Fashion & Film: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Posted: Jun 07 2017

It seems fitting to start our Fashion and Film Blog Series with the actress who is undeniably the greatest film fashionista of all time, Audrey Hepburn.  No other actress in history has influenced fashion more than Audrey.  Although she is amazingly stylish in all her films, her role as Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" made her a fashion icon.  Hubert de Givenchy designed Audrey’s wardrobe for the film and is responsible for creating the “Audrey look” we know and love today. Together, the two were pure fashion and cinematic gold.

As a young party girl searching for love and stability in the big city of New York, Holly Golightly’s costumes reflect her youth and innocence, but also a sexy vulnerability unique to Audrey Hepburn.  The opening scene of the movie shows her exiting a cab in front of Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue just before dawn.  She is wearing a long black evening gown from the night before.  As she stares longingly into the window of the pristine jewelry store, we sense her greatest desire is to find a safe and happy home and her biggest fear is that it will escape her.  This is just the first of many scenes where Holly’s wardrobe provides insight into her life.  Her refrigerator is bare, but her closet is full of the type of mismatched items collected from a life of chaos and heartbreak.  Whether it is a sheath dress to visit a mob boss in Sing Sing, a self-made toga for a cocktail party, or a trench coat to search for “Cat” in the rain, we learn who Holly Golightly is by what she is wearing, and we fall in love with her.  In one insightful moment she declares, “Nothing really bad can happen to you at Tiffany’s”, and because she believes it, we do too.  It is one of the best pairings of actress and costume design of all time.


Holly on her way to Sing Sing 

Holly in her apartment


Holly in her self-made toga cocktail dress


Holly and "Fred" shopping on 5th Avenue


Holly's night out with Jose


Holly says goodbye to Doc


Holly contemplates her next move


Holly finds her safe home with Cat and Paul 


Images via Breakfast at Tiffany's Jurow-Shepherd (1961)