Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Reluctant Style Icon: Katherine Hepburn

Reluctant indeed! As one of the most famous style icons of all time, Katherine Hepburn shunned all fashion monikers related to her classic look. To her, she simply put on clothes, wore little or no makeup and went about her way. Though she did have many a glamourous moment when captured in magazines or publicity stills, she preferred minimalism in her private life. Following are quotes from the star, as she shares her feelings about fashion and her iconic status.

"I just can't stand jewelry," said Hepburn who objected to accessories that distracted from her clothes. "I don't mind rings sometimes, and I don't mind earrings if they don't wiggle."

"My uniform" is the way that Hepburn described slacks and a turtleneck. "The pants came because I didn't like stockings and I like low heels," she said.

"I wasn't conscious of whether it was in style or not," the actress said of her attire. "I was only conscious of whether I thought it was becoming to me."

"When I first got to California, I wore a skirt," she said. "But then hating skirts, I quickly went to pants. And then having little money to throw away. I went to a good tailor and I had a suit made."

"I never dressed up for any man," Hepburn insisted. "If I thought he cared how I looked, I would have thought he was a fool."

"She is the all-time movie chic," said designer John Weitz when the Council of Fashion Designers awarded Hepburn it's 1985 Lifetime Achievement Award. Said the actress: "We're in a serious spot when the original bag lady wins a prize for the way she dresses."

The actress didn't believe in looking "as though you've made a tremendous effort. I think it should be just a lucky happening."

"I thought my neck was too scrawny, so I covered it up with a turtleneck," Hepburn explained. "I have a little face, and I didn't want a great big collar with a little face coming out of it, so I had little collars."

Hepburn admitted that her easy elegance was time-consuming: "I said to Garbo once, 'I bet it takes us longer to look as if we hadn't made any effort than it does someone else to come in beautifully dressed.'"

Her hair-care arcana included pins, combs and rollers of newspaper. "Different sizes to make whatever size curl you want," she said. "The paper absorbs the water."

fashion, said Hepburn, "has always been a question of comfort with me, and once in a while, if I think something is delicious I'm willing to put it on for as short a time as possible."

(Quotes takes from People's Tribute Commemorative Issue)

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