For many of us, a crisp white shirt and pair of khakis pants is de riguerur dressing--polished, smart and so wearable. We can thank fashion icon Katherine Hepburn for embracing this timeless look during the 1930s and 40s, at a time when girdles and stockings were the convention of the day. I've had a healthy obsession with Kate Hepburn since I first began to watch her movies as a child. I loved her independant, rebelious nature and still can't resist a late night screening of ''The African Queen," or ''Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Hepburn, who died in 2003 at the age of 96, saved almost all the costumes from her long career and the have been beautifully curated at an exhibit, "Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen" at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Among the highlights is a stunning satin and lace wedding gown created by Howard Greer for her role as Stella Surrege in “The Lake.” The classic off the shoulder gown showcased her tiny (20 inch!) waist.
Comfort was paramount to Hepburn—she needed to be able to move in her outfit and liked to throw her leg over a chair or sit on the floor. She always wore her 'uniform' — khakis and a shirt — to rehearsals and pant ensembles to publicity appearances.
Look at the waist!
"Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen" at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Open Monday-Saturday noon to 6 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Free.