Sunday, August 22, 2010

What is a Classic? [Reflections on time passing]

What is a classic? I pondered this recently as I watched the movie Charade with Audrey Hepburn, released in 1963. A classic movie, certainly. And a showcase for Givenchy’s classic clothes. Why classic? Because the style endures. The appeal endures. The connection to the audience endures. When something continues to resonate with people long after it is introduced, that’s a classic.

Some things truly do seem timeless. Take Hepburn herself, for instance. Audrey Hepburn was considered a beauty 50 years ago, and she’s still viewed as a beauty today. She had a certain je ne sais quoi that made her stand out from the crowd. Maybe it was her bone structure – those cheekbones! – maybe her soulful eyes – maybe the way she carried herself. But whatever it was, Audrey Hepburn made people sit up and take notice.

The fashions designed by Hubert de Givenchy for the film were also timeless – all simple lines and understated elegance. I think they could be worn today, minus the hats maybe, although a few daring souls could manage to pull off those pill boxes, I’m sure.

What can timeless pieces – whether they’re cinematic or fashion-related – whatever they may be – what can they teach us? Sometimes less really is more, and simplicity tends to be pleasing long after embellished items have lost their luster. True good looks last, as does a good story line, an appealing performance (even if the dialogue is laughable today), a chic outfit. And with people, innate intelligence and style are always attractive.

I guess I may be pondering the idea of timelessness, of classics, because I am turning another year older today. I’m thinking about the passage of time as people so often do as they mark the anniversary of their birth. I think I’ll make it a goal to think of myself as classic. I like that word so much better than older. Not a classic beauty, perhaps. Not a great intellectual. But someone who strives to get better with time – and also feels better about herself with each passing year. Someone who endures all things life tosses at her and goes on having the time of her life.


Bill Lindsay said...

Nice, thoughtful piece, Beth. Well put. And happy birthday, too!

vintage eye said...

Well said & Happy Birthday!

Déborah said...

Happy Birthday!

and thank you for a great post that made me think.
I just came over your blog and I love it :) you write beautifully.

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

I've never seen Charade, adding it to the Netflix queue right now. Audrey will always be considered one of the most beautiful women to grace the screen. I think her inner beauty really shines, so part of the reason she is unforgettable is the charisma and warmth she exuded.

Did I ever wish you a happy (belated) birthday? I thought I did (perhpas via Facebook), but my life has been so chaotic lately that I may have missed it. So sorry if I did, sweetie. I hope you had a lovely b'day. Thank you so much for your sweet comment re: what my family has been dealing with lately. What keeps me blogging is the wonderful friends like you that I've made via the web. I hope you're doing well. XO, Marsi