Audrey Hepburn: life after film

Audrey Hepburn’s greatest legacy is possibly not the graceful imprint left on the history of the silver screen, but her work with UNICEF towards the latter years of her life in the 1980s. Her premature passing in 1993 from abdominal cancer after years of philanthropic work took away one of the most iconic Goodwill Ambassadors ever to work with UNICEF. Here’s a peek into Hepburn’s style after a luminous career in film.

Icons & Muses: Audrey Hepburn in film

The word gamine never sounds quite so beautiful and elegant as it is when applied to the description of actress, philanthropist and longtime muse to Hubert de Givenchy Audrey Hepburn. The two began a lifelong friendship and professional collaboration with the 1954 classic Sabrina (in which Givenchy was not credited as famed Hollywood costumer Edith Head refused to be co-designers but subsequently won an Oscar for the collaboration). From dreamy ball gowns, chic LBDs, to playful 60s mod style, no other duo created fashion moments quite like Hepburn and Givenchy. Here’s a taste of their iconic collaboration on the silver screen from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, Charade, How to Steal a Million, Funny Face, and Paris When It Sizzles.

Vintage: Richardson, Alt, & Kass for Vogue Paris

Bikes, leather, and miniskirts.

Chunky gold jewelry, cropped tweed jackets, and Chanel handbags.

Modern day Parisian chic.

In my last post I mentioned how the Testino/Sauvé/Werbowy “Americans in Paris” shoot from the May issue of American Vogue looked to me like the American Vogue interpretation of Parisian chic. Well, here’s a look at the 2006 Vogue Paris spread shot by Terry Richardson, styled by Emmanuelle Alt, and modeled by Carmen Kass. The setting is historic grandeur and the style is luxurious hipster chic. Alt’s personal look and professional style is all over these photos.

A 2010 Vogue favorite: Sauvé, Testino, & Werbowy

French stylist (close friend of Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière) Marie-Amélie Sauvé is most notable for her work at Vogue Paris with Carine Roitfeld. Recently, American Vogue spreads styled by Sauvé have figured more and more prominently in the issues. The “Americans in Paris” spread shot by Mario Testino and modeled by Daria Werbowy in Paris is by far one of my favorites from this year’s American Vogue. I took notice of this when the May 2010 issue first came out and never got around to sharing it online (I liked the spread so much I kept the issue open to the first page of the photos on the sheet music stand of my electric piano).

Daria Werbowy in the neutral pieces and big Birkin-like bags looks, unsurprisingly, very Birkin-esque with her long, straight hair and bangs. These photos immediately reminded me of a 2006 spread in Vogue Paris shot by Terry Richardson (styled by Emmanuelle Alt, starring Carmen Kass) in the same location. Sauvé’s version is less rocker more conservative sexy. In other words, more American Vogue.

For details of the items Daria’s wearing, check out the May 2010 issue of American Vogue.

Faye Wong in Paris shooting for Celine

Though ELLE HK announced via its official website in Chinese that Chinese pop diva Faye Wong has been secretly flown to Paris to shoot Celine’s print ad campaign, it is unclear whether “advertisement spokesperson”, the term used by ELLE HK, refers to being the new face of Celine worldwide, or merely an ‘ambassador’ who models the clothes in a few shoots widely printed by different magazines in Asia (she was dubbed a “friend of the brand” back in 2005).

It is likely that Wong will end up headlining Celine’s print ads in Asia, but her last gig in 2005 with the LVHM-owned label spawned a much publicized appearance at Celine’s fashion show during Paris fashion week and two spreads both shot in Paris (one of Michael Kors’ final collection for Celine and the subsequent modernist spring one by Roberto Menichetti). Thus, it’s safe to say that the sneak peek photos recently released by both ELLE HK and other sources on Chinese websites will at least be promo shots, if not full fledged print ad campaigns. The entire shoot may or may not appear in the September issue of Chinese ELLE, of which Wong is slated to be the cover girl of (ELLE HK was the winning bidder for Wong’s September cover status; the pop star and the magazine have a long history of collaborations).

In the meantime, why not travel back in time – back to 2005 – for a look at Faye Wong’s first collaboration with Celine.

Faye Wong: the new face of Celine Fall 2010

The news has been released! Chinese pop diva Faye Wong 王菲 has been in Paris shooting the latest ad campaign for Phoebe Philo’s comeback collection for Celine. This means the ads will be two comebacks in one: Philo’s return to the forefront of women’s ready-to-wear as Celine’s creative director and the end to Faye Wong’s longtime break from the entertainment industry.

Nonetheless, Wong is no stranger to the label. In 2005, Wong was the spokesperson for Celine, modeling Michael Kors’ final collection for the house (fall 2004 – remember those Jackie O. suits? The fur mufflers?) as well as the subsequent modernist collection by Roberto Menichetti, who enjoyed a shortlived career as the creative head of the company.

ELLE HK announced the news of Wong’s Parisian escapade with Celine, with her favorites makeup artist Zing and stylist/costume designer Titi Kwan in two. The print ads are being shot by Horst Diekgerdes.

Wong’s comeback concerts in Beijing and Shanghai slated for October and November, respectively, were sold out in ten minutes. Perhaps Celine’s owners, LVHM, are hoping for the same effect for the collection.

Ermenegildo Zegna fetes in Shanghai

Italian luxury menswear house Ermenegildo Zegna threw a lavish party in Shanghai this past week partially in celebration of its brand new Huaihai Road concept store in Shanghai, partially in celebration of its centennial. The now fourth generation-run Zegna is no newcomer to the luxury brand scene in China. The company opened its first Chinese location in Beijing back in 1991. The new Shanghai location, designed by famed architect Peter Marino, is the fifth of Zegna’s line of concept stores worldwide.

The festivities included a fashion show of its fall collection (a longstanding promotional tradition on the part of European fashion houses; some companies even completely replicate their Paris/Milan shows in Taipei/HK). Among those attending were notable Chinese model Du Juan (who has walked for nearly all the major houses), Leon Lai (one of the four widely respected HK-based “Four Heavenly Kings” of pop music and films), Alec Su (Taiwanese actor of former 1990s boyband fame), and others.

Apparently 80% of wealthy male Chinese consumers making luxury purchases fall within the age bracket of 18 to 44. Looks like Zegna’s centennial comes right in time for a potential market spike. As China produces more and more stylish men, Zegna surely welcomes this trend.