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Hubert de Givenchy (born February 21, 1927)

Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (born 21 February 1927) is a French aristocrat and fashion designer who founded The House of Givenchy in 1952. He is famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn, as well as clothing for clients such as Jacqueline Kennedy. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

The younger son of Lucien Taffin de Givenchy (1888–1930), marquis of Givenchy, and his wife, the former Béatrice ("Sissi") Badin (1888–1976), Givenchy was born in Beauvais, Oise.

The Taffin de Givenchy family, which traces its roots to Venice, Italy (the original surname was Taffini), was ennobled in 1713, at which time the head of the family became marquis of Givenchy.

After his father's death from influenza in 1930, the future fashion designer and his elder brother Jean-Claude de Givenchy (1925–2009), who inherited the family's marquessate and eventually became the president of Parfums Givenchy, were raised by their mother and maternal grandmother, Marguerite Dieterle Badin (1853–1940), the widow of Jules Badin (1843–1919), an artist who was the owner and director of the historic Gobelins Manufactory and Beauvais tapestry factories. Artistic professions ran in the extended Badin family. Givenchy's maternal great-grandfather, Jules Dieterle, was a set designer who also created designs for the Beauvais factory, including a set of 13 designs for the Elysée Palace. One of his great-great-grandfathers also designed sets for the Paris Opera.

Impressed by the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, young Givenchy decided he wanted to work "somewhere in fashion design". He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first designs were done for Jacques Fath in 1945, an association that came through family members who knew Fath personally. Later he did designs for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong (1946) — working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From 1947 to 1951 he worked for the avantgarde designer Elsa Schiaparelli.


Ball gown, 1953

In 1952, Givenchy opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris. Later he named his first collection "Bettina Graziani" for Paris's top model at the time. His style was marked by innovativeness, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior. At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design. Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy's fashion, and Givenchy met in 1953 during the shoot of Sabrina. He went on to design almost all the wardrobes she wore in her movies. He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L'Interdit and Le de Givenchy). At that time, Givenchy also met his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga, who had also influenced Paco Rabanne's work previously. Although a renowned designer, Givenchy not only sought inspiration from the lofty settings of haute couture but also in such avant-garde environments as Limbo, the store in Manhattan's East Village.

In 1954, Givenchy's prêt-à-porter collection debuted; later a men's line was also launched.

The House of Givenchy was split in 1981, with the perfume line going to Veuve Clicquot, while the fashion branch went to LVMH's portfolio of upscale brands. As of today, LVMH owns Parfums Givenchy as well.

From 1976 through 1983, the Ford Motor Company offered a Givenchy Edition of its Continental Mark series of luxury automobiles beginning in 1976 with the Continental Mark IV coupe and ending with the 1983 Continental Mark VI coupe and sedan.

Hubert de Givenchy retired from fashion design in 1995. His chosen successor to head the Givenchy label was Dominique Sirop, but Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH, thought Sirop was not well-known enough and appointed John Galliano instead. After a brief stint by Galliano, a five-year stay from Alexander McQueen and a term from 2001 to 2004 by Julien Macdonald, Givenchy women's ready-to-wear and haute couture has been headed by Riccardo Tisci since 2005.

In January 2007, La Poste issued postage stamps for the St. Valentine's Day designed by Givenchy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_de_Givenchy


Cape, 1957
The silk taffeta of this evening cape is of exceptional quality, and is pieced to create an unusually constructed loose fitting full-length cape. It has a double-layer of fabric, forming deep folds at the front, with draw-string taffeta ribbons at the hood (which can either be worn up around the head or loosely around the shoulders).
Hubert de Givenchy (b. 1927) met Audrey Hepburn during the shoot for the film Sabrina in 1953. He went on to design almost all the clothes she wore in her films, including Breakfast at Tiffany's and Funny Face. In this film Audrey Hepburn wears a cape identical to the one shown here. One of the most iconic images is of Hepburn's face peeping from the cape, her blue gloved hands folded beneath.
In 1985, Audrey Hepburn said: "My only merit is to have spent thirty years wearing dresses by Monsieur de Givenchy, whose talents and friendship I value most highly".


Evening dress, ca. 1955
Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927) launched his collection in 1952, and was one of the youngest couturiers working in Paris at that time. His designs bridged the old world of haute couture and the new mood in fashion that emerged in the late 1950s, and which was moving towards the youthful and paired down lines of the 1960s. A disciple of Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Givenchy was inspired by his architectural approach to fashion. Givenchy still refers to Balenciaga as 'the master'.
This evening dress was designed with shoes of matching green silk.


Suit, 1955
This ensemble was designed by the Parisian couturier Hubert de Givenchy (b. 1927) for Leslie Caron (b. 1931), the French film actress and dancer. It was made for a play called 'Orvet' by Jean Renoir, who was Caron's great friend and mentor. He wrote it for her, and also directed it. It was first performed at the Theatre de la Renaissance, Paris, on 12 March 1955.
Although this dress was worn on stage, it is a couture quality creation. The dress and jacket are made from heavyweight wool with moiré silk panels in the skirt, and must have been very warm during the performance.


Jacket and skirt, 1972
This is an evening ensemble made of black organza, designed by Hubert de Givenchy (1926-). It is composed of a bodice and a full-length skirt. The bodice has a V-neck opening on the front, with a wide collar made of 4 layers of frilled black organza. The sleeves are long and tight.
The wide skirt is flounced at the waist. The waist is decorated with a wide sash. Two rows of flounces decorate the hem of the skirt, echoing the ruched collar of the bodice.
Hubert de Givenchy was born in France in 1926. After working for Jacques Fath and Elsa Schiaparelli, he opened his own business in 1952 and went on producing elegant clothes and high-style ball gowns and evening dresses.
The 1970s saw the replacement of the rigid, triangular shape of the mini, by the long, svelte lines of the midi and maxi dresses. Society became increasingly multicultural and designers turned to non-Western clothing or traditional dress for inspiration.
This stunning evening ensemble shows a sophisticated version of the gypsy dress from which Givenchy retained only the lines and discarded the typical embroideries and excessive use of colours.


Evening dress, 1987
This evening dress is of black sequined lace with a gathered, bouffant silk faille overskirt with horizontal strips. It was designed by Givenchy in Paris in 1987 and illustrates his skill with luxurious fabrics.


Evening ensemble, 1968
This evening ensemble consists of a dress, over-bodice, shoes and gloves in black velvet, satin and feathers. It was designed by Hubert de Givenchy and dates from August 1968.


'Les Muguets' (Lilies of the Valley), 1955
Formal evening gowns were an essential part of a society lady’s wardrobe in the 1950s. Sumptuously embroidered and accessorised with jewels, these gowns provided a glittering show at receptions and balls, the opera or the theatre. Some were specially commissioned for a specific occasion, and worn only once, others bear evidence of alterations.
This dress is embroidered with silk thread and sequins from top to bottom, which would have been very expensive as it was done entirely by hand. It would have been sent out to one of the many specialist workshops in Paris, and each tiny sequin and stitch placed individually by a team of highly-skilled embroiderers.
The dress was worn with a pair of full-length black evening gloves.


Evening dress and shoes, 1964
High necked, sleeveless evening dress, fitted. Coral coloured lace re-embroidered with beads and raffia. Shoes to match, with their own shoe trees.


Evening dress, 1966-1967
Long white evening dress with a sleeveless bodice, and an ankle length skirt, fullness at the waist and a green velvet ribbon around the waist. Back fastening. Cream silk with a pink, blue, purple, green and yellow chenille confetti design and diamanté studs.


Evening ensemble, 1970
Vermillion silk taffeta evening outfit with small orange spot. Long sleeved, fitted bodice dress with flared skirt, frilled hemline.


Dress, 1953
This day dress bears the first label that Givenchy ever used. The quirkiness of the embroidered peapod motifs and their symmetrical placement on the dress are signature characteristics of the work of the French couture.


Evening stole, 1952


Ensemble, ca. 1975


Evening dress, early 1960s


Dress, 1954


Evening dress, 1966–67


Evening dress, 1967–69


Evening dress, ca. 1956


Cocktail ensemble, 1953


Evening dress, ca. 1963


Evening dress, ca. 1980


Evening dress, ca. 1968


Evening ensemble, 1969–70


Lounging pajamas, ca. 1970


Evening dress, 1968–69


Evening dress, 1960


Further Readings:

Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh and Hubert de Givenchy
Hardcover: 235 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; 1st edition (April 7, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060193298
ISBN-13: 978-0060193294
Amazon: Audrey Style

Everyone, it seems, is a fan of Audrey's. She was Gigi, a princess, Holly Golightly, a nun, Maid Marian, even an angel. And we believed her in every role. But Audrey Hepburn was also one of the most admired and emulated women of the twentieth century, who encouraged women to discover and highlight their own strength. By example, she not only changed the way women dress--she forever altered the way they viewed themselves.

But Audrey Hepburn's beauty was more than skin deep. "You know the Audrey you saw onscreen? Audrey was like that in real life, only a million times better," says designer Jeffrey Banks. For the first time, this style biography reveals the details--fashion and otherwise--that contributed so greatly to Audrey's appeal. Drawing on original interviews with Hubert de Givenchy, Gregory Peck, Nancy Reagan, Doris Brynner, and Audrey Wilder, as well as reminiscences of professional friends like Steven Spielberg, Ralph Lauren, noted Hollywood photographer Bob Willoughby, Steven Meisel, and Kevyn Aucoin, Audrey Style brings the Audrey her family and friends loved to life.

With more than ninety color and black-and-white photographs, many of which have never before been published, and original designer sketches from Edith Head, Hubert de Givenchy, Vera Wang, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, and others, Audrey Style gives measure to the grace, humor, intelligence, generosity, and inimitable fashion sense that was Audrey Hepburn.

More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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Tags: art, gay classics, lgbt designers, persistent voices
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