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Cristobal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet, Hubert de Givenchy: Grand Traditions in French Couture
Written by Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery, Foreword by Hubert de Givenchy and Minnie de Beauvau Craon, Photographed by Luc Castel
About This Book
Exquisite dresses from three masters of the grand tradition of French fashion whose contributions have set the standard for haute couture. Cristóbal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet, and Hubert de Givenchy are unparalleled masters, and their individual contributions have set the standard for haute couture. Not only did the great Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga create a style, but he also invented a technique. He was an architect of haute couture and has had a prevailing influence upon the international world of fashion. His trademarks were his astounding creativity, exceptional command of tailoring, and timeless elegance. Philippe Venet has experience and respect for the traditions of haute couture, but distinguishes himself with his use of colors, and his innovative and imaginative tailoring. The 1960s were marked by his "kite" coats whereas his designs of the 1980s and 1990s with their fresh, lively colors maintain a youthful appeal. Hubert de Givenchy, the aristocrat of haute couture, still inspires the fashion world with his sense of perfection. The Givenchy style was an alliance between pure, classic lines and high quality fabrics, whether lavish or light, black or colorful. His designs--often exhibiting floral and foliate themes--reveal his deep-rooted love for nature. Givenchy initiated and was actively involved in the creation of this handsome work, which recalls the precious "compacts" of centuries past--miniature gift cases of gold, enamel, or mother-of-pearl that were offered as a sign of friendship. These extraordinary evening gowns were selected by Hubert de Givenchy, President of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation, along with Philippe Venet, and the Princess of Château Beauvau Craon. Highlights include Queen Fabiola of Belgium's wedding dress created by Balenciaga and the unforgettable black dress created by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
About the Author
Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery, creative director at Christie's France, is the author of many books on French elegance, notably French Interiors (2009) and of The Yves Saint Laurent - Pierre Bergé Collection: The Sale of the Century (2009), both published by Flammarion. Hubert de Givenchy began his career with Jacques Fath, Robert Piguet, and Lucien Lelong, before moving to Schiaparelli in 1947, where he spent four years of total creative freedom and happiness. The elegant and sophisticated women he met there would become his faithful clients, including Daisy Fellowes, Babe Paley, the duchess of Windsor, Lady Abdy, Countess Gazzoni Frascara, Barbara Hutton, Patricia Lopez, and Gloria Guinness. Regarded as one of the world's finest haute couture designers of all time, Givenchy created signature waredrobes for the world's most elegant women such as Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Seberg, Marlene Dietrich, Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Maria Callas. The dress he designed for Audrey Hepburn's role in Breakfast at Tiffany's is a great classic in the history of fashion.