Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

Audrey Hepburn

Updated 06/08/15
By May Yin Lee of Red Velvet London
















I had a last minute email from Koray of blog to attend with him the Audrey Hepburn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery earlier last month. I was so excited to attend the event with him and even better; admiring the wonderful portraits before the official opening time in peace with other fellow bloggers and journalists. I can see Koray’s slight frustration that there aren’t many male bloggers about so I do feel his pain haha; but he should own that niche! This was probably the first time I met Koray as I have have been contributing towards his blog for a year now so it was great to finally meet him.
The gallery was filled with archived portraits of Audrey Hepburn, some are well known to us that have been featured publicly, and some were private photographs of her growing up which we had the pleasure to witness. I had no idea that Audrey was a ballerina and here there were; her very own pair of ballerinas displayed in a glass box for NPG. Honestly I didn’t grow up watching all of her movies but she remains an icon in my eyes as one of the most fashionable, graceful and elegant woman of all time. She’s a true classic beauty and I was in awe of her stunning photographs and the photographs were well put together in a timeline – I was able to get to know her through the journey of photographs from her childhood to her final moments; I felt connected to her once again!
Audrey is a true global icon, if not, a Hollywood royalty and the National Portrait Gallery have done a fab job to portray her life in a series of intimate, career changing and iconic photos. I hope you have enjoyed all of my selection of favourite photographs of Audrey Hepburn, the global icon. The Audrey Hepburn exhibition ends in October but for more exhibitions you can visit NPG. Thanks Koray for the invite to this wonderful event; you can read his post below.


Originally Posted 21/07/15
By Koray Hussein

There are very few celebrities that literally stand the test of time. Most will fade off into a distant memory and are completely forgotten about like that guy who sang Mambo No. 5, the kid from Sixth Sense, that other Baldwin brother and Kanye West (that last one is more of a hope at this point in time).

But then you have the real celebrities that are talked about for generations. People like Elvis Presley, Mohammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe and of course, the absolutely amazing, Audrey Hepburn.

I’m convinced that even people who have not even been born yet will know the name Audrey Hepburn. She’s one of the greatest actresses to ever step foot in front of a camera and I can honestly say that Roman Holiday is probably one of the most perfect movies I’ve ever seen.

There’s a reason she’s held in such high regard. Not only was she undeniably beautiful, but her story is truly fascinating (she was once a courier for the Dutch resistance during World War II) and it’s bizarre that it’s taken this long for a proper Audrey Hepburn exhibition to take place.

Audrey Hepburn

Our guest writer May and I were fortunate enough to attend a “blogger” event on July 17th to see the exhibition before the National Portrait Gallery opened and I have to say, it’s put together really bloody well.

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is a brilliant, albeit smaller than I thought it would be, window into Hepburn’s life and takes you step by step through her childhood and career with some stunning images.

Audrey Hepburn

One of my only complaints would be that the entire exhibition feels like it’s a little too reliant on her movie career and, in my opinion at least, could have done with a little more shots of her younger years when she was trying to make it in ballet or more images of her with her family.

That’s not to say there aren’t some shots of her outside of the Hollywood bubble as there are some great pieces (the famous image of Hepburn with her pet deer Pippin in a supermarket is present at the exhibition) but it could have done with… well, more. Maybe this ties back into my thoughts of the exhibition being too small or maybe it’s just me trying to not be too positive. I don’t know.

Don’t let that minor issue take away from the exhibition as a whole though as Portraits of an Icon is an absolute must for not only Audrey Hepburn fans, but anybody who has even the slightest interest in the history of film. I’ve been a fan of Hepburn’s for years and still came away with information that I’d never heard or read about before.

Audrey Hepburn is Hollywood royalty and I’m glad to say that The National Portrait Gallery treated her as such.

Audrey Hepburn


Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon will run at London’s National Portrait Gallery until October 18th. You can book your tickets by clicking here.

  • May

    I love your final pic with the glow of the centre portrait 😀

    • Thanks. I’m looking forward to seeing the images you got from the event.