Fashion Lifestyle

The intimate life of Audrey Hepburn on display in Brussels

It’s difficult to imagine someone so poised and so elegant existing in this age of oversharing. Those huge eyes, arched brows, exquisite neck, impossibly high cheekbones and the perfect ’60s crop… There was something so gracefully beautiful about her, not to mention her incredible intellect and compassion. I wanted to look like her, to talk like her, to move like her.

On what would have been her 90th birthday, Audrey Hepburn’s fashion sense, as well as her story of survival and love, is as powerful as ever.

You’ve seen her in classic films and famous portraits, but you’ve never seen her like this before. INTIMATE AUDREY is a ‘bespoke’ exhibition on the life of Audrey Hepburn created by her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, to celebrate her 90th birthday anniversary in her birth town of Brussels, Belgium. Composed in large part of unpublished photographs, it focuses entirely on the woman – not the icon. It is the woman behind the legend who is ‘coming home’. The exhibition, laid out over 800 square meters over the first 2 floors of the Gallerie Vanderborght in Brussels includes several hundred original and reprinted photographs, a limited amount of memorabilia, such as the dress Hepburn wore to her wedding to actor and director Mel Ferrer, the Vespa from the movie “Roman Holiday” (1953) and handwritten speeches from the latter years of her life as a UNICEF ambassador.  A series of poignant videos bring each of following chapters to life.

The exhibit includes pieces of some of her most emblematic films and photographs of her daily life with her children, the partners she had, her closest friends as well as the houses in which she lived and spent vacations, including one in the southern Spanish city Marbella and another in Madrid. Photos show a young Audrey as an aspiring dancer, who tried to make a career in London but who gave up that dream on the advice of a dance teacher, Audrey as an actress, as well as in later life doing humanitarian work in Africa, before her death in 1993.

Hepburn Ferrer, whose father was U.S. actor Mel Ferrer, said he wanted to offer a more personal perspective of the life of the British actress, who dedicated her later years to charity work and became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He said one of the key features of the exhibition was a replica cherry blossom tree, a tribute to the childhood home in Switzerland his parents bought in 1963 and remained Hepburn’s residence until her death.

The exhibition will run until 25 August 2019. All of its profits will go to EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe and the Brugmann and Bordet hospitals in Brussels.

For more information, visit


Photos: Mark Saw/, Audrey Hepburn Family Archive & Steven Meisel

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