Hubert de Givenchy, a very well known name in the fashion industry. One of the major fashion designers of the 20th centrury. Audrey Hepburn was his fashion muse and close friend. This special friendship started in 1953 and lasted the rest of her life. The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has dedicated an exhibit especially to this creative friendship and it is absolutely worth visiting if you love fashion and happen to live in the Netherlands or are just visiting this little country in the EU. I visited this exhibition a couple of weeks ago with a fashion loving friend and we had a lot of fun and loads of inspiration for more beautiful dresses and coats. And although this exhibition doesn’t cover any menswear, I still recommend it to you all: it is a treat!
To Audrey with Love
The exhitibtion – To Audrey with Love gives an unique insight into Hubert de Givenchy’s career, which spanned a period of half a century, from the opening of his fashion house in 1952 through his retirement from in it 1995. The couturier has personally selected many of his favorite creations, some of which have never previously been on show to the public.
Part of the exhibition focusses on the unique friendship and professional collaboration between Hubert de Givenchy and actress Audrey Hepburn. Their creative partnership began in 1953 and lasted for the remainder of Hepburn’s life. Audrey wore Givenchy’s creations in some of her most renowned movies, such as “How to steal a Million” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Some of the designs showed at this exhibition are actually worn by Audrey herself. It was kind of fun to realize that her figure was a bit fuller than the mannequins used to display them. Especially around the chest, her waist was uncanny small, as most of the designs emphasize. Another fun fact is that Hubert de Givenchy first thought he had an appointment with Katharine Hepburn instead of Audrey Hepburn. He thought that working with Katharine would be a good way to help his fashion house move on. Instead of Katharine, Audrey showed up and a unique friendship started with beautiful clothes as a result.
Although a lot of the shown dresses are evening wear, and made especially for the movies Audrey Hepburn starred in, you can still gain tons of inspiration from this exhibition. And if you love sewing vintage clothes, you’re really in for a treat. Try to visit this exhibition with a fashion minded friend, and you’ll be discussing all kinds of techniques and shapes during your visit. We talked and talked about kimono shaped coats, with our without gussets, capped sleeves and how to finish those and more. And because you can get real close to all the pieces, you will figure things out. The collage below shows some of the inspiration I got from this exhibition and details/dresses/coats I would like to try my hands on.
Dress up like Audrey
Another fun part of the exhibition is that you can dress up like Audrey Hepburn. A couple of hats, long sleeves and a pearl necklace are available to try on and get the look. There also were Audrey Hepburn sunglasses but they were nicked on the first day of the exhibition….
Hmmmm, I quess I am not really a hat person at all….
Anyway, if you have the chance try visit this exhibition! It is so worth your time, the dresses are beautiful and you’ll learn much more about Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn (she is Dutch from origine, did you know that?). Admission to this exhibition will also give you access to all the other exhibition of the museum, so this is also your chance to see some of Mondriaan’s work.
In case you’re still in doubt about visiting, here’s a little teaser video of what the exhibition is about.