Monday, August 24, 2015

Audrey Hepburn: actress, style icon, humanitarian



Hubert de Givenchy with his famous Muse, Audrey Hepburn

 
Audrey Hepburn was a fashion and style icon for decades, and still is years after her untimely death from cancer in 1993. Like thousands of other women, I tried to emulate her style albeit with clothes from department stores. (Also....since my middle name is Audrey, it was a almost a )given! 


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Quote from Audrey...

Soon after becoming a UNICEF ambassador in 1989, Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused terrible famine. After visiting UNICEF emergency operations, she talked about the projects to the media in the United States, Canada and Europe over several weeks, giving as many as 15 interviews a day. It set a precedent for her commitment to the organization.



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In 1993 after learning that Audrey was not allowed by her doctors to fly commercial after her final unsuccessful surgery to remove portions of her colon cancer, he arranged for a private jet to fly the dying Hepburn back to her family in Switzerland to spend her last days. She passed away at the age of 63, and the world misses her still.




Audrey Hepburn: Actress, style icon, humanitarian. A true role model for women of all ages, everywhere.

Note:
For more about Audrey Hepburn, check out Vickie Archer's blog with information about the London exhibit "Portraits of an Icon".

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Less versus More



Are you a 'Less is More' or a 'More is More" kind of woman?
 

 
In many of the fashion-related blogs I've been reading lately, there has been a resounding call to say, "The hell with the Rules." Who says we can't wear leopard prints and sequined pants and pattern-on-pattern and blue streaks in our hair and purple lacquered nail polish....all at once?
 
In this age of bling-bling, anything goes, print-on-print, layer-on-layer, I wonder if we women have gone too far in throwing out all the Rules of Fashion? (And yes, I realize the term 'too far' is entirely subjective.)
 
Fashion, like other design-related elements in society, evolves in reaction to changes taking place in the world. It's never stagnant. Coco Chanel, Yves St. Laurent and Donna Karan were designers who shook the world of fashion in response to the changing roles and needs of women. And while they were decades apart, they all shared the same aesthetics: Simplicity, elegance, timelessness.
Whatever ruffle or print or sequin these masterful designers added to their clothes was placed there to enhance the basic garment, not overpower it - or the woman wearing it.
 
The important word in the previous sentence is enhance....because isn't that women want when we dress or put on make up or style our hair? To enhance ourselves? And most of us follow certain rules relative to fashion and style, whether we're aware of it or not.

What are those rules:
 
Proportion: Comparative relation between things.
Silhouette: An image that relates to the outline of the subject.
Symmetry: Correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing.
Harmony: To fit together, to join.

These rules are followed by professionals whether they're designing a garment, a building, a room or a garden. And artists understand them better than anyone! They know that a successful painting or sculpture needs to adhere to those four rules.

One fashion blogger who understands the rules of fashion better than most is Judith of the blog "Style Crone". http://stylecrone.com/
 


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Judith of Style Crone

In the picture above (taken from Judith's own blog) all the fashion rules are followed. The first is Proportion: While the harem pants have volume, they still retain a silhouette appropriate to Judith's small frame, as does the fitted black top. She also wisely chose a close-fitting hat that is, again, in proportion to her delicate face.

The second thing one notices is Harmony: The blue hat picks up the blue in the trousers. Judith has taken two separate elements and brought them together through the use of color. As Diana Vreeland so famously said, "The eye must travel." And here, one's eye does just that, moving easily from the hat down to the trousers and back up again, the black top acting as a neutral color, allowing the eye to move uninterrupted. Judith could have easily added a red hat, but she used blue, knowing that the color red needs no enhancement.
 

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Judith of Style Crone

 
Judith again wearing a black and rust-brown knit dress which skims the body. Notice the length: It stops at the middle of her leg, but the black tights carry the eye down to the boot which contributes to an uninterrupted flow. Again, the eye moves easily over the silhouette. No 'bling' to detract from the simple elegance of the dress. And as always, Judith has added a snug, fitted little hat that enhances her delicate features. The addition of some sparkle on the hat lifts the entire outfit from mundane to special. Perfect for a late afternoon cocktail or early dinner date.
 
My hats off to you, Judith!