Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic

I’m thrilled to share a very special guest post by my friend, Sarah (@ImSarahO), her commentary on Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic


Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic

Published by Skira Rizzoli (2012)

Multiple essays by multiple authors from the world of fashion

176 pages

I can finally say I love Katharine Hepburn. I know! It took me long enough! I have always enjoyed her movie performances, but there was always something different about her from any other actress, both from her own time and from now. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and I longcould never really decide if I liked it or not. Until I read this book.

I get it now, and I adore her even more for it.

Rebel Chic by Jean Druesedow (with several other contributors) is about Katharine Hepburn’s “style” – a fashion term in this case, but it reveals so much more about her.  Her independence comes to mind. So does her confidence. And her individualism. She was not the kind of woman who let anyone’s opinion shape her style decision. Or any other decision for that matter.

According to Rebel Chic, Hepburn had an authentic style. It was very much her own and she didn’t care what everyone else was doing or whether or not they approved of it.  Her trademark trousers and “preppy” look was way out of the norm for actresses (and all women) back in the early days of her career. The simplicity of her style and marked individualism revealed her personality – the real Kate – the woman who thrived on independence, comfort, hard work hard play. In Rebel Chic, it seems that she’s the reason I can sit here in jeans today, as a woman, and be totally accepted anywhere I go. Through this book, I realized more and more that Kate played a big part in making that okay. It certainly wouldn’t have been the case 80 years ago or so. The photographs in this book are great too, but overall, this is a style book. In every turn of the page, every photograph, I can clearly see the fierce individualism in Kate that I had a hard time identifying before I read this book. It’s inspiring. She’s inspiring.

Katharine Hepburn was definitely before her time when it comes to style and Rebel Chic highlights all of the reasons why. It also lets us in on the personality that made it all happen. It’s a wonderful book worth reading…and reading again.


9 thoughts

    1. Reply to Maegan: I borrowed this book from a friend. You can probably purchase this (fabulous) book at amazon.com. Good reading!

  1. Adored reading this well-written and well-edited book. The photographs are amazing. I venerate Katharine’s acting and her tenacity in getting parts. This authors of this book should feel total satisfaction with the work they have done. Thank you.

  2. Well! I did not know about this book and now I must have it.

    Wonderful review, Sarah. For a long time I, too, didn’t “get” Hepburn but you’ve outlined all the reasons why I’ve grown to respect her.

    So happy to see you writing on a classic movie subject… Will we be seeing more? 😉

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