French cou­turier Hu­bert de Givenchy dies at 91

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS -

PARIS » French cou­turier Hu­bert de Givenchy, a pi­o­neer of ready-to-wear who de­signed Au­drey Hep­burn’s lit­tle black dress in “Break­fast at Tiffany’s,” has died at the age of 91.

The house of Givenchy paid homage to its founder in a state­ment as “a ma­jor per­son­al­ity of the world of French haute cou­ture and a gen­tle­man who sym­bol­ized Parisian chic and el­e­gance for more than half a cen­tury.”

“He rev­o­lu­tion­ized in­ter­na­tional fash­ion with the time­lessly stylish looks he cre­ated for Au­drey Hep­burn, his great friend and muse for over 40 years,” the house of Givenchy said. “His work re­mains as rel­e­vant to­day as it was then.”

Along with Chris­tian Dior, Yves Saint Lau­rent and men­tor Cris­to­bal Ba­len­ci­aga, Givenchy was part of the elite cadre of Paris-based de­sign­ers who re­de­fined fash­ion in the wake of World War II.

A tow­er­ing man of el­e­gance and im­pec­ca­ble man­ners, he forged close friend­ships with his fa­mous clients, from Hol­ly­wood screen sirens of the likes of Liz Tay­lor and Lau­ren Ba­call to women of state, in­clud­ing Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Born into an aris­to­cratic fam­ily in the pro­vin­cial city of Beau­vais on Feb. 21, 1927, Givenchy struck out for Paris in his late teens, in the wake of World War II.

Cou­turier Jac­ques Fath hired Givenchy on the strength of his sketches. He spent two years learn­ing the ba­sics of fash­ion de­sign, from sketch­ing to cut­ting and fit­ting haute cou­ture styles.

Af­ter ap­pren­tic­ing with other top names, Givenchy founded his own house in 1952.

His de­but col­lec­tion ush­ered in the con­cept of sep­a­rates — tops and bot­toms that could be mixed and matched, as op­posed to head-to­toe looks that were the norm among Paris cou­ture pur­vey­ors.

Work­ing on a tight bud­get, Givenchy

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