Hubert de Givenchy (pronounced Gee-von-shee) was born in 1927 in the small town of Beauvais, France. His father died when he was very young and he was raised by his mother and grandfather, an artist and expert tapestry maker. His interest in fashion began, in earnest, when he was ten years old and visited the “fashion pavilion” at the International Exhibition in Paris. Once home, he poured through copies of “Vogue” magazine, often singling out one man’s designs – Balenciaga. After World War II and the liberation of Paris, Monsieur de Givenchy studied at the prestigious Beaux-Arts School in Paris. One day, he showed up at Balenciaga’s studio, unannounced with his portfolio in hand and eager to learn. He was turned away as being too inexperienced. Undaunted, he was hired soon after by Jacques Fath (1945.) He later worked briefly for Lucien LeLong (1946,) where he met LeLong’s assistants, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, and for Elsa Schiaparelli (1947-1951.) Mlle. Schiaparelli put him in charge of her boutique where he learned about accessories, an area that was to become important in Givenchy’s own work.
The two women most closely associated with Givenchy’s fashion of the 50s and 60s are Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. He designed the cream silk gown with an embroidered bodice that Mrs. Kennedy wore on the First Couple’s state visit to France in 1961. He also designed for a sadder occasion. It was a Givenchy dress that the world remembers Jackie Kennedy wearing as she attended her husband’s funeral in 1963.
Kelly Taylor Auctions in London specializes in antique and vintage
fashion and textiles. Their upcoming auction on December 8
includes an important Audrey Hepburn collection. Above photo
is Audrey in the Givenchy haute couture white point d’esprit ball gown
worn by Audrey in the opera scene of `Love in the Afternoon’, 1956
Great old movie trailer 50′s Paris
Givenchy haute couture black cloqué silk dress worn to
promote the film `Paris When it Sizzles’, 1962
Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe is typified by simplicity and seemingly effortless elegance.
Aided and abetted by the young couturier Hubert de Givenchy, she became the
personification of chic elegance in the 1950s and 60s.
Herring-bone tweed coat, circa 1956, un-labeled, double-breasted of brown,
black and grey flecked wool, re-lined in beige artificial silk; together with a
photograph of Audrey walking her Yorkshire terrier `Famous’ who had been a gift
of her husband Mel Ferrer when Audrey was filming `Love in the Afternoon’ in 1956
Richard Avedon portrait of Audrey taken when she filmed `Funny Face’, 1956“To Tanja with my love”
Audrey Hepburn Breakfast At Tiffany’s, 1961
Audrey Hepburn is one of Hollywood’s most enduring fashion icon’s and her role in this movie is her best known. The film has a good story with fabulous fashion to support it – unlike some of Hepburn’s films from the previous decade, which seem to build the story around the fashion. The character “Holly” is glamourous, but it seems natural for her and therefore the most impressive.
An evening gown of black Italian satin designed by Hubert de Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the 1961 Paramount film Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the sleeveless, floor-length gown with fitted bodice embellished at the back with distinctive cut-out décolleté, the skirt slightly gathered at the waist and slit to the thigh on one side, labelled inside on the waistband Givenchy; accompanied by a pair of black elbow-length gloves [made later]; an envelope addressed in Givenchy’s hand to Monsieur Dominique Lapierre in Paris; and a the November 2006 U.S. edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, the cover featuring Natalie Portman modelling the dress in this lot.