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Breakfast At Tiffany’s

August 23, 2011

Tiffany & Co, the world’s premiere jewelers, have just given their Collins Street store a complete make over. The re- vamped store at 267 Collins Street opened with a flourish. A bevy of bejeweled models arrived in horse drawn carriages wearing the signature black sunglasses and little black dresses synonymous with the Audrey Hepburn look from the 1961 Film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

With a frantic week whirling around me I was not sure I was going to make it to this early morning breakfast launch but I felt I needed to make a special effort to honour the memory of this exceptional woman. Audrey Hepburn seems to have been an extraordinary woman who young girls of today could use as a role model. As well as being naturally beautiful, elegant and stylish she had the wonderful gift of contagious optimism. “She seemed to heighten the spirits of those around her or made them behave with uncontrollable gallantry”. Her favourite quote was “Remember if you need a helping hand its at the end of your arm. As you get older you must remember that you have a second hand. The first one is to help yourself, the second one is to help others.

Who could forget the opening shot of the film “Breakfast at Tiffanys”, Audrey dressed in a simple elegant Givenchy black dress, with a rope necklace of outside pearls and long black satin gloves her hair swept back in an exquisite French Twist. She emerges from a yellow cab on Fifth Avenue in what appears to be the early hours of the morning and gracefully walks like a svelte lioness stalking her prey towards Tiffany’s jewellery store window. Styrofoam cup of coffee in one hand and a Danish pastry in the other. (Audrey hated pastries she wanted to eat ice cream) she surveys the glittering jewellery behind the glass. Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly belongs to the golden hearted tradition of the “Little Girl Lost” but because of Audrey’s beguiling innocence you never ask yourself what she would be lost without.

Truman Capote was a friend of Audrey’s but she was certainly not his first choice for the role. Marilyn Monroe was who he had in mind for Holly Golightly – a blonde who all the gentleman preferred. Capote thought Audrey “was just wrong for the role.”

When Audrey died in 1993 Tiffany paid tribute to her with among other things a simple advertisement dedicated to “Our Huckleberry Friend” in reference to the gentle theme song Audrey croons in the film – Mancini’s wistful “Moon River”.

“I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like ….. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” she said.

Holly Golightly — Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories)

picture credit: LOUISE M COOPER / SUNDAY AGE

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