- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
The Museum of Lace and Style in Calais, France has opened a retrospective on Hubert de Givenchy, curated by the 90-year-old fashion designer, featuring looks worn by the likes of Audrey Hepburn, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.
The exhibition is part of the museum’s 2017 cultural programme and features eighty outfits and accessories that have been sourced from private collectors, the archives of the House of Givenchy and museum collections, as well as Givenchy pieces held by the Museum of Lace and Style.
Everything in the exhibition, which runs until December 31, has been chosen and curated by de Givenchy himself, to showcase the couturier's entire career and the “encounters” that marked his life and shaped his designs.
There is a focus on the leading ladies that wore his collections, including actress Audrey Hepburn, with a number of display cases dedicated to her, showcasing the dresses worn by the star in two of her greatest film roles Breakfast at Tiffany’s and How to Steal a Million.
Museum of Lace and Style opens Givenchy exhibition
There are also dresses worn by his other famous clientele on display including Jackie Kennedy’s embroidered dress and opera coat worn for her husband’s first presidential visit to France and the Duchess of Windsor’s outfit worn to the funeral of her husband, as well as pieces worn by Countess Isabelle de Borchgrave d'Altena, the Duchess of Cadaval, and the Marquesa de Llanzol.
Speaking at the opening, to The Guardian the designer praised his clients, he said: “They were my friends. The perfect dress can make many things happen in a woman’s life. It can bring happiness. It is so nice to give happiness to your friends.”
Other key pieces includes the ‘Bettina’ blouse from his first collection in February 1952, which features puff sleeves and black broderie Anglaise, a number of ball gowns featuring lace embroidery, a red satin dress and coat, and an embroidered trouser suit.
The outfits are displays alongside couture textile swatches, archive Givenchy fragrances, and photographs to give insight into de Givenchy’s career and inspirations.
The Museum of Lace and Style is located inside a nineteenth-century lace factory and showcases couturiers and renowned young designers including Cristóbal Balenciaga, Anne Valérie Hash, Iris Van Herpen, and On Aura Tout Vu within its contemporary galleries dedicated to design in textiles and fashion.
The Hubert de Givenchy exhibition runs at the Museum for Lace and Style in Calais until December 31, 2017.
Images: courtesy of the Museum of Lace and Style