The Mystery of Audrey Hepburn's Paris Dress: Edith Head or Givenchy???


animated audrey

Perhaps the mystery of exactly who designed the Paris costume for Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of Sabrina, for the film of the same name in 1954, adds to the allure of the gown.

Was it Hubert de Givenchy or was it Edith Head?

edith head sketch sabrina gown

These sketches, signed by the already famous costume designer, make it seem as if she designed the gown.

But in fact the dress was selected by Audrey herself, from a collection by Givenchy, after she asked Billy Wilder, the director, if she could wear a "real Paris dress".

He sent her to see Balenciaga: he was busy, and suggested she pop in to see his young friend Givenchy instead.

Edith Head won an Oscar for Best Costume for the film, giving no credit to Givenchy, although in an interview 20 years later she conceded that the designs were inspired by Givenchy's work.

After Head's death, Givenchy finally spilled the beans, explaining the mystery.

audrey hepburn as sabrina barbie collector

The fabulous gown has been fashioned into a miniature for the Barbie collector series, and while Givenchy's name is not given, at least we know that credit is due.

Wouldn't she make an elegant fairy for the top of the Christmas tree? Suddenly, with Christmas only 3 months away, it doesn't seem like such a faraway notion.

images :: movie stills // barbie // edith head sketch // barbie detail

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