Thursday, March 22, 2018

A legend is gone...

From the Baltimore Sun via the Washington Post by Robin Givhan

Givenchy and power of a little black dress!!!

Hubert de Givenchy was that rare designer whose work reached everyone from fashion aficionados to the casual observers. It defined an era. It helped create the foundation for what it means to be a fashion icon. His work told the story of glamorous sophistication, female rebellion and the complexities of beauty and desire.
He achieved this remarkable feat with a single little black satin dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening sequence of 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” From the front, the dress was simple enough: sleek and sleeveless with a flattering bateau neckline. From the back, it was dynamic, sexy and utterly sophisticated with its geometric cutouts and the alluring way it framed the nape of the neck.
And it looks as perfect in 2018 as it did 50 years ago. Givenchy didn’t invent the little black dress, but he gave it its enduring cachet. He infused it with meaning beyond the practical and versatile. The dress represented a lifestyle: glamorous, reckless, defiant, urbane. It was Holly Golightly’s dress. She was complicated and sad, confounding and charming. She was not Everywoman. She was exceptional, which is what every woman wants to be. And her signature dress was wondrous.
Givenchy, who died March 10 at age 91, was born a count. He had an aristocratic bearing made even grander by his 6-foot-6 frame. He loved gardens and antiques. As a designer, he came of age during the 1950s and ’60s when haute couture dominated fashion and Paris was the center of it all. He apprenticed with Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli, but his greatest influence was fashion’s most famous ascetic Cristobal Balenciaga, who was both a mentor and friend. And when Balenciaga closed his own atelier in 1968, he directed his heartbroken clients to Givenchy.
Givenchy dressed the grand dames of international society, ranging from France’s Marie-Helene de Rothschild to Americans Bunny Mellon, Lee Radziwill and Jacqueline Kennedy. He didn’t just stitch up luncheon suits and evening gowns for them; he socialized with them and was part of their world.
His work was known for the quality of its lines. He was not the sort of designer who would try to dazzle the eye with elaborate embroidery or lavish beading. Instead, he focused on cut and proportion. His clothes exuded luxury but also restraint. He didn’t simply create clothes; he crafted a vocabulary of style. And it was that ability to seemingly build an entire world out of silk and satin that made his work with Hepburn both memorable and enduring — and allowed it to resonate with generations of women who envisioned themselves as gamines living fully and self-indulgently.
But no matter the many divergent aesthetic points of view or the passage of time, Givenchy remains bound up in the collective cultural memory of a single black dress, the man who created it, the woman who wore it. And the timeless desire for a bright, shiny life of glamour and ease.

Here are some of my favorite Givenchy Vogue patterns:


 I actually made this dress (2303) in a fushia crepe!  It was my go to Easter dress for years!!!!!