Audrey Hepworth was the most fashion-conscious of all the American fashion icons, but as a child, she did not want to wear the typical girlie clothing of the time.
“I always wanted to be something different, so when I was growing up I really wanted to wear something more feminine,” she told the British magazine Marie Claire in 1996.
“And that was something that really intrigued me, so I thought, ‘I can do that.'”
In the 1960s, Hepworth started dressing up as a girl for Halloween, which was a precursor to the fashion trend of girls wearing girls clothes.
It was a rebellious way of expressing herself and she was also influenced by the likes of Edith Wharton and Marilyn Monroe.
“She was really influenced by everything from the hippie movement to the sixties and the early seventies,” said fashion historian Dr David Jardine.
“She was influenced by fashion, she was influenced in her style, she wanted to do it in a different way and she felt it was important for her to do that.”
Hepworth wore her own clothes, and it was her style that she kept coming back to over and over again.
“It wasn’t just the clothes, she’d dress in them, too,” said Dr Jardines.
“Her dressing style was very much the thing that she really loved.”
Hercules was a big influence on Hepworth, and she would dress up in her iconic dress and accessories.
“Herculists dress up very differently to what the fashion would normally call a gothic look,” said Jard.
“You have a dress and a coat, it’s very simple but it’s elegant.”
Hewlett, however, was a different character altogether.
“A lot of people would dress as if they were in a hospital, so she would do her dress and be very, very formal,” said her daughter, Marlene Hepworth.
“I think her style was quite different.
She was a very, sort of, serious person, but she didn’t have any of the goth-flavoured costumes that she was wearing, so that really influenced her style.””
The first time I saw her, she looked like an actress,” Hepworth said.
“They put on a dress, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, that’s just what they did!'”
The inspiration to dress up as an actress?
“I think the first time she was dressed as an actor was a lot later on,” Hepwell said.
But it was Hepworth’s sense of style and fashion that she would go on to influence generations of women.
She also influenced fashion designers, including the likes and models of Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson.
“As an actress she did a great job of being a role model for women,” said Katharine Hepworth in an interview with Marie Claire.
“That was something very important to her.”
“I would be watching her on TV and she had a very strong sense of fashion,” said Hepworth about her fashion style.
“When she wore a dress or a skirt, it was to show that she wasn’t an object of desire.
She had a strong sense about fashion, but it was something to do with her personality.”
Hes mother also influenced her, and Hepworth says her mother taught her a lot about fashion.
“It was a great influence on me and my mother,” said Marlene.
“One of the things I’ve learnt from her is that a lot of fashion is about what you wear, and the fashion you wear doesn’t matter.”
“It’s about what’s right for you, and what’s not,” said the actress.