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Le GOÛT de... Hubert de Givenchy

Cantor of distinction and refinement Hubert de Givenchy  embodied what is called "the Great French Taste". His sensitivity for the decorative arts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, reached, in a man of such culture, perfection. But it should not hide that this lover of art and furniture of the XXth Century, also knew how to make daring mixes.

Esthete Place returns here to the fundamentals of the taste of this "Grand Monsieur" ...

Hubert Taffin de Givenchy, was born on February 20, 1927, a father Marquis, attached to the nobility of northern France and a mother from a family of artists daughter of Jules Badin, who was administrator of the Manufacture de Beauvais and the Goblins. This probably explains a sensitivity developed very early on for elegance and refinement and for the decorative arts in particular.

" Luxury is in each detail " repeated the master of chic without fuss. Rigor and refinement are a constant, as in his fashion, but also in his choices of interior decoration. Principles that it applies for its successive Parisian apartments: at 4 rue Fabert (on the Esplanade des Invalides), at the Hôtel de Cavoye (sold to the Bernard Tapie Group),  at the Hôtel d 'Orrouer (located at 87 rue de Grenelle), in its castle in Jonchet (Eure-et-Loir), and in its Villa in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat ... all filled with wonders without overload but with a simple sumptuousness.

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Detail, Chinese potiches XVIII, small bronze with deer, antique busts
Detail "Attentive Monkey II", 1999, FXL, decoration  for a collector 
Diego Giacometti bronze center table

Everything from the inventor of "separables", the "Bettina" blouse, mythical perfumes: L'Interdit, Irrésistible, Ysatis, Givenchy Gentlemen ..., or even iconic creations that he designed for the one who was the 40-year-old friend, Audrey Hepburn, reflects the harmony of her interiors, and  the result of an obvious meticulous relaxation. 

At Givenchy, sobriety befits its sophistication where everything is a question of balance that sometimes hangs by a thread ...

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The "Bettina" blouse, named after her favorite model, Béttina Graziani 
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Perfume "L'Interdit" illustrated by Audrey Hepburn
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The cabinet with the chariot of Apollo "by André-Charles Boulle

Alexis AND Nicolas KUGEL, Peter FUHRING

We could define the Givenchy signature in its latest decor, the Jonchet manor, by  a style that  results from the perfect mix of respect for the architectural proportions of the place,  clear volumes, noble or natural materials, - exposed stones, rope, woven straw, period woodwork, gilding ... An excellence favored by a palette in light shades or in shades of honey, forming the setting for a choice of precious objects and furniture: silversmith from Augsburg, Limoges enamels, Boulle and other 18th century cabinet and desk, Knoll furniture, Gérard Mille coffee tables for Jansen, Renaissance bronzes, porcelain from the East India Company, sheep or monkeys signed Lalanne, bronze furniture signed by friend Diego Giacometti ..., the whole under the gaze of selected works of art, Picasso, Braque, Fernand Léger or Miro who coexist with Nicholson and Rothko ... the any pretext  to a unique decorum which does not exclude the sense of comfort and the pleasure of living with rigor and restraint ...

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1 apartment rue Fabert, 18th century Italian landscape, white slipcovers and Jansen desk
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2 the Jonchet manor, the large living room
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The guest room, rue Fabert, four-poster bed and Knoll furniture
His sense of aesthetics had been refined by frequenting artists and merchants in post-war Paris.
I used to visit antique shops and they took the time to explain the pieces to me ." Hubert de Givenchy also liked to tell how he had acquired "his" Rothko, during a visit to New York, shortly after the artist's suicide in February 1970, and at the initiative of his friend and client Bunny Mellon.  "We went to the workshop one morning, there were 800 Rothko ... Madame Mellon bought 14 and I decided to take one. At the time Rothko was not that expensive, and he there was no other in Paris " . 
This painting can be seen today at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel.
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fig 1 & 2 the apartment rue Fabert; The Boulle desk and cupboard known as "the chariot of Apollo" and having belonged to Misia Sert, responds to the Rothko.  Hubert de Givenchy in 2012, in front of a Bacchus awarded to Girardon.
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in front of the large drawing of Picasso, in brocade pants, in the 70s
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the entrance to Jonchet

The decoration was the work of his other life, that of everyday life, which made him rise with the sun, to arrive at the Couture House at 3, avenue George V at 7:00 a.m. every morning. He would then greet his employees, then get to work.  Sometimes he did not hesitate after this daily morning ritual to fly in Concorde so as not to miss the opening time of the Givenchy store at 747 Madison Ave, NY. high standards, hard work, thoroughness and punctuality, always ...

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