Another book about Audrey Hepburn? Enough already, you may be thinking. Well, not so fast. Charmed by Audrey: Life on the Set of Sabrina is delightful, starting with the cover shot of Hepburn wearing a white shirt--and little else--in a pose that's both provocative and playful. That photo and all the others in the book were among the "lost" negatives from a photo shoot by LIFE photographer Mark Shaw. In 1953, Shaw was new to the masthead and Hepburn was working on her second film. In Sabrina, she would be equally captivating on-screen and off, if these photos are anything to go by: we see Hepburn taking direction from Billy Wilder, eating breakfast with William Holden et al., conferring with Edith Head.
During the weeks Shaw spent shadowing Hepburn, he captured her rare blend of being perfectly suited for her time--looking smashing in full-skirted dresses, for example--and a symbol of timeless glamour. But some of the best images show Hepburn getting glamorous: dressed in black sweater, slacks and espadrilles, with a crisp white shirt as a jacket, she sits crossed-legged under an egg-shaped chrome hair-dryer, smoking a cigarette through a holder, a la Holly Golightly.
Hepburn strikes a pose as that beloved character, wearing the iconic Givenchy, on the jacket of Laird Borrelli-Persson's The Cocktail Dress. The book starts with an informative essay summarizing trends and styles from the 1920s, when the cocktail dress first became a wardrobe staple, to the present, punctuated and followed by a parade of stunning dresses. Vintage images--16-year-old Twiggy in a pink sleeveless mini-dress worn with translucent white tights, silver shoes and ginormous ball earrings; Louise Brooks all silky and shimmery in Jazz Age satin and fringe; Marilyn Monroe "poured into an inky cocktail number"--are paired with newer ones to prove the "bite-sized taste of seduction" has never gone out of style. A photo index at book's end includes more morsels about designers, models and styles.