August is the month for jetting off on your jollies. Now, for those of you who are planning your last minute holiday wardrobes there is no greater inspiration than the five ultimate summer icons: Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Ursula Andress.
Whilst Audrey Hepburn looked divine in Givenchy, staring longingly into the Tiffany’s window, her seaside style had an altogether different, more care free feel to it, oozing a more casual version of elegance. Hepburn’s sense of fun and freedom will always be conjured in the popular imagination through her role in Roman Holiday and its wardrobe of full circle skirts, crisp white shirts, and neckerchiefs. Playing a princess who had escaped her guardians, the outfits are text book examples of how to look chic on the city escape. Hepburn's nonchalant fashion formula of polka dot shorts, head scarf, and well-worn espadrilles which she applied during the filming of Monte Carlo in 1951 should provide any holiday maker with the perfect beach side inspiration. As should her floral fancies of the 1960s.
Elizabeth Taylor on the beach, 1947 and Sophia Loren in 1965
Where Audrey was cute and girly, Elizabeth Taylor was a seaside siren. As the most in demand mid-century actress in Hollywood, Taylor frolicked on the beach in high waisted bikini bottoms, shorts and trousers which oozed sex appeal. A similar seaside sartorial strategy was adopted by Sophia Loren and given an Italian spicing. Sophia filled printed swimsuits with her enviable curves and took the floral summer dress in a whole new direction.
Standing sophisticated however in the same period was Grace Kelly who always seemed a ready royal with her holiday apparel. For the Cannes yacht Grace donned printed trousers and on the beach gave the bikini style of Elizabeth Taylor an elegant edge.
Grace Kelly holidaying in Athens with her family in 1961 and Ursula Andress with Sean Connery on the set of Dr.No in 1961
For all the prowess of Elizabeth Taylor there is no competing with a bond girl and the original one herself; Ursula Andress stands supreme in her water wears. Entrancing Sean Connery and the entire male population on the planet in 1962, Ursula has become the most iconic bikini babe of all time.
So depending on what clothing camp you stand in and whatever the destination, there is an ultimate holiday icon for you. Check out the gallery above to get the look for yourself. *just add sun screen*