A Very Elegant Example

There is a very good discussion going on among An Aesthete’s Lament, The House of Beauty and Culture and the blogosphere. Go see what’s what and weigh in with your opinions.

In the meantime, I will give you this wonderful interview that HOBAC was kind enough to bring to my attention via his most excellent blog.

The Charlie Rose interview with Hubert de Givenchy. Just a snippet of what you have to look forward to hearing:

To be well-dressed, clean, bien coife, to be elegant, I think, is a most marvelous thing. But to wear (ugly?) shoes, too much black, no construction in the clothes, this is not fashion. I think it’s terrible to see. This laissez-allez is not for me.

What is it that makes this man so elegant? He is wearing a very simple suit, well-cut, with a white shirt and dark (knitted?) tie. He is clean shaven. He answers questions in English (it was not his native tongue) fluently. He is very well-spoken and engaging. He appears to be enjoying the conversation — relaxed and confident. Judging by the comment that I have transcribed above, it is because he makes it a point to be elegant.

In this case outward appearances reflect the inner man. I should make it a point to watch this first thing every morning, whilst dressing. It is 15 minutes of perfect example.

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8 Responses to A Very Elegant Example

  1. Lecaro says:

    How interesting to see that interview! I happened to see the book referenced, “Givenchy Style,” at the library and checked it out and it is truly a beautiful tome. I looked into online sources to see if I could secure a copy and it currently sells for $1,600 from the few sources where it is available.

    I’m assuming the interview is a decade or so old. I wonder how Monsieur Givenchy is these days. There is truly no one else like him.

  2. pve design says:

    Givenchy – always elegant. Wonderful words on style.

  3. LucyinStLou says:

    How I would love to be fluent in another language. A delightful interview. Thanks for posting!

  4. katiedid says:

    It is an interesting discussion, I agree! And I agree with you that elegance can indeed be learned. Movie Stars are a case in point. Wasn’t Carey Grant from a very modest backround? And became one of the most elegant actors of his time. I see him in your wonderful new masthead by the way! And Lauren Bacall: I understand she needed much training to achieve her throaty and very elegant voice. Van Day Truex is another example having come from humble beginnings.

    Great topic!

  5. Oh, Katie, I’d overlooked Van Day Truex and he is an excellent example as well.

  6. LucyinStLou — there is still time. I’m going to have to learn Spanish and would love to notch up Italian and Brazilian Portuguese, too.

    Katiedid, Cary Grant was the former Archie Leach! He began crafting his new self after meeting Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. aboard ship. I’ve got the van Day Truex book and am looking forward to cracking it open one day soon.

    Mrs. PvE, wasn’t he eloquent in the interview?

    Hello Lecro, and thank you for stopping by. I, too, looked into buying the book. It might be cheaper to fly to France and hope to bump into him. I imagine that he is continuing to live very well, indeed.

  7. Eva says:

    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – da Vinci

    Refining, to distill the aesthetics of ones preference to its simplest forms and allow for it to flow organically is essential. Givenchy seemed to have a handle on this-I wonder what his home looks like? I’ll have to look that up in the coming days…

    I agree that, with commitment, learning elegance is possible(and should be encouraged!).

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