An American in Paris (1951): A Paris Collage

Perfume-seller Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) and artist Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) see each other for the first time in a bustling cafe in Montparnasse. As I watch them meet, separate, repeat in locations around Paris, I forget that An American in Paris (1951) was filmed on the California sound stages and backlots of MGM. The film sets overload my senses. In addition to the talent, there are many props, movable and stationary, to observe. In the opening scene, my eyes hurry to survey the contents of Jerry’s compact studio apartment. Is his marinière Saint James? What books are those? What type of bread does Jerry eat for breakfast?

This theatrical version of Paris is overly grand, a tad too shiny, too dreamy. Some of the dance scenes are dreams. But, perhaps this is what encourages my thoughts to wander. As a viewer, I am reminded that:

  • artists must create art often; otherwise, they are not truly living
  • every woman has a unique combination of qualities
  • flowers are essential for the table
  • lavender has a calming effect
  • clothing for children was tasteful once upon a time
  • there’s nothing like a good party
  • there’s nothing like a good party dress
  • sherry is for sharing
  • the neighborhood cafe should be visited often 
  • perfume is and isn’t a luxury
  • a white dress paired with black shoes is an eye-catching combination
  • I find vintage posters (and antiques in general) charming
  • a view of the Eiffel Tower never gets old
  • pointe shoes in skin-tone-inclusive shades are a recent invention 
  • choreography is exercise; note to self: consult YouTube for routines

Works Sighted

Breton shirt // lavender // artist palette // paintbrushes // coupe cocktail glasses

silk scarf // gum // children’s coat // sherry // cup and saucer // baguette // dress (ivory)

painting // Champagne Dehu traditional brut // perfume bottle // ballet flats // ice bucket // dress (black) // pointe shoes

Charade (1963): A Paris Collage

When American expat Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) returns to Paris after vacationing in the French Alps, she finds her apartment empty, her husband dead, and a number of dangerous characters out to get her. But she also finds protection and company in Peter Joshua (Cary Grant), a fellow American she meets at the Megève ski resort. The most iconic scence (my favorite) culminates with Regina running for her life through the colonnades of the Palais Royale at night.

Works Sighted

pillbox hat // leather gloves // wine // pearl earrings // sunglasses // ice cream

coat // shift dress // sheath dress // trench coat // handbag

flats // stamp 1 // telephone and address book // record player // stamp 2 // correspondence cards // stamp 3 // envelope

Funny Face (1957): A Paris Collage

A collage inspired by Funny Face (1957)

Jo Stockton (played by Audrey Hepburn) works at a bookshop in Greenwich Village. She loves philosophical conversations and dreams of going to Paris. When Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), editor-in-chief of Quailty Magazine, decides to stage a photoshoot at Jo’s place of employement, the shop assistant gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Enter: the dancing photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire). Suddenly the universe aligns to bring Jo to her favorite city where Champagne laced with Existentialism overflows.

Works Sighted

Jaxon Hats straw skimmer hat // Yves Saint Laurent trench coat // Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut

Diptyque Eau Duelle eau de toilette // J.Crew ruffle-collar shirt

Oscar de la Renta black dress // Saint James Breton // Bass weejuns // L’Oréal mascara // peonies from Arôm

Valentino heels // J.Crew Martie pant in bi-stretch cotton // Yves Saint Laurent concealer pen // Dior lip sugar scrub // Dior lip glow // Alexander McQueen dress // L’existentialisme est un humanisme // Christian Louboutin flats


Outfits inspired by Audrey Hepburn.

I just watched Audrey (2020) on Netflix. The documentary includes commentary from Audrey Hepburn’s family and former neighbors, people who knew her well. I found the reconstruction of her life story to be real and not in the least bit sensationalized.

Audrey embodied many admirable qualities besides her acting ability and elegant style on and off screen. She knew how to live well and did so until the very end of her life. The actress loved spending time on the peaceful grounds of her house in Switzerland. The quiet life suited her, and she was most content surrounded by her loved ones.

The resilient Audrey experienced her fair share of heartbreak. She survived starvation during WWII. At a young age, she had to cope with her father walking out on the family. Weathering two divorces didn’t stop her from finding love in her partner Robert Wolders.

Audrey’s life experiences made her more determined to show love and kindness to others. Through her role as a UNICEF ambassador, she persuaded many people around the world to aid children in need. Her spirit lives on in her films, philanthropic legacy, and the outfits she wears in photographs. What a life well lived!

Works Sighted

button-up // skirt // belt // sandals

Breton top // J.Crew Martie pants // ballet flats

sweater tank // gingham pants // ballet flats

polo // chinos // Superga sneakers

silk scarf

top // pants // socks // weejuns

dress // pumps

sunglasses // pearl studs

Love in the Afternoon: The Wardrobe of Ariane Chavasse

Outfits inspired by Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in Love in the Afternoon.

Ariane Chavasse (Audrey Hepburn) rescues business magnate Frank Flannigan (Gary Cooper) from his own demise in Love in the Afternoon (1957). The daughter of private detective Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier) leafs through her father’s infidelity cases with romantic, rose-colored glasses. She initially encounters the American Frank as the subject of a surveillance photograph taken by her father. A devoted cellist, the young French woman can be seen carrying her instrument in and out of the Ritz Paris. Here’s her wardrobe reimagined (cello included).

Works Sighted

Cuyana robe; J.Crew pants; Margaux ballet flats; Hora cello; Staud dress; Christian Louboutin pumps; J.Crew shirt; J.Crew blazer; J.Crew Martie pant; Margaux ballet flats

J.Crew dress; Christian Louboutin pumps; Mark Cross bag; Ralph Lauren Collection dress; Badgley Mischka heels; J.Crew dress; Christian Louboutin pumps; Cornelia James gloves

Further Reading

How to Steal a Million: Nicole Bonnet’s Wardrobe

How to Steal a Million: Nicole Bonnet’s Wardrobe

Outfits inspired by Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in How to Steal a Million.

Nicole Bonnet (Audrey Hepburn) is the stylish daughter of art forger Charles Bonnet (Hugh Griffith). She drives a little, red compact car and isn’t afraid of wearing all white or a boldly-lined eye. She and burglar Simon Dermott (Peter O’Toole) initially cross paths under rather impromptu circumstances in How to Steal a Million (1966). When they meet for the second time at the bar of the Ritz Paris, he orders a Scotch, and she follows suit.

Works Sighted

Givenchy dress; Akris dress; Gucci jacket; Gucci skirt; Stella McCartney dress; Ralph Lauren Collection dress

Cartier watch; Cartier earrings; Cuyana clutch; Cuyana clutch; Madewell belt; Prada sunglasses; Estée Lauder eye pencil; Estée Lauder mascara; Estée Lauder lipstick; Jimmy Choo slingback pumps; Jimmy Choo suede pumps; Rupert Sanderson pumps; Gingerlily silk robe; Cuyana silk slip dress