A lavishly illustrated window into how fashion drew Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy together.
In this Dutch import, Hopman explores the fabulously symbiotic relationship of Belgian-born movie star Audrey Hepburn and French couturier Hubert de Givenchy. These gifted contemporaries first met in the early 1950s, when Hepburn sought out Givenchy, desperate for more attractive costumes for her second film, Sabrina. Hopman here glosses their similarly privileged European upbringings, focusing instead on how Givenchy’s white-hot aesthetic, which was setting Paris ablaze, appealed to Hepburn’s sense of style and contributed to the spare elegance that helped make her into a 20th-century fashion icon. Hopman showcases the lifelong relationship that blossomed between the two artists, with De Clercq-Foley’s serviceable translation revealing that Audrey “always wore Hubert’s clothes. Even when she baked chocolate cake.” Though the type layout in the book’s opening pages makes the initial parallel narratives of these budding superstars somewhat hard to follow, Hopman’s vivid, richly detailed mixed-media illustrations render the text almost superfluous. Givenchy’s signature designs, including a hot-pink, double-page spread of Hepburn’s ubiquitous Breakfast at Tiffany’s black dress, leap from Hopman’s page with verve and humor.
Bursting with color and panache, Hopman’s double portrait of Givenchy and Hepburn lovingly captures one of the 20th century’s most beautiful friendships. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)