Yeah, I know. Gorgeous. Seriously, look at her!
So, you've seen the GAP ad, right? Audrey's dancing scene from Funny Face remixed to AC/DC's Back in Black? Right. I don't know how I feel about it. First, I was dumbfounded. Like, "Did I just see that?" And then I was all, "My worlds have officially collided." But now I'm just happy to see her. In a world where this seems to be the standard, I'm glad that someone so beautiful, so graceful, so...Audrey, is still relevant. Granted, the imagery is being used in an ad for pants, but that's not the point. The point is...simplicity and modesty are still lovely. Right on!
Exhibit A: Natalie Portman rocking classic Audrey at the Golden Globes.
Little Black Dress? Check (vintage Chanel Haute Couture. NICE.) Pixie cut? Check. Elegant makeup and super simple jewelry? Double check. When someone invokes the phrase, "that's so Audrey," make no mistake, this is what they mean. God knows I've tried to do it. There was a time in my life when I owned, oh, I don't know, SEVEN black dresses. I'm down to three (one vintage, one fancy, one super-fancy) but the message is the same: Keep it simple and nobody gets hurt.
When did I first love Audrey? New Years' Eve, 1988. My parents were going to their social club and I had no plans, so I decided to stay in and rent a movie I'd never seen. Something black and white, an old school romantic comedy. My pick? Roman Holiday, 1953.
Here's the breakdown as provided by IMDB: "A young princess, tired of the constraints her position brings, runs away. She doesn't know the man who befriends her is a reporter out for a story." Sounds good, right? I also credit this movie with giving me a very serious case of "I heart Gregory Peck (damn, he's beautiful)." PS: pre-Green Acres Eddie Albert costars as the crafty sidekick. Who knew? I LOVED IT. It's still my favorite Audrey movie. Maybe because it was her first, maybe because it was my first. She's just good in it. Oscar winning good. From then on, I could not get enough. Wait Until Dark still scares the bejeebus out of me (Alan Arkin=scary), Love in the Afternoon still breaks my heart (Gary Cooper=dreamy) and Charade, well, I don't think it gets better than that (Cary Grant=no equal). Yes, yes, I know, Breakfast at Tiffany's. I love it, you know I do. I shouldn't even have to mention it. Pre-A-Team George Peppard is swoon-inducing, Patricia Neal kills it (do you think they dressed her to look like the Wicked Queen from Snow White on purpose?) and Givenchy whips up some timeless dresses (the pink one? When she gets the telegram? If you're going to receive a telegram and trash your apartment, why not be in a dress like that?)
Yes, the woman was beautiful and talented and an icon, probably a reluctant one. But more than that, she stood for something, something that probably made me love her from the moment I saw her, but I didn't realize at the time. Acceptance of self. She conveyed a certain confidence without being smug. What people forget is that when Audrey came on the scene in the1950s, her look was not the standard of beauty. She came along when Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell and all those super shapely women were IT. One of her many strengths, I think, was that she knew she was different, but she wasn't going to change herself. She was beautiful on her terms, not the studio or magazine terms.
When I'm feeling crappy--perhaps suffering from the mean reds--and I can't hop the train and go to Tiffany's (although, seriously? That works. "Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there."), I rock out a little Audrey singing Moon River on the ipod. It's the next best thing. Try it sometime. Here. Watch this and tell me you don't feel better. Told you.