It seems like yesterday since I left Sotheby’s to set up my own company dealing in the things I love – fashion and textiles. I look back over past catalogues and feel enormously privileged to have handled so many beautiful, rare and important pieces during this time. Some of them have come from important and famous names such Audrey Hepburn, Daphne Guinness, the Duchess of Windsor to name just a few. I have come into contact with so many interesting people on all sides of the business including museum curators, fashion houses, private collectors, international dealers, and individuals looking for a special piece to wear. Many of my clients have become close friends and I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the years. I have always strived to find the best, most beautiful, special pieces in the world to tempt you with. In this anniversary year auction, I suspect you will be spoilt for choice – whatever your favourite period.
The sale includes a pair of pristine brocaded silk shoes worn for a wedding in 1721. If shoes are your thing – then there is also a pair of 1930s fetish shoes with 9inch heels and fabulous mock croc Westwood Gillie shoes, similar to those that caused Naomi Campbell’s famous catwalk tumble in 1993.
We have an early 1890s Charles Frederick Worth gown with a fascinating provenance, which combines historicism with his love of rich fabrics.
There is a Callot Soeurs trousseau of 1927, probably the best Edward Molyneux velvet evening ensemble I have ever seen, with large three dimensional rhinestone speckled roses, c.1928. We have a Gabrielle Chanel labelled gold guipure dress and gold embroidered rose taffeta evening coat, both c.1924. From the 1930s we have haute couture by Vionnet, Lanvin and Schiaparelli, as well as personal objects and accessories personally owned by Elsa which were gifted to her nurse in the 1970s. We have early Dior, Balenciaga and Balmain. We have space-age Cardin and Courreges. Early Galliano includes a waistcoat from his first collection –the Incroyables. Clare Howarth worked as assistant to Vivienne Westwood in the early 1980s and her collection includes an iconic Matisse print toga dress. As usual we end with a (Lee) Alexander McQueen section. This includes a t-shirt he made at Central St Martins as a student, rare fashion sketches from his first couture collection for Givenchy, a rare McQueen tartan bodice from his 1995-6 ‘Highland Rape’ collection which he made for his friend and colleague Katy England, to name but a few.