Thursday, September 4, 2008

Couture at Christie's

You know that vintage couture has become a big deal when a venerable auction house such as Christie's decides to hold its' first ever clothing/jewelry auction. We members of the press got a preview peek at what is billed as "the finest collection of 20th century avant-garde fashion in private hands."

Lovingly amassed by noted vintage dealers, Resurrection, the collection represents pivotal designers from the 1960s to the 1990s and includes some very rare pieces such as a Paco Rabanne aluminum riveted plate mini dress, a stunning Hermes leather coat from the '30s that looked utterly of the moment and a bright red plastic bubble cape with bulls-eye detailing by Pierre Cardin. Target should bid on this one! In addition to the afore mentioned designers, I fell hard for an Ossie Clark floral chiffon number from the 70s that's the epitome of boho chic and Saint Laurent's iconic, laced front safari shirt and Rudi Gernreich's timeless, black jersey evening column that flows from a curved silver collar.

The collection comprised of over 250 meticulously assembled garments, headwear and jewelry – from pop art and the space age of the 60s through the iconoclasm of the 70s and the architectural revival of structured couture of the 80ss and 90s – is sure to draw a crowd of fashionistas and serious collectors. Only one teensy problem – the actual auction will be held in London at Christie's South Kensington saleroom on October 30th. So start adding up those frequent flyer miles now.

Can't get to London? Then be sure to check out the preview in New York on 3-6th September at Christie's Rockefeller Galleries. In London the dates are 25-29 October. The sale itself will be held on October 30th. All lots from the sale can be viewed online along with full descriptions on Lotfinder® which also allows you to leave an absentee bid. Estimates range from 500 to 10,000 pounds in case you were wondering!

Another auction house that's gotten back on the vintage bandwagon (they previously held some terrific twice-yearly sales) is Doyle Galleries New York. Upcoming is an auction devoted solely to designer costume jewelry to be held on October 7 with public viewing the 4th to 6th. No press preview yet but we did find out that two of the highlights of the sale will be collections from socialite Ann Getty and Andy Warhol muse and confidante, Brigid Berlin. Property from other noted collectors will include designs by Chanel, Gripoix, Christian Lacroix et al.

For more info check out Doyle's website costumejewelry@doylenewyork.com

Next up, the spring 2009 fashion shows and all the attendant hoopla. Talk to you soon, C & C.

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row