MONKEY BUSINESS: What would possess a designer to embroider monkeys on a dress? Hubert de Givenchy said because he knew it would please his client, the Duchess of Windsor.
“At t the Palais de Rohan-Soubise there is a room that is entirely painted with monkeys, very beautiful, and it gave me the idea of embroider monkeys, since the duchess liked things that were different,” de Givenchy related at a lunch on Thursday hosted by Linda Pinto, brother of the late interior decorator Alberto Pinto.
That 1954 dress, now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, is among looks the retired couturier discovered in the process of his second career: Organizing exhibitions.
He has two more on the docket this year, and three or four in 2017, many of them devoted to the late Audrey Hepburn, with whom de Givenchy is forever associated.
One scheduled for next September will be devoted to Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon at the Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, Spain. De Givenchy said the late society figure donated more than 500 dresses, about 100 of which will go on display.
Pinto organized the event ahead of the release of “Alberto Pinto: Signature Interiors,” due out Nov. 3 in France under the Flammarion imprint and later in the month in the U.S. by Rizzoli.
The glossy book showcases 11 homes and a wine estate, including Linda Pinto’s sumptuous Left Bank apartment.
Talk at the lunch turned, inevitably, to decorating, with guests particularly interested in boat and plane projects. Just back from the Monaco Boat Show, Pinto raved about a 27-meter Wally – miniscule compared to a billion-euro mega yacht said to have attracted an order.
As for planes, she said the most unusual and complicated amenity requested was a wok in the kitchen. She clamped her nose to indicate the problem: cooking smells.