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The rather marvellous National Portrait Gallery in London, just near to Trafalgar Square, is currently hosting an Audrey Hepburn photographic exhibition.  I am a big Audrey fan.  I think she must be the most beautiful woman that ever was!  She was just so elegant and lovely!  So as a big fan I really wanted to make the effort to see the photographs.  You know how time passes and it is only on until the middle of October.  So last Friday morning I hot footed it to London on the slow train!  It made sense as it delivered me to Charing Cross, yards from Trafalgar Square.  Obviously it was raining.  Obviously London was full of people milling about.  But I was terrifically excited!

The Audrey photograph exhibition is pay to enter whilst the gallery itself is free.  The tickets cost £10 each and they are timed.  As I paid when I arrived I had an hour to wait until I could go into the exhibition so I sought out the Mrs Beeton image that I thought was in the gallery.  Failed.  Despite asking for help.  Oh well.  Did find fantastic portraits of the Bronte sisters, Florence Nightingale, the Pankhursts and, my hero, Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer.  

  

I really felt inspired by seeing a few people and took some names in my blog notebook.

I loved the portrait of the (now) Queen with her parents and sister.  Properly vintage attire with all three ladies wearing fashionable sling-backs. 

  
My 1230 slot was upon me so I hurried to the Audrey Gallery.  As is usual with these exhibitions it wasn’t vast but it was packed.  Mainly with women of course who, like me, all love Audrey Hepburn.

The photographs started with pictures of where she was born and details of the time she spent in Holland during WWII.  She endured “The Dutch Hunger” over the winter of 1944-45 although she was born in Brussels and boarded in Kent.

Her elegance was put down to her early ballet training.

Her big break came in GIGI when she was just 22 years old.

  
Stand out pictures, her era defining image, were from…

Richard Alvedon of her in Ondine

  
Jack CARDIFF of her in War and Peace

  
Norman PARKINSON of her in the pink dress

  
and one of my favourite photographers, Cecil Beaton.

  
I loved the wall at the end of her magazine front covers.  I suspect there would have been a lot more Vogue front covers should she have been around today.

  
I was really interested to read that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was toned down from the book so that the Holly Golightly character wasn’t portrayed as quite so vampish in the film and that despite that it was still a big risk for Audrey to take on.  She wanted to take the risk and it paid off for her leading to her making probably the greatest film (in my mind) of her career, My Fair Lady.

  
I came away from the exhibition wanting to see War and Peace, a film she is praised for.  That is going onto the Friday Night is Film Night must see list.

The exhibition is on until October 18th should you wish to see it.  It was a great excuse to get me up to London and although relatively expensive the money does ensure that these galleries remain free, full of fantastic and important art work saved for the nation and allowing us the ability to see what these great personalities of our history looked like.  Seventy pictures are on display.

Audrey will remain a style icon because her beauty, elegance and fashion sense are timeless.

The National Portrait Gallery is at St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE. The nearest tube is Charing Cross.  You can book tickets at NPG.

I think this is an exhibition that Audrey fans would love. 

Love Wish Vintage xx