Fashion Inspiration: Roman Holiday


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This is a semi-new blog I guess…you see I started one a month ago but I kind of ruined it, freaking out because someone I know found my fashion posts….and it was quite traumatic..so I am making a WordPress now..hopefully better than the last and well, I’ll just have to see how it goes:) The following is a post from my old blog:

Hey guys:) Can we talk about Audrey Hepburn though? Now, I know it’s a bit of a cliche to name Audrey Hepburn as a style inspiration but she does make it look so effortless and so many of her roles really demonstrate the transformative potential of clothing.

So it was a complete pleasure to stumble across a video on Youtube of Hollywood costumier and fashion legend Edith Head talking about her designs and work with Hepburn on her breakout movie Roman Holiday (which you can currently watch for free on Youtube! Get it while you can!).

Head was the most honoured costume designer in the history of the Oscars and I heartily recommend watching any film she was involved with – she knew how to pick them! And her sketches and illustrations are almost as glorious to look at as watching the actresses move around the screen in the real thing. You should totally check them out! Here are some of her sketches:

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If Audrey is famous for her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s then her second most recognizable role is Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, which is actually the role that won Audrey her first Best Actress Academy Award in 1953. (And definitely one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time.) The costume design for this film, and several other films in which Audrey starred in, was put together by none other than famous Hollywood costume designer: Edith Head:) Have you ever seen the Pixar film, The Incredibles? Well…remember the short lady with the short hair, bangs and glasses that designed the super heroes’s costume, Edna Mode? I’m 99.9% sure that her character was based off on Edith. I mean the resemblance is just uncanny and quite comical!

Roman Holiday is the classic royalty-gone-rouge-in-pursuit-of-freedom type of movie in which Audrey Hepburn, as Princess Ann, runs away during the middle of her European tour to find herself involved with the American news reporter Joe Bradley played by Gregory Peck. And through a series of lies and supposed mistaken identity, Princess Ann was finally able to tour Rome without the confines of being a royal. But unbeknownst to her, Bradley was really a reporter trying to get an exclusive story of the princess and not a man in the ‘import and export business.’ After all, she didn’t tell the truth about herself (she didn’t really “run away from school”) but she’s completely oblivious that Irving, played by Eddie Albert, and Gregory Peck’s characters are photographer and news reporter respectively. But rest assured, that trust wasn’t broken in the finale of the film when Ann finally realizes who they are in a press conference held to quell the rumors of her disappearance and alleged ‘sickness.’ Oh, and p.s. if you’re wondering where you’ve seen Gregory Peck before, if you read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and watched the film adaptation of this classic American tale, Peck played Atticus Finch:)

But let’s talk FASHION. Edith Head is one my favorite costume designers. I love her work in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Although I must admit, the movie was not that great in my opinion) However in this movie, Audrey Hepburn didn’t have as much of a costume change since the majority of the film consisted of the scenes after her escape from the palace where she was staying in Rome. So her midi-skirt along with a long sleeve blouse with the sleeves rolled up and scarf served as the poster look of the film. As for the opening scenes of the films where Princess Ann was shown touring the world, Edith made Audrey look incredibly regal in ultra feminine and conservative silhouettes while taking on her royal duties. But her gown for the ball in the beginning of the film has to be my favorite. Audrey Hepburn made a very convincing Princess. But I guess those ultra formal and conservative clothes fed to Princess Ann’s rebellion and choice to runaway after it was made clear that she wanted to wear pajamas instead of those hideous night gown she had to wear to bed that made her look ancient!

Obviously her decision to cut her hair in the film symbolized her freedom from all the pressure of living a life of a princess, but I think we all collectively can agree that Audrey Hepburn with short hair and above the brow bangs is her signature look. Her wardrobe ensemble at the end of the film when she went back to the palace to resume her duties and face the press was a nice compromise of her yearning for freedom and sticking with her royal obligations. The reason why she ran away in the first place definitely stemmed from the fact that she felt like her life was out of her control, too predictable, and too scheduled. Upon her return back to the palace, she made it clear to everyone in her royal staff that she will fulfill all of her obligations, but in her own terms as made clear by the choice of wardrobe that looked less constricting. After all, I’m sure she wanted to feel more like Kate Middleton and less like Queen Elizabeth.

Oh, and p.s.s. it was said that the movie was filmed in black in white so that the vibrant colors and romanticisms of Rome didn’t take away from the movie and I agree. If this film was shot in color, I’m sure the sites of Rome would be too mesmerizing for the eyes. What do you think?? Here are some screenshots from the movie:

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Here’s some ideas on how you can incorporate Audrey’s look into your own everyday look:)

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So, have you watched Roman Holiday yet? It’s the best 1950’s romantic comedy ever and you can surely be inspired by their style, so go and watch it if you haven’t already!
X0X0, Nessa:)

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4 thoughts on “Fashion Inspiration: Roman Holiday

  1. Oh thank you so much! Sorry I took so Long to comment back (you’re comment was marked as spam for some reason) But you can follow me if you press on the link under my name in this comment. There’s a follow button at the very top of my site:) I will surely return the favor and follow you back!

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  2. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks dekeafkgeade

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