Sunday, 20 October 2013

Audrey Hepburn: The Creation of a Style Icon

Before I begin, I have a confession to make; I started writing this blog post as soon as I finished my work experience at the V&A right at the very beginning of September, and then completely forgot to finish it! So if this post seems a little dated and disjointed, I apologise. My efforts to blog more fell at the first hurdle upon moving back to Leamington for my final year at Warwick!

Back in September, I was lucky enough to take part in Fashion and Cinema's latest event, 'Audrey Hepburn: The Creation of a Style Icon'. Played host to by the iconic Victoria and Albert museum, I was able to gain some valuable work experience to add to my CV, whilst simultaneously hearing some truly fantastic speakers discuss my ultimate fashion icon.

As a Vogue obsessed Film and Literature student, an event created by Fashion and Cinema was an all too tailored fit for me. My actual work included checking spectator's tickets, answering questions, and generally aiding the V&A staff to make sure everything ran smoothly. However I was also lucky enough to be allowed to sit in on the lectures given by highly esteemed speakers, including Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti.

The three speakers on day one, Prof. Stella Bruzzi, Dr. Rachel Moseley and Drusilla Beyfus, talked in incredible detail about Audrey's fashion trajectory, her role as a Cinderella figure, and her relationship with Hubert de Givenchy. All three speakers were so insightful, and gave a wonderfully academic take on something that a lot of people may consider leisure alone. Hearing such highly esteemed speakers talk intellectually about fashion and film has only reinforced my personal beliefs that both mediums ought not to be considered merely as entertainment or 'stuff'. I even had a discussion with a journalist there about the value of fashion and the cerulean jumper speech from The Devil Wears Prada! I was in my element.

The second part of the event was truly exceptional, for Luca Dotti shared intimate stories about his mother's life in Rome and how she embraced Italian culture. From anecdotes about how she used to carry spaghetti in her suitcase (for you can find tomatoes anywhere in Italy, but what if you are stranded without spaghetti?), to his confession that he had no idea his mother was a style icon, for Givenchy and others were introduced to him merely as talented friends as opposed to globally renowned fashion designers. Dotti was warm, open, and light-hearted, speaking with the same glow of kindness and authenticity that his mother became so adored for.

Working at the Victoria and Albert Museum was very special for me. Having never lived or spent more than a day in London at a time, getting off the tube and walking through the halls of sculpture and silverware to get to 'work' was incredibly surreal, but a real treat. The people I worked with were absolutely lovely, and even gave me a copy of Luca Dotti's book 'Audrey in Rome' - a collection of images of Hepburn's time spent there - when I finished on the second day. I am so grateful to the V&A for letting me be part of the event, and am more in love with Audrey and her legacy than ever. To those yet to buy it, do get yourselves a copy of 'Audrey in Rome', for I am yet to top how content I feel when flicking through it with a cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon.

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I love hearing your thoughts and opinions and will always do my best to reply to every comment I get. Thank you for reading!
Lauren x