February 24, 2017
French fashion house Givenchy is paying tribute to the friendship between its founding couturier and actress Audrey Hepburn with an exhibition in The Hague.
House founder Hubert de Givenchy counted British actress Ms. Hepburn as a close personal friend and considered her a design muse. The “Hubert de Givenchy: To Audrey With Love” is currently on view at the Gemeentemuseum in the Netherlands and traces the their friendship via Givenchy haute couture and accessories.
Mr. de Givenchy designed haute couture, women’s wear and menswear for more than four decades before retiring in 1995. More than 20 years later, Givenchy created a conservation department to preserve and showcase its founder’s artistry and brand heritage.
The irreplaceable pieces preserved by Givenchy’s conservation department were designed by Mr. de Givenchy between 1952 and 1995. Within that timeframe, the couturier designed for his friends including Ms. Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor.
For Hubert de Givenchy: To Audrey With Love, the department pays homage to Mr. de Givenchy’s friendship with Ms. Hepburn as told through approximately 50 haute couture creations and hundreds of accessories.
Givenchy celebrated the 90th birthday of its founder on Feb. 20
The exhibition also features excerpts from films Ms. Hepburn starred in while wearing Givenchy designs, such as “Sabrina,” “How to Steal a Million” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” In addition to on-set costumes and her personal clothing, Ms. Hepburn was the face of Givenchy's first fragrance, L'Interdit, in 1957.
Mr. de Givenchy and Ms. Hepburn remained close friends until her death in 1993.
Givenchy’s exhibition at The Hague will end of March 26, before being adapted for the Fondation Bolle is Morges, Switzerland May 19 to Sept. 17. A “Hubert de Givenchy” adaptation will also be on view at the Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode in Calais, France from June 15 to Dec. 31.
The house’s reinforcement of heritage comes at a transitional period for Givenchy. Last month, Riccardo Tisci stepped down as creative director after 12 years with the brand. Givenchy has yet to name a replacement, but the brand is reportedly in talks with Off-White designer Virgil Abloh (see story).