections but Audrey Hepburn was able to choose a few outfits from the couturier's past collection, which are some of the most iconic outfits in the actress's film career as well as in the movie history.
But none of Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina outfits in her Parisian wardrobe has achieved the iconic status of the black dress she wore as Holy Golightly in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's. This black floor length dress is cited as one of the most iconic items of clothing in the history of the twentieth century, and perhaps the most famous "little black dress" of all time.
In a survey conducted in 2010 by LOVEFiLM, this dress was chosen as the best dress ever worn by a woman in a film.
The dress is a sleeveless, floor-length gown with fitted bodice embellished at the back with distinctive cut-out décolleté in the shape of half moon, the skirt slightly gathered at the waist and slit to the thigh on one side, labelled inside on the waistband Givenchy; accompanied by a pair of black elbow-length gloves".The bodice is slightly open at the back with a neckline that leaves uncovered shoulders.
The dress is made in Italian satin.
After Givenchy created the opening scene satin dress for Audrey Hepburn, she 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 Museo del Traje in Madrid and another 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 actual dresses used in the movie, created by Edith Head, were probably destroyed by Head and Hepburn at Western Costume in California after shooting.
In November 2006, Natalie Portman appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, wearing one of the original Givenchy dresses created for Breakfast at Tiffany's.
The dress was donated by Givenchy the designer to Dominique Lapierre, the author of the book City of Joy, and his wife to help raise funds for the charity.
On 5 December 2006, this dress was auctioned at Christie's in London and purchased by an anonymous buyer by telephone. The sale price was estimated by the auction house to have ended somewhere between £50,000 and £70,000, but the final price was £467,200 ($923,187).The money raised in the auction of the black dress went toward helping build a school for the poor people of Calcutta.
On 25 September 1954, Audrey Hepburn married American actor Mel Ferrer in Burgenstock, Switzerland.
In 1968, 14 years later, the couple divorced.
The wedding dress worn by Audrey Hepburn was a high collared tea-length dress featuring 3 quarter balloon sleeves and a satin waist sash.
The wedding dress was designed by French couturier Pierre Balmain,
Audrey Hepburn paired her wedding dress with a flower wreath on her head and a pair of elbow gloves.
Other wedding dresses
No.1 Audrey Hepburn's first wedding dress 1952
Audrey Hepburn's first wedding dress 1952, designed by Italian fashion house Sorelle Fontana (who had designed in 1949 for Hollywood star Tyrone Power's bride Linda Christian's wedding dress in their "wedding of the century".)
In 1952, while filming Roman Holiday in Italy, Audrey Hepburn was engaged to English business man James Hanson, and she asked Italian fashion house Sorelle Fontana to design the wedding dress for you. But later she called off the wedding and donated the wedding dress to a young Italian woman Amiable Altobella, and the wedding dress was auctioned by Kerry Taylor Auctions in London for over £10,000 in 2009.
The wedding dress commissioned by her was made of silk satin in off-white color, featuring a bateau neckline, shirred front, french sleeve and buttoned back.
No.2 Audrey Hepburn's third wedding dress 1961
Audrey Hepburn second wedding dress, 1961 designed by Hubert de Givenchy.
On 18 January 1969, Audrey Hepburn married Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti in a town hall ceremony in Switzerland.
The wedding dress worn by Audrey Hepburn was a funnel-necked long sleeve mini dress in pale pink. She paired the dress with a matching headscarf and a pair of white ballet flats.
In 1982, 14 years together, the couple divorced.
No.3 Audrey Hepburn's wedding dress in film Funny Face, 1957
Apart from her own wedding dresses, the most iconic wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wore on screen is perhaps the one she wore in film Funny Face as the intellectual girl Jo.
The wedding dress features a full ballerina tutu style full skirt, a dropped waist and a fitting bodice with bateau neckline.
Audrey Hepburn paired the Giselle like wedding dress with a short veil which falls behind her shoulder, so she really looks like a ballerina.
The wedding dress was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, Hepburn's default costume designer for her films since Sabrina, as well as her favorite designer for her personal wardrobe, and her best friend for decades.
Audrey Hepburn movie costume white lace midi dress with shawl collar in film Roman Holiday (1953) then restyled into her 1954 Oscar dress by Givenchy
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.
The Roman Holiday farewell dress
In the closing scene of the movie, Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann held a press conference where she would meet Joe, the reporter she fell in love for the last time. In that scene, she wore a white lace midi dress with a shawl collar, wrap-over bodice and fitted waist, styled with a pearl choker and a Juliet style hat.
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From the farewell dress to Oscar dress
In 1954, at the 26th Annual Academy Awards, Audrey Hepburn wore a sleeveless floral lace dress with a belt. It is actually restyled from the Roman Holiday Farewell lace dress by Hubert de Givenchy, by then Audrey Hepburn's favorite designer.
Audrey Hepburn won the best actress wearing the dainty lace dress.
Here is a video clip of Audrey Hepburn accepted her her Oscar award in the lace dress.
In 2011, on November 29, the lace dress was sold at auction for £84,000 by Kerry Taylor, a British auction house.