Fierce and Fashionable: How Katherine Hepburn redefined fashion
Katherine Hepburn was counted amongst the most beautiful and glamorous women Hollywood has ever seen. She was talented, beautiful and gorgeous, and she had a very natural attractiveness about her which meant that she was never to be ignored. She was one of those rare women who could not be ignored, no matter how hard you tried to do so. Nominated for the Oscars numerous times, she won quite a few of them, as well as other awards for her stellar performances in movies such as Morning Glory(1933), Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner(1967) and On Golden Pond(1981).
But apart from her brilliant performances, Kate Hepburn was also famous for her iconic style sense. She was a fashion rebel, but she ended up reinventing style and femininity in the 30s and 40s. When Hepburn burst into the scene with her movies and her characteristic charisma, people immediately sat up and took notice. But what they saw was not a woman covered in frills, but a woman in pants. She declared very early on, that she did not like stockings at all. They were a nuisance to her, and instead, she opted for a more utility-based style. Her favorite kind of clothing on a regular basis was a turtleneck sweater with trousers or pants. She declared, however, the she did care about how she looked. It was just that she could not be bothered with the prevailing fashion statement of the times.
Kate Hepburn, as an actor, had started out with skirts, but she quickly decided that she did not like them too much. Instead, she decided to opt for pants, and soon, after she became famous, she started wearing tailored suits. This was a revolutionary move during a period when the Hollywood Actresses would obediently wear their sheer stockings and their flirty skirts. She had famously declared that “any man who thinks that women look good in a skirt should try one.” And she had also stubbornly declared of stockings that they were the “invention of the devil”.
Instead of torturing herself by wearing clothes she did not feel comfortable in, she redefined the clothes to make them look good while at the same time, being comfortable in them. She brought trousers and pants in fashion when even the fashion world of Hollywood had not progressed that far. In a sense, she ushered in contemporary American fashion for women, long before the fashion barons thought of it. Even though she called herself the “bag lady”, Kate Hepburn was anything but that. Her natural elegance and charisma made her look good in anything she wore. She would frequently be seen in dungarees with patchwork done on them, and she admitted that to her, real style is something which looks like it comes effortlessly.
In other words, she pledged by the carefully careless look, which was not common in those days at all. “The real essence of the Hepburn style is not the clothing but the woman herself,” said Carrie Donovan, who worked for the New York Times. Shirts, pants, trousers and suits, Kate Hepburn brought it all into the limelight, without ever compromising on the fact that she was a woman, and a gorgeous, beautiful one, at that.