Tag Archives: Givenchy

A Valentine to Funny Face

Funny_Face_-_red_dress,_Louvre_(colour)The generally (s’) wonderful 1957 musical Funny Face is doing the rounds of cinemas this week, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Decent pictures of the many glorious Givenchy outfits are difficult to source on the internet (the still taken during the fashion sequence, above, is an exception) – but there are some delightful shots of the delectable Audrey Hepburn in costume, both on-set and off-duty, and in publicity pictures. Here’s a selection, kicking off with a beautiful portrait of her in the raincoat she wears for the jubilant Bonjour Paris number.Funny_Face_-_Audrey_Hepburn_b&_w_in_raincoat

And, sans raincoat, here’s the rest of her boulevardier ensemble – turtle neck, cigarette pants and loafers – worn as she philosophises in Montmartre .. Funny_Face_-_Audrey_in_beatnik_outfit_off_dutyDuring the “ugly duckling” part of the film, Hepburn’s character, Jo, was dowdily dressed and bemused by the ridiculous poses and heavy make-up of the models who invaded her bookshop for a shoot. Between takes, however, Audrey Hepburn was quite comfortable in the company of top model Dovima.Funny_Face_-_onset_photo_with_Vogue_modelThis monochrome evening dress is only glimpsed momentarily in the film (as are many of the evening gowns). It’s very reminiscent of the one worn by Hepburn in her second Cinderella-style film, Sabrina.Funny_Face_-_b&w_dress_in_colourAnd, to end with, here’s Audrey Hepburn’s beguilingly vulnerable version of the Gershwin love song How Long Has This Been Going On? Happy Valentine’s Day – here’s to feeling in a lovely state…

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Well Hello, Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse - JS black dressI went to see the 1958 movie Bonjour Tristesse in a sparkling new print yesterday and was struck by how stylish it is – in so many more ways than I remembered from seeing it on TV in my teens. Style-wise back then, I couldn’t see past the sublime pixie crop sported by the gamine Jean Seberg – and all I could recall of the film in general was that I didn’t like it much, apart from the theme song (scroll down to hear Juliette Greco singing it in the opening scenes) which has always haunted me. This time, however, I was wowed right from the get-go – by the colourful Saul Bass-designed titles (and Georges Auric music) which announced the film’s style credentials: “accessories by Hermes”. A good sign, surely?

Well, yes. I can’t find the costume designer listed on the Internet Movie Database – and I blinked and missed the credit during the titles (too dazzled by the Bonjour Tristesse - Seberg & Kerr on arrivalHermes mention, perhaps) but I believe it was Givenchy – which just adds to the appeal. Certainly, the first dress we see Seberg wearing – in the black & white sequences that represent the present-day and book-end the main drama – is reminiscent of the “Sabrina” dress that Givenchy designed for Audrey Hepburn to wear in the movie of that name … Bonjour Tristesse certainly required a chic, grown-up wardrobe for its other female star, Deborah Kerr, since she plays a Parisian fashion designer whose creations are worn by both her and the other characters throughout the movie.

I wonder now whether I ever watched beyond the first twenty minutes of the film when I first saw it. They are full of irritating dialogue, and focus on Cecile (Seberg), her unfulfilling social life and her nauseatingly sophisticated relationship with her playboy father (David Niven). I can’t think of many other films Bonjour Tristesse - Seberg & Kerr in casinowhere the look – of the costumes, the stars’ make-up and hair (Deborah Kerr looks particularly striking with soft make-up and flame red hair pinned up in an elegant chignon), their tanned bods and the locations (French Riviera) – has seduced me enough to continue watching something that was otherwise boring or annoying me. But I’m glad I did – for not only was there more style inspiration to soak up as the film unfolded, but I was drawn into the story in a way which I wasn’t when I first saw it. (Oh, and there was a wonderful opportunity to see Martita Hunt, AKA the definitive Miss Havisham, looking glamorous in the casino scene.)

It’s not a great film but it’s worth seeing; a movie based on a French literary classic – which the French should have made themselves. It seems all wrong as a Hollywood film – but it looks a million dollars ..

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Style on Film: How To Steal a Million

This is the look everyone remembers from the 1966 romantic caper movie How To Steal a Million, in which the irresistible Audrey Hepburn played Nicole Bonnet, the daughter of a master art forger. Set in Paris, the film features glorious locations – the Bonnets’ fabulous mansion, the Louvre, the Ritz – and, of course, some fab fashions from who else but Hepburn’s favourite couturier, Hubert de Givenchy. For the opening scene, he kitted his muse out in a kooky helmet hat, with matching sunglasses – very much a la Paco Rabanne. Here’s our first glimpse of Nicole:

When she arrives at her (presumably right bank) home, we get this glimpse of the rear view of her natty cream and white ensemble..

Later that night, Nicole is disturbed from her bedtime reading (a book about Alfred Hitchcock!) and discovers that a rather attractive Englishman (Peter O’Toole) is trying to pinch her pere’s Van Gogh. And when I say her pere’s Van Gogh, I mean the one he painted; not “Van Gogh’s Van Gogh”… After shooting him, tending to his injury and driving him back to the Ritz (well, he is, as Nicole points out a particularly “chic burglar”, she arranges to meet him the next day. For her secret rendez-vous at the Ritz to seal the deal, Nicole goes semi-undercover in an unforgettable black lace ensemble – which is very, very now.

Even the eye make-up glimpsible under that mask looks very 2011 – Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant would achieve a similar effect as Nicole’s eyes in that last picture. Here’s a better look at that exquisite lace mask.

For their next meeting – to case the joint for their heist (they are going to steal back Monsieur Bonnet’s Cellini statue from the Louvre) – Nicole dresses very conservatively. This is colour-blocking, 1966-style.

And here’s an off-duty shot of the stars which shows off one of the many pairs of patterned tights sported by Nicole in the film.

Hepburn’s reputation as the epitome of chic is affectionately sent up in the movie. When Nicole puts on her char woman disguise, her suave accomplice quips: ” Well for one thing, it gives Givenchy a night off!”  Setting off for the heist, she dresses in sophisticated beige …

Style-wise, How To Steal a Million is a bit of a mixed bag – one of Nicole’s outfits (a canary yellow suit, plus white tights) looks like it was inspired by Tweety Pie, and she spends quite a bit of time in a boring cotton nightie, but the opening scene outfit and, especially, the black lace ensemble are worth tuning in for. And this make-up is very inspirational for the party season.

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Leopard Ladies 2

There are an awful lot of crimes against leopard print going on this winter (and it’s only October!), so here’s a second selection of favourite leading ladies working that loveliest of animal prints, kicking off with Barbra Streisand. She’s not usually a style icon of mine but this coat is inspirational..

One actress who has long been a style icon of mine, however, is the “peek-a-boo” blonde star Veronica Lake who appeared in a string of hit movies in the 1940s. Here she is in leopard print coat, with regular co-star Alan Ladd.

Of course, once a leopard print lover, always a leopard print lover so it’s no surprise to find multiple photos of the same star wearing the pattern. In last month’s Leopard Ladies post on this blog, Gene Tierney was shown in her leopard print bikini; here she is wearing leopard in a slightly more practical way …

Another leopard print fan was the elegant comedienne Carole Lombard, here shown very early in her movie career wearing a leopard-trimmed number.

Carole Lombard and Bette Davis may have worked at a rival studios, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they were styled in the early 1930s .. Here’s a blonde Bette Davis vamping it up in sexy leopard print..

And, proving that it isn’t only vamps who can carry off leopard, here’s Audrey Hepburn in my favourite of her Charade get-ups by Givenchy.

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Style on Film: Charade

‘Tis autumn, and if ever there were a stylish, autumnal film it’s Charade (1963), the super-sexy thriller-cum-rom com which stars Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Paris, Henry Mancini’s wonderful music and a fabulous array of Givenchy clothes – far more than we see in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Here’s our first glimpse of Audrey’s character, Reggie – sporting ski-wear, sixties-style. (In case you’re wondering, she’s sitting outside an indoor swimming pool!)

Reggie returns from her ski trip to find that her apartment as been stripped of all her possessions. Luckily, she had obviously taken all her new season outfits on holiday with her.. Here’s the first of the 12 ensembles we see her in during the rest of the film.

If you’re in the market for a new coat, and you like the streamlined, unfussy 1960s look, Charade is a great source of inspiration. My own favourite ensemble from the film is the one Reggie wears when she visits Walter Matthau’s character at the American Embassy for the first time: the coat is tomato red, funnel-necked with bracelet-length sleeves and it’s teamed with a leopard print hat, long black gloves, black kitten heels and a black patent bag. You can glimpse it in this trailer:

For a post-funeral night on the town, newly-widowed Reggie is a vision of elegant simplicity – a little black dress and little black bolero jacket, and minimal jewellery. You can’t see it in the only photo I could find of the frock, but it has a sparkling black peplum waist and matching trim round the hem..

Doing her damnedest to be inconspicuous as she follows the Cary Grant character, Reggie dons that well-established uniform of the private eye – the raincoat. But few private eyes ever looked as chic (or conscipuous!).

The beige dress with the deep black waistband which Reggie was wearing under her raincoat sums up the sublime simplicity of her Charade wardrobe.

I’m not mad-keen on the white hat in the next outfit but Audrey carries it off beautifully, of course. Here’s the ensemble she wears when she drops her ice cream cone during a stroll along the banks of the Seine.

For the famous chase scene through the Metro and the Palais-Royale, Reggie sports another lovely coat, this time in a mustard shade, with a matching dress underneath.

Who said navy blue and black couldn’t go together? Reggie shows us how to do it in style in the final scenes from Charade, where her navy suit is accessorized with black shoes and a black bag, balanced out by the white hat and gloves  from before. You see – Charade is not only an exercise in sparkling comedy; it’s also a master-class in style.

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Style File: Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s

Audrey Hepburn – the ultimate gamine – may have had beautiful doe eyes, a slender, gazelle-like frame and an elegant swan neck but it’s the way she wore clothes that we all envy. She may be best remembered for the  iconic dresses she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the early 1960s, but her 1950s wardrobe is worth a look too.  Here’s how she looked playing an incognito princess (opposite Gregory Peck) in her breakthrough movie, the delightful Roman Holiday (1953).

Hepburn won an Oscar for her performance as the princess who lets her hair down (well, gets it lopped off) as she enjoys a day of freedom in Rome. She followed that film with the Cinderella-esque romantic comedy Sabrina (1954), in which she played the chauffeur’s daughter who goes to Paris as an awkward young girl, and returns every inch the chic young demoiselle.

As with Roman Holiday, the clothes in Sabrina were credited to Paramount’s now-legendary chief costume designer, Edith Head – who won Oscars for both films. But in Sabrina, many of Hepburn’s most memorable outfits and gowns were actually the work of couturier Hubert de Givenchy who became her life-long friend. The elegant suit (above) which Sabrina wears when she makes her comeback to Long Island was undoubtedly a Givenchy creation, as was this exquisite evening gown, which our heroine wears in the tennis court/Isn’t It Romantic scene with David (William Holden).

Then there’s the casual, ballet pumps and capri pants/leggings, look that Sabrina wears when she nips in to Linus’s (Humphrey Bogart’s) office in Manhattan..

Funny Face (1957) is another must-see  for devotees of Audrey Hepburn and fans of fashion on film. It’s the story of an “ugly duckling” who is transformed into an elegant swan of a model by a fashion magazine, and whisked off to Paris for her first shoot, wearing Givenchy of course. Here are a couple of the shots of our heroine in model mode.

Hepburn loved this film because it gave her the chance to dance with the wonderful, and equally stylish, Fred Astaire (below). Whether Edith Head or Hubert de Givenchy designed the ensemble that Hepburn wears as she trawls the cafes and caves of Montmartre and Montparnasse is anyone’s guess, but the combination of black turtleneck, black cigarette pants and loafers with a beige parka is sublime – and nobody else, before or since, could have worn it better.

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Style on Film: How To Steal a Million

Tune in to Channel 4 at 1pm on Tuesday March 30 for a chic lunchtime treat: a screening of the 1966 romantic caper comedy How To Steal a Million in which style icon Audrey Hepburn models some particularly modish Givenchy and her first short hairdo of the decade.

Playing the despairing daughter of a wealthy master forger who likes to replicate his own impressive collection of great art works, Audrey has a wardrobe to die for. The only time she doesn’t don Givenchy is when she pretends to be a maid. But even then, her favourite designer gets a namecheck – courtesy of co-star Peter O’Toole who, upon seeing her in her disguise, comments that Givenchy is getting a “day off”.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

An afternoon involving the school run and a children’s sports class meant that nothing too adventurous could be tested.. So I was happy to stick to my favourite new neutral eyeshadow, the Elegant Taupe shade of Givenchy Le Prisme Yeux Mono (£19).

Being a beauty writer who tries gazillions of new cosmetics every year, I can’t remember the last time I actually wore an eyeshadow compact down so that the base shone through..

But I’ve managed it with this Givenchy eyeshadow quartet which contains four variations on the same shade: a matte powder, a shimmery one, a sparkly one and an iridescent one.

And the little pamphlet which suggests different looks that can be created is well worth experimenting with! As I said, the one I’ve worn out is the very easy-to-wear, suits-all shade of Elegant Taupe, but I’m dying to try one of the vibrant purple or blue shades…

TUESDAY

A totally indulgent lunchtime trip to the cinema to watch Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell light up the screen in the classic 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes proved inspirational. Their ruby red lips look fantastic in this sparkling new print, and inspired me to try out the new Lancome gloss, L’Absolu Creme de Brillance (£18; www.lancome.co.uk), I was recently sent. My shade, Rose Mythique, wasn’t ruby red like Lorelei or Dorothy’s pouts, but it was red enough for me: a lovely, coral colour which lasts well, moisturises the lips and isn’t remotely tacky.

WEDNESDAY

It always happens: you’ve got an important meeting or a night out, and you wake up with a giant spot – or a “plook” (as we, ever so poetically, put it here in Scotland) – on your chin. What can you do?

Well, Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup (£20 ; available April 1, www.clinique.co.uk ) is the answer. I turned to it on Tuesday when a big PMT-fuelled plook popped up on my face. I think it was it fate because who was I meeting that day? Two of the glamorous (and spot-free) girls from the Clinique team..

I can report that not only did the foundation, which is not for anyone who prefers light coverage, conceal the plook very skilfully….

THURSDAY

… but it also cleared it up: by Thursday morning, there was only a very slight, pink hint that it had ever been there.

The highlight of Thursday was dinner with friends at my favourite restaurant in Glasgow, Rogano.  Time to get out my evening wear for the eyes. The basics for me are Clarins Eye Liner (£18;www.clarins.com), which is the best liquid eyeliner in pen form that I’ve found, and Bobbi Brown Party Wear Mascara (£17.50; www.bobbibrown.co.uk), which is the ultimate mascara for transforming short, stumpy lashes into luscious ones. My other night-out staple at the moment is the gorgeous, but almost unavailable now (it was a limited edition, launched back in January), Bungalow Pink shade of the Estee Lauder Michael Kors Very Hollywood Nail Lacquer (£12; www.esteelauder.co.uk). I’m thinking of snapping up all remaining bottles of this deep  pink polish which has the intensity of a cherry red but suits me much better.

FRIDAY

Friday morning was wet and wintry, so my cheery pink nails from the night before would have been the perfect antidote to the gloom but I had already resolved to switch over to my other current favourite: Chanel Nail Colour (£17) in Inattendu (on the right in the picture). For the non-pink days, it has to be this chic nude polish which suits me better than the mushroom or so-called “greige” shade of Particuliere (pictured far left) that came out in the same spring collection or the bubblegum pink shade Tendresse.

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