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GIVENCHY

GIVENCHY

Givenchy, the name itself evokes glamour, refined elegance, simplicity, and style. Givenchy's trademark flowing lines, use of embroidered and print fabrics, and bold colors make his work easily recognizable.He has dressed an impressive list of famous women: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, The Duchess of Windsor, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Greta Garbo, and his favorite muse, Audrey Hepburn.For 53 years, Hubert de Givenchy has epitomized quality, elegance, and lady-like fashion. Hubert de Givenchy (pronounced Gee-von-shee) was born in 1927 in the small town of Beauvais, France.His father died when he was very young and he was raised by his mother and grandfather, an artist and expert tapestry maker. His interest in fashion began, in earnest, when he was ten years old and visited the "fashion pavilion" at the International Exhibition in Paris.Once home, he poured through copies of "Vogue" magazine, often singling out one man's designs - Balenciaga. After World War II and the liberation of Paris, Monsieur de Givenchy studied at the prestigious Beaux-Arts School in Paris.One day, he showed up at Balenciaga's studio, unannounced with his portfolio in hand and eager to learn. He was turned away as being too inexperienced.Undaunted, he was hired soon after by Jacques Fath (1945.)He later worked briefly for Lucien LeLong (1946,) where he met LeLong's assistants, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, and for Elsa Schiaparelli (1947-1951.)Mlle. Schiaparelli put him in charge of her boutique where he learned about accessories, an area that was to become important in Givenchy's own work. Givenchy opened his fashion house, The House of Givenchy, near the Parc Monceau in Paris in 1952 across the street from his mentor and inspiration, Balenciaga.Lacking the funds for costly fabric, Givenchy's first collection was produced using plain, white, men's shirting material.His show was a huge success and earned him worldwide recognition.Particularly popular was the "bettina" blouse, named after Paris' top model of the day.This high-necked, full blouse with ruffled sleeves has become a fashion classic and is used today as a symbol for the "Galleries Lafayette," one of Paris' top department stores.
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