Tag Archives: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

One of my highlights of my trip to Paris with Chanel earlier this year was the moment when Peter Philips – the company’s Creative Director of Make-up – unveiled the new Rouge Velvet Allure range of lipsticks (and complementary nail varnishes). Or rather, when his squad of chic assistants opened the coffrets of lipsticks to show the waiting beauty press.

While the other girls reached for the nudes, beiges and subtle shades, my eye was immediately drawn to a strong coral shade – La Ravissante (love the name – the Ravishing One). The bright colour perked up my pale complexion and prompted Peter Philips himself to compliment me on the colour – his colour! Not only that, but, considering that it’s a matte lipstick, it’s much creamier than you’d expect. Oh, and it lasts extremely well.

La Ravissante is one of eight shades of Rouge Allure Velvet (£23.50 each) – the model in the picture is wearing La Fascinante, teamed with the new Le Vernis in Pirate (£18) which I’ve been hooked on since the summer. I also love the Rose Cache shade which was launched at the same time.  

I was wearing my La Ravissante  on Monday when I went to hear the great jazz singer Carol Kidd playing a duo concert. It was just as well I popped backstage to say hello, as she had left her lipstick at home – and asked if she could borrow one. Check out the results – and the fact that the same shade looks completely different on the more tanned Ms Kidd.

Here’s a wee clip of Carol Kidd and her guitarist Nigel Clark (oh, and La Ravissante!) in action last Monday, singing one of Style Matters readers’ favourite songs – well, it does come from Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

TUESDAY

I’m loving my Diorskin Forever but it’s not the only foundation that has recently seduced me: Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation (£32; for stockists, call 020-7313 4774) is another lovely new one which has a great shade for my pale skin, and provides impressive coverage and a natural look.

Not only that but it has skincare properties -and comes in a lovely art deco bottle..

And if you’re interested in experimenting with new looks but are put off by the idea of having your make-up done in a department store, check out Shiseido’s Magic Mirror, a virtual make-up application that allows you to try colours without anything touching your face. It’s touring round the country just now – currently in Jenners in Edinburgh, until October 19. To find out when it’s coming to a counter near you, call 020-7313 4774. 

THURSDAY

After being quite unwell on Wednesday, I was really short on sleep on Thursday – and had a girls’ night out to get ready for, to celebrate my friend Siobhan’s birthday. It seemed the perfect time to dig out the Clarins Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask (£28.99; www.clarins.co.uk) which I’ve been using intermittently for the last month or so.

I have to confess: I don’t find this sort of eye mask – a cream – nearly as effective as an actual mask that you lay on the skin round your eyes. (Chanel, why did you discontinue yours?!) I wouldn’t say it makes my eyes feel particularly refreshed but it does produce a tightening sensation and perks up the old peepers. Next time I have a hangover, I’ll give it another shot – that’s the big test!

FRIDAY

The eye cream I’m most enjoying using on a day-to-day basis came into its own on Friday when I was even more sleep-deprived .. Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Creme (£40; www.esteelauder.co.uk)  is one of the latest products at the Lauder counter and it really does brighten the eye area as it’s a sort of iridescent cream – though one that you use night and day. I can’t say I’ve noticed any particular improvement in the firmness of the skin around my eyes – yet – but it’s a lovely eye cream with the bonus of meaning you can skip using a highlighter when you look tired ….

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Style on Film: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most stylish films in Hollywood history: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The anniversary may not be until October, but a sparkling new print of the film which consolidated Audrey Hepburn’s position as a style icon is doing the rounds right now so it’s the perfect time to celebrate the wardrobe of beautiful Givenchy clothes which she wears throughout the film, starting with the most famous of all – the evening gown she wears in the opening shots when we first meet Holly Golightly as she arrives at the window of Tiffany’s.

Givenchy made two versions of this exquisite gown: one which was completely straight and was for Hepburn to wear as she stood still outside Tiffany’s, and one which had a slit so she could walk in it. She’s glimpsed wearing the same dress again a few scenes later… Indeed, one of the surprises about Breakfast at Tiffany’s is that there aren’t that many different dresses – the same ones pop up more than once, but with different accessories. We first see the other iconic black dress, the knee-length cocktail dress with the deep ruffle round the hem, when Holly gets dressed for a morning visit to Sing Sing prison. Her casual approach to elegance is highlighted by the way she throws herself together in five minutes (including the time spent searching for missing alligator shoes and careful eyelash combing) …

Mind you, if you simply alternate a couple of frocks and vary the accessories, then it is possible to throw your chic outfit together super-fast… Just a few scenes after its debut (pictured above), the little black cocktail dress is back – this time for Holly’s crazy party, probably the zaniest party in Hollywood movies. Having greeted her early arrivals while wearing her bedsheet – albeit very stylishly – Holly disappears into her bedroom and emerges in the LBD, teamed with a stunning bib necklace, statement earrings and the cigarette holder that’s familiar from the publicity shots.

And the cocktail dress makes its third appearance for another Sing Sing trip a little later – yet another example of how this movie is essentially a masterclass in accessorizing…

With the arrival of Doc, the blast from her hick past that Holly has done her damnedest to leave behind, there’s a shift in the Golightly wardrobe from round-the-clock evening wear to more practical, everyday gear. But it’s still Givenchy so it’s still terribly chic. Here’s Holly drowning her sorrows in a strip joint and still looking impossibly Left Bank..

Charade is the Hepburn movie to watch for inspirational outerwear: in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she has only one winter coat. But it’s a stunner: bright orange and funnel-necked, teamed with a fur hat, for Holly and Paul’s day of doing things they’ve never done before..

After Holly’s gone cold on Paul and has taken up with the dashing Brazilian Jose, she is briefly seen in a beautiful hot pink gown (teamed with matching tiara!) which is a departure from her earlier slinky black dresses. Ironically, however, she’s wearing the pink – and not the black – when she learns of her beloved brother’s untimely death. And, as gorgeous as the pink dress may be, it’s not one that people remember from the film.

Holly ends the film in a fabulously simple ensemble which is almost a throw-back to Hepburn’s gamine days of the 1950s. Popping out for a farewell stroll through her beloved Manhattan, she exudes casual chic in a simple beige cowl-necked sweater, black cigarette pants and loafers, and a black patent bag with chain straps.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is undoubtedly the film which cemented Audrey Hepburn’s status as a style icon and linked her forever more in the fashion-conscious public’s mind with the great French couturier Hubert de Givenchy, who had previously dressed her for Sabrina and Funny Face. Givenchy was only responsible for Hepburn’s wardrobe in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; the other female character, the older woman played by Patricia Neal, wore designs by a New York house, Pauline Trigere.

And if all these pictures haven’t got you in the mood for the film – or sent you scuttling to your wardrobe to dig out your black dresses – here’s the original trailer that audiences saw in 1961.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

On Monday I was still experimenting with the new spring colours from Chanel, having worn them out for the first time on Saturday night – with great success. Les Perles de Chanel (available from January 28) is the name of the collection and it’s a very classic French look with a modern twist. Just look at the ad photo (right): the model’s make-up is a sort of muted, elegant take on the late 1980s and early 1990s, the period when I fell in love with French style. With the soft grey eyes, subtle lips and radiant complexion, it conjures up the look of the Parisian girls I knew when I worked over there nearly 20 years ago. And one of the lessons I learned back then (I worked in an upmarket costume jewellery shop) was about how flattering a jewel the simple pearl could be.

The stand-out item in the new collection for me is the gorgeous, limited edition, Ombres Perlees de Chanel (£39) which are a welcome alternative to the usual Les 4 Ombres (£35.50), the hard texture of which I’ve never taken to. I found the new Ombres Perlees easier to use. The colour glided on and blended beautifully, and there are any number of ways of mixing them to create different effects, from the smoky eye I sported on Saturday, to the more discreet and dainty day look I adopted on Monday for a day of meetings. The pearlised finish makes it really fresh and flattering.

Les Perles de Chanel is a big collection with some lovely colours for the lips – well worth checking out if you go for pink and rose shades.

And, of course, the nail varnishes – Chanel Le Vernis in Black Pearl and Pearl Drop (£17 each), in particular – are instant classics, and a lovely antidote to some of the dull matte shades around this season.

TUESDAY

I spent Tuesday afternoon watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s on DVD, in preparation for a discussion on BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe about the film’s

enduring appeal. What struck me on this viewing was the scene in which we see Holly (played, of course, by Audrey Hepburn) getting groomed and ready in a hurry. It’s always fascinating watching other people’s beauty routines – even if they’re fictional – and Holly’s involves getting her beauty sleep under a lavish eye mask.

Realising that she’s due on a train in 45 minutes, she flies into action. “I’ve got to do something about the way I look!” she exclaims to her new neighbour as she dashes to her dressing table and loosely pins up her hair. Then, the most fascinating part of her routine.. All the party girl who never took off her make-up from the previous night has to do is tend to her brows and lashes. She elegantly pencils and combs her eyebrows then brushes both upper and lower eyelashes, before disappearing into the

bathroom to slip into her little black dress and pin up some loose tendrels of hair.

When she emerges a matter of seconds later, a vision of cool sophistication in a wide-brimmed hat, she smugly asks: “How do I look?”.  But there’s still one last step: a stop at her mail box where, using a mirror she has stuck to the inside of the box’s flap, she applies her lipstick, before scooshing herself with perfume which she stashes in the mail box! A lesson in time-efficient beauty to us all…

WEDNESDAY


Where to hang my  trio of limited edition prints by Daisy de Villeneuve was the main dilemma on Wednesday.. These funky, felt-tipped designs are being sold as part of Clinique’s Kiss it Better campaign which, every year, raises money to fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer. Each set of prints is signed by de Villeneuve and costs £100 – and all of the money from their sale will go to the Kiss It Better appeal, which is part of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Visit www.clinique.co.uk or www.gosh.org/shop in February to buy your own set..

THURSDAY

I haven’t had as busy a day as Thursday in a long time. Not only was I juggling work commitments in Edinburgh during the day, but I had two evening events to attend – almost simultaneously – in Glasgow: Estee Lauder’s dinner to introduce the latest Pure Color collection from Tom Pecheux and the launch party for Glasgow’s latest upmarket hotel, the Grand Central.

With only a quick stop-over at base camp, I just about had time to change my outfit and freshen up my make-up – but it was a ten-minute session with an eye mask that really set me up for the night ahead.

Holly Golightly doesn’t have a monopoly on the old eye masks – and they’re not only for sleeping beauties: I swear by a fantastic eye mask which has, very disappointingly and bafflingly, been discontinued. Chanel Precision Eye Patch Total is its name and, thankfully, I still have quite a few. I used one on Thursday and not only did it refresh me but it also smoothed away the fine lines round my eyes and plumped up the skin. A similar effect can be achieved with Guerlain Super Aqua-Eye Anti-Puffiness Smoothing Eye Patches (£68, above), but they’re not quite as hydrating and soothing as the old Chanel ones. Anyone else fancy lobbying Chanel to bring them back?

FRIDAY

A follow-up emergency application of the Guerlain eye patches was just what the beauty doctor ordered on Friday morning – to counter the effects of a champagne-fuelled late night on Thursday, and render me fit for a morning meeting in town with jazz contacts. The patch certainly made me feel brighter but something else was required to give my complexion a lift: and it was Guerlain to the rescue once more, in the form of its terrific radiance-boosting concealer.

Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator (£28), as its name pretty much suggests, is everything you need to perk up tired and old-looking skin. I dabbed it under my eyes to counter dark circles and give myself a shot at looking more wide-awake. And it did the job.. So much so that I’ll be laying in extra supplies next time I go away for a jazz weekend..

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Book Review: Fifth Avenue, 5am – Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I hope none of my girlfriends reads this review. Why? Because it’s about a book which should be in the Christmas stocking of every chic movie lover and every Audrey Hepburn admirer – and I know a few.

To be honest, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the 1961 film which transformed Audrey Hepburn from stylish gamine into style icon, is not this movie fan’s favourite Hepburn movie. With a heroine, Holly Golightly, whose “kookiness” irritates and enchants in equal measure, its outrageously offensive and ill-judged portrayal of a Japanese character (by an OTT Mickey Rooney) and its slightly wooden leading man (George Peppard), it’s far from perfect but, as author Sam Wasson points out, it was still a gamble which paid off – for almost everybody concerned – and a film which bridged the gap between the prudish Hollywood output of the 1950s and the more relaxed movies of the sexually-liberated 1960s.

In Fifth Avenue, 5am, Wasson skilfully weaves together all the many strands of the creation of this much-loved movie into a book which is, at times, irritatingly kooky itself (he even adopts Holly Golightly’s habit of dropping des mots francais into the prose) and sometimes unfairly dismissive (he writes off Hepburn’s subsequent film Charade in one line, while the Alastair Sim comedy Laughter in Paradise is, he says “regrettable” apart from the short scene which introduced the beguiling Hepburn to the world.

Nevertheless, the story of the film is a rivetting one: considered simply too risque (Holly is a happy-go-lucky hooker) for audiences who were used to seeing bad girls being punished and only good girls getting the guy and the happy ending, it faced all sorts of obstacles. And one of the major ones was in persuading the practically perfect Audrey Hepburn to take a chance on playing a part which author Truman Capote had wanted for his friend Marilyn Monroe.

Wasson takes as his starting point the story behind Capote’s creation of the original novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Capote’s flighty mother, Lillie Mae, who routinely abandoned him in their native Alabama as she was lured back to the bright lights and rich men of New York, was part of the inspiration for the character of Holly  (nee Lula Mae) – along with some of the once wild, now tamed society women whom Capote counted as friends and confidantes.

Alongside the gradual evolution of Holly’s story and the birth of Breakfast at Tiffany’s the movie, Wasson describes the asteroid-like early career of Audrey Hepburn who shot to fame and won an Oscar for her first Hollywood film, the sublime Roman Holiday. While her career was on the ascent, her personal life in the 1950s was punctuated by miscarriages and disappointments – and her husband, Mel Ferrer, as sketched by the anecdotes included here, was a control freak who was jealous of his wife’s success and scolded her in public if she didn’t behave as he expected her to.

Their relationship – his dominance and influence over her; her capitulation and deference to him – moves centre stage late in the book when Wasson reveals that Ferrer’s opinions about Holly Golightly and his wife’s portrayal of her began to interfere with Hepburn’s own instincts, and those of director Blake Edwards.

Indeed, as well-documented as Hepburn’s life and career may be, hers is a particularly compelling strand of Wasson’s book, and his description of how she must have been feeling – an evocation drawn from a number of reliable sources (there is a vast, and extremely readable, notes section at the end of the book) – when she began filming outside Tiffany’s at dawn on October 2, 1960, is quite moving.

A new, first-time mother, she had had to leave her ten-week-old baby on another continent to play a part she wasn’t sure she could pull off and which could, potentially, tarnish her carefully constructed and trusted screen image once and for all. Where we see an impossibly elegant swan
gliding around the pavement of Fifth Avenue, Hepburn herself was a bag of stomach-churning nerves.

That’s just one of a tidal wave of behind-the-scenes insights in this chatty, highly enjoyable book which sheds light on every aspect of Breakfast at Tiffany’s – from the fashion, for which it is legendary, and Hepburn’s relationship with Parisian couturier Hubert de Givenchy, to the ways in which Capote’s story had to be adjusted and altered to fit the requirements of a 1961 Hollywood film.

Fifth Avenue, 5 AM – Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Aurum, £14.99), by Sam Wasson

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Style on Film: Jazz On a Summer’s Day

Jazz on a Summer’s Day is not only one of the great jazz documentaries; it’s also a fascinating snapshot of late 1950s fashions – as worn by the most stylish and tasteful people of the time: jazz fans and musicians! Pictured left is singer Anita O’Day, a vision of uptown chic (and surely the style inspiration for Audrey Hepburn’s Sing Sing outfit in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? – watch the YouTube clip below and decide for yourself ..)

The film was first shown in Britain in June 1960, and I’m celebrating it over on my jazz blog, www.jazzmatters.wordpress.com

What’s so appealing about this movie to non-jazz devotees are the lingering shots of some of the audience:  hipsters with crew cuts and Ray Bans, “cats” in pork-pie hats, and girls wearing pony-tails and pedal-pushers.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who loves this movie’s sense of style to discover that it was filmed by a fashion photographer, Bert Stern – who went on to take the last photos of Marilyn Monroe.

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Oh, Beehive!

In tribute to the hit musical, Hairspray, which is touring the UK at the moment, here are some of the best beehives of the 1960s – starting with the most elegant and iconic of them all: Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Swedish star Britt Ekland was a big beehive fan in the 1960s too – and helped popularise the gravity-defying style here in Britain.

Julie Christie was another film star whose hair trends were always worth watching in the swinging sixties.

The most famous exponent of the beehive, pre-Amy Winehouse anyway, was French “sex kitten” Brigitte Bardot who liked to wear hers loose – a sort of 1960s variation on the bedhead look.

Her fellow French star Catherine Deneuve was usually seen wearing her backcombed hair long and completely loose, or with an Alice band, but here’s a rare picture of her with a shortish fringe and bit of a beehive.

And let’s end our beehive bonanza with the lovely Leslie Caron, another Gallic style heroine – and one who often played similar parts to our first queen of the beehive, Audrey Hepburn. This is probably how Leslie C would have looked had she played Holly Golightly!

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