Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Life | Audrey Hepburn Portraits of an Icon Exhibition

There are a few people in this world that oozes grace, beauty and elegance. It's easy to check one off. Less so to be able to check two off. And a only fraction will be able to do a hat trick and check off all three. In my views, Audrey Hepburn falls into this elusive circle and from a young age, been amazed by this amazing woman. Lucky for me, the National Portrait Gallery in London has an exhibition of her portraits so I obviously went to indulge in this.

Famed for her roles in classic films such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady and Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn captured the nation's heart. With those big Bambi eyes, she graced a number of magazine covers showing off her elegance and beauty. The exhibition itself is a collection of more than seventy portraits from different stages of her career with theatre programmes of her early days as a chorus girl to her role within UNICEF later in her life. Thanks to her two sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn-Ferrer this exhibition contains many portraits from the Audrey Hepburn Estate allowing Audrey's legacy to long continue. 

Below are some of my favourite portraits from the exhibition:

Audrey Hepburn and Bougainveillea, Rome, Italy, 1955 - Photographed by Norman Parkinson - credit
I love the colour pink and this image just spoke out to me. I love the shades of pink, the coyness of Audrey, that slight smile and the dress with the nipped in waist. It reminded me of Natalie Portman's advert for Miss Dior Cherie in 2013 where the similarities are startlingly clear from the pink wall of flowers, the back to the camera and slight turn of the head.

Audrey in her dressing room for Ondine - Photographed by Mark Shaw -  credit
When I turned the corner in the exhibition and saw this photo, I stopped in my tracks for what felt like hours. I was so enchanted by this photo on so many levels and immediately want to own a print of it. Mark Shaw captured Audrey in her dressing room at 46th Street Theatre, New York, USA while she prepares for her role within Ondine and published in Mademoiselle June 1984. There is so many elegance and beauty in this one photo. The black and white creates the glamour. She has a wisp of a side fringe and her cat eye is on point. Her table is a make up addict and beauty bloggers dream. And I love that she is doing her own make up - no make up artist in sight other than herself. Who better to make up Audrey's face other than Audrey herself?
Ah the classic portrait of them all. Like many other's, I didn't really know about Audrey until I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's. I had seen Sabrina and My Fair Lady but in all honesty, I didn't realise it was her in the lead role until much later. This portrait is one that has been reprinted hundreds of times and for so many people, Audrey will be forever remembered as Holly Golightly, a role she played with such excellence and earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination and winning Best Actress at the Golden Globes 1961.

Where: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London. WC2H 0HE
Until: Sunday 18th October 2015
Tickets: Limited availability until 18th October and can be booked by phone on 020 7766 7344 between 9am and 5pm OR pop into the Gallery from 10am for same day tickets
Price: GBP10 with donation (GBP9 without donation)
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