Katharine Hepburn is perhaps not the most beautiful woman in the conventional sense of the word but it was her character that made her shine. Cary Grant once said:
"She was this slip of a women and I never liked skinny women. But she had this thing, this air you might call it, the most totally magnetic woman I`d ever seen, and probably ever seen since. You had to look at her, you had to listen to her, there was no escaping her."
|On the set of the 'Philadelphia Story'|
The quote I chose above has a half truth in it. While Katharine Hepburn might not have been a fashionista, it would be untrue to say that she didn't put a conscious effort into the clothes she wore. In order to wear pants on constant and regular basis, was to make a decision and stick to it faithfully. One can imagine the criticism and she endured in her public and private life. The most important aspect of fashion is personal expression, and Hepburn used her clothes as a silent way of speaking her mind, without ever opening her mouth.
Katharine Hepburn was a fashion icon, plain and simple. Whether she wanted to be remembered through her clothing or not is irrelevant. Her personal style was an extension of her personality, defiant and nonconformist.
|One of the oddest outfits I've ever seen|
'The Philadelphia Story'
Just as a little aside, this is a very peculiar outfit worn by Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story. I just can't make it out. She sort of looks like an organ grinders monkey ;)
One of my favourite comedies of all time, Bringing Up baby shows Hepburn's great sense of humour and complete insanity. Just looking at her hairdo above shows her less than perfect character in the movie. The dress is great because it brings this flouncy, frivolity that one doesn't often see with Hepburn. This movie is very much different than the other films she did, because she is the dependent woman chasing the man. The style in this movie, therefore, does not show her in suits but flowy gowns.
'Woman of the Year' was another one of those movies where Hepburn played the powerful, self confident, independent woman who kept scaring away the men. She inevitably had to wear pencil skirt suits to complete the character.
I can't help but think there is something Chanelesque about Hepburn in this picture. I think it's a combination of the pearls the black dress and the hair.
|Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant|
Bringing Up Baby
|Katharine Hepburn in a suit|
Typical of her nonchalant style, this suit epitomizes her above quote.
|'Woman Of The Year'|