Audrey Hepburn’s classic Oscar’s dress to go to auction
The classic ivory lace dress that late iconic film star Audrey Hepburn wore to collect her Oscar for her role in ‘Roman Holiday’ is set to go up for auction in London this month.
The petite star had the dress especially altered for her for her appearance at the Oscar awards, from a costume that was originally designed for her character in the 1953 motion picture by American costume designer Edith Head.
Hepburn wore the original version of the dress in the final scene of the romantic comedy set in Rome, in which she played a runaway princess alongside Gregory Peck. In that occasion she teamed the dress with a matching jacket and hat. The bodice was altered to cut straight across at the front, plunging low at the back with spaghetti straps. The gown also saw Head pick up an Oscar for costume design.
The dress referred to by Audrey and her family as ‘The lucky dress” was worn on the night she won what would be the only Oscar throughout her career. Yet until present day Audrey Hepburn’s classic elegant style inspires women and designers worldwide.
Despite Head being appointed major costumer designer for her follow up film Sabrina, Hepburn requested Givenchy supply a number of dresses for her to wear. Head was given credit at the Oscars for Givenchy’s designs, which of course infuriated him. In response to his claims, Givenchy was given exclusivity to designing the actresses costumes from then on. This dress then became one of the last designs Edith Head ever created for the star.
Many photos still exist of Audrey wearing the frock on the night of the academy awards, and its fate has been a mystery until it was recently revealed it was with the late stars’ family, stored away at the bottom of the wardrobe, hopefully not collecting dust!
The lace creation has been valued at anywhere between £40,000- £60,000 but if the 2009 auction of Hepburn’s dresses are anything to go by, they could fetch triple that amount, if not more! The Givenchy haute couture black chantilly lace cocktail dress, worn by Audrey Hepburn in “How to Steal a Million”, 1966 sold for £60,000 in December 2009. Hepburn’s dress goes under the hammer on 29 November at Taylor Auctions, La Galleria, Pall Mall, London; the auction house behind the sale of The Duchess of Cambridge University lace number which went to an anonymous bidder and fetched £78,000.
Image: Roman Holiday still, courtesy of the studio