Catherine Deneuve wardrobe sale sets style

Catherine Deneuve's wardrobe auction
Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture, a beaded evening dress. Spring Summer 1969 sold for £37,000. Christie’s Images Ltd, 2019

The live auction of the wardrobe of iconic French actress Catheine Deneuve, all designed by the late celebrated French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, has sold for £785,887 with a 100% sell-through rate.

The sale attracted bidders from around the world, with the pre-sale exhibition during Paris Fashion Week also welcoming 4,500 visitors.

Each piece of haute couture or Rive Gauche clothing was a testament to the 40-year long friendship between Deneuve and one of the world’s most renowned couturier.

The online bidding participation for the sale was one of the highest that Christie’s France has witnessed over the past five years, attracting far over 100 new registrants. The online-only auction is still open for bidding until January 30, offering a further 140 lots of Catherine Deneuve’s wardrobe designed by Yves Saint Laurent.

Catherine Deneuve commented, “This week, with highlights including the view and the auction itself, has been a new experience for me and has exceeded my expectations in many ways. I would like to thank Christie’s for the beautiful catalogue and the fact they paid tribute to YSL’s talent by presenting his creations in such an exquisite way at the preview, attended by thousands of people. I sincerely hope that the new owners will enjoy these pieces of couture as much as I did.”

François de Ricqlès, President Christie’s France added: “This sale which was a real triumph, achieving €900,000 for the first part of Catherine Deneuve’s wardrobe, paid tribute to these two iconic French artists which are the glory of this country. During the auction, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum pre-empted three lots. We would like to express our deepest thank you to Catherine Deneuve for entrusting us with the sale of her treasured Yves Saint Laurent wardrobe.”

Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture, a black chiffon cocktail dress with the belt in the shape of a dove by Goosens. Spring Summer 1988, sold for £27,000. Christie’s Images Ltd, 2019

The top lot of the auction was the Haute Couture evening ensemble of the unique and very sought after Russian Collection, which Mr. Saint Laurent designed for the Fall/Winter collection of 1977/78. Selling at £45,500, it surpassed its high pre-sale estimate by 10 times.

Other highlights included:

  • A short beaded dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent for the Spring/Summer collection of 1969, which the actress wore when she met Alfred Hitchcock the same year in company of Philippe Noiret and François Truffaut, sold for £36,800.
  • The last lot of the sale, a superb black velvet sable trimmed jacket from the Fall/Winter collection of 1997/98 took several minutes to sell and was contested by bidders from 10 different countries. It finally sold for £29,200.
  • Lot 80 was pre-empted by The Yves Saint Laurent Museum, a quilted jacket and a pair of silk trousers from the Spring 1977 collection; lot 82, a black chiffon cocktail dress from the Fall/Winter collection of 1972/73 and lot 122, a quilted brown silk jacket from the Fall/Winter collection of 1971/72. Furthermore, international institutions acquired several lots in the sale, such as the Fashion Museum of Santiago in Chile and the Bowes Museum in Great Britain.

Amongst the most sought-after pieces was the famous YSL smoking. The one, he designed for Catherine Deneuve and which she wore at the occasion of Yves Saint Laurent’s 20th anniversary celebration, just set a new world auction record for any smoking jacket at £17,350.

Elsewhere in the sale, the gold metallic velvet draped evening dress worn by Catherine Deneuve at the 2000 Oscar’s ceremony for the nomination of Régis Wargnier’s film, Est-Ouest, surpassed its pre-sale estimate of £1,700 to £2,600 by 11 times, achieving over £29,000.

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