Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review: Audrey 100 by Ellen Fontana

I've always had such a deep admiration for Audrey Hepburn - her profound elegance and grace, her kindness and zest for life. In a world of fallen icons and disgraced heroes she truly seems worthy of emulation. I was delighted to be introduced to a brand new book, Audrey 100 by Ellen Fontana, featuring one hundred of the photos that best captured the actress as selected by her two sons Sean and Luca and her beloved partner Rob Wolders. Ranging from the familiar and iconic to more personal, intimate photos taken by friends and family, each image tells a story of the real woman behind the chic clothing and that radiant smile. While she was indeed dazzling and quite glamorous at times, she could also be impish and fun-loving, serious, sensitive, sometimes insecure and even melancholic - altogether very human. One hundred photos convey a hundred different emotions and subtle facets of this genuinely lovely person.

Audrey didn't hesitate to speak about what she considered her short-comings - her nostrils, crooked teeth and particularly her large feet. Thus, when she did cover them she war very particular about whom she wore - most notably Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo and French designer Rene Mancini.
In a rare moment, she is captured 'ballet feet and all'. "Audrey's seeming unawareness of her natural beauty was so beguiling and disarming she could easily lead you to believe that she was just the girl next door," Rob says. Luca muses that this photo is "so airy it feels like she could sit on a leaf."

Perhaps Audrey's most famous role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Her iconic look for the film designed by Hubert de Givenchy became inseparable from Audrey herself.  In 2006, Givenchy donated his personal version of Holly's gown to raise funds at auction for an Indian charity. The dress sold for over $923,000.

Audrey shuttling between sets on her preferred mode of transportation: her bicycle, with her Yorkie Assam of Assam. Assam was Audrey's second Yorkie, given to her by Mel after her beloved Famous was killed by a car. "She was ga-ga over all the dogs that she had, and she always had one," said Director Billy Wilder.

Pippin, or Ip as he was nicknamed, and Audrey were inseparable during their shooting Green Mansions, accompanying her to the supermarket, the beauty shop and becoming an integrated member of the Ferrer household, sleeping in the family's bathtub. She was heartbroken when they eventually had to part ways.

 A beautiful tribute to a lovely lady, this book is now a treasured part of my collection and is definitely a must-have for any Audrey admirer (and a perfect gift idea with the holidays ahead!)

{Photos: 1- Unknown  2- Photographer Unknown 1961, 3- Conde Nast Archive, 1963, 4- Bob Willoughby, 1958.  
All photos taken from Audrey 100 by Ellen Fontana, published by Sterling Publishing}


kate funk said...

Gorgeous Post! I just love Audrey!
velvet cupcakes

Lisa said...

ooooh! it's firmly on my Christmas wishlist! Thanks
L x

Suite Henry said...

I love this and I love Audrey!!!

Alicia Clinton said...

love it. now added to my wishlist for Christmas!

jewlz. said...

Wow, this is sooo beautiful. I love Audrey. Gotta get this book.

Dancing Branflake said...

Oh swoon! I would love it! And I feel so much better about my large ballerina feet. I always felt so self conscious about them but hers look just like mine!

Victoria said...

Such a beautiful woman. Love her iconic style. The photo of her on her bike is gorgeous.

Jordana @ White Cabana said...

A personalized bike. How perfect!

Amy said...

I love her . And she is like Jackie O in that I can look at there same pictures over and over... So great in front of a camera.

Hope Ava said...

Looks like a wonderful book...thanks for the sneak peek! I love that picture of her on the bicycle with that darling little pup!

Francine Gardner said...

beautiful post about a really beautiful, classy, charming woman

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

This was a lovely post and I must now go and get the book- love Audrey to death! The first picture is so stunning:)

Amber's Notebook said...

I am a HUGE Audrey Fan. I think I blog about her *maybe* once a week lol. I am going to put this book on my Christmas list!

Have read 5th Avenue at 5am? Its about the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's and is JUST fabulous!!

Space by Eliana Tomas said...

Audrey forever. She's an inspiration.