Like many of you my mind has been drifting to Springtime, the season when everything begins to appear dew fresh and full of promise. The greens are greener, the days longer, and the light stronger. While falling down the rabbits hole that is Pinterest I discovered photos I had never seen before of Hubert de Givenchy’s country house in the Loire Valley, Le Jonchet, which he purchased in the 1970’s (you can see more of it on my post Le Jonchet le Doré). Resplendently poised amidst lush green gardens it seems Château le Jonchet embodies the old adage “Hope springs eternal”.
Following a retrospective of de Givenchy’s genius in the world of haute couture by Vanity Fair in October of 2014 at the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain, the eighty-nine-year-old couturier and his longtime companion since the 1960’s, Philippe Venet, invited them back to his 16th-century manor for le déjeuner. It was then that Vanity Fair Espana interviewed the couturier and photographed some of the rooms that many of us have fallen under the spell of since they first appeared in magazines and books.
The classical facade of le Jonchet, which Givenchy bought in the early nineteen-seventies, displays mounted deer “trophies”, a symbol of Saint Hubert, patron of hunters. The property features labyrinthine boxwood hedges and topiary inspired by the monastery of San Giorgio in Venice, a rose garden designed by the late Bunny Mellon, a greenhouse, an artificial lake, a private chapel, a moat filled with water from the Loire, an indoor pool, and a dog cemetery. Over the past four decades the restoration and decoration of le Jonchet has been one of Givenchy’s greatest passions. Once again we are allowed a rarefied peek into the private world of Givenchy, Le Grand – a title anointed him by the world of high fashion.