Faces of Film: Audrey Hepburn, Paris Chic

Audrey Hepburn will always be synonymous with Paris– just as Paris will always remain the most fashionable city of all time. But, Hepburn in the 1950’s Paris movie Funny Face made “Paris Chic” a resounding classic. With Audrey Hepburn’s charisma and beauty, she stole the movie the leading and philosophical Jo Stockton. In fact, it remains to be known that the co-star of this movie, Fred Astaire, was so entranced with working with her that it made the movie an honorable experience for him.

You can watch Funny Face for the trillionth time, and it never grows old. Audrey Hepburn always seem to be what made the movie a fashionista’s dream, wearing clothing from the great designer Givenchy; it was he who always designed for Audrey, making her the subject of French Chic and high fashion. And with her overall waif and delicate appearance, Audrey made the trend seemed so ethereal.

In Funny Face (1957)

The transformation from the bookstore nerd to fashion icon starts out slow in the film, but it leaves us enthralled with every waking hour how she will look towards the end of the movie. When she appears in a white wedding dress with gloves, it looked as almost she was getting married! She played the role with honesty and passion. The High fashion photoshoot was so doable since the movie’s director made the Paris scenic sites the backdrop for the photoshoot scenes. There is the scene in front of a fountain, at a train station, and the opera house which was, for a musical, perfectly overdramatic.

The most fashionable scene was when she danced at a French café, moving about in a Rykiel Breton stripe top, cigar rete pants and flats- a look that you can still see today. Many feel that that look was synonymous with Parisian chic, that the looks from the technicolored movie classic of 1957, was alive with utter admiration. It is no wonder why the movie’s producers made the young Audrey Hepburn, the ingénue with the face of an angel, fashion’s next best thing.

New Surroundings for Jo Stockton in Funny Face (1957)

In the end, Funny Face has a remarkable cast and aesthetic thanks to none other than the city of lights, Paris. And in return, its overwhelming power to turn starry eyed actresses, like Audrey Hepburn, into a grand discovery is a reward for making classical looks modern and make minimalism chic too. With black, grey and stripes and flats and cat eye makeup, they are cool, timeless. It still leaves trendsetters watching fashion runways today, looking if they can spot an inspiration from the Funny Face and Audrey Hepburn. With Audrey, 1950s Paris had its amazing muse.

Audrey visits Paris again with Cary Grant in Charade (1963)

Hypnotizing a room with her look is not just found in one Audrey film, like in Sabrina or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If you’re looking for Parisian charm and grace, you can assume French actresses like Catherine Deneuve or even Grace Kelly are it, but in the end, Audrey made the movie and the city of lights an agreeable place to visit, and even inspirational.


Veronica Felipe

© Paramount Pictures

© Universal Pictures

One thought on “Faces of Film: Audrey Hepburn, Paris Chic

  1. Audrey ! The funny face of Paris chic !

    “The gentle breeze from her bright face
    moves with the sound of wise words
    making a sweet harmony where it blows,
    as if a gentle spirit from Paradise
    seems always to comfort me, in that air,
    so that my heart won’t let me breathe elsewhere…”


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