Tanja recalls how this became something of a ‘fabulous tradition’ and describes how cavalcades of boxes would arrive filled to the top with layers of delicious couture and accessories. She said it was “Like Xmas a thousand times over”. This collection is a
fraction of Audrey’s original wardrobe -the press at the time made much of the fact that Audrey travelled with large amounts of luggage when she and her husband, the actor Mel Ferrer, were on location.
Audrey had a sense of her own unique, personal style. She preferred to wear pastel colours, black and ivory with the occasional hot-pink statement as evidenced by this collection. Edith Head, the multi-Oscar winning film costumier said of her
“Like Dietrich, Audrey’s fittings became the ten-hour not the ten-minute variety. She knew exactly how she wanted to look or what worked best for her, yet she was never arrogant or demanding. She had an adorable sweetness that made you
feel like a mother getting her only daughter ready
for the prom”.
Audrey was 5ft 7inches tall, bust 32in, waist 22in, hips 34in. For most of her life these measurements altered but slightly.
Audrey wearing a tweed coat walking her Yorkshire terrier ‘Famous’ (estimate £700-1000)
There are around thirty six items of clothing on offer dating from 1953 to the late 60s as well as hats, belts and a fascinating group of letters in which she describes an early film break, her proposed wedding to James Hanson and the time she spent filming “Roman Holiday”.
As one might expect the collection includes stunning evening-wear including a plethora of chic little black dresses by Valentino, Elizabeth Arden (she wore this gown when she
met her first husband Mel Ferrer in 1953) and of course her favourite designer of all – Hubert de Givenchy. He created a black cloqué silk gown for Audrey to wear for the film “Paris When it Sizzles” in 1962 (£10-15,000) a sensational Chantilly lace cocktail gown which she wore in the “How to Steal a Million” in 1966 (£15-20,000, see image below) which are included in the auction.
Audrey’s Wedding Dress
The auction also includes the ivory satin bridal gown designed for Audrey Hepburn by the Fontana Sisters for her planned marriage to James (later Lord) Hanson. In 1952, whilst Audrey Hepburn was filming `Roman Holiday' with Gregory Peck in Rome, she approached the Fontana sisters to ask them to make her bridal gown. Signora Micol Fontana said that the 23 year old Hepburn was “young, fresh, on top of the world". She used to slip away from the set to take refuge in the sewing rooms and discuss the dress. "Audrey wanted complete discretion and had lots of fittings”. Some weeks later when Audrey called off the planned
wedding to James Hanson she asked the eldest of the sisters -Zoe to give the dress away. "I want my dress to be worn by another girl for her wedding,perhaps someone who couldn't ever afford a dress