The Gemeente Museum in The Hague has done it again. Another fabulous fashion exhibition to drool over by fashionistas, film lovers, fans young and old. This time, fashion created by Mr Hubert de Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn – and others – can be admired. The exhibition was created with the assistance of Mr de Givenchy himself.
The entrance to this exhibition is flanked on either side by large tulip vases. The tulips and vases are white. Mr de Givenchy specifically selected these. He also personally selected which belts, gloves, hats, and all other accessories had to go with the exhibited creations.
The first room shows the exhibition’s introductory video. It runs continuously and it is wise to watch it, before entering the exhibition proper as it contains interesting background information.
Right from the very first outfits shown, one is dazzled. It quickly becomes clear Mr de Givenchy was not only a creative, but also very daring and inventive fashion designer. Another video shows him drawing new designs, even though he sold his empire long ago.
Some walls are covered with fashion drawings. Others have photos of famous clients. Towards the end of the exhibition costumes and art are combined, showing examples of applied art which inspired Mr de Givenchy.
In between, there are rooms which not only display fashion, but also clips of films in which Audrey Hepburn wears costumes exhibited in the various rooms. Of course, there is a clip of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the famous dress. But there are many other costumes linked to film scenes, as well as dresses de Givenchy’s muse Audrey Hepburn wore to parties or privately.
In the largest room, a male visitor remarked to nobody special “Oh, I’m becoming so nostalgic!“ One does, and it is not just because of all the film music and clips. The exhibition covers a period when many women still dressed when many women dressed to the nines with matching shoes, gloves, hats, clutch or bag. Fashion is shown, dating from the 1950s till the 1990s.
There are not just film costumes and dresses from Ms Hepburn’s personal wardrobe, lent by her family. The exhibition includes fashion designed for and worn by Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, and other well-known clients. As with all fashion show, the exhibition ends with a stunning bridal show.
Visitors and me were admiring the brides, when a mother and young daughter entered the room. The seven-year-old fashionista was totally bowled over, then wailed so long, mum finally gave in. The young wanna-be-model posed – in front of the only pink wedding-dress on show of course – and several photos were taken to share with family and friends.
The exhibition does not only pay tribute to Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy. It also dedicates space to Ms Hepburn’s work as one of UNICEF’s ambassadors. There are clips of her addressing the United Nations about yet another humanitarian crisis.
The very last room of the exhibition not only contains comic takes about the many costumes and scenes. Here one finds various props and a photo boot. For one coin, visitors can dress up, insert a Euro coin, get six small pictures taken. The proceeds go to UNICEF. Of course, I joined the queue.
So: spending time in the Netherlands, visit “Hubert de Givenchy – to Audrey with Love” at the The Hague Gemeente Museum before the end of March 2017!
Taking photos is allowed, donations to UNICEF are welcome and an accompanying book is available in the museum shop for 24.95 Euro.
Youtube: behind the scenes of the exhibition “Hubert de Givenchy”