Monday Musings: Hubert de Givenchy

“I absolutely believe my talent is God given. I ask God for a lot, but I also thank him. I’m a very demanding believer.”-Herbert de Givenchy

  • Count Herbert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy
  • Birthday Febuary 21, 1927
  • His father died on influenza in 1930, and Givenchy along with his older brother  were raised by their mother and maternal grandmother.
  • The love of fashion runs through Givenchy, one of his great, great grandfathers designed sets for the Paris Opera, and his maternal great grandfather created designs for the Elysee Palace.
  • Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris
  • Designed for many famous fashion designers such as Robert Pguet,  Lucien Lelong, along with Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, before many of them became famous.
  • In 1952 Givenchy opened his own design house in Paris, and named his first collection “Bettina Graziani” after a top model in Paris.
  • He was more innovative than say the conservative sttle of Dior, and at 25 became the youngest designer in the progressive Paris fashion scene.
  • He used rather cheap fabrics in his first collection, for financial reasons.
  • Audrey Hepburn met Givenchy during the shoot of Sabrina. He designed almost all of the clothes she wore in her movies, and also inspired his first perfume, LiInderdit and Le de Givenchy.
  • In 1954, Givenchy’s ready to wear collection debuted and later a men’s line was also launched.
  • Givenchy retired from fashion design in 1995.

Audrey Inspired

As mentioned, Hubert Givenchy met Audrey Hepburn on the set of the popular movie, Sabrina. From there the two formed a professional relationship, and introduced Givenchy’s clothing to the masses. Audrey Hepburn donned Givenchy’s designs in almost all of her films, and one of the most iconic, was the little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

This little black dress, is seen in the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s but is not seen again for the rest of the movie. Rather Holly Golightly sticks with the ideal of a little black dress, with a shorter hemline. The dress seen here is a black satin sheath evening style gown, which was paired with long black gloves, bauble pearls, and a tiara to match.

Audrey Inspired

To avoid making this look too costumey, I would skip the shades, and tiara and opt for a glittery hair barrette or something of the like. The idea of a little black dress, will always be in style and a blank canvas for you to dress up or dress down.

Givenchy’s Ready to Wear Fall Collection

Since Givenchy’s retirement from the fashion world, his line has been in the care of Riccardo Tisci since 2005. This year’s fall ready to wear collection was all about the jungle, specifically the jaguar. From the print seen on shoes, sweaters and skirts to the embroidery on dresses, this jungle feline was the star of the runway. Tisci also integrated a variety of fabrics and played with the hard look of leather against the sheer fabric of shirts and skirts.

Givenchy in the Jungle

Ready to Wear Spring 2012

While it may be winter where you are, looking at designers spring collections for next year gives me a bit of hope, and dreams of warmth! Givenchy’s 2012 Spring collection features beautifully tailored looks that according to Tisci, were inspired by surfers and mermaids.

Givenchy Inspired
Do you like Givenchy’s style? Would you wear the Fall or Spring look? Or maybe try a Holly Golightly inspired look this holiday season!
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