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Updating Audrey

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She never concealed her prescription for style. “Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large glasses and the little sleeveless dresses,” the actress told Barbara Walters in 1989. And when The Mask of Zorro‘s Catherine Zeta-Jones shows up in Breakfast at Tiffany’s mode (at L.A.’s Zorro premiere, above), it’s obvious that Hepburn’s easy elegance has charmed a new generation. “Her look is timeless,” says Party of Five‘s Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had a closetful of shifts and capri pants even before she signed to play Hepburn in an upcoming ABC miniseries. “It’s graceful and very feminine.” Still, there was only one Audrey. “She had an enormous personality,” says Hubert de Givenchy, who designed her clothes for nearly 40 years. “She dressed for herself.”


Audrey’s knack for knowing when to flash her baby browns—and when to hide them (as in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s)—still inspires stars like Julia Roberts. “Sunglasses aren’t just to keep sun out of your eyes,” says designer Dana Buchman. “They give women glamor and mystery. They’re a great foil for today’s sleek clothes and go along with Hepburn’s look.”


The shin-baring slacks are such a Hepburn trademark “you would think she created them,” says designer Nolan Miller. Lately they’ve turned up on (clockwise from left) The Big Hit‘s China Chow, model Amber Smith, The Parent Trap‘s Elaine Hendrix and Sunset Beach star Adrienne Frantz. “They evoke the ’50s,” says Hendrix. “Women in that era knew how to capture femininity through their style.”


The red Richard Tyler ensemble that Brooke Shields wore to the Golden Globes in January recalled Hepburn’s memorable Givenchy gown in Funny Face, while Sarah Jessica Parker (in Comme des Garçons) paid tribute to Sabrina-style glamor at an April VH1 gala. “Women like to buy beautiful dresses again,” says Tyler. “You see fuller dresses and long pleated skirts—very Audrey.” Givenchy, who created the Sabrina gown, concurs. “Audrey was elegant,” he says. “And if you’re elegant, you want to wear elegant clothes.”


A French movie critic once sniped that Hepburn’s ’50s boyish coif reminded him of women “who cut their hair with rusty scissors.” But audiences—and actresses like Liv Tyler—obviously disagree. “It’s a very sexy, feminine look,” says celebrity stylist Allen Edwards. “Liv has real strong features. Going supershort, she’s definitely going to stand out.”


Whether she wore it over short shorts (Two for the Road), slacks (Funny Face) or nothing at all (Breakfast at Tiffany‘s), Hepburn knew—and so does model Tyra Banks—that the menswear look is both sexy and practical. “A white shirt goes with everything,” says J. Crew co-founder Emily Woods. “You can wear it over a bikini or dress it up with diamonds.”