In the last year-and-a-half, I feel as though I’ve become somewhat of an authority on the legendary actress, Katharine Houghton Hepburn.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, the four-time Academy Award winning film star who died at the age of 96, would have turned 101 years old this past May 12th.
Although she is gone, the world still talks about her – largely because of her sense of sophistication and style.
She was a trendsetter back in the 30’s and 40’s. She wore trousers and rolled-up sleeves and did not pretend to be overly demure, which was the stereotypical image of women back in the day.
She exuded a casual elegance that many today chase after in the design world.
For instance on Season Three of Project Runway, Designer Laura paid homage To Ms. Hepburn with high-waisted pants.
Hepburn was just 5′ 7" inches tall, although when you watch her onscreen you would guess she was closer to 5’10." The reason? Her high heels, her lanky frame, and her hair. Hepburn knew how to work all angles to make her appearance all it could be. Even when she wore flats – and she did wear sneakers and sandals – her stature still had you thinking "tall."
Hepburn projected an elegant tomboy image at a time when women were voluptuous, curvy, and sexy – but Hepburn managed to throw the same "heat" by doing it her way.
Some of what has made Hepburn greatly beloved today – her unconventional, straightforward, anti-Hollywood attitude – at the time began to turn audiences sour.
Outspoken and intellectual with a sharp tongue, she defied the era’s "blonde bombshell" stereotypes, preferring to wear pantsuits and disdaining makeup.
In 1986, Hepburn won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award, which recognized her for her non-conformist views of fashion.
As a Trustee of the soon-to-open Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theatre, we are cognizant of her sense of style.
The National Historic Landmark status venue, located in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, will also contain a museum dedicated to the iconic actress
We are busy collecting all things "Hepburn" including some of her costumes and clothing and accessories so we too will be perpetuating her sense of fashion for decades to come.
The theater has the full backing of Hepburn’s family and her Estate and we hope it will be just as she would have wanted. After all it was in Old Saybrook that she retreated from the glare of Hollywood in her mansion by Long Island Sound in the Borough of Fenwick.
"Kate" was famous for her quotes and we have adopted the following of hers for the theatre: "If you live long enough, you’re revered like an old building."
Quite fitting for the turn-of-the century building, which is called "Kate’s Place."
More information is available at www.katharinehepburntheater.org