Great Outfits in Fashion History: Audrey Hepburn’s Famous White Gown in ‘Sabrina’

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There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In ‘Great Outfits in Fashion History,’ Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

Nothing screams Audrey Hepburnmore than an elegant Givenchy gown, as the brand collaborated with the actor on many of her most iconic looks, on and off screen. In the above studio recreation of a scene from 1954’s “Sabrina,” Hepburn wears a strapless ballgown that has become one of cinema’s most beloved costumes — as well as one of the most disputed ones. 

“Sabrina” is a charming Cinderella story centered around a chauffeur’s daughter, Sabrina (played by Hepburn), who travels to Paris as a simple school girl and returns as a sophisticated Parisienne.

The film, which was costume-designed by Hollywood legend Edith Head, features a scene with Sabrina attending the Larrabee party in the above look. As the live music plays and guests are sipping champagne, she enters, wearing the white, sleeveless organdy evening gown, her beauty capturing everyone’s attention.  

The ensemble features a floating bustle train over a pencil skirt, which is visible from the front, as well as a tapered waistline and low-v line in the back, which give Hepburn a feminine silhouette. Either the lowest layer of the overskirt or its hem are a lovely black ruffle, while the bodice and hem are meticulously hand-embroidered with delicate black pearl peacock motifs. Hepburn-as-Sabrina completed the look with long white gloves, a pair of black kitten heels and diamond flower earrings with pearl drops. 

By and large, this gown has been credited to Hubert de Givenchy and been considered as one of his first major collaborations with Hepburn. (The French house that bears his name is responsible for the little black dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and her outfit to the 1954 Academy Awards.) Though, Head claimed he had little to no involvement in its creation. That didn’t affect the look’s celebrity: It eventually became part of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynold’s personal collection, and was later auctioned off for a whopping $217,600 in 2017. 

Shop evening gowns inspired by Hepburn in the gallery below:

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