FUNNY FACE G
At the sunset of Hollywood’s studio era, Audrey Hepburn joined forces with Givenchy, and a new kind of chic was born.
Right from its witty opening number, Think Pink, Stanley Donen’s musical declares its faith in fashion’s transformative power. It’s not-too-subtly based on real fashionistas – Kay Thompson plays a decidedly Diana Vreeland-esque magazine editor, while Fred Astaire is a photographer modelled on snapper doyen Richard Avedon. Audrey Hepburn is their creation: a doe-eyed bookworm whose ‘funny face’ is declared the latest look. Swept off to model in Paris, she emerges triumphantly, echoing the pose of Samothrace’s Winged Victory statue. Lulled by a cocktail of Givenchy and Gershwin, she also falls for Astaire.
Funny Face captures both cinema and fashion at key transitional moments. Hepburn’s gamine, bohemian style overtakes the mannered elegance of 1950s supermodel Dovima; Twiggy, Anna Karina, Jean Shrimpton and Jane Birkin would follow in Hepburn’s ballet-flat footsteps. Meanwhile, legendary costume designer Edith Head – who’d previously won an Oscar for the Givenchy gowns she picked out for Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954) – here grants the couturier his own starring role.
"Très cool … Donen’s musical remains a gloriously aesthetic expression of the radiance and glamour so intrinsic to the allure of cinema. Audrey Hepburn and Gershwin will never go out of fashion." – The Lumiere Reader
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