Audrey Hepburn A-Z: G is for...

G is for...Givenchy!

Sabrina. Audrey Hepburn | Audrey hepburn, Audrey hepburn photos, Hepburn
via weheartit

Once upon a time, an up-and-coming French fashion designer thought he'd gotten a request to dress top Hollywood actress Katharine Hepburn and happily scheduled an appointment to meet with her at his Paris atelier. Instead, a young ingenue buying clothes for only her second Hollywood film—and whose first film hadn’t even been released yet!—walked in instead. 

This is how Audrey met Hubert de Givenchy while buying Sabrina Fairchild's sophisticated French wardrobe: brushed off because she wasn't Katharine Hepburn, but admired for her chic style and fashion capabilities. A lifelong friendship ensued, and Givenchy became her de facto stylist and dresser, providing the wardrobe for some of her movies and more of her personal wardrobe. 

For Sabrina, their first collaboration, Audrey was permitted to choose some of the last season's pieces for Sabrina's wardrobe. She chose a few chic pieces including a traveling suit and a little black dress, and impressed Givenchy with her style. 

When it came time to acknowledge the movie at awards season, his name was left off the credits and Edith Head was given sole credit. She won an Oscar for the wardrobe of Sabrina, but many acknowledge that the pieces that were actually being rewarded were, in fact, Givenchy's designs. 

Audrey never forgot the slight, and insisted that his name appear in future films. Together, they collaborated on Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charade, and How to Steal a Million. For Two for the Road, released in 1967, director Stanley Donen refused to let Audrey wear Givenchy clothes in the film, noting that an architect's wife wouldn't be able to afford French couture.

He even created her a perfume that she wore exclusively for a year: Interdit. Afterwards, he sold the perfume to the public with Audrey's face on the advertising: an offer she made for a very dear friend that she wanted to help out.  

In 2014, Givenchy said about his friendship and partnership with Audrey, "I dressed many other actresses, but I never made such a friendship, had such close collaboration with anyone. And this new style, this new way of dressing, its way of moving was born in parallel."

Their friendship spanned decades. Audrey said wearing his clothes felt like she was wearing protective armour. He called her his sister. They traveled together, stayed in touch throughout their lives, and treated each other to very personal gifts. For her 60th birthday in 1989, Givenchy had a row of pink roses planted at La Paisible in her honour. 

During her final illness, Givenchy sent his personal jet to pick up Audrey from the specialist's in California to bring her home to Tolochenaz when he found out she wanted to spend her last Christmas in Switzerland. She named him the executor of her estate after her death in 1993.

"There are few people I love more [than Hubert de Givenchy]," Audrey once said. "He is the single person I know with the greatest integrity." Givenchy passed away in 2018. 


What is your favourite Givenchy-designed piece Audrey ever wore? Easier asked than answered, but I do love all the pieces I chose for gifs here. 

Come back soon for the letter H!