Audrey Style Review

Audrey Style, by Pamela Clarke Keogh

This is a fantastic book. It’s simple and straightforward about one thing: Audrey’s impact on the fashion world. Purely and simply about Audrey’s style, this guide will tell you how she did it, how you can get some of her styles and, most importantly, learn how to make your own style.

I remember when this book came out in 1999. It was a big deal to me, and I actually bought it a few days after it was released, for the hideous full price of $40. But I gladly paid it because it was my first Audrey book. I had read biographies on her before, borrowed from my library’s surprisingly good collection (they seemed to have all of the out of print Audrey biographies), but this was the first book on Audrey I ever bought or owned. I must say that one of the main drawing points of Audrey, to me, was the fact that she fancied more modest, clean-cut clothes that were classic and timeless. When you look at pictures of Audrey, you don’t cringe at her flash-in-the-pan style fads and groan, “I can’t believe people used to wear that!” like you would pictures of your parents. While she was always in fashion in her day and age, she also had the uncanny ability to know what would transcend time and always be good-looking. This was what I wanted to learn.

Audrey Style has a forward by none other than Hubert de Givenchy himself, Audrey’s great friend and designer of all things Audrey. Together they worked on accentuating her good features (eyes and model’s frame) and downplaying or hiding what she thought were her faults (hollow collarbones, bright colours and “large” upper arms) to make a fashion revolution. But this book isn’t just about her clothes: there’s a section in the middle showing step-by-step how to achieve various makeup looks that she sported, from the more subtle daily makeup to dramatic night eyes. It’s not just a vacuous style book encouraging women to shop and accessorize to death as most modern chick lit does; it gently nudges you on the path to beauty in modesty and simplicity, what Audrey was really like. Most chick lit seems to be geared toward Holly Golightly — Audrey Style is geared toward the person that was really Audrey Hepburn. It would be so easy to make a frothy, light-headed fashion book on Audrey that would only show this facet of herself, since that is what most people think of her anyway. But the author is careful to include even her UNICEF fashions, a true mark of someone who is a passionate fan and wants to provide a well-rounded image of her. I would say that this book is a must-have for pretty much all female Audrey fans, especially the ones who want to imitate her look. The makeup tips and closet must-haves are nice, but this book also shows a very human side of Audrey (with tons of quotes), and if you take the time to read it, it will make you realize that what made her unique style was that she dressed for herself and herself alone. That is truly style.

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