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June 2021

Vintage, Antique Textiles & Passion for Fashion

Vintage, Antique Textiles & Passion for Fashion

At last our summer 2021 auction catalogue is now available to view online. This all-day fashion extravaganza begins with more accessible and sometimes highly wearable vintage fashion and accessories. These date from  the 1820s (lot 2, an ecru slubbed silk spencer), through lavish silk and velvet Victorian fashions, stylish garments from the attic of an artistic family - 1914-1920, as well as rails of printed and beaded chiffons, bias-cut lamé gowns, floating powder-pink ostrich feather capelets and more - all from the glamorous decades of the 1920s and 30s right through to Issey Miyake of the 1980s.

Our afternoon session opens with around 60 lots of antique textiles from around the world, including a fine embroidered cover (Colcha), Spanish or Portuguese, late 16th-early 17th century (lot 268), and the final chapter of the late Dr. Joan Coleman shawl collection, which features an array of French, Norwich, Paisley and Kashmir examples.

Our much-anticipated ‘Passion for Fashion’ section makes up the final chapter of the sale, featuring the crème de la crème of haute couture by all the greats including Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain and Valentino Garavani.

We are again honoured to include treasures from the renowned Sandy Schreier collection: her unerring taste and excellent eye are reflected in this selection – including  ‘L’Imperatrice’ – a magnificent example of Chanel haute couture by Karl Lagerfeld  - a crinolined navy silk gown, Spring-Summer 1984, complete with faux blister pearl and gilt chain martingale - arguably one of Lagerfeld's most iconic and important creations ever for the House of Chanel (lot 334).

Cutting-edge fashion pieces include futuristic designs by Pierre Cardin and early pieces by John Galliano. One of the more fascinating collections is a group of rare and early original McQueen runway pieces, often quite crudely put together and probably sewn by Lee Alexander McQueen himself. Many are prototypes or one-offs and were gifted by Lee to a friend/colleague at the time. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain pieces from ‘Banshee’, ‘Highland Rape', ‘The Hunger’ and ‘Dante’.

For Royal fans, we have a precious collection of tiny accessories once worn by Queen Victoria’s children, lovingly kept by their nanny, Mrs. Thurston, and passed down through her family (lot 347, estimate £2,000-3,000), as well as gowns worn by Sarah Ferguson of the 1980s. A highlight of the sale was worn by a different type of British royalty: the bikini worn by the late, great, Dame Barbara Windsor in the infamous comedic scene from the 1969 film ‘Carry On Camping’. A national treasure and bona fide cockney Queen, Barbara sadly died of Alzheimer's in December 2020 at the grand age of 83. She used to joke that the infamous bikini would ‘follow her to the end’- and as it turns out, she was right!  The proceeds of this lot quite fittingly are being donated by the vendor to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Despite the ongoing challenges caused by lockdown restrictions, we have worked (and will continue to work) steadily behind the scenes to bring you the finest fashion in the world. We hope you enjoy browsing the catalogue just as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you. The team at KTA look forward to assisting you with condition reports and bids - either in person by appointment, or virtually online and - who knows - we may even see some of you in the flesh! We have missed you.