It's New York in the 1940's where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. That's where we meet Holly Golightly at 5 am. She's a heartbreaker, a traveller, a tease. She might even appear trivial and a little immature to contemporary viewers: the shopping, the flirting, the staying out late, the show-offy affections.
On further, deeper consideration, why shouldn't she be? Don't let that Givenchy dress fool you. She may go out with one guy and come home with another, she may love her own in the big city and throw the best parties and order booze by the caseload but she's just a young women figuring out her way out of her cage. But what cage!
No matter what people say, loving Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's will never ever be cliché. Audrey was absolutely beautiful, classic and had an amazing grace to her. There's no movie that shows her off more than Breakfast at Tiffany's.
After meeting Miss Golightly, we all wish that we could add a little more glamor and spontaneity to our own lives. In honor of her grace, kindness and timeless style, I have compiled a Holly Golightly lifestyle guide. Some points might be not that feasible, but like any girl crush you can't help but be inspired.
Create a classic and minimal wardrobe
Although Audrey Hepburn's character led a chaotic, party girl lifestyle yet had style that exuberated simplicity at its most beautiful. To this day, Breakfast at Tiffany's is singled out as one of the greatest achievements in costume design, and Hepburn's image as Holly Golightly remains synonymous with elegant, minimalist style. Capped sleeves, simple silhouettes, ankle length pants and, of course, that LBD only starts off the list of all of the items that are seen as iconic today.
(Hepburn wears the same black dress about four times in the movie, but it looks different the way it's styled and accessorized!)
So, step one: de-clutter your closet from all the clothes you'll never wear, keep the classics and choose the right accessories to really stand-out. Think sunglasses, oversized hats, earrings, purses and headscarfs.
Forget home decoration
When Paul first walks into Holly's apartment, he looks around ans says: "Nice little place you got here, you just moved in too, huh?" Not exactly, but her empty decor would suggest so. I know people who live for interior design and fun DIY projects for the home, but unfortunately I'm not one of them thanks to my impatience and having two left hands. (At least I've tried.)
Holly's apartment has the essentials: a couch (or a quirky bathtub cut in half), a telephone, a bed, mirrors, and of course, a vanity. In the living room you can see a suitcase full of odds and ends and a tale with records and magazines on top. Do we need more?
Furthermore, her interior suggests she could pack up and move at any second, as if she has a non-permanent lifestyle full of adventure and travel, and that would be alright with me. (Paris? LA? Tokyo?) Anyway, it seems like she's too busy to care much for home decoration while spending all of her time outside, exploring the city and shopping.
So, step two: don't go overboard on the interior design. Keep it simple and minimalistic. The merrier the home, the less you'll go outside and get yourself into crazy fun adventures.
Go for a natural signature makeup look
Holly has this natural makeup with amazingly long lashes, pink lipstick and elegant eyeliner. It looks like she just wakes up looking amazing, which is pretty plausible when you are Audrey Hepburn.
Anyway, step three, try to find your own simple routine for every morning that creates a natural look with flirty, Bambi eyes.
Get that sophisticated accent
Another little piece of Holly Golightly's heart I think we all would love to tuck into our own is her frank manner of speech. She calls everybody "dahhling", says statements like "it's useful being top banana in the shock department." and "A girl can't read that sort of thing without her lipstick." and throws in some French phrases into her conversations. Even cursing isn't that terrible anymore when you drop a "Oh, Golly Gee Damn!"
Most of the time it's not the words she says but the way she says them. It just sounds so romantic and a fluid way of talking. If we adapted her beautiful tone of voice with accent as a packaged deal, we would probably lose all our current friends because they would think we had gone mentally insane. But I'm convinced we would gain so many more, non?
Step four: internalize an intelligent speech with a romantic inflection in the voice. Sounds easy, n'est-ce pas?
Live in your dreamworld
It seems like her head is always in the clouds, living in her own dream world. She's too busy with her fantastical ideas and living this glamorous persona that she forgets where she dropped the telephone, misplaced her alligator shoes, forgets what day it is and wanders around Tiffany's at five in the morning. Rather than worrying about insignificant details, she lives at her own happy pace.
Step five: give free rein to your imagination. Try to unbound yourself by so many of the rules most of us are happy to live by.
Don't belong to anybody
Holly lived alone in her apartment, moving through the city at odd hours, getting money her own way, most-likely spent a lot of her time alone (before Paul showed up), and was still this social butterfly at parties, very confident and the girl every guy kept an eye on.
Nearing the end of the novel/ movie, I was so mad at her because she abandons Cat in an alley on a rainy day to prove a point. She explains herself by saying "We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us". I remember thinking that it was incredibly reckless and damaging not just to herself but to the cat, and that of course people belong to us because I know what it feels like to belong to someone. Today her words make a little more sense. She wasn't saying that we're not allowed to feel loved or wanted or stable, she was saying that everything is fleeting and we should live our lives with a sense of urgency because of it. That kind of urgency that makes you jump into things with both feet because for all you know the world could end tomorrow, and it'd be really sad to think you missed out on anything cause you were too scared to move.
Remember, step six: Holly made up a whole life for herself and did whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Soak up every opportunity for spontaneity and every chance for napping with a super duper eye mask in a bathtub sofa.
Always act Holly Golightly-fabulous
It's simply impossible* to look Audrey Hepburn-perfect everywhere you go, but being fabulous is more than just looks. It's the attitude you have towards yourself. (*Or is it? Referring here to Audrey's luscious quote "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm possible.")
Our final and most important, step seven: being Holly Golightly-fabulous means being confident, living with a purpose and looking absolutely stunning while living it