Hubert de Givenchy, one of both Paris’ and the worlds finest designers, passed away on Saturday. The designer was well known for dressing both fashion icons Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, as well as going on to establish what is undoubtedly one of the most revered fashion houses of the past 50 years.
Hubert de Givenchy started out working along side Christian Dior, Pierre Balmian and Elsa Schiaparelli before establishing his own house at the Plaine Monceau, Paris in 1952. In February that year presented his debut collection featuring the iconic ‘Bettina’ blouse, named after his PR director and model of the day Bettina Graziani, it was made from the raw cotton “shirting” previously only used for couture fittings.
The following year he met Audrey Hepburn and quickly realised the power of enlisting a film star to help attract clients to the house of Givenchy. Hubert went on to design the black dress Hepburn famously wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. His designs were seen at the time to be far more innovative than those of fellow designers at the time such as Dior and was one of the youngest designers of the progressive Paris Fashion scene. Givenchy retired from fashion in 1995 when John Galliano took over the rains for a brief stint, this was followed by a longer tenure by the designer Alexander McQueen who, to the horror of Givenchy’s staunch clientele, brought the Givenchy up to the modern day couture house it is now, leading the way for Ricardo Tisci to transform the house into the modern day power house it is today.
To celebrate its 70th anniversary Dior is releasing a 7 volume anthology, paying homage to its 7 creative directors, featuring photographs by Laziz Hamani. Founded in 1947, the seven designers who have shaped the history of the couture house, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri are all featured in each tome exploring the world and creations of the designers who have marked the storied Maison. Accompanying the images will be a written contribution by Alexander Fury. The first volume, featuring Christian Dior himself, was released late 2016 and has now been followed up by the volumes of the next 6 designers.