What About Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s celebrated its 50th anniversary this month, which is the reason every article this week has been about the famous film.  Based on the novella of the same name by Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s tells the story of a seemingly glamorous party girl named Holly Golightly in New York City and her new neighbor, Paul Varjak, who she nicknames “Fred.”  While the book is certainly different than the film (Holly is blonde, Fred is gay – as made famous on an episode of Seinfeld), but the story of a lost Manhattan party girl laid the groundwork for many famous pieces of fiction with the same premise including, most notably, Sex and the City.  Directed by Blake Edwards, both he and Truman Capote preferred Marilyn Monroe for the lead role, but her agent thought it was a bad idea.  (We personally think the movie would have lost much of its charm if Marilyn was the star – while playing a well-dressed call girl is all Miss Monroe actually was, we feel it  just would have been a sad commentary on the troubled actress’s real life.  Plus, we’ve always preferred the elegant brunette over the blonde bombshell…)  Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of taste and elegance, so it made more sense to have her play against type in this romance.  While Holly Golightly seems like she’s always having a good time, she’s actually dying inside – and beautiful clothing is the perfect disguise.  The costume supervisor on the film was Edith Head – the 8-time Academy Award winning film costumer who outfitted Audrey in many of her movies.  The majority of Holly Golightly’s wardrobe was designed by the legendary Hubert de Givenchy.  The French designer and Hepburn met in their early 20s while they both worked on the 1953 film Sabrina (another Audrey flick with fantastic fashion).  The film went on to win an Academy Award for costume design, for which Edith Head received all the credit for (which also kind of happened on this set…), which Hepburn was not happy about and swore would never happen again.  It’s no surprise the two became lifelong friends, and Audrey became the elegant designer’s #1 muse.  (Fun Fact: Givenchy’s first perfume, L’Interdit, which means “forbidden” was made for Audrey!)  His gorgeous creations included the pink cocktail dress, orange coat, and several little black dresses.  Although Coco Chanel invented the LBD, the sensation of this movie and the stir it created with its opening scene, the little black dress became de rigueur for cocktail parties everywhere.  After 50 years, it still constantly makes it onto the fashion “must-have” lists of taste gurus, fashion designers, magazine editors, etiquette experts and even romance websites.  The costumers were quite clever in reusing Holly’s clothing throughout the film.  As a struggling city girl, it would make sense that she would have limited options, but each piece she wears again usually looks different due to her accessory changes.  For example, her little black dresses are seen several times, but she is usually sporting different accents – one LBD appears in the beginning complemented with a big black hat when she’s on her way to visit Sing Sing; it reappears again when she’s wearing a small black hat with a white muff and feathers attached; again at her party she highlights the outfit with sparkly earrings and a huge statement necklace; and another time she comes home from a date with a long, white silk scarf flowing from her neck in the same LBD.  Holly’s famous Burberry trench coat also makes an appearance twice.  Miss Golightly’s penny-pinching shows up in her apartment, too.  While there’s hardly any furniture, the single piece she does have in the living room is actually half a bathtub with some decorative throw pillows.  (Perhaps a metaphor for Holly herself?  A damaged piece searching for her other half that’s easily disguised with pretty accessories?)  Although Holly’s wardrobe is supposed to be “low-end,” she still looks damn good in every scene.  Even her nightwear is even super glamorous!  A pretty peach robe, tux shirt and eye mask with half-up, half-down hair and she still looks gorgeous!  Her accessories, including Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses, long black gloves, strands of white pearls and huge black hats, are legendary and have been associated with the film ever since.  If you’re donning one of those items, people inevitably ask you if you’re channeling Audrey.  (Well, of course we are!)  And even though the movie surrounds and constantly describes the allure of the most famous jewelry store on the planet (Tiffany & Co.), Holly cannot afford anything there.  She famously states, “I think it would be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m 40.”  It’s not age – it’s probably due to the fact she can’t buy them herself, and no man has ever bought her real jewelry.  The only piece she does receive is a Cracker Jack ring from Paul, but Tiffany’s does engrave it for them! <3  In short, Breakfast at Tiffany’s has one epic wardrobe that still influences fashion half a century later.  It cemented Audrey Hepburn as a style icon and made several chic items as famous as the movie itself!  Its influence on costume design and classic style is legendary.  It’s theSkinnyStiletto‘s all-time favorite film wardrobe, and it forever changed the look of women everywhere.  Just as Paul said, “You’re a stylish girl, can’t we end this stylishly?”  Yes, we can.

Look-of-the-Day

The trench coat is the definitive piece of outerwear that screams style, sexiness and sleekness for both genders.  In fiction, these fashionable coats show up on spies, comic book heroes, and in several of the most epic romantic scenes in cinema – including this one!  In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn sports her trench twice: first, when her mysterious ex-husband shows up for a visit and Paul discovers a little bit more about Holly’s past; the other is the last scene of the movie – which is why it made sense to make it the final “Look-of-the-Day” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the film.  While nearly all of the costumes in the film were made by Hubert de Givenchy, this gorgeous raincoat was made by none other than Burberry!  It’s no surprise the British label went on to become the go-to choice when buying the famous military-inspired coats.  Holly and Paul are two no-name lost souls, just like the pet cat, but they realize they’re going to disappear if they don’t find each other first…  And in the pouring rain in the streets of Manhattan, they finally do.

OG Relaunches Audrey’s Sunglasses

Big, dark sunglasses are one of Holly Golightly’s favorite accessories, and the frames have forever been associated with the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  In the opening scene, Audrey is sporting a pretty hip, dark tortoiseshell pair when she eats a pastry in front of (where else?) Tiffany’s!  Most people mistake the glasses for Ray-Ban wayfarers, but the model is actually called “The Manhattan,” and was created by designer Oliver Goldsmith.  Also known as “OG,” the family-run business was founded in 1926 and have been worn by style icons like Hepburn and Grace Kelly, and also used by big design houses, such as Dior and Givenchy.  OG is one of the few eyewear manufacturers left that still create handmade glasses.  For the 50th Anniversary of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Oliver Goldsmith relaunched the famous frame Holly wears throughout the film!  They cost about $360 and can be purchased at various online retailers, or stock lists can be provided from the site directly.

Look-of-the-Day

“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s.  Calms me down right away.”  Earlier this week we described how Breakfast at Tiffany’s made the “little black dress” the essential go-to cocktail party outfit and showed the knee-length black frock Audrey wears several times throughout the movie.  Although the shorter dress is what many picture when they talk about the LBD, it is actually this stunning Givenchy gown that Hepburn famously dons in the opening scene of the film that created the sensation.  This dress went to auction in 2006 at Christie’s and was sold for a record-breaking $923, 187.  (Fun Fact: At the time it was the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold, until Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch went for $5.5 million this past summer.)  Made of Italian black satin, the gown has cut-out décolleté on the back and is fitted at the waist.  The accessories in this scene are just as famous as the dress; Holly Golightly’s big black sunglasses, long black gloves, elegant cigarette holder, miniature tiara and multi-layer pearl necklace have forever been affiliated with Audrey’s natural glamour.  If you’re wearing any of those items, people will comment that you’re channeling the majestic Ms. Hepburn.  Although the movie revolves around Tiffany & Co., none of Holly’s jewelry actually comes from the famous New York store, because she’s a struggling downtown call girl, so even though she looks like a million bucks, it’s all just an illusion (actually the dress did go for a million bucks – only 45 years later!)  This look is the definition of ultimate elegance, and our editors’ absolute favorite movie costume.  We could write about it for days, so we’ll keep it to a minimum.  We only wish we could look this good on a Sunday morning after a night of partying!

Look-of-the-Day

Orange has to be this editor’s least favorite color, although this is the only pumpkin spice I’m interested in this season!  (Okay, this and Blue Point Pumpkin Ale…)  When Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak go out and about in Manhattan, she chooses to wear a beautiful double-breasted burnt orange wool coat, mink hat, dark pumps and, of course, big sunglasses!  The coat, designed by Hubert de Givenchy, had a tie at the back and 7/8 kimono sleeves, which was widely copied after this film.  This outfit is what Holly is wearing when Paul finally kisses her for the first time in their apartment building’s stairwell, after scaring some pedestrians in some silly masks (pictured, below).  It’s no surprise the couple kisses when they remove the costumes and reveal their true selves…

Wednesday’s Shoe

While a pair of basic black pumps would have seemed like the obvious go-to choice for a week dedicated to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we wanted to choose a shoe that was inspired by the actual movie – and we found it!  Here are the “At Tiffany’s” pumps by Hey Lady.  These pair of scalloped heels are inspired by Audrey Hepburn herself and are colored (what else?) but Tiffany’s blue!  Designed by the Leung Twins, sisters Emily and Jessica describe their fashion evolution on their website from chunky Mary Janes to “skinny stilettos!”  Girls after our own hearts!  The 3 inch heels cost $340 and can be purchased here on Hey Lady’s site.

Look-of-the-Day

Breakfast at Tiffany’s may have made the little black dress internationally famous, but Holly Golightly’s little pink dress is also quite adorable!  Designed by Hubert de Givenchy (like the rest of Audrey’s beautiful clothes in this film), this sleeveless cocktail dress is accented by its cute bow at the waist and highlighted by its matching coat and sparking tiara!  This frock sold for a whopping $192,000 in 2007 when it went to auction at Christie’s!  Although this outfit certainly looks like lots of fun, it’s unfortunately the dress Holly has on when she finds out that her brother has died.  Man, if you take out the pretty clothes in this movie, it might be one of the most depressing films ever made!  Fun Fact: When our editors were little girls, they received the limited edition Barbie dolls created to look like Ms. Audrey Hepburn in this particular costume (pictured, bottom left), but one of them just couldn’t keep her in the box… toys are meant to be played with!  And although Holly immediately lost all monetary value when she was freed from her plastic cage, at least she’ll forever remain in this editor’s heart as the prettiest Barbie doll she’s ever had!

Look-of-the-Day

In this iconic picture of our “Tuesday Twosome,” Audrey is wearing the dress that made the LBD (“little black dress”) famous.  Here, she pairs her knee-length, sleeveless silhouette with her usual oversized sunglasses, black gloves, and matching hat with a soft, camel colored sash around the top.  George Peppard looks smart and meticulous in his fitted wool blazer, white oxford, cranberry tie, and camel-colored sweater vest that matches Audrey’s sash.  The two look put-together, and complement one another beautifully (better than they realize at this point in the movie).  Audrey’s dress was designed by Hubert de Givenchy and chosen by the film’s costume designer, Edith Head.  As a struggling call girl, you see Holly reuse this dress later in the film.  This outfit not only made the LBD famous, but forever associated big black sunglasses and large brimmed hats with Audrey’s eponymous style.  It’s also the costume Audrey has on in one of the most famous photos of her ever taken (pictured, left).  This scene gave birth to appropriate cocktail attire everywhere, making it one of the most revered outfits in motion picture history!

Look-of-the-Day

Yesterday, we wrote about Audrey’s most casual outfit of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which may have been an odd note to start out on, considering how glamorous she’s dressed in the rest of the movie’s scenes…. But it is certainly one of her more vulnerable moments, and an appropriate look for a Sunday afternoon.  Here, Hepburn is donning what appears to be a one-shouldered Grecian gown, accessorized only by her fabulous earrings and the most sophisticated cigarette holder we’ve ever seen… (Seriously – that thing probably inspired the bad habit for years!)  But, Audrey’s fantastic frock is actually a bath towel!  Close to a week ago, Moviefone featured an online article called “25 Facts You May Not Know About Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film’s release.  In a deleted scene, Holly Golightly is taking a bath when a party begins in her apartment and she must put an outfit together immediately!  Naturally, the one and only Ms. Hepburn could wear a towel and still look positively flawless!