Showing posts with label roman holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roman holiday. Show all posts

10 May 2018

Women in Trousers 2: A Brief History of Capri Pants Featuring Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn

There seems to be some confusion as to who invented the tight-cut ankle-exposing trousers known as Capri pants ...

According to an obituary written by Clive Fisher in the Independent (28 April 1997), credit should go to English couturier and dandy Bunny Roger. Usually, however, credit is given to the German fashion designer Sonja de Lennart, who opened a boutique in Munich after the War and called her first collection Capri after the island that she and her family very much loved to visit.

Aiming to provide a chic and sexy alternative to the wide-legged and rather masculine looking women's trousers of the time, de Lennart created the slim three-quarter length Capri pants with super-stylish short slits on the outer-side of the pant leg.

The radically innovative design of the trousers soon caught the attention of brilliant American costume designer Edith Head. She had a pair made for Audrey Hepburn to wear in the movie Roman Holiday (1953), along with other items from the Capri Collection including the wide-swinging Capri skirt, the high-neck Capri blouse, and the wide Capri belt to hold the entire look together.

The following year, Hepburn again appeared on screen in a pair of Capri pants - this time made by Hubert de Givenchy - in Billy Wilder's romantic comedy-drama Sabrina (1954). The cropped black pants were paired with a long-sleeved black top (with a plunging V-neck at the back) and a pair of ballet flats. It was a brilliant and captivating look that showcased Hepburn's slender physique to perfection.   

I have to admit, however, that it's just a wee bit too jazz-hipster or beatnik for my tastes; all she needs is a beret and some cat-eye sunglasses!

I prefer the above photo of Grace Kelly perfecting her own casual, understated elegance in a pair of Capri pants worn with a simple blouse and espadrilles. It's both a signature style and a classic look; one that many women have tried to copy, though rarely with the same degree of success.

She looks so radiant ... So fresh ... So blonde! It's no wonder Hitchcock loved her, once describing his ideal leading lady as a snow-covered volcano.            

To read a related post to this one - Women in Trousers 1: The Case of Katharine Hepburn - click here.