A Legacy of Excellence: Hubert de Givenchy

Where would we be today in the fast-paced, millennial world without interchangeability within our wardrobes? How would we achieve class and elegance in the workplace, while adhering to standards that call for classic pieces within business fashion? For instance, the classic blazer and pencil skirt combo, that can be paired or interchanged with a classic white blouse and maybe a cardigan, for a different look.

French fashion icon and curator of elegance, Hubert de Givenchy is responsible for gracing us with his brilliant concept of classic, signature pieces designed to mix and match with other signature classics, in order to achieve multiple looks. At the age of 91, Givenchy has left behind a decorated legacy that serves as a model of excellence within the fashion industry as well as the simple art of humanity.

Known for being humble in all his ways, Hubert de Givenchy maintained a graceful character that mirrored the style of his designs. He had a passion for elegance and romance like no other, along with a clear understanding of authenticity, considering that he was known for creating pieces with specific women in mind that represented the looks he was aiming for.

“The dress must follow the body of the woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” – Hubert de Givenchy

Drawn to his genuine aura accompanied by a clean 6’6’’ figure, British actress and model, Audrey Hepburn, became a friend and avid voice for his presence in the film industry. After multiple occasions of being shorted credit for his featured pieces, Ms. Hepburn announced her decision to be dressed exclusively by Mr. Givenchy while on set of all her movies. She was especially attracted to the confidence and courage she experienced when she wore the pieces he designed for her, such as the “little black dress” she wore in the 1961 drama film, Breakfast at Tiffanys. She also admired his passion for the art, that kept him unaffected by those who claimed praises for his work.

Givenchy also developed a connection with Spanish designer, Cristobal Balenciaga, to whom he assumed a position of admiration and respect, that lead to years of close friendship and inspired the creation of many legendary collections that followed his previous work. Prior to his time spent with Balenciaga, Givenchy’s designs were simple and softly, conservative. The amazing transformation that took place within the style of Givenchy’s collections reflected a maturity that called for more embroidery, more romance, and represented the more modern woman. Both styles of his original designs are now considered high-end, vintage fashion, that contain pieces that are bought and sold for millions of dollars, per item.

Hubert de Givenchy took his position in the fashion industry during a time of mixed emotions throughout society and divided nations, due to the ending of WWII; but his poise reigned supreme! He was able to use his God-given passion and talent to create beauty within the gloom of physical and emotional war damage. He claimed to have discovered his gifts and desires at the age of 10, while with his mother at a Paris fair, which featured collections by top designers, such as Chanel. Givenchy studied under many greats and always had a niche for maintaining a certain luxurious standard, and we see the fruits of his diligence throughout his work. Although he has passed on in the flesh, the life of his legacy permeates all fashion avenues and stands legendary in the history of style, as well as in fashion innovation. He paved the way for future designers to elevate their status through simple touches of authenticity.

“Luxury is in the details.”- Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018)

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