The year was 1954. They met at a cocktail party thrown by Gregory Peck (as you do!)  and a mere 8 months later, 25 year old Audrey Hepburn married American actor Mel Ferrer. Despite the insistence from gossip columnists that their marriage would not last they trudged along happily for 13 years before filing for divorce in 1967.

Like many Hollywood marriages the fairytale came to a end but the legend of the dress lives on! Not many people know that while this was her first marriage this was not her first dress! 2 years earlier in 1952 she had a ivory satin wedding dress, very similar to this one, designed for her marriage to James Hanson but before she had a chance to wear it the wedding was called off.

Feeling bad about the time the Fontana sisters had put into designing and making the dress Hepburn asked that the wedding dress be given, “to someone who could never afford a dress like mine, the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find.” The ivory satin bridal gown was given to Amabile Altobella, a girl from a small village, 40 miles southeast of Rome. She remembers the wedding dress fondly. “I had a happy marriage, so the dress brought me luck,” she said!  Who knew the whole recycled designer dress phenomenon kicked off way back in 1952 and kudos to Hepburn for her generosity!

CREDIT Photo Jennifer Fabulous