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Maggie Prescott (Thompson) is fashion editor looking for the next big thing - trying to find something intelligent and beautiful. She and photographer Dick Avery (Astaire) search for models who "think as well as they look". They decide to take over a village bookstore to use for a photoshot, much to salegirl Jo Stockton's (Hepburn) dismay as the shop is left in a total mess.
Dick notices Jo in one of the photographs and the pair decide to hire her as a model, which Jo only agrees to so she take the trip to Paris but her snobbish attitude softens over the film as she starts to enjoy the company of the handsome photographer.
The movie provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Of 1950s high-fashion magazines, especially Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and fashion photographers. This produces a Crowning Moment of Funny early in the film, when Fred Astaire (playing the fashion photographer) and his crew totally disrupt Jo Stockton's [Hepburn] Greenwich Village bookshop for a magazine shoot.
- Brainy Brunette: Jo's Establishing Character Moment
- Fashion Show: The "Think Pink" number.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Well-known (at the time) 1950s fashion models Dovima and Suzy Parker (who herself later became an actress) have cameos.
- Hollywood Nerd: Jo Stockton. Type 2, obviously, since this is Audrey Hepburn
- Pimped-Out Dress: Numerous examples of splendid late-1950s haute couture, and Audrey Hepburn's character is dressed, when we first see her, as the chic Hollywood version of a beatnik. In fact, this movie was one of the films that established Hepburn as a style icon.
- Power Trio: Jo is Superego, Dick is Ego and Maggie is Id.
- Later in the film, Dick and Maggie switch roles.
- She Cleans Up Nicely