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.