Updated: Nov 7, 2018
“Clothes make the man,” the ever so cliche idiom that has been wrapped around my mind. As a compassionate human, my sensitivities won’t allow me to think this quote rings true. As a fashion blogger, this quote ranks Two on the Ten Commandments (One being Thou Shall Match Colors, Not Patterns). Writing about clothing can be mind numbing; once I come down from this high on telling you how to dress, it’s a shallow gutter to be in.
I’m here to highlight someone that never got caught up in the things I mentioned earlier. Someone that transcended fashion, not necessarily through her wardrobe but through her elegance and grace. Someone that believed the best style came in the form of wearing a smile. This someone was an actress that donated all profits from three different film projects to charities for underdeveloped countries (this is why I don’t follow your favorite fashionista on Instagram). Do you know who this someone is? I’m talking about the legendary, Audrey Hepburn!
You might live under a rock and have no idea who Audrey Hepburn is, you might be a millennial that knows her from the iconic black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Whether you’re informed or uninformed, I’m here to discuss the extraordinary life that was Audrey Hepburn. In order to understand her, we’re going to highlight the background that paved the way for her iconic legacy; it wouldn’t be a fashion blog if I didn’t slip in some items that carryover from her wardrobe, as well.
Hepburn’s Come Up
Like any true Jedi, Audrey Kathleen Ruston was born May 4th, 1929 in the city of Brussels (Belgium). She adopted the stage/screen name, ‘Hepburn’ later in life. Her childhood was bounced around from Belgium, England, and the Netherlands (Holland).
In order to further his fascist ideology, Hepburn’s father moved to London; abruptly walking out of her life when she was only six years old. Another fellow Broken Home alumni. She would go on to say that his departure was “the most traumatic event of my life.” Spoiler: she grew up in Nazi occupied Europe, and this was the most traumatizing event of her life. PSA: don’t be a deadbeat daddy, all fathers go home to your kids. Thank you.
When war broke out, Hepburn’s mother moved her from the comforts of the English boarding school she was attending to Holland; thinking the country was neutral with Nazi Germany. May 10th, 1940 - six days after Hepburn’s eleventh birthday, Germany invaded Holland.
Tried-and-true to the woman she’d grow up to be, Hepburn worked for the Dutch Resistance by carrying secret messages in her ballet slippers. She never thought twice about her own well-being when it came to the greater good, she would’ve been killed if caught. As an agent for the Dutch Resistance, she would perform in underground ballets to help raise money for the freedom fighters. These underground events were called, “Black Performances.” Her activism didn’t stop there, at the age of only sixteen, she volunteered as a wartime nurse for the Allied forces.
During WWII food was scarce, so to keep from starving, Hepburn and her family would grind tulip bulbs to eat; attempting to bake grass into bread. Hepburn was malnourished, as was everyone else, this would cause for health complications throughout her life.
Hepburn credited her upbringing on making her the woman she came to be. Instead of rambling on and on about her life, I’ll drop one of her quotes that sums up everything you need to know about Audrey Hepburn:
“THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN IS NOT IN THE CLOTHES SHE WEARS, THE FIGURE THAT SHE CARRIES, OR THE WAY SHE COMBS HER HAIR. THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN IS SEEN IN HER EYES BECAUSE THAT IS THE DOORWAY TO HER HEART.”
Back to my opening statement: “clothes make the man.” It’s false. Audrey Hepburn’s lasting legacy is proof that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. You’re beautiful because you’re you. Thank you for reading, stay blessed and don’t forget to vote!
Inspired Hepburn Style from Agape
Striped Jumper - $24.99
Black Embroidered Jumpsuit - $29.95
Polka Dot Blouse - $18.99
Floral Striped Collar Shirt - $16.00
Sweater Obsession/Crew Neck - $16.00
A-Line Jacket - 38.98