The Iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Although I wasn’t born during the era when Breakfast at Tiffany’s was launched, I’m still aware how iconic the movie is. Some articles in fashion magazines today still mention about the movie and of course, Audrey Hepburn who acted as the main character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is perhaps one of the most famous fashion icons. After watching the movie, I understand what makes this movie iconic. I even use Breakfast at Tiffany’s as the subject of my thesis research.

In case you’re wondering what the movie is about, Breakfast at Tiffany’s mainly tells the story about the life of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn). Holly loves Tiffany & Co, a jewelry store that’s often called Tiffany’s. She enjoys eating breakfast while looking at Tiffany’s jewelries at the window display and her goal in life is to find a place that makes her feel like being in Tiffany’s. For her, nothing bad could happen in Tiffany’s. Actually, Holly is a poor girl who comes from backwoods area. She ran away to New York City leaving his family and makes money by accompanying rich men in “powder room”. In New York, Holly makes friends to people from upper social class and she wants to marry a super-wealthy man no matter how he looks.

I won’t reveal whether Holly can find a place that makes her feel like being in Tiffany’s, or whether she successfully marries to a wealthy man. In this article, I will share the reason why you should watch this movie and here they are:

1. Holly Golightly is a very stylish character. Fashion is the number one factor that makes this movie memorable. Until today, her outfits are still inspiring, especially Hubert de Givenchy’s black dress she wears when having breakfast in front of Tiffany’s. You can never go wrong with such dress. It’s no wonder that the legendary dress was sold for £467,200 or US$923,187 when auctioned November 2006 at Christie’s in London, neglecting its estimated price which is about £50,000 – £70,000.

Hubert de Givenchy’s iconic black dress for Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Natalie Portman, Nicky Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are dressing up like Holly Golightly.

How she looks in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been recreated by women for decades; from common people to Hollywood stars. This fact is somehow explained by Audrey Hepburn’s quote: “My look is attainable.  Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying a large sunglasses and the little sleeveless dresses”. Besides the black dress, Holly’s pink cocktail dress was also auctioned. It was sold at Christie’s for $192,000, far from its expected price which is $30,000.


2. The movie involves the world’s premium jeweler, Tiffany & Co.

According to Tiffany & Co official press release, Tiffany & Co was established in 1837 in New York City by the 25-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young who opened “a stationery and fancy goods” store with a $1,000 advance from Tiffany’s father. In 1878 Tiffany acquired one of the world’s largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds from the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa, which became legendary for its fire and brilliance. Given title as Tiffany Diamond, the stone became an exemplar of Tiffany craftsmanship. According to John Loring, design director of Tiffany & Co, in a video about Tiffany & Co history titled Brilliance in A Blue Box, there were only two people that have ever worn the Tiffany Diamond, and of course Audrey Hepburn was among them for the filming of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Tiffany & Co store and the famous Tiffany Diamond shown in the movie.

Tiffany jewels are often worn by the most prominent members of American society therefore it symbolizes high social status, as examples, President Lincoln purchased a seed pearl necklace for his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and young Franklin Roosevelt purchased a Tiffany engagement ring in 1904. Tiffany’s recognition as a symbol for high social status might not be achieved in a short time. As explained by Janet Zapata, a jewelry historian in Brilliance in A Blue Box, “as society moves uptown, Tiffany moved uptown” referring to Tiffany’s relocation for six times before finally settles on Fifth Avenue where Breakfast at Tiffany’s scene shooting took place.

3. There are great songs written for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I believe many of you have heard a song titled Moonriver. If you’re looking for the song title in Google, you will find various versions of the song, especially from jazz musicians. However, not everyone knows that the song was initially composed by Henry Mancini for Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie soundtrack. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the song is heard during several scenes; instrumentally at the opening scene, as a cheerful instrumental for the party scene and also sung by Audrey Hepburn herself.

Besides Moonriver, there’s another song you must hear titled Very Stylish Girl by Dimitri From Paris, launched in 2000. The song combines some parts of Breakfast at Tiffany’s dialogue into a very creative, catchy, yet a stylish song. It has been a song that accompanies some fashion shows too.

If you haven’t watched the movie, do the reasons above successfully convince you for watching? Or, are you a fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s too? If yes, what do you like about the movie?