Audrey Hepburn Exhibition at the National Gallery

Sunday 18 October 2015 by

Audrey Hepburn, Photography, National Portrait Gallery, Philippe Halsman, LIFE magazine

Audrey Hepburn is my icon. She was stylish, effortlessly chic, with a fantastic humour and an incredible actor. Which is why I just had to see the Audrey Hepburn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the penultimate day (so sadly I will not have a link for you to get your own tickets). The exhibition is a celebration of her life – from her early days as a ballet dancer an chorus girl, right up until her works as a UNICEF ambassador. It featured promotional images, unseen behind-the-scenes pictures from her films and her fashion photography, including rare images by Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn.

The images are set in chronological order, with short descriptions about her career, and even a set of her ballet shoes (she had reassuringly large feet). The pictures are astonishing – beautiful, of course, but candid. Her iconic look stares out at you from the pictures. It features her lifelong partnership with Givenchy, her evolving style from the 40s through to the most famous (60s) and beyond. Once she had retired from the public eye, the photos quickly decrease to a mere handful, but suddenly more startling, more genuine, and more Audrey.

The National Portrait Gallery is one of my favourite places to go, and the perfect venue for a celebration of one of the most iconic actors of the 20th Century. I also recommend the café for a good cup of Earl Grey!

Image: Audrey Hepburn by Philippe Halsman for LIFE magazine, 1954 © Philipe Halsman

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