Friday, 10 February 2012

Like a Shot of Whisky

    One of my favorite classes at Blanche was Fashion Awareness. Each week, I would look forward to those four hours where I could sit back and twine my fingers about the strands of time that brought us to where we are today in fashion. My lovely teacher Peggy, a collector of fashion relics and personal wardrobe packrat, would bring in period pieces appropriate to the decade being studied to each class. One of the most memorable of Peggy's treasures came about when we were studying the 50s and 60s; a gorgeous red cocktail dress that Audrey Hepburn had worn in a deleted scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Tracing the pattern, and running my fingers along the intricate structure of the bodice, I recall being enchanted not only with the fact that I was actually touching a garment that had been constructed by Hubert de Givenchy, but that it had once held the fragile and graceful form of one of history's most spellbinding muses.

   If anybody can relate to this sense of awe and admiration of Audrey (which I think, a vast majority of us  do), it would be photographer Bob Willoughby, who was present at her first unveiling to the press of a starlet on the rise in 1953, and continued a lifelong relationship of photographic affair...

    Recently released by renowned publishing house Taschen is a collection of these loving photographs. Showcasing Willoughby's most iconic shots, and the intimate moments in between, it is a volume any Hepburn admirer would kill to have on their shelf. And you might have to, as there are only 1,000 signed and numbered copies in circulation.

   " I really didn't know what to make of Audrey when I first saw her...she did have something...but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I was finally introduced to her. Then that radiant smile hit me right between the eyes, warming me inside like a shot of whisky."

Bob Willoughby: Audrey Hepburn, 1953-1966 is available on the Taschen website. An interview with Willoughby on the collection and his photographic affair with Audrey may be found on ANOTHERmag

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