12 Mar Hubert de Givenchy – Designer for Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, & Jackie Kennedy Died March 10, 2018
A couple of months ago, my book and movie group studied Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany‘s. I had seen the movie years ago, but I had never taken the time to read the book. Now, I am glad that I was able to review the movie and the book side by side. Later, I discovered that Capote had wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the part of Holly Golightly. That would have been a tragedy. Audrey Hepburn is the quintessential Holly Golightly, and Holly’s simple black dress is the quintessential Audrey Hepburn. It is ironic that Audrey Hepburn is known for her almost naive look, but her simplicitity was masterful–it was captivating. A couple of days ago, Audrey’s designer Hubert de Givenchy died, and I feel the need to say something about his outstanding contributions to fashion history–especially to the fashion history that coincides with my life.
“Every artist has his muse: Audrey Hepburn made Hubert de Givenchy’s elegantly simple creations world famous.” 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know
Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy met on the set of the movie Sabrina, which was made in 1953.
Hubert de Givenchy designed the white dress that Hepburn wore in the tennis court scene.
When the movie Sabrina was made in 1953, Audrey Hepburn was 24-years-old, and Hubert de Givenchy was 26-years-old. They remained friends.
Audrey Hepburn was always the poster look for the Hubert de Givenchy style.
“Lacking [start-up] funds, he designed his first collection in simple linen, raffia, cotton, and woven straw. And he remained faithful to his principle of working only with and never against the material. The result was his trademark: unpretentious elegance, perfectly executed.” 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know, p.47.
Vogue on Hubert de Givenchy
The fashions of handsome, aristocratic Hubert de Givenchy combined the traditions of haute couture creative, luxurious and perfectionist with a modern entrepreneurial sensibility. In a career spanning forty years he created the most glamorous of evening dresses, developed the influential ‘sack’ dress, pioneered the princess silhouette and fielded debonair daytime suits that have never gone out of fashion. He famously defined the sartorial image of Audrey Hepburn both on-screen and off creating the Sabrina neckline and the little black dress for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A history of chic caught by leading photographers and illustrators, Vogue on Givenchy reveals what the magazine called his ‘stardust touch’.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Apparently, the Paramount Movies designer Edith Head was originally slated to create Hepburn’s clothes for their movies, but Hepburn requested that her clothes be of French design, and almost by default, Hubert de Givenchy became Hepburn’s French designer. Yet, Edith Head signed his sketches and claimed them to be her own work. After Head died, however, de Givenchy corrected the record and said that he had actually been Hepburn’s designer.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s funeral ensemble was also designed by Hubert de Givenchy in 1964. When Hepburn and de Givenchy met in 1953, I was 3-years-old, and when John F. Kennedy died, I was 14-years-old. I can easily say that I grew up in the era of the very talented Hubert de Givenchy. I will probably always associate de Givenchy with the Highest of Fashion.