Sunday, April 3, 2011

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964)

My bet would be that if you are a classic movie fan, you probably already know how wonderful My Fair Lady is! Both Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison are perfect in their roles and the songs by Lerner and Loewe are wonderful. One tidbit you might not know is that Julie Andrews (who played Eliza Dolittle first on Broadway) was passed over for the film role, but came back that same year with Mary Poppins and won an Oscar for that film.

Another thing that many people don't realize is that this film was based on George Bernard Shaw's play called Pygmalion. The play Pygmalion is basically a non-musical version of My Fair Lady, but the title is taken from a Greek myth of a sculptor that sculpted a woman so beautiful that he fell in love with his creation. This of course is what happens to Henry Higgins (played by Rex Harrison) who metaphorically sculpts Eliza Dolittle (Audrey Hepburn) by teaching her proper language and comportment.

So, in many ways this film could be read as a metaphor for the studio film system general which molded and created these idols by bringing in girls and crafting their looks and manners. For those Anglophiles and language nerds out there, this movie is a must-see. Henry Higgins is a professor of the English language and "Why Can't the English Teach Their Children How to Speak" is a fantastic musical number which is a glorious condensation of the various dialects of our language.

The look that I have chosen to re-create from this film is the climatic gown that Eliza wears to the diplomatic ball that cements her transformation from flower girl to the fair lady. I have taken and adapted it as a bridal look. {Image used above courtesy of Starry Eyed Barefoot Bride.} Click on the image to see the details.

Here is my interpretation:

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964)

Dress: Couture Candy, Sue Wong Vintage Inspired Beaded Gown, $444
Bolero: PacificPlex, Ivory Satin Bolero Jacket Cover-up Cap Sleeve Prom Bridesmaid, $22.99 via
Necklace/Earrings: Rhinestone Jewelry Corporation, Fancy Figure 8 Choker and Earring Set, $46.75
Hairpiece: Rhinestone Jewelry Corporation, Harp Tiara Comb, $5.72
Gloves: Klassic Line Vintage Clothing and Costumes, Ivory Over Elbow Gloves, $27.00
Shoes:, Caparros Women's Krista Open-Toe Pump, in Ivory Silk, on sale for $41.22
Total: $587.68

How exciting would it be wear something like this on your wedding day? It is not only vintage but regal and definitely would not be the usual bridal look. Under $600 is a fantastic total for bridal attire and what a showstopping look for the price! {You can check out my other bridal looks inspired by movies here.}

The dress has the appropriate amount of rich detailed, vintage beadwork that you need as a foundation of this look. The shoes are comparable d'Orsay pumps which you would be able to wear through the ceremony and the reception. The cap-sleeve bolero mimics those demure sleeves that are on the gown that Audrey wears and the gloves add more elegance and modesty.

Completing the look, we have a great deal on some gorgeous rhinestones! This company sells some stellar looking rhinestone packages for under $50. This choker and earring set really evokes Audrey's look and the $5 headpiece really finishes things off nicely.

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