A rare collection of Audrey Hepburn’s clothing is to be auctioned off for charity on 8 December, including LBDs by Valentino, Elizabeth Arden (a dress Audrey wore when she met her first husband Mel Ferrer in 1953) and Givenchy.
Among the Givenchy gowns under auction are a black cloqué silk dress worn in Paris When It Sizzles and a chantilly lace cocktail number for How to Steal a Million.
There are 36 items of clothing, dating from 1953 to the late Sixties, plus letters and accessories and the star item, the Fontana Sisters-designed wedding dress for Audrey’s planned marriage to James Hanson, created while she filmed Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck.
When the wedding was called off, Audrey gave the dress away, saying, 'I want my dress to be worn by another girl for her wedding, perhaps someone who couldn't ever afford a dress like mine – the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find'.
The ivory satin dress was given to Amabile Altobella, who wore it for her wedding and has kept it in storage. If you fancy bidding on this or any of the dresses, just remember that the ultra-petite star’s measurements are: 5ft 7inches tall, bust 32in, waist 22in, hips 34in.
It’s not the first time Audrey’s dresses have gone under the hammer: the iconic black Givenchy gown she wore for her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s sold for a whopping £467,200 in 2006.
This auction is hoped to raise more than £100,000 for The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund and Unicef for their joint venture All Children in School, which aims to provide 115,000,000 children worldwide not currently in school with a basic education. Two thirds of these are girls.
Auction items will be exhibited at La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade on Pall Mall, London on December 6 from 12-5pm and 7 December 9am-5pm, before the auction on 8 December at 2pm. For more information, visit Kerry Taylor Auctions.
By Harriet Reuter Hapgood