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Two Haute Couture Auctions Debut During Paris Fashion Week

Two exceptionally exquisite haute couture collections come under the hammer during this month’s Paris Fashion Week. The first, From Chanel to Saint Laurent, an Haute Couture Wardrobe, assembles 115 of the most beautiful pieces from the VWS collection – from Beijing to Versailles. Two lots by Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld from this sale set new world auction records. Both exhibition scenographies were designed by Swiss-Lebanese interior architect and set designer, Aline Asmar d’Amman.

This private European collection presents iconic catwalk pieces from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s by Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Saint Laurent and Valentino.The diversity of the featured pieces showcase the exceptional creativity and haute couture savoir-faire. Models include jewel-embellished and hand-embroidered day dresses, cocktail and evening gowns, skirts, jackets and pant suits.

Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s

Highlights include an AW ’88-‘89 fitted purple velvet dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, hand embroidered with Tudor patterns by Lesage, with a removable white satin collar, (estimate €4,000 -€6,000); a Givenchy SS ’86 flower-embroidered bolero worn over a floor-length fuchsia crepe evening gown (estimate € 1,000 – €1,500; and a flowing, high collared Yves Saint Laurent AW ‘91-‘92 evening dress in gold-dappled silk organza by Abraham, (estimate €800 – €1,200). This model is currently exhibited in the Gold by Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris, ending 14th May, 2023).

Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s

“The flare and eccentricity of the photography of fashion models from the ‘80s and ‘90s dressed in these exquisite creations inspired a joyful scene setting aiming to capture the glorious diversity of the pieces and their collector’s sense of chic,” said Aline Asmar d’Amman, founder of Culture in Architecture.

Estimates of the Christie’s auction range between €400 and €4,000. The online sale runs from January 11-25, the pieces will be on show at Christie’s Paris from January 19-25. Five percent of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Arts Décoratifs Museum in Paris.

The second auction, Mon Défilé Secret (My Secret Fashion Show) features 300 pieces from the personal collection of Didier Ludot, the King of Vintage, who celebrates 48 years as a vintage collector this year. A further 150 pieces will be auctioned online exclusively at Artcurial in collaboration with Christie’s.

Didier Ludot’s Palais Royal boutique is a must-see for fashion professionals, vintage couture lovers, museums and institutions. Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are regular visitors. Reese Witherspoon wore a 1955 silver beaded Dior gown from Didier Ludot’s boutique to the Oscars. It brought her luck, she won the Academy Award for Walk The Line.

Middle Eastern clients have taken to vintage relatively recently, says Didier Ludot. “We’ve been welcoming these ladies since about 15 years. The Middle East is one of the few places in the world where women regularly wear spectacular evening gowns.”

Didier Ludot has noticed a new wave of younger vintage clients. “Vintage is completely in synch with Gen Z values. Buying pre-loved rather than brand new is eco-responsible, but also informs them about quality craftsmanship. They are on the lookout for fashion that sets them apart and that will maintain its value over time, they appreciate the originality of not dressing identically to everyone else.”

For these young clients, he intentionally included some affordable ready-to-wear pieces from Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Thierry Mugler, Yohji Yamamoto, and Courrèges.

“Courrèges perfectly suits a woman in her twenties.”

Alongside models from Alaïa, Balenciaga, Balmain, Chanel, Dior, Grès, Saint Laurent and Versace, Didier Ludot discloses his personal taste with the designers he reveres: Jean Dessès, Marc Vaughan and Rudi Gernreich.

Gianni Versace Couture, 1992. Photo: Courtesy Artcurial

Highlights include two magnificent embroidered jackets from Yves Saint Laurent’s SS/88 “Tribute to Artists” collection. The first tribute to artist Pierre Bonnard is a sunflower-yellow fitted satin jacket, hand-embroidered by Maison Lesage with clusters of blue and green grapes worn over a bluegreen satin crepe dress; the second, an aniseed-green leather textured satin evening jacket over a black velvet skirt.

Both are Saint Laurent’s prototypes, with the catwalk model’s name handwritten on the tape inside. The designer required so many detailed nuances in the embroidery of this collection that each jacket required over six hundred hours of work, making them some of the costliest couture pieces on record.

Accessories include a Jacques Fath evening clutch that belonged to the late Duchess of Windsor, and a black leather and canvas Hermès handbag, circa 1940 (estimate €800 -€1,200).

Paco Rabanne Haute Couture, 1993. Photo: Courtesy Artcurial

Thursday, 26 January 26, 2023, 14H

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