Sotheby’s Sunday – Celebrating Timeless Fashion and Fine Jewels
With Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) slowly approaching we have put together a collection of iconic Fashion Classics and Fine Jewels from the upcoming Sotheby’s Auctions from around the world.
Decades of Style: Didier Ludot & The Little Black Dress
Starting 3rd October, Sotheby’s will hold its second sale of Haute Couture pieces in Paris, France. In association with Kerry Taylor Auctions, it will offer 140 Petites robes noires, “little back dresses” from the private collection of Didier Ludot. This sale celebrates an iconic garment, a timeless wardrobe staple that has fascinated couturiers, flattered women and enchanted men for almost a century.
Left: Chanel 1960, estimate: €2,500—3,000, Christian Dior 1950, estimate: €2,000-3,000, Balenciaga 1953, estimate €3,000-5,000
The sale on 3rd October will offer a fresh look at this fashion classic as Ludot again calls on Sotheby’s savoir-faire to sell part of his collection.
“Today I pay tribute to the astonishing story of the little black dress and to the designers who wrote its story, a dizzying tale that finds itself retold in the catalogue, from the Roaring Twenties to the new millennium. Lovingly collected, these pieces – whose estimates range between 800 and 5,000 euros – were created by the greatest of couturiers, from Chanel to Jean Patou to Marc Vaughan, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Balmain or Yohji Yamamoto (…). And as the little black dress doesn’t like to go out by itself, it will be accompanied at the sale by Roger Vivier pumps and a selection of furs.”
Didier Ludot, the dealer in vintage Haute Couture famous in Paris as the “fashion antiquarian”, hardly needs an introduction. His name is already known to cultivated fashion-lovers in search of a unique piece, rich with history, that will lend new chic to their wardrobes. Women from all over the world know Ludot’s boutique in the arcades of the Palais Royal, where they find the best of old and new. Alongside his business, Didier Ludot has built up, over a period of almost forty years, a private collection of rare and important pieces by the greatest designers.
The Little black dress from its birth in 1926, under the aegis of Coco Chanel, through its role in Nouvelle vague cinema and to the recent creations of Viktor and Rolf, the sale traces the story of the little black dress through almost a century of fashion history. “It is the symbol of Parisian chic, the very model of refinement, the sensual armour slipped on by generations of women who have found themselves transformed by a sublime raiment that forgives their failings and glorifies their virtues, turning heads everywhere it went. (…) While it may be ‘little’ in size – the black dress has always been worn short – it is immense in the story it tells.” (Didier Ludot)
Making a Statement: 70 years of House of Dior Jewellery
Following Dior’s launch of their latest collection at Paris Fashion Week, we take a look at the iconic brand’s jewellery, which features in the Christian Dior Bijoux de Mode: Fashion Jewellery Online sale, open until 4th October.
Christian Dior by John Galliano, Bun Pin and pair of Ear Pendants of Silvery Metal and Rhinestones, estimate €500-700
“As a rule I would use jewellery generously to get the most out of it. A many stoned necklace of rhinestones for instance will look lovely with a décolleté frock for evening. It will go equally with a fine black knitted sweater for afternoons,” wrote Christian Dior in his pocket style guide (The Little Dictionary of Fashion, 1954).
Generous is apt in consideration of Dior’s vast history of designing and crafting jewellery – the pieces are flamboyant, individualistic and intricately detailed. At Dior, jewellery was designed not as a discreet finishing touch but as a statement, and the pieces in Christian Dior — Bijoux de Mode – the first online auction at Sotheby’s France – reflect that.
The sale comprises over 200 pieces from a French private collection of costume jewellery, ready-to-wear and haute couture as well as unique prototypes. Stylistically the range is vast with pieces reflecting the influence of seven creative directors including John Galliano, Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferre. There are rococo necklaces featuring house motifs such as bows and lily of the valley through to graphic sculptured pieces and everyday adornments such as Marc Bohan’s Swarovski crystal punkish chain logo bracelet that dates from the 1970s.
Rich themes and inspirations are explored. Find an elegant Victorian Masai-style necklace made from glass and fresh water pearls that featured in John Galliano’s first haute couture collection for Dior in 1997; a delicate drop necklace created from ovals of tiny rhinestones and teardrop-shaped green emerald coloured stones alongside a graphic enamelled choker in tones of ochre and red.
Christian Dior by John Galliano, Important Necklace of Gilt Brass, estimate €1,500-2,500
There are collar bone-sweeping earrings crafted in silver to look like wheat sheaves; a necklace and bracelet fashioned after a bicycle chain and beautiful articulated headpieces in Swarovski crystal with tiny painted Sevres Porcelain medallions with hand painted lotus motifs. These were made for the groundbreaking Matrix haute couture collection that John Galliano presented at Versailles in the autumn of 1999.
According to Alexander Fury, journalist and author of Dior: The Collections, 1947-2017 (Thames & Hudson), ‘jewellery had a huge impact in the Dior catwalk vision – Christian Dior himself designed costume jewellery specifically to accompany many of his dresses and unlike Chanel, Dior’s jewels weren’t “fake” – in that they weren’t pretending to be real. Monsieur Dior’s creations were fantasies – often resembling imaginary flowers around necks or fingers. The jewellery designed by his successors is very much in the same mould. John Galliano is the best example – his globetrotting and historical fusions (say, Native Americans meeting Elizabethan England with touches of Ming Dynasty) were extraordinary, and often impossible. But there were interesting collisions of inspiration – like Galliano allying the brass neck rings of Burmese tribes women with the choker necklines of the Belle Époque, using both in collections to create a specific silhouette.
‘The vision of Galliano – like that of Christian Dior himself – is multi-faceted, and the shoes, accessories and bijoux were just as important as an haute couture ball gown in expressing his ideas and inspirations at Dior. It also underscored Galliano’s relentless invention: only under his hands could a Burmese neckpiece become an Edwardian necklace, or the initials “C” and “D” transform into a gilt horse-bit, or a pair of jewelled handcuffs – both worn as necklaces by Dior models. Just as Galliano reinvented Dior silhouettes time after time, the jewellery was transformed each season, an essential component to a 21st-century re-imagining of Christian Dior. These were the same components – the strass, silver, pearl beads – Galliano just changed the setting.’
Christian Dior by John Galliano, Important Head Ornament of Zamac, Porcelain and Swarovski Crystal, estimate €2,000-3,000
The robust catalogue bears witness to Christian Dior’s legacy. The couturier’s business developed at breakneck speed in the post-war years and thanks to his radical evolution in silhouettes and his embrace of a womanly woman; the Dior name was revered worldwide. Dior launched jewellery, stockings, perfumes, handbags, heels by Roger Vivier, make-up, sunglasses, and even men’s ties creating a romantic and fully immersive universe best witnessed at the iconic store at 30, Avenue Montaigne. ‘I wanted a woman to be able to leave the boutique dressed by me from head to foot, even carrying a present for her husband in her hand,’ Dior wrote.
The atelier worked with the finest artisans including Sevres Porcelain, Gossens, Lumens and individual jewellery craftsmen to realize the pieces. One of the longest collaborations has been with Swarovski crystal, the Austrian-based family company that was founded by Daniel Swarovski in 1895. Dior’s New Look collection was accessorized with drop-shaped crystal necklaces and earrings (the haloed ‘drop’ stone remains a classic motif) but it was in 1956 when the collaboration took on a new dimension. Manfred Swarovski, the grandson of the founder, created the Aurora Borealis stone named after the Northern Lights. Lower facets of the crystal were coated in vaporized blue metal creating multi hued iridescent dazzle that would reflect the tones of the wearer’s ensemble. The stone, or AB, as it became known, was a phenomenal success. Dior continued to work with Swarovski and its succession of creative directors including the current artistic lead, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The sale Christian Dior — Bijoux de Mode (open for bidding from 20 September until 4 October) is timed perfectly. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the iconic Parisian house. The outstanding exhibition ‘Christian Dior Couturier du Reve’ is currently on show at Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris. It showcases the excellence of the house through ready to wear, haute couture, jewellery, millenary and perfumes over seven decades curated through thematic rooms. What is immediately clear is that jewellery has and will always remain an integral part of that dreaming.
Fine Jewels: Aerin Lauder on Jewels for Day & Night
With the upcoming Fine Jewels sale at Sotheby’s New York on 17 October, Aerin Lauder has an opportunity to link her long-standing loves of fragrance and jewels. As she launches the new AERIN Tuberose Collection, which features Tuberose Le Jour (for daytime) and Tuberose Le Soir (for nighttime), Lauder is partnering with Sotheby’s to explore this inescapable dichotomy among the auction’s offerings. She is also consigning two gems of her own, the proceeds from which will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Discover Lauder’s favourite pieces from he sale and see how she would style them.
From the Collection of Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer are two cocktail rings being sold to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Many of Aerin’s earliest memories are those of her grandmother, Estée, specifically in terms of her scent and her jewelry. After offering magnificent jewels from the collections of Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder, sold to benefit the BCRF, we at Sotheby’s are honored to continue the Lauder Legacy of elegance and philanthropy, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. BCRF is the highest rated breast cancer organization in the U.S., with BCRF-funded investigators deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
Jewels from the Collection of Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Sold to Benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,
Left: Gold and diamond ring, Van Cleef & Arpels, estimate $8,000–12,000, A gold, rock-crystal and diamond ring, David Webb. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
The first jewelry sale at Sotheby’s New York this fall presents a variety of signed jewels from numerous notable estates. Vintage and contemporary pieces from renowned makers such as Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier are offered alongside mid-century designs from Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin and Marianne Ostier. An impressive array of classic white diamond and colored stone rings in a variety of shapes and sizes round out the selection on offer.
Frank’s Files: Must-Have Jewels This Autumn
Tiffany & Co. has captivated jewellery lovers for over a century, but it was Audrey Hepburn and the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s that immortalised the company, leading the jewels from this legendary brand to become go-to red carpet accessories for Hollywood’s elite. Actresses such as Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett have all been recently spotted donning Tiffany & Co. jewels at premieres and award shows. Here, discover a few modern Tiffany & Co. treasures being offered this autumn, and unleash your inner Audrey. –Mallory Landers.
Property from a Private Collection of Tiffany & Co. Jewels, earrings estimate $18,000 – 22,000, ring estimate $5,000-7,000