(Art)Books we love | Audrey Hepburn  

It’s #artbookfriday again and I have to admit it’s one of my favorite days on the blog. Well, it’s also a promise that we find and present great books to you every week. Books worth reading, books worth owning, books worth lying on your coffee table. The book I tell you about today is also about one of my personal icons – Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). The book accompanies the exhibition at National Portrait Gallery, London, which is still on until October 18, 2015.

Hepburn is a fashion legend and a muse for everybody who likes to stay classy with style. I fancy her look since I was a little girl and saw “Sabrina” at TV. Her face is probably one of the most known around the world because you get images of her on everything – from coffee mugs to wallpapers. But hardly anyone knows these days that she was important for the fashion industry and also worked with all the famous photographers of her time creating the image we have in mind of her today. Hepburn collaborated with a number of couturiers, especially Hubert de Givenchy. Her image often appeared on the pages and covers of magazines such as Vogue or Harpers Bazaar, for which she was photographed by Richard Avedon, whose work is represented in the book together with portraits by Cecil Beaton, Antony Beauchamp, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. That is one of the things the book is about.

It starts at the point when Hepburn was still a ballet dancer on the West End in London and nobody knew her. Her whole career is shown in 145 portraits; from those early years until her final ones when she hardly made films but worked as an ambassador for UNICEF. The whole story is told in the book by exhibition co-curator Helen Trompeteler in a really great text. It reconstructs how Audrey Hepburn became the famous icon we all know.

Next to all of these portraits, from which I knew most, you get a lot of images from newspapers, archives and her family. Her biography is at the end of the book as a chronological timeline.

Even when she got older she was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s why she is my beauty icon too – she got older but she had no surgeries and kept her dignity. She was byword the ultimate fashionista. So if you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan like I am this is your next book!


 The Book

Audrey with a hat by Mr Fred. Design and photo: Erwin Blumenfeld, 1952 | (c) The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld, courtesy Schirmer/Mosel
Audrey wearing Givenchy at Villa Rolli, Ceccchina, at the set of “War and Peace”, June 1955 | (c) Norman Parkinson Ltd, courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive & Schirmer/Mosel

#artbook | Audrey Hepburn – Portraits of an Icon

#author | Helen Trompeteler, Terence Pepper

#publishing house | Schirmer/Mosel (English Original National Portrait Gallery Publications)

#language | German

#ISBN | 978-3-8296-0719-3 (English Original 978-1-8551-4497-2)

#pages | 192

#published | 2015

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