In the summer of 1953 Audrey Hepburn was travelling through Paris and was instructed to pick up some items of clothing for her character to wear in Sabrina. She was to bring the items back as part of her personal wardrobe (it was cheaper). In the picture above she’s wearing one of the Givenchy suits and hats purchased on the trip. Below is a memo Paramount’s studio manager, Frank Caffey sent, detailing what exactly she needed to buy.
Some weeks ago [executive] Don Hartman and Billy Wilder in discussing this picture thought it would be very advantageous to ask Miss Hepburn, when she was passing through Paris, to purchase certain items of wardrobe for use in the picture. They discussed this with Hepburn and a few days later Edith Head went to San Francisco and finalized it with her. I rechecked the requirements today and here is what we would like to arrange for her to purchase.
1- Dark Suit. This should be of the type she [Sabrina] would wear crossing the Atlantic by plane and arriving upstate New Yrok by train.
Several blouses, gilets or fronts to be used with the suit.
2- Extreme French Hats appropriate for the suit.
1- Very smart French day dress.
The above should be bought as Hepburn’s private wardrobe, and in no way should Paramount’s name be used as it might involve screen credit, duty coming into the country as well as possible holdup bringing it in. It should come into the country as Hepburn’s own personal wardrobe.
After selections have been made we would need to have sent ahead of time sketches of the items as well as sample colors and fabrics. Hepburn has been requested not to select dead black or dead white [this Head's suggestion]. We would suggest dark blue or oxford or charcoal grey [also this].
She was initially instructed to see designer Balenciaga but he was too busy preparing his upcoming collection for the then unknown actress (Roman Holiday had yet to be released) so she was instead sent a new young designer named Hubert de Givenchy. Givenchy who would eventually create all her iconic looks, including her black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Source: Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson