Audrey Hepburn: a woman, the style

7 December 1999 - 26 March 2000 Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum in association with Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and The Australian Women’s Weekly presented Audrey Hepburn: a woman, the style, a new exhibition covering the most important events in Hepburn’s amazing career.

After winning an Oscar in 1953 for Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn became one of the most photographed actresses of all time. Hepburn is often referred to by the fashion media as the most important ‘style icon’ of the 20th century. The style of dress featured by Hepburn in her films strongly influenced the fashion of the period as her clothes and accessories were widely copied.

Audrey Hepburn: a woman, the style contained 110 examples of Hepburn’s clothing dating from the early 1950s to the late 1980s from both her on and off screen wardrobes. The exhibition documented not only her screen presence but her influential personal style.

Many of the garments on show had been created by some of the century’s leading designers such as Hubert de Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo and Valentino.

Featuring material from Audrey Hepburn’s films, unpublished photographs, clothes and accessories, the exhibition highlighted the influence Hepburn’s image has had on contemporary fashion over the decades and the dedication to her work as ambassador for Unicef. Movie memorabilia was also on show including scripts and the Vespa from Roman Holiday. Many of the items in the exhibition had been lent by Hepburn’s children, American film studios, distinguished couturiers, the Ken Scott Archive and Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.

Audrey Hepburn: a woman, the style included the original last (shoe model) of Audrey Hepburn’s foot, made by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1954 and 10 copies decorated by 10 contemporary artists (Marina Abramovic, Arman, Louise Bourgeois, Christo, Enzo Cucchi, Yasumasa Morimura, Kenny Scharf, Andres Serrano, Daniel Spoerri, Lawrence Weiner).

Also on display were a limited edition album of 10 photographs signed and dated by the photographer Franco Fontana depicting the works of the 10 artists.

The Powerhouse Museum, one of Australia’s major institutions for collecting and displaying costume, was the only Australian venue to exhibit Audrey Hepburn: a woman the style. This was a timely exhibition as 1999 marked the 70th anniversary of Audrey Hepburn’s birth.

This exhibition was supported by the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and proudly sponsored by The Australian Women’s Weekly in support of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

It was organised by Stefania Ricci, director of the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo together with Gianluca Bauzano, a journalist and expert on fashion and costume and designed by Maurizio Balò.

$1 from every full paying adult entering the exhibition was donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. The mission of the Fund, located in Los Angeles, is to continue her work and bring help, happiness and hope to children everywhere.

An extensive range of public programs were organised at the Powerhouse Museum to coincide with the exhibition including an Audrey Hepburn film festival.

The publication Audrey Hepburn: a woman, the style by Leonardo Arte and edited by Stefania Ricci was also available through the Powerhouse Museum shop.

Supported by Qantas Airways, David Jones and Talkradio 2UE 954 AM.

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