Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn
Hotel Plaza Athenee
At number 25, you will see the luxury hotel Plaza Athénée, with its red awnings and red geraniums in the window boxes. Many celebrities have stayed there over the years, but Audrey herself usually stayed at the Hotel Raphael on Avenue Kléber near the Arc de Triomphe, when she came to Paris. That was the hotel where the whole cast lodged during the filming of "Funny Face" in 1957.
However, Audrey did make an appearance at the Plaza Athénée in 1962, at a cocktail party to celebrate the launch of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." She was, of course, wearing Givenchy, but not a little black dress. Rather, it was a very dark brown silk.
Audrey and Givenchy did not invent the Little Black Dress. That was Coco Chanel in the 1920s. Back then, a simple black frock was considered very daring, because it looked like the clothing worn by servants and shop assistants. Ladies wore black only when they were in mourning, and those dresses tended to be fussy and detailed. Coco Chanel made simplicity elegant and turned black into the colour of high fashion.
The long black Givenchy dress that Audrey wears in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" took the Little Black Dress a step further. The image of Audrey with her tiara, her pearls, her long black gloves, and her cigarette holder has been reproduced endlessly as the ultimate symbol of glamour.
Perhaps the French equivalent to having breakfast at Tiffany's would be having breakfast at Harry Winston's, located on the corner of the Avenue Montaigne and the rue Clément Marot, right beside the hotel. As it happens, Harry Winston designed the diamond necklace that Audrey wears in "My Fair Lady" when she attends the Embassy Ball.