It has been an unbeatable combination, Audrey Hepburn and Paris couturier Hubert de Givenchy, and never better expressed than in his designs for her in the 1956 film musical, "Funny Face." That may well have been the first time a top Paris designer created for the films and now it is about to happen again. Givenchy has done the Hepburn clothes for "Bloodline" (Paramount's version of the Sidney Sheldon best seller) in which she plays an heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune who is menaced by an assassin. If the clothes are any clue to Givenchy's next collection, black will be an important color, velvet an essential fabric and broad shoulders and narrower line an important silhouette.
Sophia Loren stopped in for some purchases at Givenchy recently and ordered, among other things, a dress version of the designer's own white linen work smock.
The house of Jean Louis Scherrer will only say that they worked thousands of hours on the dress and it is quite beautiful but the more interesting information -- which they won't confirm -- may be that the wedding dress they have created for the granddaughter of a Saudi monarch reportedly has a price in five figures -- $50,000 some say. That's high, even by Paris couture standards.
The white organza gown encrusted with Japanese cultured pearls and crystal beads to the very tippy tip of its 20-foot train was created for Princess Johara bint Khaled. The design for the embroidery done by Jean Guy Vermont in 1,000 hours repeats the arabesques, flowers and scrolls from a 17th-century document of the court of Louis XIV. There are supposedly 17 more beaded dresses for the supporting cast of attendents.
Kevin Garner, a Washington designer, has his friends dancing around his newest designs. Kevin decided this season that the clearest way to illustrate his view of the important shape of the clothes for spring -- big loose tops and pants tapered to the ankle -- was to draw it on the walls of his apartment. Once he started, it grew to 11 feet and now when he has a party, his friends just dance around it. But it's not only decorative, Kevin has been selling this particular style very well this season.
We hate to be the ones to break this news, but just as the eye is getting attuned to the smaller proportions in menswear -- narrower lapels, skinnier ties, shorter collars, slender-er belts and skimpier cuffs -- Italian designer Giorgio Armani, the father of this look, has swung to wider lapels, long pointy shirt collars and bottle shaped ties. Armani, the pet of many American fashion stores, explained that he has been doing narrow slouchy things in Milan for three years and felt it was time for a change. But his American customers didn't all agree.
"It's like Halston bringing back the mini again," says Ron Lichter, fashion director at Hechts. "I donht think it will sell to the American customer," says Lichter, just back from Italy himself, adding "Italian men are all dressed in narrow lapels and ties and I don't see them going to it now either."
"I'm just pretending that we missed the Armani collection -- it's a year too soon for us," said Bernie Ross of the trendy L.A. men's shop Eric Ross. "When everyone else does black, he does white," says Ann Kaufman, assistant men's fashion coordinator at Bloomingdale's, "But Armani will always be more avant garde for those who want something different."
Armani admitted that the wide lapelled double breasted formal things were not appropriate for Americans. "It is what you have in the stores now. But in Italy for us it is a change."
Royal designers Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies have produced dresses that cover Queen Elizabeth to her wrists and down to her anklebone for her current trip to the Middle East. And her milliner Freddie Fox has attached scarves to all her hats so that she can cover up her face at will.
Not a new fashion trend, it's the requirement of the Islamic rule dictating the dress code for the trip which will mark the first visit by a British monarch, as well as the first by any woman sovereign or head of state, to Saudi Arabia.
There are rules, too, for Prince Philip set by the hosts. He is never to cross his legs while sitting so as to turn the soles of his shoes towards a man's face. It's considered an insult.
Yes, that really is Diana Vreeland, consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute and former Vogue editor, speaking the praises of Hide-A-Bed sofas by Simmons on radio commercials this month. They've also got Pauline Trigere and Gloria Vanderbilt extolling the virtues of the convertible sofas. The ads were planned to give the sofas a new fashion image -- they are no longer stiff and uncomfortable as they were years ago, according to a spokesman. No word on the fees -- only that celebrites always get more than the regular rates.
It's hardly the moment to put away your fur, but here're some warnings, thanks to Glamour magazine and the American Fur Industry, for when you do: use a cloth cover for your fur (a plastic one will dry out the hide); avoid chemical sprays for moth proofing; store it in heat and humidity controlled vault.
Meanwhile, be sure to hang your coat on a broad shouldered hanger to spread the pressure of weight pull; dry away from the heat; never comb but rather shake it out to fluff it up; avoid shoulder bags or cinched stiff belts that will rub against the fur.
Label reportedly spotted in back of a fur coat in swanky New York restaurant: "This animal committed suicide."
Application deadlines for the Mary Vogel Strasburg Scholarship for Washington area residents interested in pursuing fashion related careers, is April 15. Those who have completed high school by June 1979 may become candidates for a scholarship grant up to $2,000 for one academic year. Qualified applicants may obtain application forms from Katherine Olson, Northern Virginia Community College at 323-3498. The scholarship is sponsored by the Washington regional group of Fashion Group, a non-profit educational group of professional women in the fashion business. The late Mary Vogel Strasburg was a fashion reporter for Women's Wear Daily and fashion editor of The Washington Post.