Before Audrey Hepburn: how Bettina Graziani, became the first Muse of Hubert de Givenchy

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши

Bettina Graziani

A year ago it became known about the death of the famous French designer, the man largely defined fashion in the twentieth century, Hubert de Givenchy. Couturier died March 10 at his home in the dream, but only two days later the partner of designer Philippe Foam reported the news Agency AFP, after the news had already been spread in the media.

The name Givenchy the General public are strongly associated with Audrey Hepburn — the actress was the Muse of fashion designer, and her appearance in outfits by Givenchy not only in real life but on the screen contributed to the growth of popularity of the brand, becoming a kind of advertising campaign. Creations by French fashion designer was happy to wear the brightest divas of the era, including Jackie Kennedy, Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich and many others. But early in his career, before the advent of all these big names, Givenchy was inspired by another woman — French model Bettina Graziani. About how there was the first creative Union, we offer you to remember today.

Despite the fact that Hubert de Givenchy was born to an aristocratic family (his father was a Marquis, and the family history is traced to the seventeenth century), a career he began at a very young age. At the age of 17 he left his native town, Beauvais to Paris, where he immediately began to try their hand in the fashion world. Started Givenchy from the position of assistant designer Jacques Fath.

For several years he changed a lot of the Studio, having to work with Robert Piguet in 1946 moved to Lucien Lelong — he also at that time trained and still an unknown Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, and in the period from 1947 to 1951 he worked for Elsa Schiaparelli.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши Hubert de Givenchy

In 1952, at the age of 25 years, Givenchy opened his own fashion House — at that time he became the youngest couturier in the world of high fashion and presented the first collection. The rapidity of the change of jobs has allowed the designer to not only accumulate the necessary experience to start their own business, but to get the right connections.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши

So in the first show at Givenchy, attended the real star of the fashion world of the 40-ies and 50-ies of Bettina Graziani — in her honour he named the collection. Graziani was named Queen of Parisian fashion and the most photographed woman in France, and later began to characterize her as the first supermodel.



Not to mention the resemblance of Bettina future Givenchy Muse Audrey Hepburn. The designer clearly liked one type: fine features, arched eyebrows, wide-open eyes of a fawn.

Interesting that Graziani also dreamed of becoming a designer. Arriving in the liberated from the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1944, she persistently showed his sketches in different studios, but the appearance of the girl attracted more attention than her work. And at one point on offer to work as a model she finally agreed, leaving the dream House fashion.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши Bettina Graziani filming

Bettina worked with the most famous fashion designer of those years, including Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Coco Chanel and Jacques Fathom thereby, which started his career and Givenchy. It should be noted that the veil Bettina must not only be acquainted with his future creative partner, but also his alias.


Real name girls born in the family of a railroad worker, Simone Michelin, Boden, designer was not satisfied.

Among the models I’ve already got one Simon. You are to me — just like Bettina,

said Fat when taking the girl to work (the name got model from her photographer husband Gilbert Graziani).

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши

This name eventually made her famous and will forever remain in the history of fashion through collaboration with Givenchy. When the designer founded his fashion House, he is invited to cooperate with people whom he trusted and considered friends.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши

Linen blouse with the sleeves decorated with flounces of embroidery, opened the collection presented to the public February 2, 1952 — showed her Bettina.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши

The blouse itself is reminiscent of the style of clothing of flamenco dancers, it became fashionable Givenchy experiment, designed to add to the collection some revolutionary notes and to give women a sense of liberation from the rigid framework of fashion.

This same idea worked and the decision to include in the couture collection a few sets consisting of blouses and skirts, — that is, women are able to combine clothing, as they please, not get a ready solution in the form of dresses.

The name Bettina and became synonymous with this style, which became in the world of fashion same iconic and instantly recognizable as the silhouette of the new look by Dior or cocoon coat from Balenciaga.

In the early years of the brand Givenchy model became, what would now be called, the face of the brand, in addition, she took on more responsibilities press agent.


By the way, the first collection of Givenchy was a white dress with black embroidery, which after a few years there will be Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” (Sabrina). With the actress-designer will be introduced next year after his debut, just in time for the filming of this movie. So begins one of the most beautiful stories of friendship and inspiration, Givenchy will have a new Muse.

In 1955, Graziani left the modeling business after meeting Prince Ali Khan — alas, happy fairy tales do not happen. In 1960, the couple got in a car accident: Khan died, and Bettina lost a child.

After that Graziani would continue to work in the fashion industry, doing advertising Valentino and Ungaro in the 70s, but joint projects with Givenchy, she will be no more, although they retained a great relationship.

До Одри Хепберн: как Беттина Грациани стала первой музой Юбера де Живанши Bettina Graziani and Hubert de Givenchy

She never did dirty tricks, was not violent. It is very rare in the fashion world. Bettina was adored. She always was a person,

— so thought about her Givenchy for many years.

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