“It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” – Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Ever since I first watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I have been infatuated with Holly Golightly’s character played by icon, Audrey Hepburn. The novella was originally written in 1958 by Truman Capote. The story follows New York socialite, Holly and new neighbour, Paul’s friendship and the uncovering of Holly’s emotional journey which she has fought with for so many years.
Elegant and wild and always looking for the next big thing, the next place or person to make her feel at home. The novella makes it look so easy to be so torn. The character of Golightly is admired by many, but in reality, scene after scene of her being ‘free’, she always ends up alone again with her cat without a name.
When the opening scene sees Hepburn walking in the early hours of the morning alongside Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue. As the sun rises, she clasps a takeaway coffee and sweet pastry. Once you read more into her character and the storyline, you realise that this is a very important moment for her. It may be her only moment of peace for the day, week or month.
She is dressed elegantly in the custom made Givenchy dress, pearls and a lavish updo. She has come from a party she most likely did not want to attend but did anyway to keep up with her somewhat false, wild lifestyle and reputation.
She is alone and confused in New York, and that opening scene shows how she keeps herself together in the big world.
In a chaotic life, there needs to be some sort of instant release by something as simple as glancing into a high-end jewellery store.
Finding somewhere to call your Tiffany’s is important. We all need that small space, act or escape to breathe from the world.
In some ways, I have related to her as the years have gone on. Travelling back and forth from different homes and accommodations, meeting new people and letting go of others. I have always found it difficult to find out what I want to become and how.
Something I have found is that after everything, I am still looking for what she found in Tiffany’s. A place that acts like a friend when in need of calming down.
I believe that a sense of how she talks about Tiffany’s can be found in the smaller things. For me, the peace and gratitude that comes with the first sip of a freshly brewed coffee, like in the scene, is an act of escapism.
The smell of roasted coffee beans when walking into a cafe, the hygge inspired decor and the array of sweet biscuits and cakes makes me feel some sort of inner excitement every time. Followed by a hit of sharp but sweet, hot coffee brings me back to reality but with a warmed vision towards everything surrounding me.
I may not have found my exact place to call my Tiffany’s, but I know that calmness from the chaos lives in the smaller things. The smaller things that we often miss when rushing around looking for exactly that.
Maybe it is time we all walked down to a high-end jewellery store, fresh coffee and warm pastry at hand, just admiring the scenes around us.
Feature image created by Drew-Alexandra O'Keeffe via Canva