An anonymous telephone bidder has paid
￡467,200 (or about 7,008,000 Yuan) for the black dress made for Audrey Hepburn
for her role in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. The dress was sold at a London
auction and the proceeds from the sale will go to charity.
The black sleeveless dress was expected to be sold for
￡70,000 (that's about 1,050,000 Yuan) but there were gasps, laughter and
applause as the price broke through barrier after barrier, before finally
coming to rest at ￡410,000 (with the remainder of the sale price made up of
This iconic garment has been described as the ultimate
little black dress. It's plain and simple but sophisticated. It's
demure yet very sexy.
Audrey Hepburn was seen as a new kind of
star when she burst onto the scene in 1953. Most other stars then were in the
Marilyn Monroe mould – blonde, curvaceous and overtly sexy.
In the film Roman Holiday, Hepburn unveiled her look for the first time.
She was tall and slim, with elfin features and looked almost androgynous.
She had big, innocent dark eyes and her attraction was much less obvious than
Monroe's. Hepburn started a trend that has been continued by many since then.
The model Kate Moss and actress Winona Ryder are two who many think have been
influenced by her style.
But what is the lasting appeal of a woman whose final acting
role was in 1989? Why was she voted the most beautiful woman of all time in a
magazine poll earlier this year? Her granddaughter Claire Goldsmith says "It's
about those eyes, those big, brown, warm eyes. Women relate to her because she
was unthreatening and for men she had that innocence."
For the founder of the charity that will benefit from the
sale of the dress, the attraction is perhaps more down to earth. The
French author, Dominique Lapierre, set up a charity The City of Joy Aid to help
poor people in India. After the auction Dominique said "I am absolutely
dumbfounded that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical
actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most
destitute children in the world into schools."
So it seems this little black dress has turned into a rather
large pot of gold.