When Elaine Turner began mulling over her fall 2011 collection, she envisioned ladylike nostalgia that transcended time. Pencil skirts, soft-pointed shoes and gloves came to mind and, in an instant, Elaine knew just who her muse would be.
It simply had to be Audrey Hepburn.
Her grace and elegance, her generous spirit and the simple ways she influenced decades of fashion, inspired Turner to weave the essence of Audrey Hepburn into every bag and shoe. From top handles and tweed accents, to the modern ballet flat and ladylike pump, Turner took Hepburn’s signature style and interpreted for the Elaine Turner woman.
Turner’s love of all things Audrey began when she was a little girl, watching the film, Sabrina, with her sister. In the movie, Hepburn’s character is torn between two brothers and that struggle touched Turner. From that point on, Hepburn took up a little place in her heart.
Choosing a muse is a must for Turner. She gravitates toward iconic women whose style and persona shape culture and past collections were anchored by Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
“The Elaine Turner brand is embedded in the classics, so I think of new ways to bring them into contemporary life,” Turner says. “Nothing about Audrey is defined by just one decade.”
Turner’s love of all things Audrey began when she was a little girl, watching the film, Sabrina, with her sister. In the movie, Hepburn’s character is torn between two brothers and that struggle touched Turner. From that point on, Hepburn took up a little place in her heart. The love affair grew with the movies Charade, Roman Holiday, Funny Face and the quintessential Audrey Hepburn vehicle, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Hepburn’s performances coupled with her evolving personal style, influenced by friend Hubert de Givenchy, made indelible imprints on fashion’s look book. Sophisticated silhouettes, simple color palettes and an emphasis on accessories were hallmarks of Hepburn’s style and things Turner took into consideration when designing.
Turner took some literal cues from Hepburn, recalling a picture of her walking down the stairs of a private plane with a soft top handle satchel on her arm. They are reflected in the collection:
- The Saddle Ostrich Kelly, aptly named Audrey, features a braided top handle, chain strap and door knocker closure.
- The Ryann Saddle Leather Riding Boot is a tall tribute to chic style when worn with a basic black legging and black turtleneck.
- Turner made the classic ballet flat into a more modern shoe in mushroom, saddle and black ostrich, adding a bamboo buckle for added affect.
- The driver, an alternative to the ballet flat, takes on a fresh look in the Romy Cheetah Patent Leather shoe.
“Everything about her is soft and so fluid,” Turner says. “I wanted to reflect that in a beautiful, functional way.”
Go behind the scenes at the Elaine Turner photo shoot that pays homage to Charade: