French designer Hubert de Givenchy dead at 91

13 March, 2018, 04:27 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Tailor to the stars Hubert de Givenchy dies at 91

Givenchy is best known for designing personal and film wardrobes for Hepburn, a movie star and enduring muse and close friend for 40 years.

"A piece of material has a life".

Givenchy gained notoriety for creating memorable looks for Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, and other celebrities.

Born February 21, 1927, Givenchy founded the House of Givenchy in 1952.

Couturier Jacques Fath hired Givenchy on the strength of his sketches.

His eponymous fashion house called its founder the enfant bad of haute couture: "H$3 is "separates" - elegant blouses and light skirts blending architectural lines and simplicity - met with enormous success in light of the more constricted looks of the day".

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Givenchy is survived by his companion and French couture designer, Philippe Venet. "In haute couture, we are cosmetic surgeons, erasing imperfections and refining the silhouette... for isn't a couturier a magician of sorts, who creates illusion and perhaps beauty itself?"

Legend has it that Givenchy - told only that Mademoiselle Hepburn would be coming in for a fitting - was expecting the grand Katharine Hepburn. He popularized the "little black dress", dressing Hepburn in a plain, elegant black dress for Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Givenchy's family plans a private funeral and asked that donations be made to UNICEF in his name. A perfume line and the menswear line Gentleman Givenchy helped secure his position as a multimillionaire. "He lived very grandly", Jody Donohue, Givenchy's NY press agent in the 1990s, told the Los Angeles Times.

After more than 30 years in charge, he sold his label to the French luxury goods group LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton in 1988, staying on under LVMH control before retiring in 1995. He retired as the brand's chief designer in 1995, and was succeeded by John Galliano, the late Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Riccardo Tisci and most now Clare Waight Keller, the first woman in the role. "He will be greatly missed", the company said.

After his phenomenal debut, Givenchy went to NY to capitalise on his popularity with Americans.



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