About Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy
Audrey Hepburn had two husbands, two sons, but only one favorite designer. She called him as “best friend”, and he called her as “sister”. Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy acquaintance happened when she went to Paris looking for the costumes for the “Sabrina” film (1954). At first the actress came to the honored fashion maestro – Cristobal Balenciaga. But he was occupied with preparations of the next collections and addressed Audrey to his former student, Hubert de Givenchy, who despite his youth, had already had his own fashion house. When Givenchy was informed that “Mademoiselle Hepburn” wants to meet with him, at first he thought about Katharine Hepburn, the 1930-1940s film-star. However, the homonym hadn’t disappointed him. Couturier was impressed straight away with her fine maiden beauty. Hubert de Givenchy: “My first impression was a feeling that she looks like a fragile creature – with such big eyes and completely without makeup. She was charming.” The delight was mutual. Audrey Hepburn: “This is the only clothes that I feel myself. He is much more than a fashion designer, he is a personality creator”.
The actress had immediately decided that it was Givenchy dresses are perfect for “Sabrina”. The designer work was also appreciated by the audience. The greatest praise had earned two dresses: the white off-the-shoulder dress with a flower pattern, and the second one – black with high trapezoidal collar, which was immediately called a “Sabrina decollete” (actress wanted the dress cover her collarbones). Givenchy created costumes for such films with Hepburn, as “Funny Face”, “Love in the Afternoon”, “Charade”, “Paris – When It Sizzles”, “How to Steal a Million”… But the most Givenchy’s cult work for Hepburn became a dress from the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) film, which is called “the best little black dress ever”. It turns out, that he had got round Coco Chanel herself, who had invented this very “little black dress” (LBD) actually.
According to the legend, the designer created LBD in memory of her lover – Arthur Capel, who died in a car accident in 1919. Evil tongues sarcastically said that Chanel couldn’t mourn officially, that’s why she made all the France women to make it. It is true that before Coco de Chanel black color wasn’t something fashionable and was used basically just for sable. As for Arthur Capel, it took seven years between his death and the emergence of the first model of the famous dress. More trustworthy is the story that Chanel was inspired with the black uniform of French saleswomen. Coco had always disliked excessive brightness and blatancy of dresses. She claimed: “The more expensive the dress looks like, the cheaper it becomes. I’ll dress everyone in black to develop their taste.” Chanel saw in the black color not somberness, but mysteriousness (and “to return mysteriousness to a woman means to return her the youth”). Except for the color, LBD differed with simplicity of form and the absence of decorative elements (it supposed to be enlivened with the help of accessories). Such a dress was acceptable any time of the day, and was available for women of modest means.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” character’s LBD also became the indicator of a breakthrough in world of fashion. Before dominant the “New Look” with its luxuriant ball gowns gradually gave way for simple and youth forms. Maybe everything would have been different, if Marilyn Monroe had accepted (as Truman Capote the novel author, persistently wanted) for the role of Holly Golightly, the provincial, trying by all means to get into a high society. Though the actress’ surroundings considered that the role of “a call girl” would harm her image. So instead of a luxury Monroe there appeared on the screen touching, funny and direct girl in the performance of Hepburn. And where Hepburn is, there also Givenchy is… Audrey Hepburn: “I have to be stylish Holly Golightly. Even of it is the only thing I can bring to the role.” The famous “LBD of all ages” represented a long form-fitting dress made of satin, with drop waist, sleeveless. One of the dress’ specialty, there were specific necklines behind, denuding shoulder-blades. Following the Chanel precepts, Givenchy has paid great attention to accessories, which included: classic pearl strands around the neck; crystal tiara on the head that adorns the hairstyle “a la beehive”; long black gloves; – large sunglasses; long cigarette holder. It is this image of Hepburn was replicated on posters and promotional photos. Though the character appears in this dress only at the beginning of a film, when she early in the morning goes to solitary the Fifth Avenue to eat her breakfast at the showcase of the “Tiffany” jewelry shop and to dream about beautiful life…
All the varianta of LBD you can find at http://parisdress.com/