When Hubert Met Audrey

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It began on Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn was new to film and Edith Head was the de facto queen of costumes. She was not, as some would mistakingly call her, a fashion designer; Edith Head was a costumer. She made wardrobes that looked right on the big screen – that were framed right, shot right, lit right.

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Head’s dissatisfaction with Audrey Hepburn’s physique was immediate. She thought the starlet too gangly. That her shoulders were too narrow, neck too long, arms frail, legs knock-kneed, waist obscenely slim, teeth too big. She believed in the post-WWII return to sensual allure. It was the hourglass figure, ample bosoms, and provocative skin of Dior’s New Look that Head honed onscreen. Grace Kelly was Head’s idea of the nonpareil. In the costumes of Roman Holiday, all these “imperfections” were covered by jewels, scarves, and long skirts. Her costumes weren’t meant to be fashionable or trendy, they were meant to be timeless – timeless in an unremarkably un-couture way.

On Sabrina, director Billy Wilder decided that Sabrina Fairchild needed a true Parisian designer if her transformation was to seem realistic.

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TCM Film Festival 2019 Recap

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There was much to celebrate at the TCM Classic Film Festival this year, and of utmost was its spectacular 10th anniversary. For the first time, the festival sold out of all its passes and filled even the biggest of theaters to maximum capacity.

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“Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.” Book Review

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What we learn in this deceptive hint of film history by author Sam Wasson isn’t the factual making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s – though that does hold in and of itself many cultural themes, but the culmination of a character’s transformation. That character is Audrey Hepburn, and no other word can possibly describe her better than “character”.

By recounting the midcentury lives of Hepburn, author Truman Capote, director Blake Edwards, and all others players associated with Breakfast at Tiffany’sFifth Avenue 5 A.M. disseminates the cultural impact of the feminine image and how it affected the ultimate tone of the film.

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The Lovely Haute Couture of Liza Minnelli

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This Wednesday, I went to the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills to check out Love, Liza: The Exhibit, a showcase of over 1,000 items by showbiz entertainer Liza Minnelli. It would be a disservice to the skills of the lovely Liza to boil her down to “actress”, “singer”, or “performer”. As the kind of shooting star who lights up the screen with her very presence and attitude, Liza Minnelli is nothing less than a born entertainer, regardless of career or medium.

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