Hubert de Givenchy Dead at 91

I have just received the tragic news that another legend has left the planet. Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, who opened his eponymous fashion house in 1952, died past Saturday aged 91 as his partner – former haute couture designer – Philippe Venet has announced today. The couple lived in a Renaissance chateau near Paris.

«Balloon Coat», Hubert de Givenchy, 1958

The aristocratic gentleman was known for his sophisticated and ladylike chic in the 1950s and 1960s and famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn, as well as clothing for clients such as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Grace Kelly.

At the age of seventeen, he moved to Paris where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. Givenchy’s first designs were done for Jacques Fath in 1945. Later he did designs for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong (1946) – working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, followed by 5 years working for the avantgarde designer Elsa Schiaparelli before he opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris in 1952.

Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy in 1954 film «Sabrina».

His style was marked by innovation, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior. At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design. Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy’s fashion, and Givenchy met in 1953 during the shoot of «Sabrina». He went on to design the famous «little black dress» she wore in «Breakfast at Tiffany’s».

In 1961, when Audrey Hepburn got the roll of Holly Golightly, designer Hubert de Givenchy designed the famous black dress which became one of the most iconic clothing items of the 20th century.

He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L’Interdit and Le de Givenchy) and made Audrey Hepburn the face of it. For the very first time a star was the face of a fragrance’s advertising campaign and probably the last time that it was done for free, only by friendship.

At that time, Givenchy also met his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga. Although a renowned designer, Givenchy not only sought inspiration from the lofty settings of haute couture but also in such avant-garde environments as Limbo, the store in Manhattan’s East Village. In 1954, Givenchy’s prêt-à-porter collection debuted.

1957 Babydoll Dress by Givenchy

The House of Givenchy was split in 1981, with the perfume line going to Veuve Clicquot, while the fashion branch was acquired by LVMH in 1989. As of today, LVMH owns Parfums Givenchy as well.

De Givenchy retired from fashion design in 1995. His successor to head the Givenchy label was John Galliano, followed by a five-year stay from Alexander McQueen and a term from 2001 to 2004 by Julien Macdonald. As we all know, Riccardo Tisci revived the Givenchy brand tremendously from 2005 until 2017. This season, Clare Waight Keller presented her first runway show for Givenchy.

Rest in peace, Hubert de Givenchy and thank you for all those wonderful fashionable moments.
You will never be forgotten!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Givenchy, Getty Images

Fashion at Versailles

Chanel Versailles

Tomorrow, May 14, “Kaiser Karl” will reign over the world of fashion once more. Lagerfeld will show his Resort 2013 collection for Chanel at Versailles. Of course, it will be a big production, but all details are still under wraps. Past Chanel Resort shows have been presented at the Lido in Venice (Resort 2010), and one of my favourites, in St. Tropez (Resort 2011). Their locations usually bewray the inspiration for the collection.

Versailles was the famous place where the French royal family ruled in extravagance for 100 years before the French Revolution. What does come to your mind? As for me, I could only think of excess, rich fabrics, opulence.

 I am truly curious what Karl Lagerfeld has been thinking of.  If anyone is up to the task to pay tribute to Marie Antoinette or to revive those decadent moments in time, it is definitely him. I am sure that he will surprise us as the setting has to be different from his S/S 2011 Chanel show that was based on Versailles’s extensive gardens (see above).

If you look in fashion history, this won’t be the first time Versailles has been used for a show.

Couture 2007-Dior

In 2007, John Galliano rented out the palace for a huge spectacle – Dior‘s 60th anniversary couture show.

Battle of Versailles 1973

In 1973, five upcoming US-designers, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, and Oscar de la Renta faced off against French couturiers Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro in a runway spectacle that became known as the Battle of Versailles.

The French designers were certain of victory, due to their long tradition and know-how. But the Americans had a secret weapon; a vibrant group of eight African-American models plus the wish to conquer the European world of fashion. And the celebrity-packed audience of 800, including a tiara-wearing Princess Grace cheered to their performance. It was that chilly night changed the face and colour of fashion forever.


There have also been numerous fashion editorials photographed at Versailles over the years.

1 Shalom Harlow by Steven Meisel for Vogue October 1994
Diane Krüger by Gilles Marie Zimmerman for Paris Match March 2012
Trish Goff by Steven Meisel for Vogue October 1994

Please enjoy this little summary of some of the most beautiful ones, along with other palace-set shoots by Karl Lagerfeld himself.

French Chic

Jessica Stam and Snejana Onopka by Karl Lagerfeld for Harper’s Bazaar Romania November 2007

24hour Couture

Gisele Bündchen by Karl Lagerfeld for Harper’s Bazaar June 2007


Vanessa Paradis by Karl Lagerfeld for Tatler Russia July 2012

Stay tuned for the photos of the Chanel Resort 2013 show.

LoL, Sandra

Givenchy Brides

InviteNatashaJust Married

S 2011Last weekend, famous supermodel Natasha Poly, who is ranked N°2 on, got a head start on all the bridal madness when she tied the knot with Dutch businessman Peter Bakker. The beautiful Russian got married in an intimate three day ceremony at Hotel Byblos in St.Tropez.

Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy, had the honour of dressing the bride for her big day and Leona Lewis gave a private concert for the 200 guests. I especially loved the lace sleeves and Natasha’s romantic hair style with white flowers accentuating her blonde waves.

Givenchy Brides

Lara Stone, who is by the way the N°1 ranked model on had also worn a custom Givenchy bride dress last year at her wedding. And we will never forget how gorgeous Audrey Hepburn looked in Hubert de Givenchy’s bridal creation for the movie Funny Face in 1957…

LoL, Sandra