They were born in the same year: 1929
They have demanding mothers
They study ballet and love dancing
They are polyglots: both Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy speak 5 languages, and they speak beautiful French
They are both horse riders
They have the gamine look when they are young
They wear Givenchy dresses
They love reading and solitude
She is Kitty Spencer, oldest daughter of Charles Spencer, brother of late Princess Diana, a socialite and model growing up in Cape Town, South Africa.
Although many media insisted that she look just like Princess Diana, like they loved to insist that Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn´s grand daughters look just like them respectively.
We all share this faible sentiment of hoping for a possible reincarnation of a style icon, particularly among their own descendants, but to say Lady Kitty Spencer looks like her late Aunt, is like saying she looks like Marilyn Monrone, who also had blone hair and blue eyes.
There is no doubt Kitty is beautiful, but from her social media photos, it is obvious that she does not look like Princess Diana, not in bone structure, not in feature, not in looks. their similarity stop at the colors of their hairs and eyes, or at most extends to their love of hats.
But on the day of May 19, 2018, something extraordinary happened, Kitty Spencer looked as if she were another person completely, in that forest green Dolce & Gabana floral dress and matching Philip Treacy fascinator.
She looked perfect from head to toe, with every single detail coordinated. The focal point was the dress, the design was impecable, wide square neckline to give space for her neclace but not expose too much, the slightly flare shaped skirt to accentuate her waistline and alllow the flowers to flow with her while she moved. The mid sleeve and long skirt design made it very appropriate for the occation and elongate her silouette.
The accessories are also in harmony with one another as well: the orange clutch and orange sandals matched the orange of the floral pattern on her skirt, the headpiece dainty with a little bit drama, the Bvlgari yellow and white gold and diamond braided necklace simple framing her beautfiul neck, the diamond studs a right termination for the half veil stopping just above her earlobes. She looked slimmer, her skin fairer, and walked with such a poise, as if walking out of a Botticelli painting.
In fact, she looked so perfect, her family she came with faded into background: Her mother too thin and wilted, her young sister Lady Eliza looked older than her, and matronly in the navy blue blazer dress set, even her brother Louis,
She still does not look like Lady Diana physically in any way, but for the first time, one can see that she could perhaps look like her in demeanor, and for those who still have the illusion of looking for Princess Diana 2.0, then Kitty Spencer definitely should be candidate No. 1, not Meghan Markle.
Before May 19, 2018, Meghan Markle can be defined by any word but ËLEGANT, either before or after she met Prince Harry.
Her choices of outfits, besides her very canadianized lululemon yogi styles while walking around the streets, could at times be overly sexy and daring or even vulgar, like her see through turtle black blouse or the too shiny too low cut v neck grey long sleeve dress she wore for the Vogue Fashion Fund Awards.
After meeting with and dating Prince Harry, Meghan seemed toned down her sexy side or dress up to fit for her future royal image, but by doing so, she went to another extreme, becoming a power woman, which was particularly obvious in her choices of outwear like her coats: almost always with too wide or too sharp lapel, with strong military feel especially when they are double breasted, and at times too many details, like her famous Camel Christmas coat with ruched cuff and L shaped patch pockets,
But strangely enough, the handbags she chose to carry with were almost always mismatched, in style as well as in color: most of the time they were small and hard and angular shaped, with a school girlish look, even the way she carried them gave the feeling of a school girl playing with style, not yet finding one. So that when she almost looked good in the black tie coat designed by Stella McCartney, the mismatched little green handbag killed it,
The only time she looked elegant was on the day of March 12, 20018, when she joined Prince Harry for the Commonwealth Day Services at Westminster Abbey, She was wearing a white standup collared calf-length coat designed by Amanda Wakeley, with a white beret from milliner Stephen Jones to match, and her v neck dress just over knee, the Manolo shoes and the Mulberry shoulder bag she used as a clutch for the first time all matched beautifully in color, style and texture.
This outfit gave one the impression that if she really wanted, Meghan did have the potential to look elegant, but nothing can prepare one´s shock about her total transformation when she stepped out of the bridal car, wearing the simple bateau necked wedding dress with 3 quarter sleeve, no lace, no any sparkling embellishment, just pure white European silk cady, soft, subtle, without any shine.
The wedding dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British designer and the current artistic director of French Couture brand Givenchy.
It was said the dress was inspired by a bateau necked long sleeve evening dress with front zipper worn by Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Meghan´s fashion idol, because when asked about her favorite celebrity wedding dress in her interview with Glamour magazine, Meghan Markle responded “Carolyn Bessette Kennedy,” calling the Narciso Rodriguez slip dress worn by the latter “everything goals.”
But perhaps it´s inspired by Carolyn´s dress in spirit and neckline only, because in style and siluetee, Meghan´s dress looked more similar to that of Princess Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby of Norway when she wed Norway´s crown prince Haakon on August 25, 2001.
Both wedding gowns are obviously inspired by medieval gowns and look very conservative and chasty, with almost no body exposure, no second fabric, no embellishments. While Mette Marit gown designed by Ove Harder Finseth takes more direct reference from the middle age attaires, with square neck in front and scoop neck in back, and long fitting sleeves, Meghan Markle´s dress has a more French modern look with very Givenchy bateau neck and three quarter sleeve.
And what´s more, both dresses feature a much longer veil than their train: Mette Marit´s veil is 6 meter long covering the 2 metre train, and Meghan´s a little bit shorter at 5 meters, with hand-embroidered flora representing the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
Even the tiaras worn by both brides, are surprisingly similar: simple, subtle, again with the feel of the middle ages.
There was a saying that the neckline of Meghan´s wedding dress was exposing too much of her shoulder, which is against royal etiquette, but it can´t be true. She definitely has done her homework, and has undoubtedly studied the previous royal bridal dresses with her designer Clare, and perhaps used the neckline of crown princess Mary of Denmark´s wedding dress when she married crown prince Federic in 2004 as reference point, as both necklines are almost identical at the point where the sleevehead touched the shoulders. Princess Mary´s neckline was even more daring, featuring a scoop neckline instead of straight bateau like that of Meghan´s.
After the ceremony, Meghan changed into her second halter necked wedding dress fdesigned by Stella McCartney or the reception, which was again simple elegance.
It was said that Mette Marit had chosen such a simple dress to let the Norway people forget about her troubled past so she can start anew with her prince, although Meghan felt no need to be ashamed of her past, in royal eyes, she does seem an unconventional candidate as future duchess: with divorced parents, herself a divorcee, an actress...So perhaps, subconsciously, she too would like to bid farewell to her history and welcome her future.
Whatever the reason, she has made a wonderful satorial choice on the first day of her new life, and hopefully she would say goodbye to her pre-wedding dressing style as well.
Beauvais is a city and commune 67 km north of Paris, it's the capital of Oise department in Hauts-de-France region. In this city of less than 100,000 habitants, the most famous attraction in this city is its Gothic style Cathedral: San Peter Cathedral, and the second, is perhaps Hubert de Givenchy, one of the last couturiers of our time.
1927, a star was born.
On 20 Feburary, 1927, Hubert de Givenchy was born in a noble family. He was supposed to study law according to the family tradition, but destined to be one of the greast coutouriers in the world.
1944-1951: Michangelo in the making
1944. At 17 year old, Hubert de Givenchy moved to Paris to study art and became apprentice to Jacques Fath, one of the most important couturiers in Paris after World War II, and he also worked for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.
1945. He became first assistant to Elsa Schiaparelli, and worked for her for the next 4 years. Althoug Elsa's free, daring, and flamboyant style has strongly impressed and even influenced Givenchy, it was Cristóbal Balanciaga who became his real and only mentor, whose classic aesthetic sense and impacable draftsmanhip would also be Givenchy's own designing philosophy.
is 1952-1988, le Grand Givenchy
1952, Givenchy opened his own haute couture house and met Audrey Hepburn who became his lifelong friend, muse and embassador of his design. The Audrey the world has never stopped loving, is in someway Givenchy's Audrey, as she herselfe said about the designer:"Les modèles de Givenchy sont les seuls dans lesquels je me sens moi-même. Plus qu’un styliste, il est un créateur de personnalité." (The designs of Givenchy are the only ones in which I feel like myself. More than a stylist, he is a personality creator.)
1957, with the help and support of his brother Jean Claude, Marquis de Givenchy, Givenchy created Parfums Givenchy in his hometown Beauvais and his first perfume L'Interdit was dedicated to Audrey Hepburn. For a whole year she was the only one in the world to be able to carry this perfume.
For the next three decades, Givenchy not only became one of the most famous French couturiers, also the man who have made the most symbolic dresses in the modern fashion history.
At 1.98m tall, Givenchy was called "Le Grand Givench"(the Big Givench), but perhaps the Great Givenchy or the Grand Givenchy is more suitable.
1988-1995: Farewell to Givenchy Couture
1988: Hubert de Givenchy sold his haute couture house to LVMH owned by Bernard Arnold, but kept being the art director, but seven years later, in 1995, he bid farewell to Givenchy Haute Couture because he realized he was just a name in his own creation.
January 2015, Madrid, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Retrospective exhibition of Hubert de Givenchy.
On the day I was there, there were not many people, and other than a few young faces who look like fashion school students, most of the people there are mature, many of them with white hair, deep wrinkles and some with hunched backs.
Givenchy said to Spanish press: "La haute couture est arrivée à sa fin. Il y a des modes mais il n'y a pas la mode" (The haute couture has arrived at its end. There are fashions but there is no more style.)
2018, March 10, Saturday, long live Givenchy
"Monsieur de Givenchy s'est éteint dans son sommeil le samedi 10 mars 2018. Ses neveux et nièces et leurs enfants partagent sa douleur" (Mr. Givenchy died in his sleep on Saturday March 2018. His nephews, nieces and their children all share the pain." Thus announced Givenchy's companion, Philippe Venet, who also emphasized to the press that the funeral will be strictedly intimate.
In 2007, Hubert de Givenchy was awarded master of elegance by his home town Beauvais, but around the world, he was looked upon as king of elegance, by his clients, the press, his contempory collegues, and countless admirers. Bernard Arnault, the president of LVMH and owner of Givenchy Haute Couture, thus said about Givenchy: "...Tant dans les robes longues de prestige que dans les tenues de jour, Hubert de Givenchy a su réunir deux qualités rares : être novateur et intemporel..." (In the evening gowns as well as in daily outfit, Hubert de Givenchy has integreted two rare qualities: innovative and timeless).
Unlike his mentor Balanciaga, Givenchy was aware of his time and the changing needs of the women he dressed, and was willing to adapt to that needs, such as his design of "Seperatables", but at the same time, he has always respected and never comprised in style, so that even today, his designs can be worn by any woman or even a woman of next century, and look timeless.
In French history, everytime when a king dies, his court will cry out:
Le roí est mort, vive le roí! (The king is dead, long live the king.)
Givenchy is dead, long live Givenchy!