Monday, November 16, 2009


Until now, my experience with Kerry Taylor Auctions was of selling a lot in one of her auctions on behalf of someone else. A little background info on Kerry Taylor:

"Kerry Taylor joined Sotheby’s in 1979, at age twenty and went on to become one of the youngest auctioneers in their history. After creating and managing the Collector’s Department at Sotheby’s Chester, she moved to Sotheby’s New Bond Street in 1986 where she re-established the Costume and Textile sales. Kerry later became Director in charge of all Collector’s areas, special theme sales and celebrity sales."

She now runs her eponymous auction house dealing only with clothing and textiles (they held the Daphne Guinness auction amongst many others), both at her own premises and at Sotheby's. She continues to work with Sotheby's as Textile Consultant. In other words, the woman is a rock star of the clothes auctioning world.

At the last auction I went to, the sense of excitement I felt at being able to touch, try on and even potentially own incredible pieces from every decade of the 20th century was invigorating. For me, it's like being in a fairytale - opening a box full of perfect condition Chanel two tone ballet flats and wondering about the life of the person who owned them. Everything has a story and clothes somehow hold them in their seams. I didn't dare bid on anything, though I saw the true prices vintage dealers pay and realised how inflated they are at retail. It made me determined not to pay full whack for anything at a vintage store ever again.

But I don't think there'll be too many bargains at the upcoming sale on December 8th. Any of these clothes take your fancy?

"50% of the net proceeds of lots 283-331 will be donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund."
48 lots of clothes belonging to Audrey Hepburn, from the wedding dress for her 1952 wedding that was called off, that she asked the dressmakers to give to the poorest girl they could find (who went on to have a long and happy marriage)
to a simple striped mariniere top that comes with a picture of Audrey wearing it.
Kind of beats obsessively trawling Google image search for photos of Audrey to put in a folder on your desktop. I was lucky enough to meet the Audrey Hepburn black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's when it was auctioned at Christie's a few years ago. Nothing compares to seeing something like that in person. So the thought of seeing what looks like half of AH's personal wardrobe, with authenticating documentation, makes me feel a little faint. This of course includes lots of Givenchy haute couture, much of it made especially for AH. Hubert de Givenchy said of her sense of style; "All the responsibility for the way Audrey looked is hers. She made the selections.” And if you take the time to read through the notes, lots of snippets about Audrey, not just her style but how she conducted herself can be found (such as giving boxes of her clothes to her first official fan, who became a lifelong friend). They build a compelling picture of her seemingly impeccable character.

{In advance of the sale, there is also a touring exhibition visiting New York and Paris. All details are here. All pictures from Kerry Taylor's site.}

p.s. There is other stuff in the auction too, if you're interested in Marie Helvin's '80s body con dresses and Chanel bags in every colour imaginable etc etc - the usual.


Alex said...

Oh Audrey - such beautiful clothes, a beautiful face and a beautiful soul.

Bombay Beauty said...

If only I/one could buy a small piece of her style... That would be priceless (and sell for millions to some footballers wife who didn't know what to do with it...) bb

erica said...

i'd take that mariniere top and wear it every day if i could. i love her strong eyebrows and tidy bun.

ooh, to see all that givenchy in person....

Lola Is Beauty said...

Erica - you'd have to wear it every day...forever to get the cost per wear down!


I am so excited about this sale too! The fact that Audrey's clothing hardly ever comes on the market (with a wedding dress to boot!)- and that there will be in a preview in Paris as well! I'll be writing about it in the next few days for my Paris readers!


--CHIC news from Paris--
--sample sales--
--press sales--

Juliet said...

God I would love to see those and breathe the same air with them!

juliet xxx

Marta Represa said...

Wow, it's incredible, isn't it? She was magnificent, and she had such impecable taste! I'm happy to be able to read about this in the middle of so much bad taste!

redmenace said...

If only. If only. So lovely!