This article was translated by John R. Bopp
The news of the passing of the great designer Hubert de Givenchy has gone round the world, and we felt we needed to dedicate an entry to him.
Why? Well, for us it’s quite obvious. Givenchy was a protégé of one of the most universal Basques of the 20th century: Cristobal Balenciaga. The French designer was one of the best friends of the Basque couturier, and their friendship went beyond even the death of Balenciaga.
Givenchy pushed for the creation of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum in Getaria that recounts his life and work. Born in a humble home to a seamstress and a fisherman, he rose to become one of the all-time greatest geniuses of fashion.
Givenchy, who knew Balenciaga well, highlighted his Basque origin and the influence that had on his personality and work. We discussed this in an entry dedicated to his statements, which contrasted with other articles that called him a “Spanish designer born to a Basque fisherman”. There’s nothing wrong with being the son of a fisherman or a seamstress, quite the contrary, but in that sentence there is nothing innocent. Fortunately, Givenchy at one point had this to say in Paris Mach:
Il avait une vision différente de la mode…Une vision forte, à l’image du Pays Basque –avec une personnalité très basque
(He had a different image of fashion…A strong vision, as in the Basque Country – with a very Basque personality.)
A great designer has passed away, the one who was able to make the extraordinary beauty of Audrey Hepburn even more extraordinary; the one who preserved Balenciaga’s legacy and took on the challenge of creating a museum for him in Getaria; the one who knew how to remember and highlight the roots of that Basque designer.
We simply needed to dedicate and entry to him, and give him our thanks.
To remember him, we’re using the obituary printed in The New York Times by Eric Wilson, which highlights the friendship between both creators. It’s curious to us, however, that this only appears in the English-language version, and was not translated into the Spanish version.
New York Times – 12/3/2018 – USA
Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91; Fashion Pillar of Romantic Elegance
Hubert de Givenchy, the French couturier who upheld a standard of quintessentially romantic elegance in fashion for more than four decades, dressing the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and memorably Audrey Hepburn, in a little black dress, in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” died on Saturday at his home outside Paris. He was 91.