If ever we needed an excuse to head to the bright lights of NYC, then this is definitely it…

Paying tribute to one of the most beautiful and talented women to ever grace the silver screen, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen is the latest exhibition to be hosted by the New York Public Library. From Katharine’s very own fake lashes and make-up trays to her incredible costumes and shoe collection, visitors will get an insight into the life and wardrobe of one of Hollywood’s most infamous style icons.

Hepburn’s film debut came in 1932 at the age of 25, starring opposite John Barrymore in ‘A Bill of Divorcement’ and within a year, she had already received her first Academy Award for ‘Morning Glory’. When she died aged 96 in 2003, Hepburn not only left behind a true legacy of roles that can still be seen on screen today, but also the majority of her costumes – the result of her famed hoarding tendencies. She worked closely with designers to make sure that each piece perfectly fitted the character she was trying to create and if she really loved an outfit, she would often have it made in a variety of colours and fabrics to wear as part of her own personal wardrobe (a woman after our own heart).

But Katharine wasn’t your typical Hollywood starlet; despite winning four Oscars – a record amount that she still holds today, she broke the mould by never fully succumbing to the stereotypical image expected of her, choosing instead to pave her way as fashion’s original tomboy. Off screen, she lived in a uniform of khaki slacks and shirts and was famed for once uttering, “Anytime I hear a man say he prefers a woman in a skirt, I say – try one, try a skirt.” That said, her beloved slacks were often hidden in a bid to make her dress in a more ladylike manner. Her response? Threatening to walk around naked until they were given back (we are talking couture after all).

In other words, Hepburn told it straight; she was independent, strong minded and absolutely beautiful – a powerful combination that would make her our ultimate dinner guest. Seeing as that’s never going to happen, this exhibition is officially the next best thing (that and a marathon of her films).

Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen runs until January 12th 2013 – now all we need to do is hitch a plane ride to NYC…

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