Sassy. Daring. Talented. Beautiful. Determined. Fashionable. Iconic. Hepburn.
With a stage and film career that spanned sixty-six years, Katharine “Kate” Hepburn (1907-2003) is an American icon, who dazzled silver screen, television, and theater audiences and even earned the nickname “The First Lady of Cinema.” Born and raised in Connecticut, Hepburn’s career reflected the changing role of women in the broader society. Challenging the norms of the day, she took control of her image and identity by establishing a unique sense of style which influenced countless women, fashion designers, and the informal, elegant approach to American style that continues to resonate today.
On April 11, 2014, the Connecticut Historical Society brought Kate’s personal costume collection back to her home state with a special exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen. This was the first and only scheduled New England appearance for the limited-time exhibition, which featured over 40 costumes, worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions. The collection included an ensemble of her signature tailored beige trousers and linen jackets, vintage posters, playbills, photos, and other Hepburn-related artifacts as well as stage costumes from The Philadelphia Story and Coco and screen costumes from Adam’s Rib and Stage Door. The exhibit was organized by the Kent State University Museum, with local stories about Hepburn’s remarkable family, her life in Connecticut, and items from CHS’s collection included for its Connecticut appearance.
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