Head tilted, earrings sparkling and a coffee and croissant in hand, it would be difficult to imagine anyone other than Audrey Hepburn gazing into the windows of the iconic jewellers in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. So as the opening scene fills up the screen of my television, I take in Holly Golightly’s Gucci dress and elaborate jewel and pearl collar necklace and find myself looking down with a sigh, as my eyes meet my latest obsession: my (official merchandise, I’ll have you know) KISS t-shirt. Perhaps it’s Holly’s elegance, or her seemingly care free persona (eating a grease filled croissant in a black Gucci number? She may as well be named the most outrageous fashionista ever) that forces me to re-evaluate my current appearance of my legging clad legs, KISS tank top and (too bare for my own liking) bare face which has me asking myself: ‘Why can’t I be Holly Golightly?’. Because, honestly, from what I’ve found out so far, the few things I have in common with Holly are a love for croissants (or any carbohydrates as a matter of fact) and Tiffany’s.
Fictiophilia: (1) The attraction to fictional characters (2) Rebecca Pugh’s life story. More often than not, I tend to develop a slight obsession with characters, and unfortunately for Holly Golightly, she’s my latest victim. As a whole, Breakfast at Tiffany’s has had a huge influence on me, from my fashion sense, to my idea of romance. One of the first things I feel the need to copy to an inch of it’s life, is Holly’s impeccable style. Having been brought up to the sounds of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, KISS and (I’m afraid so) Neil Diamond, band t-shirts and jeans are always going to be a fashion safety net for me to bounce back to, but each time I see tailored black trousers, or a beautifully structured dress (even a similar nuclear-orange coat) I pick it up, try it on, and then return them when I realise that (unfortunately for me) I have so little of Holly’s confidence, I’d look like the fashion-immune reject of a make-over show.
Although I haven’t gotten to the stage of drawling ‘Darrrling!’ on the end of each sentence, as the movie progresses, I begin to see a deeper side to Holly Golightly (which coincidently, ‘Fred Baby’ begins to see too). The writers established Breakfast at Tiffany’s to be a romantic comedy – but they never specified who the romance was between. Her inability to name Cat, her naivity and blatant mischievous nature makes us want to love her. Perhaps that’s the romance: between Holly and the audience. Yes, there are an array of romantic moments which pull our heart strings (Going to Tiffany’s with a lowly budget of $10, therefore asking them to engrave a ring which was free in a box of Cracker Jacks), but as we near the ending of the film, Holly positively ripped my heart out of my chest. She cries ‘I’ll never let anyone put me in a cage!’ and Paul replies ‘I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!’, it was then that I realised how Holly is a personification of ourselves. She’s wild. She’s free. Everything we long to be inside – but we don’t long to be wild, we want to blend in to society, we’re happy in our cages. Thanks to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I find myself longing for George Peppard rather than Ryan Gosling (again displaying the reason for my social rejection). But I also find that maybe the reason I’m so dazzled by Golightly, could be that neither of us want to be caged.
‘We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other’ is (dare I say it?) the exact truth. But oh Holly, how I hate to say this, but you’ve misinterpreted it. It doesn’t mean that we are supposed to roam the earth alone forevermore (oh heavens no) – it simply means that we belong to ourselves, whether we decide to share that is another choice. So instead of asking myself ‘Why can’t I be Holly Golightly?’, I should ask myself ‘Why should I be Holly Golightly?’. Yes, she’s beautiful and stylish and iconic and funny, but she’s also sceptical and alone. I may not constantly wear jewel encrusted earrings and lipstick, but my KISS t-shirt metaphorically fits me perfectly (in reality, it’s rather baggy).