Bobbins: Label Love- Givenchy

At the age of 91, Hubert de Givenchy passed away just days ago on March 10th. As an homage to the designer that inspired me as a young teen it is fitting that he have a Label Love post. Now seems like the perfect time. 

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Hubert was born in 1927 in Beauvais, France to a noble family. He was known to be soft, polite, and debonair. He moved to Paris at the age of 17 to live his dream of being a dress designer. He apprenticed with Jacques Fath, and worked in the ateliers of Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong. From there he went on to work for Schiaparelli and dreamed of striking out on his own. In 1952 he did and was a sensation. He created very high end but timeless, feminine looks with coordinating pieces that could be worn together.  This was a new concept at the time. His pret a porter collection would later debut in 1954. He soon set up his atelier across the street from his idol Cristobal Balenciaga. 

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The Bettina blouse (shown above) was from his first collection and was copied endlessly. French fashion model, Bettina Graziani, opened the show wearing it, hence the name.

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In 1953, Givenchy met Audrey Hepburn and created the famous dress for the film Sabrina. The story goes that when Edith Head won the oscar for costumes and did not credit Givenchy, Audrey was so upset that she decided to have his designs exclusive for her future movies. She made a wise choice and she and Hubert quickly became friends for life. 

 The iconic little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

The iconic little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

As a teen I adored (still do) Audrey and loved her style in every film. It is where my love of vintage clothing began. Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn in the following films: Sabrina (uncredited), Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon (uncredited), Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paris When it Sizzles, and Charade. 

 Audrey and Hubert in a fitting for  Funny Face

Audrey and Hubert in a fitting for Funny Face

Givenchy held financial control over his business for nearly his whole career. He sold to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1988 and designed his last couture collection in 1995. His successor was John Galliano, followed by Alexander McQueen, Riccardo Tisci, and Clare Waight Keller who took over last March. 

Givenchy will always remain that touch of class that defined his generation. We will always be on the hunt for it. 

 Givenchy hat photographed by Frank Horvat. 1958

Givenchy hat photographed by Frank Horvat. 1958


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Label Love- Travilla

“Billy… Please dress me forever, I love you, Marilyn” 

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William (Billy) Travilla is best known for dressing Marilyn Monroe in some of her most epic films. The dresses themselves became as epic as MM herself. Even if you haven't seen her movies, you know the costumes. The white dress she wears in The Seven Year Itch on the subway grate. The hot pink dress in Gentleman Prefer Blondes. And so many, many more! 

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 This dress sold for $4,600,000 (USD) during a 2011 auction

This dress sold for $4,600,000 (USD) during a 2011 auction

Travilla was born in California in 1920 and showed amazing artistic talent at a very young age. His career in fashion began in the 1940s when discovered by Ann Sheridan, who collected his paintings, took him on as her personal costume designer on the Warner Brother's lot. By the early 50's he was friends with Marilyn Monroe. He designed for two of her movies mentioned above plus Don't Bother to Knock, How to Marry a Millionaire and Bus Stop. 

 Travilla was nominated for an Academy Award for  How to Marry a Millionaire  in 1954

Travilla was nominated for an Academy Award for How to Marry a Millionaire in 1954

While working on films Travilla also began his own label for the public in the 50s. He understood the power of the movies and movie stars to sell clothes. This is most evident in his collection that mirrored his designs for Valley of the Dolls in the 1960s. Sharon Tate even modeled the collection. 

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Travilla designed until his death in 1990. He was reluctant to work in the 80's but he realized that the show Dallas needed him, and so he continued to work! He won a Primetime Emmy for his work on that show in 1985. 

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Even his illustrations are beautiful! What an inspiration and prolific designer William Travilla was. Keep an eye out for his name in classic movie credits! 

 

Shop for designer vintage here including this gorgeous 1970s Travilla chiffon number


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xo,

Karen