04 May, 2011


May 4th marks Audrey Hepburn’s birthday.  Obviously Hepburn is famous for her work in films and with Unicef, but in my mind, she will eternally be associated with the LBD – the Little Black Dress.

Hepburn wore iconic LBDs in both Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's. The "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, designed by Givenchy, was sold at a Christie's auction on 5 December 2006 for £467,200 (approximately $920,000 at that time).

Every woman needs at least one LBD. Personally, I have one for each season.  It’s an absolute essential in any woman's wardrobe. But that's not really the point.

As a writer, I look at an empty page in my WIP in much the same way as I contemplate my LBD: a blank slate to accessorize, up or down as necessary, for the occasion.  I might add dialog or a red herring to the page, just as I’d add a scarf or a string of pearls.  Then it’s time to stand back, examine the result and judge the effect. Does it work?  

Givenchy gave Hepburn a look, a kind, a silhouette.  Her style was spare.  “What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric, and just two earrings?" she once asked.
The same might be said for writing style.  Flowery language, excess backstory, awkward transitions – all detract from the simple beauty of a well-written book.   The LBD book comes in all sizes and styles, but it should remain simply, elegant, evocative.

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