Hepburn's legacy

STYLE FILE

May 09, 1999|By ELIZABETH LARGE | ELIZABETH LARGE,SUN STAFF

Women in their 20s who have fallen in love with capri pants this spring probably don't know that a young actress made them fashionable almost 50 years ago. Her name was Audrey Hepburn, and her influence on 20th-century fashion was as noteworthy as her movie stardom.

"Audrey Style," a new book by Pamela Clarke Keogh (HarperCollins, $40), chronicles the development of the Hepburn Look with 100 photographs and designers' sketches. But the reminiscences from friends, designers and colleagues make this as much a loving biography as a fashion book.

Audrey Style was polished, simple and graceful. We have her to thank for gamine haircuts, turtlenecks, cinched waists, three-quarter-length sleeves, flat ballet slippers (she was embarrassed by her height), the slim, sleeveless dress and fitted shirts wrapped at the waist.

"She not only changed the way women dress," writes Keogh, "but forever altered the way they view themselves, broadening the definition of beauty and offering a worldly, unsubmissive and less blatantly sexual model."

New strides for sandals

The good thing about sandals this season? Anything goes -- from simple flat-soled slides to strappy slingbacks.

Pearly whites, iridescent plastics and leopard prints are among the choices. And even colored suedes are hits for spring.

No longer are sandals just meant for the beach, either. "They can go with anything -- jeans, shorts, skirts, even a nice summer dress," says Sarah Hill of J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

-- Cox News Service

Looking back in style

Stroll back in time and you'll find moments that changed style as it is known today. In a report in its current issue, W magazine offers highlights.

1990 to 1999

Fashion extremes go from grunge to deconstruction to slip dresses and casual Fridays.

Giorgio Armani recognizes that dresses worn to the Oscars can be a publicity bonanza. He is the first to "publicly dress" the stars, leading to the return of glamour in Hollywood.

Inner-city street fashion or the "hip-hop" look influences designers, from Helmut Lang to Tommy Hilfiger.

1980 to 1989

Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler popularize strong, sometimes linebacker shoulders; Christian LaCroix creates the pouf.

MTV becomes a major fashion influence.

Donna Karan launches her own collection, giving women an alternative to the power suit.

1970 to 1979

Disco has a profound influence as Norma Kamali and Betsey Johnson push shiny, revealing clothes for daytime.

Designer jeans are born.

Halston is the most visible American designer, with his liquid jerseys and unconstructed separates.

1960 to 1969

Yves Saint Laurent, still in his mid-20s, leaves Christian Dior and quickly becomes a design star with his peacoats and pantsuits.

In London, designer Mary Quant shocks the world with the miniskirt.

The anti-war movement in the United States spawns the new hippie culture, and the unisex look arises.

1950-1959

Dior's fit-and-flare rules the decade.

New York designers become increasingly influential, thanks to James Galanos, Norman Norell and Claire McCardell.

Teen-age girls favor circular poodle skirts with big crinolines, twin sweater sets and saddle shoes.

Waves of trendiness

Here's what's hot in swimwear this season:

The tankini -- a tank top worn with a bikini bottom

Metallic fabrics

Colorblocking

Athletic details, like front zippers and broad straps

Hawaiian prints, both for suits and cover-ups

Boy-cut shorts

-- Knight Ridder/Tribune

Pub Date: 05/09/99

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