Kibbe Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn, the Misunderstood Flamboyant Gamine

We all know that Audrey Hepburn is one of the major style icons of the 20th century, and she also happens to be a Flamboyant Gamine. Her style is often talked about as if it is exceptional for FG, but really, it’s only exceptional in that she was so exceptional–it fits perfectly within an FG context.

I think this is due to the fact that Audrey dressed so well for her Image ID that she was able to make items with a lot of design elements, or adding these herself, look classic, chic, and sophisticated. I will often see guides to “dressing like Audrey,” but they generally miss the mark. They tend to feature very plain clothes, the kind of things relegated to the “basics” category, and claim that this is how you achieve an Audrey look.

If you actually look at how she dressed, however, it’s clear that even when she wore similar items to those on the lists, she did something to them to add more interest, what we might call “breaking the line” in Gamineland. Yes, she wore a plain white shirt, but she added a knot. She always added flourishes that provided what we need for our yin.

I think this is a mistake that a lot of people who have more of a classic sensibility make when they come to FG. They figure that can follow Audrey’s example, and that she is kind of an exception, but she really isn’t. She embodied what it means to be a Flamboyant Gamine because she always knew what an outfit needed to take it from something anyone would wear to the level of design a Flamboyant Gamine requires.

So don’t think of Audrey as some kind of model for the way to do FG that “isn’t like the rest.” By studying Audrey, any FG can learn how to create that special quality unique to us.

7 Comments on Kibbe Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn, the Misunderstood Flamboyant Gamine

  1. Katja
    April 29, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Audrey in a way opened my eyes on how to make long hair work for FG. I think, there is not a lot of difference between hair cut short and hair tied up (especially with flattering bangs) visually – what do you think?
    (besides this I wanted to ask, whether you know, if David is going to publish more exercises on his blog at some point?)
    Best, Katja

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      April 30, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      To long hair–no, shorter is necessary.

      I don’t know; I hope so!

      Reply
      • Katja
        May 1, 2020 at 8:46 am

        Could you help me out with the hair? I do see why long hair worn open doesn’t look great on Audrey (or myself for that matter – I strongly suspect FG for myself). But from what I can tell from pictures she pulled back the side parts of her pixie a lot (which is why I thought her hair had been longer and tied into a bun, to begin with). The thing is that I cannot, yet, see (as in seeing the lines) why the same thing would not work with longer hair. (Or why this hairstyle is not ideal on Audrey, if that is the case.)
        I mean, thinking about it, this is not so much about having an excuse to keep my hair long, but rather about training the eye.
        Best, Katja

        Reply
        • stylesyntax
          May 18, 2020 at 2:59 pm

          The reason for it is that it just is created by the yin/yang balance when you have properly dressed for it. Maybe the easiest way to think about is that gamines need short, broken lines all over, so it makes sense that your hair is also a short, broken line. If you have length in your hair, but nowhere else, it disrupts that and drags everything down.

          Reply
          • Katja
            May 22, 2020 at 4:42 pm

            Thanks a lot for the explanation! The funny thing is that I buzzed my sides quite short on the mean time (leaving something like a broad mohawk) – I really can see that difference in line there.
            Best, Katja

  2. Naomi
    May 6, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Dear Katja, I would suggest that you study pictures of Audrey dressed in her true FG style – for you will observe then that she has longer hair than one might often assume by the look of it from the front. It is pinned tightly behind her head, from pretty short to quite long. Bangs really can help, so long as they are not cute! It is interesting to see the variety of different styles that she can achieve in this manner, whereas most who choose a pixie cut do seem to end up yearning for different looks now and then. Audrey herself does not sport the good old pixie all the time, sometimes unsuccessfully, at other times to iconic effect! Neither does everyone suit a pixie cut. If the character is removed from the face, the effect is less than flamboyant, for the person may look like a shadow of their own unique character. There are a good many other shorter, asymmetrical cuts that still have a fair amount of length, especially if the hair is thick. Or, remember how Kibbe outlines the possibility for a FG to have long hair – IF it is styled VERY flamboyantly, otherwise it would truly be terrible on so vital a character. 1920’s styles can be good if not appearing too retro – the asymmetrical, not the soft! Otherwise, good old Audrey would seem the best inspiration for styles. Some styles are not so good on her, so it is best to choose pictures when she is obviously dressed for her FG credentials! Whether long or short, the idea that I get from Kibbe is that the effect must be asymmetrical, flamboyant, and not in the least girly or simply shorn, either! The features and body are too strong or angular to soften with haircuts that do not follow the unusual lines of the body. I hope that this helps!

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      May 18, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      David has been very clear on short hair for FG. He says that the need for short hair is created by the yin/yang balance. If you have the entire body dressed according to the yin/yang balance of FG, long hair doesn’t work. And when Audrey had longer hair, for the most part, she wore it up. A long hairstyle on FG would drag it down and just be incomplete. This is something he has been clear and direct on. As for the Tina Turner recommendation in the book, #1, it’s not 1987 anymore, and #2, if you look at her wigs, they actually weren’t that long and basically grazed the shoulder. The longest length he approved of for our recent FG verified community member was a chin-length bob. While it’s not suggested to rush out and cut your hair, and hair is really the last step, holding onto long hair is really just cheating yourself if you’re a gamine because it’s just very, very important to our look. It is usually people who aren’t gamines who have the strongest reaction to gamines not receiving long hair–perhaps it’s projection.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.