Katharine Hepburn Fashion Exhibition Opens In NYC
23rd OF October 2012
Katharine Hepburn was one of the icons of the 1940s, for her game-changing masculine style.
Now a New York exhibition has opened honouring her contribution to chic.
The New York Public Library, which normally focuses on high-culture fare, has launched a gigantic retrospective of Hepburn's style, including costumes, clips from her films, and her personal wardrobe - as well as amazing gossip from behind the scenes.
Hepburn was one of the first women to wear trousers publicly - causing a massive scandal. She was famously eloquent about it- when Barbara Walters asked if she even owned a skirt, she snidely responded "I do, yes - I'll wear it to your funeral".
The exhibition also reveals that studio executives actually hid her trousers in an attempt to stop her wearing them, desperate for her not to ruin her image.
She got them back by threatening to walk around the studio lot completely naked until they were returned - and by stripping to her underwear to prove she was serious.
The masculine tailoring caught on, with millions of women in wartime donning chic trouser suits and impeccably fitted suit jackets.
Why was she so influential? The curators of the exhibition say it's because she was one of the first famous women to declare that fashion could be comfortable rather than constrictive.
Among the things on display? Her wedding dress from the play The Lake, and costumes from The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen and many others.
Alas, her four Oscars - still one of the highest amounts ever won by a single actor - aren't available to look at.
Hepburn, who died in 2003, had one of the best and most influential wardrobes in the 20th century. If you're in New York and love yourself some masculine tailoring, go pay her homage.
Image: Katharine Hepburn.