The Top Fashion Moments of Hubert de Givenchy
The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century. His enduring influence and his approach to style reverberates to this day. He will be greatly missed.
Over the weekend, renowned couturier and fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy passed away at the age of 91, perhaps marking the end of an era in fashion.
As the founder of the eponymous brand Givenchy, he was the last of his couture contemporaries, who have shaped the post-war sartorial style.
Born in February 21, 1927, and having set up his own fashion house in 1952, Givenchy would eventually establish himself as one of the defining figures of the “New Look” of fashion, alongside Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Cristóbal Balenciaga.
As the global fashion community mourns the loss of a legend, we look back at some of the most memorable moments and highlights of Givenchy’s career, and celebrate the icon whose legacy will live on for many years to come.
Friend and Couturier to Hollywood Legend Audrey Hepburn
A dynamic duo, Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn make up one of the most celebrated designer-muse tandems. Having met Audrey as a rising star, Givenchy would eventually be her go-to couturier for some of her most iconic characters, including Holly Golightly and her "little black dress" (LBD) in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
The Bettina Blouse
In 1952, Givenchy presented his very first collection, which was inspired by his publicist and favorite model Bettina Graziani, who opened the show wearing this smash-hit blouse, bearing her name. The Bettina Blouse was a flamenco-inspired, long-sleeved shirt with ruffled sleeves, which defied the austere style of the war era. The blouse was such a commercial success that retailers were willing to pay generous fees to acquire the pattern themselves.
Champion of Wardrobe Separates
Apart from the Bettina Blouse, Givenchy’s first collection also pushed for separates, tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched, to the mainstream market, as opposed to the standard one-look design that dominated Parisian fashion at the time. Although an unconventional concept then, separates are now the norm of today’s wardrobe essentials.
Discreet Designer to Jackie Kennedy
The stylish Jackie Kennedy loved Givenchy, and had as much as 10-15 designs made from him. However, as her role as First Lady became scrutinized, Jackie was expected to champion and promote American designers in her appearances; thus the influence of Givenchy to her fashion image has been downplayed for years.
Disciple of Balenciaga
It is said that Givenchy’s creative idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga, had such a profound effect on him, ultimately giving his designs that elegant style and meticulous construction. “Balenciaga was my religion,” he told fashion trade publication Women’s Wear Daily in 2007. “There’s Balenciaga and the good lord.”
Givenchy would eventually become the founding chairman of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation, which opened a museum in 2011.
Photo from @elusivefashion