French couturier Hubert de Givenchy is one of the leading fashion designers of the 20th century. His career ran concurrent to that of Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga and he is a living legend in the history of haute couture. The Gemeentemuseum is delighted and extremely honoured to be able to create this prestigious exhibition hand in hand with Monsieur De Givenchy himself. The exhibition will not only be a grand retrospective. Monsieur De Givenchy also pays homage to his muse, Audrey Hepburn.
“Givenchy’s clothes are the only ones I feel myself in. He is more than a designer, he is a creator of personality”
Hubert de Givenchy – To Audrey with Love will give a unique insight into Hubert de Givenchy’s career, which spanned a period of half a century, from the opening of his fashion house in 1952 through his retirement from it in 1995. The couturier has personally selected many of his favourite creations, some of which have never previously been on show to public.
Part of the exhibition will focus specifically on the unique friendship and professional collaboration between Hubert de Givenchy and actress Audrey Hepburn. Their creative partnership began in 1953 and endured for the remainder of Hepburn’s life. Audrey Hepburn wore Givenchy creations in some of her most renowned films, such as How to steal a Million and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In addition to wonderful designs by Hubert de Givenchy, some of them actually worn by Audrey Hepburn, the exhibition will include design sketches, drawings, photographs and film stills.
Audrey Hepburn was not just a pretty face; her heart was in the right place too. Het beautiful exterior was matched by a equally beautiful soul. That’s why the Gemeentemuseum is working hand in hand with the Dutch branch of UNICEF on this fashion exhibition. The aim is to give a rounded picture of the legendary actress: De Givenchy’s muse and a woman who remains, even now, both a style icon and an inspiration to many people. From 1988, Hepburn acted as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the organization that works to improve the lives of children worldwide. She travelled the globe visiting poor countries in a bid to focus attention on the vital importance of education and healthcare. A complete gallery will be devoted to Hepburn’s humanitarian work and in the course of the exhibition the museum will raise funds for UNICEF, for example by donating a proportion of the profits from merchandise.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated book in Dutch and English (Waanders de Kunst, € 24,95) and a colourful children’s art book by Philip Hopman.