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Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018)

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This morning i learned that one of the great fashion designers died.  At the time i was working at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the curator Ietse Mey, organized an exhibition of the fashion by de Givenchy worn by Audrey Hepburn and to enhance the exhibition a film festival was organized at the Filmmuseum with fashion worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movies. At the occasion of the opening i saw both celebrities and it struck me, that even as mrs. Hepburn was already ill at that time, she looked radiant and beautiful. The show was a huge success and one of the first in a long line of fashion exhibitions which were held at the museum. The catalogue is of course completely sold out , but sometimes you will encounter a copy on the book markets. If you find one….do not hesitate to buy it, because it is rare. An edition of only 1000 copies means that it was sold out almost instantly and it was never reprinted.


Blouin has done an excellent biography on de Givenchy. Here is the text of it and if you are looking for more de Givenchy, Hepburn, LVMH /Louis Vuitton publications check

Tributes continue to come in to Hubert de Givenchy, the French couturier whose elegance defined the 1950s and 1960s and the style of Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and more. Givenchy died at the age of age 91 in his sleep on Saturday; his death was announced by his namesake fashion house. During his lifetime, he had received the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1983, and a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1995.

Givenchy was born in 1927 to a religious aristocratic family. He learned the couture “métier” from working for Jacques Fath, Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong, and Elsa Schiaparelli, before founding his own namesake label. Givenchy would later establish his Parisian atelier across the street from Cristóbal Balenciaga, who was his dear friend and his longtime role model. He was also influenced by Madame Grès and Christian Dior, and inspired by artists. He notably created taffeta evening coats and robes du soir in homage to Joan Miró during the 1970s.

His first collection was presented in February 1952; it featured modern separates, providing more affordable and versatile options than the haute couture looks that were standard in the French fashion world in the middle of the 20th century. Nonetheless, Givenchy also made opulent and heavily embellished garments (with pearls, feathers, and ribbons), impeccable cocktail ensembles, and elegant accessories, notably sumptuous hats. He was known for dressing a wealthy, stylish clientele: Jacqueline Kennedy was a longtime client, as was Grace Kelly and the Duchess of Windsor.

The darling of the Givenchy fashion narrative, however, was Audrey Hepburn. They met when a mutual friend told the designer that Miss Hepburn was keen to be introduced, and Givenchy assumed the lady in question was Katherine Hepburn. Their friendship blossomed despite the misunderstanding, and Givenchy ended up making costumes for Audrey Hepburn’s then-upcoming film, ”Sabrina” (1954)—as well as “Funny Face” (1957), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “Charade” (1963), and “How To Steal a Million” (1966). While Givenchy and Hepburn created many iconic sartorial moments on film, perhaps none rivaled the glamorous wardrobe of Holly Golightly, the onscreen heroine of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” who walked down Fifth Avenue wearing dark sunglasses, pearls, evening gloves, and a black Givenchy column dress. (In 2006, the dress was sold at a charity auction at Christie’s in London for six figures).

Givenchy was also associated with various successful perfumes: from the fruity and feminine L’Interdit (created in 1957 for Hepburn) to the heavily floral Amariage (created in 1991).

Givenchy sold his fashion house to the LVMH Group in 1988 and retired after his collection in July 1995. John Galliano succeeded him; less than two years later, he in turn was succeeded by Alexander McQueen, then Julien Macdonald. Riccardo Tisci held the reigns from 2005 until 2017, much to the original designer’s displeasure. Currently, Clare Waight Keller is the label’s Artistic Director.

In March 2016, the fashion house created an archival department to conserve and promote all garments and accessories dating from the original designer’s tenure, from 1952 to 1995. Just last year, the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais in northern France celebrated Givenchy’s work and presented 80 beautiful looks and accessories that spanned his career.

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Classic catalogues part 1 …..Picasso

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The second day for the extra focus on the classics within the inventory of

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This time it is Picasso. Although i personally am not a great fan of Picasso, there are so many others that admire this Spanish artist and for them …take notice that this is the last day that the discount code is valid. Not only the many publicatons on Picasso are sold with a discount of 10%, but all publications and specials within the inventory go with a discount.

use : CLASSIC10 at your checkout and receive the discount.


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Giovanni Nicolai (continued)

Next June 2018 the former students of the Art Academy in Bari will have their yearly show. Among them is is Giovanni Nicolai to whom i devoted a blog about a year ago. You never know when you are going to visit the beautiful Bari region, but keep in mind that beside  great olive oil , food and some wines there is also some modern art to see.

Giovanni Nicolai will be among them with some exquisite paintings and drawings, which show his strength. Portraits of elegant gentleman, classic Italian profiles and great technique make these stand out from the others. A baroque artist in nowadays Italian art scene is rare and for those who like Italian art, these works are well worth to check out.

The second exhibition in which Giovanni will have  a presence is in the SO art gallery in Milano. If i have more information on both exhibitions i will let my readers know.

here is the first link to the exhibition:

IMPRINTING (EX ArcheoModernitas) Una Rivista una Mostra

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Fashion


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This blog is how i experience books and art and what i read about them and this is certainly an article i want to share with you. The guardian did an excellent article on Basquiat and his Fahion style/ A style which looks random , but was a well thought out way of dressing… Hooray for the Guardian. Here is the article and do not forget that has some nice titles on Jean-Michel Basquiat.

There’s an image of Jean-Michel Basquiat on the cover of the New York Times magazine from 1985. The photo is by Lizzie Himmel; the headline New Art, New Money. The artist, wearing a dark Giorgio Armani suit, white shirt and tie, leans back in a chair, one bare foot on the floor, the other up on a chair. The combination of the suit and the bare feet is typical of the way Basquiat defined his own image; always with an unconventional bent.

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I’ve obsessed over his style when standing in front of Hollywood Africans, a 1983 work from a series where the images relate to stereotypes of African Americans in the entertainment business. It is a banger of a painting and will form part of Basquiat: Boom for Real, a retrospective opening at the Barbican in London this month.

I have a longstanding interest in the way artists dress, from Picasso to Hockney, Georgia O’Keeffe to Robert Rauschenberg, and I think their wardrobes exert as powerful an influence on mainstream fashion as those of any rock or Hollywood stars. These artists carved out instantly recognisable uniforms: clothes that symbolise the same singular point of view as their greatest works, usually with the sense of complete ease that is the holy grail of true style.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled 1982, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. On show at the Barbican in London in 2017.
 Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled 1982, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. On show at the Barbican in London in 2017. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat/Barbican

Basquiat’s wardrobe was distinctive, whether he was in mismatched blazer and trousers with striped shirt and clashing tie, or patterned shirt with a leather jacket pushed off his shoulders. He was perhaps most recognisable in his paint-splattered Armani suits. “I loved the fact that he chose to wear Armani. And loved even more that he painted in my suits,” Giorgio Armani says. “I design clothes to be worn, for people to live in, and he certainly did!”

In many ways, this bricolage approach to clothing is akin to the way he created his art. “His work was a mysterious combination of elements – text and colour, historical reference, abstraction and figurative techniques,” Armani says. “In his life, he also mashed up creative activities – he was a graffiti artist, a musician, an actor, a maker of great artworks. This eclecticism made him a mysterious and unconventional man. That mix made him stand out.”

Born in Brooklyn, Basquiat and classmate Al Diaz graffitied statements across New York as SAMO© in the late 70s, before he went on to become one of the biggest stars of the 80s art scene with his unique and brilliantly chaotic paintings. He died in 1988 at just 27, but is still regarded as one of the most influential painters of his generation. A painting from 1982, Untitled, sold this year for £85m, putting him in a unique club alongside the likes of Picasso in terms of record-breaking sales.

“He was an incredibly stylish artist,” says Barbican curator Eleanor Nairne. “He was very playful about the performative aspects of identity.” He was also aware of the “renewed fixation on celebrity” that coincided with the art boom of the 80s, particularly in New York. He famously appeared in Blondie’s Rapture video, dated Madonna and befriended Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, September 1985.
 Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, September 1985. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

Cathleen McGuigan, who wrote that 1985 New York Times feature, recounts Basquiat at the hip Manhattan hangout Mr Chow’s, drinking kir royal and chatting to Keith Haring while Warhol dined with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran nearby. “He attracted the attention of Warhol and Bowie, so was endorsed by those who had already achieved that rare style-icon status,” Armani says. “And he had a very unique look – he had hair as distinctive as Warhol’s and wore suits in a way as stylish and relaxed as Bowie.”

Basquiat’s interest in clothing was not just something he explored or exploited at the height of his fame. In Basquiat: A Quick Killing In Art, by Phoebe Hoban, clothes are an important part of his life story. His mother had at one point designed them, while one of his teachers noted he had pencils sticking out of his hair from an early age. Soon after he killed off SAMO© he was painting sweatshirts, lab coats and jumpsuits for Patricia Field, who gave him one of his first shows at her East Eighth Street boutique. Descriptions of his stirring appearance include this by American curator Diego Cortez: “I remember on the dancefloor seeing this black kid with a blond Mohawk. He had nothing to do with black culture. He was this Kraftwerkian technocreature … He looked like a Bowery bum and a fashion model at the same time.”

Basquiat went on to model in a 1987 Comme des Garçons show wearing a pale blue suit, black buckle sandals, white shirt and white bow tie. Robert Johnston, style director at British GQ, describes Basquiat’s style as “a work of art in itself” and adds: “While meaning no disrespect to his talent, it is hard to imagine he would have taken New York so much by storm if he’d looked more like Francis Bacon.”

Basquiat’s influence on menswear is still felt today. While other icons have referenced his style – Kanye West sported a T-shirt bearing his portrait, Frank Ocean namechecked him in lyrics by Jay-Z, who dressed as him for a Halloween party – there is a more direct effect on fashion. There have been collaborations, via his estate, with the likes of Reebok and Supreme. There’s a photo of Basquiat wearing an Adidas T-shirt with a pinstripe suit which is a template for how the younger generation approach the idea of tailoring. At the S/S 18 shows in Milan, wonky ties with suiting at Marni made me jot down “Basquiat” in my notebook. And with the Barbican show his influence will spread. “The way Basquiat mixed classic tailoring with a downtown nonchalance fits the mood in menswear,” says Jason Hughes, fashion editor of Wallpaper*. “A refined suit worn with an unironed shirt, skewwhiff tie and beaten-up sneakers. The fact that he painted in those suits feels slightly anarchic and nonconformist. I want to wear a suit like that.”

This article appears in the autumn/winter 2017 edition of The Fashion, the Guardian and the Observer’s biannual fashion supplement

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A new look and feel for the daily FTN blog and FTN art.


These pages with the daily blogs on “books and art” needed some changes. I had to give the “Piet Dirkx daily” a more prominent spot, the place it deserves and made a new and better focus on FTN art . I found a better template and layout and because of that the items which are for sale are far more easy to access. A search option for blog and art is now included in a much better place.

The new blog site will be changed and adjusted in the coming weeks. I have to find out what works best and how to make it better, but for the moment ….enjoy!

PS. I am sorry if i published some test versions and you were wrongly notified for the new blogs published.

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start FTN art with Siep van den Berg

Today is another milestone for me as a bookdealer in art books, because today i started on these pages ………FTN art

There will be irregular additions to this page, but all works depicted on these pages are for sale and guaranteed originals. The first original is a drawing/collage by Siep van den Berg who made this in 1979.

tekening/collage uit een serie constructivistische tekening/ Collage in blauw die Siep van den Berg heeft gemaakt op 16 augustus 1979 in Andelaroche ( Fr.) De tekening is eerst opgezet in balpen waarna er blauwe vlakken zijn bijgeplaatst ( of omgekeerd).
De tekening is gedateerd 16 9 79. Met notitie “Heleen Jarig Geweest” en signatuur in zwarte inkt …SvdB.

Kunstenaar : Siep van den Berg
titel: Heleen Jarig Geweest
techniek ; balpen en collage in blauw
afmetingen ; 27,7 x 20 cm.
gesigneerd : SvdB in zwarte inkt
gedateerd : 16 9 79
conditie : MINT-

price : euro 150,–

shipping Netherlands : euro 8,60

worldwide shipping costs: 11,95

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Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) and the pochoir print.

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If ever there was one artist who raised the bar of the art of the small /pochoir print to tremendous proportions it is Sonia Delaunay. Delaunay had her peak during the Art-Deco period and it shows. Here is just a selection of Delaunay prints found on Google .

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Her use of colors, patterns is typical for Delaunay and her art has proven to be timeless and typical Avant Garde for the time she was most productive. The same as Mondrian, she used primary colors, but in a much more free way of making her  compositions. Where her husband Robert Delaunay was influenced by cubism and made colorful cubist interpretations of reality, Sonia stayed true to her abstract compositions with just one side step into the world of fashion for which she made colorful costume  and fashion designs.

For me the first pochoir print i ever saw was the cover of the Stedelijk Museum catalogue for the Sonia Delaunay exhibition in 1958. Willem Sandberg did the design of the catalogue, but what makes this catalogue so special is of course the original pochoir print by Sonia Delaunay on the cover.

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This publication is available at

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Happy New Year! … with our best wishes for 2018

new year 2018 and

wish you a very healthy and prosperous 2018

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Juergen Teller ( 1964 ) and Louis Vuitton

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For Nicolas Ghesquiere first Fall 2014 womenswear collection, Louis Vuitton invited German photographer Juergen Teller for a distinctive interpretation of the collection.

Photographed from the House’s Parisian headquarters, with intimate views of the Seine and Eiffel tower, twelve models grace the Fall 2014 women’s collection in edgy attitude.

In this selection, glorious smooth, full-grain leather is contrasted with hybrid materials. Bold, bright colours are juxtaposed with muted halftones. Hand-crafted artisanal techniques are updated with high-tech twist. It was my luck to find a , in pristini/ still sealed condition special edition of this important Louis Vuitton Publication. I did not want to open it, because a collector should want it in this condition, but found some excellent photo’s by Teller on Google to support the quality of this special LOUIS VUITTON edition and perhaps this is the present you are looking for for Christmas.

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More Juergen Teller available at


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Black Friday – Ko Verzuu Besteldienst


Yes….Black Friday and you would expect a nice offer from

Well there is one…. it is a very nice offer for collectors, admirers and people searching for a nice collectible as Christmas present. It is the originally Ko Verzuu designed ( de STIJL artist) Besteldienst which was one of the prestige replica projects by the ADO factory who has made ADO products for over 70 years. The factory does not exist anymore , but these Prestige editions are among the highest sought after collectable toys in the world. This prestige Besteldienst is one of the last projects ADO has done before it closed its doors. Hand built -and painted, all numbered on the base and car and each model comes with its certificate in its original ADO box. Limited edition of 250 , numbered.

It is a large model , measuring  53 x 19 x 25 cm. Condition Mint in Box.

You can find the Besteldienst over here: original price USD 245.00

If you order and checkout use the discount: BFverzuu

and the price will be reduced to USD 150.00

Only valid for 3 days during the Black Friday weekend and only 5 available. Have a nice weekend.

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Gabi Dziuba (1951)

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Jewelry artist and a lifetime friend of Günther Förg. Both had a different approach to art. Where Günther Förg chose for abstract geometric painting. Gaby Dziuba chose for jewelry. I think it is fair to say that Dziuba was Günther Förg his “muse”. He used Dziuba on many occasion as his model in his photographs and this is the reason why i would like to show in this blog that one specific catalogue is very important as an artist book. Dziuba had in 1998 a solo exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The catalogue with this exhibition did not sell very well, but when you look into the colofon, you will find that many of the photographs within the catalogue were taken by Günther Förg. An excellent reason to pick up this catalogue for a reasonable price at It is still available , but when people realize that this is a disguised artist book by Günther Förg it will be picked up by many and will become a rare collectible.

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Fashion with Claudia Schiffer (1970) and Chanel

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As Monty Python would have said ” and now for something completely different”…..

but is it really different?…. when you consider true fashion is great art and know that Karl Lagerfeld is not only a great fashion designer, but also one of the great photographers from the last century, you may consider Claudia Schiffer his “muse” and being that, she is an almost perfect work of art and therefore i am delighted to write this blog on one of my favorite fashion models of all time, Claudia Schiffer.

In the early 1990s, she starred in campaigns for Guess?.Guess? co-founder Paul Marciano said in E! Forbes Top 15 Supermodel Beauties Who Made Bank, “Guess? name became really much more known around the world because of Claudia”. After several other magazine appearances including the cover of British Vogue, shot by Herb Ritts, Schiffer was selected by Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel. In May 1997, Schiffer was featured on the cover and in the pictorial of Playboy.

Schiffer appeared on the November 1999 millennium cover of Vogue as one of the “Modern Muses”. Named one of the most beautiful women in the world,[by whom?] her ability to appeal to a global audience assured an internationally successful career spanning over 25 years. Other magazines Schiffer has appeared on the covers of include Vanity FairRolling StonePeopleHarper’s BazaarElleCosmopolitan and Time. Schiffer has walked in fashion shows for numerous fashion houses, including Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Fendi, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Balmain, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Valentino. has some nice books on Schiffer, Fashion, Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld