Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, a tailor-made complicity

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – PIERRE GUILLAUD – | French couturier Hubert de Givenchy and American actress Audrey Hepburn on October 21, 1991 in Paris

One of the most famous platonic love stories of fashion could never have seen the light of day: at the beginning of the 1950s, fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, who had just disappeared, had at first refused to dress Audrey Hepburn . Before changing his mind, conquered a dinner.

“When Audrey came to ask me to make her dresses for the film + Sabrina +, I did not know who she was and I was waiting for Katharine Hepburn”, remembered the French designer late 2016, at the opening of the exhibition ” To Audrey with love “in The Hague (Netherlands), dedicated to her creations for the actress.

“She arrived frail, graceful, young, bubbly”, dressed “like a girl now” of cotton pants, ballerinas and a t-shirt revealing her belly button, a Venetian gondolier hat in her hand .

“I was not able to make an important wardrobe for + Sabrina + and I said no, Miss, I can not get dressed,” said the designer, who said he did not have enough “small hands, “these workers in the big workshops.

Ⓒ UPI/AFP/Archives – masaharu hatano – | French designer Hubert de Givenchy and American actress Audrey Hepburn on April 13, 1983 in Tokyo

Given this refusal, Audrey Hepburn invites him to dinner, “which was surprising for a well-bred girl”. At the end of the meal, Givenchy, under the charm, offers him to come back the next day to the fashion house.

“She persuaded me, and how wise I was to accept. On screen, alongside Humphrey Bogart in 1954, Audrey Hepburn wears an ivory ball dress embroidered with flowers and lined with black, signed Givenchy.

She asks that the French dress her now in his contemporary films and wearing, the same year, a delicate floral ivory dress when she receives an Oscar.

“Audrey’s style has arrived with such a different silhouette, so modern,” said one who created for his muse the wool crepe suit worn in “Charade” (1963), the evening dress while play of transparency mixing velvet, tulle and sequins of “Bound by the blood” (1979) and especially the famous black dress enhanced with pearls of “Diamonds on sofa” (1961).

Ⓒ ANP/AFP/Archives – Bart Maat – | French couturier Hubert de Givenchy at the Gemeentemuseum Museum in La Hague on April 23rd, 2016

In both friendship and fashion, the two artists are in perfect harmony, understanding “what she loved, what she could wear”.

“Givenchy’s clothes are the only ones I feel myself in. More than a stylist, he’s a personality designer,” said the actress, about her friend Hubert who will visit his bedside in Switzerland. at the end of his life. He will receive with his hands a navy quilted coat: “When you’re unhappy, wear it and it’ll give you courage.”

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