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. 


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. 


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.


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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Bombshells: Destination Deauville

I've always been inspired by vintage beach photos and resort towns. Possibly because I grew up in a small beachside town that swelled in population in the summer. Victorian houses dotted the cliffs and there was always a photo here and there of ladies in fine dresses and parasols walking along the beach. My town in Maine doesn't compare to the stylish French beachside resort of Deauville in Normandy. Let's have a look at my latest inspiration.


Seaside resorts became popular in the 1800's. Especially in the later half of the century when developers started to build up coastal areas to attract the wealthy and upper classes. With that brought high fashion and it became popular to stroll the boardwalk in your finest outfit. Deauville, France was no exception. Developers drained the marshland and built fancy resorts. Only a little over an hour away from Paris meant it quickly caught on as a destination and was dubbed the "Parisian Riviera".


Throughout the Bello Epoque era up until WWI the fashion set arrived. A young Coco Chanel (pictured above) opened her first shop in Deauville where she sold hats and soon garments that eschewed the corseted dress of the time. Deauville is in the north of France and can be chilly. Ahead of her time and inspired by the jerseys she wore due to the colder temperatures she developed a uniform of wide leg trousers and classic men's jersey tops. She was such a trendsetter that jersey would soon make her millions. However, when the first World War started the resort town shut down and the large hotels became hospices for the soldiers.


The 1920's brought back prosperity to the area and Parisians started to enjoy the beach again. Fashion photography started to become, well, fashionable. All of sudden it was the place to be seen looking like a silent film star on the beach.


The boardwalk soon became a catwalk. Ladies showed off the latest in swimwear fashions.


And let's not forget the races! Deauville had a race track which was the best place to show off your finery!


By the 1930's all of fashion's finest were in Deauville; Hermes, Schiaparelli, but Coco Chanel remained Queen. Her mainstay fashion of wide leg trousers and jersey tops that she wore when she opened her shop were now on all of the fashion set. Coco always looked so happy in the photos of her from this time. Easy to see why! Once again though, when WWII happened, the resort town shut down and the history of the beaches of Normandy have a different story to tell.


It's not until the 1950's and 1960's that the resort town gets it's mojo back. The boardwalk once again becomes a destination for fashion and remains so to this day. 

Have you been to Deauville? Are you like me and adore vintage beach photos and fashions? Leave a comment below.


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