Skip to main content

Great Outfits in Fashion History: Audrey Hepburn in *That* Givenchy Dress

Don't lie: You totally had a poster of this lewk in your college dorm.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

I don't have the hard data on this, but I'd be willing to bet that ever since it premiered in 1961, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" posters have been a mainstay of college dorms everywhere. There was no faster shorthand for "I'm cute, classy and quirky" than the image of Audrey Hepburn, clad in a chic black sheath dress and a tiara, hanging from a cinderblock wall. It might be basic, but it definitely beats the male equivalent, which was a "Fight Club" poster back when I was in school. But I digress.

Huge chunks of the movie definitely do not hold up in 2021 (Mickey Rooney's racist caricature, yikes!!!), but something that has stood the test of time is Hepburn's wardrobe as Holly Golightly. Many of the clothes were designed by Hollywood icon Edith Head, but that little black dress — the little black dress, seared in our collective cultural consciousness for the past six decades — was one of the pieces which came courtesy of Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy himself.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

It's the relative simplicity that makes this dress feel as modern today as it did on the silver screen back then. From the front, it's a column style with no adornment, which makes the pile of pearls around Hepburn's neck really pop. At the back, Givenchy cut the shoulders into a kind of half moon shape which adds visual interest. Paired with opera gloves, a tiara and giant blackout glasses, it made for one of the most iconic looks in cinema, which would go o on to be referenced in fashion and film too many times to count. It's...something of a far cry from what Givenchy looks like today under creative director Matthew Williams, but you can still add a bit of that Hepburn magic to your summer style with a pair of oversized black shades. Shop some of our favorites, below.

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Want the latest fashion industry news first? Sign up for our daily newsletter.