To continue with the “impossible conversations” series, I thought it only fitting that I conjure the spirit of one of the greatest style icons of the 20th century… Audrey Hepburn. She follows in the footsteps of Diana Vreeland, Yves St Laurent and the Duchess of Windsor who all found their way to me for a brief time. Ms. Hepburn was an actress, philanthropist, style icon and a human being who was one of the most photographed and well known faces of the last century. She left us a legacy of taste and grace that will never be duplicated during our lifetimes.
Today, via whatever means possible to get her to answer some questions, we find out that Miss Hepburn is the genteel and loyal woman we have always known. She remains the subject of some of the most iconic images of all times and is indelibly etched in our collective memory as Holly Golightly, Sabrina, Eliza and so many more.
What is your current state of mind?
Calm, peaceful, serene and content
What do you think of the present state of fashion?
I am so disappointed by the current flow of fashion. It seems that clothes no longer have charisma nor do they reflect the client. So much is for shock value and too much attention paid to “Red Carpet” events and not enough attention paid to the refinement, elegance and the art of fashion. I would be remiss if I did not express my great sorrow at what they have done to Hubert’s legacy.
What do you think of the Celebrity/Model idea?
I am proud to have been a “model” and a muse for so many. It was so gratifying as well as such an honor to have been so close to Hubert. Today, the so called “celebrities” are shadows of what “we” were and what we accomplished.
What do you think of reality stars turned into icons?
If you are speaking of the likes of those hideous, classless and truly distasteful and trashy Kardashian harlots, then I must say that I don’t think very highly of the concept. I cannot speak to the “Housewives” phenomenon as that is the nadir of your culture and the low ebb of the feminine mystique!
Who are you sorry you missed during your career?
I can’t be sure but it seems that I might have liked Angelina Jolie due to her humanitarian efforts in Africa, but I am sure I would have loved to have worked with George Clooney, whom I view as a sort of Cary Grant kind of guy. I so wish I had worked with Meryl Streep.
What's your advice about stardom?
Be humble, be yourself, be well mannered, be well dressed and always give it your best.
What was your crowning achievement?
In terms of privately, it would have to be my dedicated work in Africa with the children. Professionally, I was blessed to have been lucky enough to have been cast in movies such as Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany, Charade, Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
Who is your favourite designer?
Ah well, I can only answer Hubert, he was my guiding light and so much a part of who I am and what I became as far as an actress and icon. He became part of my DNA. He was my friend, my confidante, my collaborator and a mentor of sorts.
With whom would you like to split a bottle of champagne? Name one or more.
I so miss Monsieur Givenchy, I am so happy to be able to see Cary, Diana, Greg, Bill and Dick Avedon and Andrea, but I wish I was still able to do my “work “ with the children
What is the quality you most admire in others?
I admire dedication and one’s efforts that achieve greatness... no matter what area of expertise
Who would you like to mentor in this generation?
There are many young actresses who need help in terms of polishing their rough edges and not projecting these tarnished déclassé images. Some would be so much better off with some education and adherence to a more gentile way about themselves, not to mention wearing clothes that fit them and do not expose their private parts!
Do you think fashion/celebrity is taken too seriously?
Being able to “stand back” from it all, I must say that today the so called stars have very little substance and are more concerned with what they wear and who they date than their career path. When we were selected to “model,” there was a reason; It was more about our accomplishments as actors than just being hot at the moment, the modeling was a reward! …not de rigeur.
Who do you think has little talent as a designer/performer?
It would be so tasteless of me to enumerate the actors, but there are so many whom I would have to ask “why are you famous?” … As far as designers, I would have been very interested in Giambattista Valli as a modern day Hubert, I would have worn Michael Kors day clothes when he exemplifies great American sportswear and I am positive that, if Hubert gave his blessings, I would have worn some of Bill Gaytten’s pieces that he did for Dior.
How would you like to come back in a second life?
I might want to come back as a major philanthropist or per chance a spokesperson for charities in general. I might have wanted to come back as being more Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, both of whom I admire for their breadth of talents. I do not want to come back in the same way that I was when I was there ….. that’s over and done and can never be duplicated.
(L) Sabrina, 1954. (M) Charade, 1963. (R) Roman Holiday, 1953.
Audrey Hepburn in Africa. (L) 1959. (R) 1990s.