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AKIPRESS.COM - 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.
Philippe Venet, his longtime companion and a former couture designer, confirmed the death, New York Times reported.
Mr. Givenchy was emblematic of a generation of gentlemanly designers who established their couture houses in postwar Paris, nurturing personal relationships with customers and creating entire collections with specific women in mind.
His very first show — a smash hit with retailers and the press when it was seen in February 1952, when he was just 24 — included the “Bettina blouse,” a tribute to his original muse, Bettina Graziani, Paris’s leading model of the day, who had joined his fledgling company as the director of public relations, saleswoman and fit model.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Givenchy came to the attention of the young Ms. Hepburn, a rising star who was so charmed by his youthful designs that she insisted that he make her clothes for nearly all of her movies, and help mold her sylphlike image in the process.
In 1961, Ms. Hepburn and Mr. Givenchy created one of the most indelible cinematic fashion moments of the 20th century in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”: when her character, Holly Golightly, approaches the titular Fifth Avenue jeweler wearing oversize sunglasses, four strands of sparkling pearls, long evening gloves and a black Givenchy dress — a slender, shoulder-baring column — that looks startlingly out of place for the early morning hour.