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

Oktoberfest Craze – Designer Style

While you are reading this, I am on my way to the Oktoberfest in Munich with HUBLOT for an exclusive «Wies’n Gaudi» at the one & only Käfer’s-Wies’n-Schänke. The dress code? Of course «Traditional Bavarian»!

Is any other traditional dress as feminine, elegant and downright sexy as a «Dirndl»?
Any man or woman alive who has visited the Munich Oktoberfest would have to answer with a resounding no! As many other Germans, I am always looking forward to the
 festival season rolling around, to wear my «Trachten» and «Lederhosen» to celebrate in style.

From left to right top: Breakfast at Tiffany’s –  Dirndl Time Oh Deer!
From left to right bottom: Pucci Goes Wies’nTyrolean Love

From time to time, I like to play around with the outfits and don’t opt for the traditional «Dirndl» but look for designer pieces in my closet that are inspired from Tyrolean or Bavarian styles.

Finding the right Dirndl can be quite expensive and choices are versatile. You can certainly look for less expensive ones at regular department stores, but then you’re quite likely to run into other women wearing the same style around town. In case it bothers you spending so much money on this occasion, I would like to inspire you with these designer pieces that you can wear all year long.

DAYTIME TRACHT: Misha embroidered velvet-paneled gabardine jacket by Vilshenko, crochet-trimmed lace-up broderie anglaise cotton blouse by SEA, velvet shortsicon by Pierre Balmain, appliquéd leather Chelsea bootsicon by Charlotte Olympiaembellished wool-blend socks, Lucia watersnake-trimmed embellished brocade shoulder bagiconcrystal-embellished round-frame gold-tone sunglassesicon and gold-tone crystal clip earringsicon, all by Dolce & Gabbana.

DIRNDL CHIC: Lace and velvet-paneled pleated crepe mini dress by Elie Saab, faux pearl-embellished velvet headbandicon and velvet shoulder bag, both by Miu Miuvelvet and gold-tone multi-stone choker by Etro, Elliot floral-print matelassé over-the-knee bootsicon by Altuzarra.

BAVARIAN QUEEN: Embroidered cotton-velvet tuxedo jacket by ALEXACHUNG, Adriana lace-up velvet-trimmed crepe dressicon by Altuzarra, Klara lace-up suede ankle boots by Tabitha Simmons, Padlock small appliquéd studded leather shoulder bagicon, metallic crochet-trimmed embroidered cotton-blend socksicon and frayed grosgrain, bead and faux pearl brooch, all by Gucci.

O’zapft is! Happy Wies’n Shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands and © Sandra Bauknecht

Affordable Balmain

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Have you always dreamed of having a fabulous Balmain piece in your closet but your budget has never allowed it? This wish might become soon reality. The French brand has announced the launch of a second line, Pierre Balmain, for S/S 2012 which will range around €120 for a tee, €250 for jeans and approximately €350 for a jacket.

Here are the first pics that honestly didn’t convince me so much. But with the economy not at its best, Decarnin gone, the customers that are willing to spend €10.000 on an embellished leather jacket might not be so easy to find.

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The diffusion line will be produced with Italy’s Itierre SpA that also licenses Just Cavalli for example. Interesting to know is that instead of Balmain’s new main line designer Olivier Rousteing overseeing the collection, an completely independent creative team will be working on it. Honestly, I think the only thing those two lines might have in common, will be the name but I am sure that Pierre Balmain will sell like crazy.

LoL, Sandra

PierreBMenPhotos: Courtesy of Balmain