Three museums in Morges will be the setting for an exploration of the fashion legend’s oeuvre including pieces created especially for the films and private life of his famous client, who lived in nearby Tolochenaz.
From the 20th May and continuing until 17th September, lovers of haute couture and of cinema will have an extraordinary opportunity to visit a unique retrospective that explores — for only the third time internationally — the life’s work of one of haute couture’s greatest designers, Hubert de Givenchy.
In this context, it will also look at the unparalleled professional collaboration and personal friendship that Givenchy enjoyed with his muse, the celebrated actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, which defined her unique look and that of an era and which continues to influence fashion to this day.
“I dressed many other actresses, but I never made such a friendship, had such close collaboration with anyone. And this new style, this new way of dressing, its way of moving was born in parallel.”
–Hubert de Givenchy, Le Temps, 2014
It was the express wish of Mr Givenchy, 90 this year, to present his work, dresses, sketches — memories of his close relationship with Audrey Hepburn — at Morges, so close to where the actress lived at La Paisible, her cherished home and retreat in Tolochenaz.
An elegant friendship spanning 40 years
Audrey Hepburn & Hubert de Givenchy: An Elegant Friendship will simultaneously take place at the Château de Morges, the Musée Alexis-Forel and the Expo Fondation Bolle, all within easy walking distance of each other. It will gather pieces never exhibited before and include 50 original dresses made by the House of Givenchy, hats and accessories, gathered from 12 private owners and museums, as well as 40 sketches and Miss Hepburn’s public documents, photographs, anecdotes and objects.
“Hubert made all the dresses in my first films. It was he who gave me a look, a type, a silhouette. It was he who made me visually what I became.”
The iconic pieces of the exhibition — clothes, accessories and sketches — will be featured in a collector’s book that pays tribute to the friendship that Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy shared. A friendship that had a very unexpected beginning….
A surprising introduction
In early summer 1953, Hubert de Givenchy, a rising star in French haute couture, was working on his autumn-winter collection when his friend Gladys de Segonzac, an intermediary between Hollywood and French fashion designers, contacted him with a request from “Miss Hepburn” that she would like to meet him.
A great fan of Katherine Hepburn, Givenchy was taken aback, even disappointed, when a slight young woman wearing Vichy pants, a t-shirt tied above the navel and a gondolier hat adorned with a ribbon inscribed “Venezia!” walked in.
“Could you make me my dresses, I need about fifteen.”
Roman Holiday, Hepburn’s breakout film, had not yet been released and the still unknown actress was looking for a designer to create for her next film “Sabrina” clothes that captured the “spirit of Paris”. Unable to resist her charm and determination, Givenchy provided her with the prototypes of his un-yet finished collection…and the rest is cinematic history.
Together they collaborated on many more films, including “Funny Face” and notably, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” for which he designed the iconic ‘little black dress’ for her.
For four months, we’ll have the privelege of looking in on this close and trusting relationship encapsulated in this intimate exhibition, a world first that will undoubtedly gather lovers of film and high fashion from both near and far. ♥
-Audrey Hepburn & Hubert de Givenchy: An Elegant Friendship
-At the Expo Fondation Bolle, Château de Morges and Musée Alexis-Forel in Morges
-20 May to 17 Sept 2017 (until end-August at Musée Alexis-Forel)
-Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm
–Practical Information (tickets available at the Château only)
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