Givenchy on Film

Posted by Christina Stewart February 26, 2014 1 Comment 2659 views

French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn created an image of timeless glamour onscreen. This glamour has now permeated every facet of our lives and has become the epitome of class. I can still remember buying my first pair of Givenchy silk stockings and feeling oh so glamorous and chic, hoping a little bit of his stardust would rub off on me!

Still image from "Funny Face"

Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn during a costume fitting for “Funny Face” 1957

Givenchy was born into the French aristocracy, but decided to follow in his maternal footsteps into the world of design. He designed under some of the top designers of the 1940’s, including Lucien Lelong and Christian Dior. Givenchy opened his own fashion house in 1952 and met Hepburn in 1953 when he was asked to design the French wardrobe for her character in Sabrina. Sadly his work goes uncredited in the film, as Edith Head took designer credit, even winning an Oscar for Best Costume design. Some people stress that the costumes were actually made in Head’s wardrobe department at Paramount, so that technically gives her credit, but I don’t think so. Apparently Hepburn didn’t think so either and had him design all her costumes and her personal wardrobe from here on out. Head must have learned from this, because she took co-designing credit with Givenchy in 1957 for Funny Face and they were nominated for an Oscar.

Still image from "Sabrina"

The start of the “little black dress” in “Sabrina” 1954. Hepburn with co-stars Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. These type of dresses today are usually called “Audrey” dresses

Still image from "Sabrina"

Hepburn in a knock-out evening gown with William Holden in “Sabrina” 1954

Still image from "Sabrina"

A great montage of Hepburn’s classic looks from “Sabrina” 1954

Looking through their joint filmography one can seen definite threads that link their major films together. Starting with Sabrina we begin to see the quintessential “little black dress” emerge, even though at the time the neckline of the dress was all that was noted upon. In Funny Face and most certainly with Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) the concept and acceptance of the “little black dress” reached perfection. The sense of fashion that Givenchy created for Hepburn, he also created for us and our everyday lives. He created modern fashion. He showed us what and how to wear evening clothes, and the same is true for daywear. We can visualize our wardrobe choices based on his and Hepburn’s stellar teachings and this is something we all try to attain on a daily basis.

Still image from "Love in the Afternoon"

Hepburn in another “little black dress” with co-star Gary Cooper in “Love in the Afternoon” 1957

Still image from "Love in the Afternoon"

Hepburn with her gracious embroidered white dress backstage for “Love in the Afternoon” 1957

Still image from "Funny Face"

Hepburn in a “little black dress” in “Funny Face” 1957

Still image from "Funny Face"

A fantastic hat, part of the pink and white ensemble from “Funny Face” 1957

Still image from "Funny Face"

The crowning gown from “Funny Face” 1957

Still image from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Hepburn in one of her classic looks, with George Peppard and Patricia Neal, in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 1961

Still image from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Hepburn looking lovely in her pink ensemble in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 1961

Still image from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

The black dress to end all black dresses, Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 1961

Still image from "Charade"

I love Hepburn’s widows veil in this scene with Dominique Minot from “Charade” 1963

Still image from "Charade"

Givenchy created wonderfully colorful two-piece suit ensembles, for Hepburn for “Charade” 1963

Still image from "Charade"

Just lounging around in a wool dress, “Charade” 1963

Still image from "Love Among Thieves"

Givenchy designed Hepburn’s evening gowns the “Love Among Thieves” 1987, with co-star Robert Wagner

Still image from "Love Among Thieves"

Hepburn with Robert Wagner in “Love Among Thieves” 1987

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Christina Stewart

A film archivist by day and a film buff by night. What more needs to be said?

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There is 1 Comment

  1. - February 27, 2014
      -   Reply

    Great look at Givenchy’s work for Audrey Hepburn! I also love his designs in How to Steal a Million and Paris When It Sizzles! http://theblondeatthefilm.com/2014/02/04/paris-when-it-sizzles-1964/

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