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Paris is always a good idea! 

Audrey Hepburn

May 4th, 1929 – January 20th, 1993

 

 

As a  young girl, I fell in love with Paris, in part, well in large part, because of Audrey Hepburn.

 

To me, everything that I imagined Paris to represent,  I felt was embodied by this film and fashion icon.

 

In fact, I wonder now if Audrey shaped the image I had, and many of us still have, of Parisian women?

 

I can see how this stereotype may have materialized.

 

 

 

 

While Audrey was not French (she was born in Brussels), she spoke French and loved Paris.

 

“Paris is always a good idea” is her most famous quote.

 

Six of her movies were done on location or at the film studios in Paris: Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Charade (1963), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966) and Two for the Road (1967).

 

Audrey was remarkably beautiful, tall and lithe, with a neck that stretched up with the grace of a giraffe.

 

And she was thin. Uncommonly and impossibly thin.

 

So thin, one secretly wondered (pre-bulimia awareness) how it could be healthy.

 

 

 

Still, her waif-like figure was the ideal silhouette on which to drape clothing.

 

As fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy discovered when Audrey became his most famous muse.

 

There wasn’t a little black dress (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)  suit,  gown, coat,  hat, or an oversized pair of sunglasses that I did not dream about wearing, hoping that it would make me feel a little bit like Audrey Hepburn.

 

Audrey with Givenchy!

 

 

As a result, I grew up thinking that French women, and especially Parisian women, personified a similar glamour, style, and confidence as Audrey.

 

Like the chicken and the egg though, I wonder which came first, the stereotype of the Parisian woman or Audrey Hepburn? Did Audrey reinforce the stereotype, or did the stereotype emerge and become more entrenched because of her?

 

Either way, it was an unrealistic and unfortunate model of glamour that most women could never emulate.

 

You may have some thoughts?

 

Still, not to take anything away from Audrey herself, she was one of a kind.  And it often a singular person and somewhat of an unnatural phenomenon that creates an icon.

 

Audrey would have been 92 on Tuesday.

 

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

 

 

 

Audrey’s Story

If you have not seen it, Netflix has a new documentary about Audrey Hepburn called AUDREY, More Than An Icon.

It underlines more than her legendary acting career, showing an intimate portrait of her family background, her marriages, and her humanitarian work.

 

 

 

Courtesy LaPeetch.com

 

 

Courtesy LaPeetch.com

 

It’s Getting Closer!

The House That Julia Built!

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Makenna Held with her husband Chris — Courtesy LaPeetch.com

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on May 2, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Always loved that beautiful woman, Audrey Hepburn. So marvelously feminine – exuding confidence and glamour!

    • Diana Bishop on May 2, 2021 at 4:47 pm

      Definitely! Thanks Gretchen.

  2. Shardie Stevenson on May 2, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Audrey Hepburn is one of my favourite actors , in fact , one of my favourite women Ever! Her grace, beauty and … that voice!
    I always wanted to be her and only liked my long neck when I could say that Audrey had one too. 😉
    She was also an amazing person with a heart as warm and giving as that amazing smile, as that Netflix movie highlights.
    We need more Audrey’s and Yes … she embodies Paris ! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • Diana Bishop on May 2, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Yes..I loved her. I just think it was unfortunate that her impossibly thin frame became the model of French fashion at that time… impossible and unhealthy to emulate. However, that takes nothing away from Audrey herself. A beautiful person inside and out!

  3. Margaret Ann Gendreau on May 3, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Have always loved Audrey and everything Audrey. Thanks so much for the recommendation about the Netflix story on her. It was a rainy afternoon here in Vancouver so we settled in and caught the documentary. Fascinating!

    • Diana Bishop on May 4, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      I loved it too! Thanks Margaret Ann for the comment. Diaan

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