25 posts tagged "Christie’s"
Last night in London, Christie’s South Kensington auction house played host to an exhibition and discussion orchestrated by the Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG). And while the audience sat through the Issa London-sponsored talk, whose panel included Christie’s Meredith Etherington-Smith, illustrator David Downton (whose work is pictured above, top left), and Style.com’s Tim Blanks, they were left wondering: Should astute art investors buy up fashion illustration in the same way the world should have snatched up early Basquiat or Koons? “Before Andy Warhol was Andy Warhol, he was a fashion illustrator,” said Etherington-Smith. “Fifty years ago, the art world debated whether photography was a bona fide art form, and the same is happening now with fashion illustration. I believe there is no doubt fashion illustration is an art, but a vastly underappreciated one.”
The art on display last night represented the old guard like Cecil Beaton, Antonio Lopez (above, bottom left), and Andy Warhol, as well as such new talents as Gary Card (above, top right), Zoë Taylor (above, bottom right), and Tanya Ling. Strange bedfellows? Not according to Downton. “Some of the younger fashion illustrators out there are the most skilled draftsmen,” he said. “They very much should take their place alongside the great artists of days gone.”
Among the questions thrown out to an audience that included Suzy Menkes, Camilla Al Fayed, and Susie Bubble: Will fashion illustration ever be accepted as an art form? And will magazine editors ever replace celebs for illustrations? Downton, perhaps, answered these queries best. “The illustration I did a few years back of Cate Blanchett for Australian Vogue was, against all odds, the fastest-selling issue of the year. It also won the Maggie’s Magazine Cover of the Year. After that, there was no doubt for me that there is a place in the art world for fashion illustration.”
FIG’s exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington runs through December 19.
Having made their debuts in Harrods’ holiday windows last year, Versace’s Cinderella dress, Valentino’s butter-yellow Belle gown, Oscar de la Renta’s Snow White frock, and Escada’s Princess Jasmine look will go under the hammer—for charity—alongside other designer Disney-princess duds at Christie’s, on November 13. Prince Charming is not included in the auction price.
On June 4, Christie’s will unveil a preview of new exhibition, A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion, and Chess, which, opening in October at the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, examines the principal monarch from a freshly cerebral perspective.
“It all started with the chess museum in Saint Louis,” relayed Swedish curator Sofia Hedman of the impending preview. “The idea is that each piece on the chessboard can be seen as a different personality, and the queen incorporates the different personalities a woman can have—the enchantress, the explorer, the ruler, the mother, and others.”
Rare pieces—Hussein Chalayan’s iconic bubble dress from Spring 2007, Maison Martin Margiela’s Spring 2001 vest made entirely from baseball gloves, and more than a few ornately embroidered gowns by Alexander McQueen (left)—are placed among lesser-known new works from “very, very unpredictable and very experimental” designers, like Charlie Le Mindu and Jordan Askill. Each touches on a different element of the regal persona, with plenty of reference to royal Dutch portraiture from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Continue Reading “Christie’s Hosts Old Queens and New” »
With her signature hair flip and authoritative pen, Suzy Menkes, who was appointed as the international fashion editor of the new International New York Times last Wednesday, epitomizes “one of a kind.” However, while there is, and always will be, only one Ms. Menkes, this summer, some ambitious bidders will have the chance to dress like her. On July 11, Christie’s will launch a twelve-day online auction of over eighty pieces from Menkes’ wardrobe, including a custom Chanel clutch boasting a gold “Suzy” in the place of the house’s double Cs, as well as vintage wares from Yves Saint Laurent (like a cocktail jacket from 1980 and an ivory pantsuit), Emilio Pucci, Ossie Clark, Christian Lacroix, Dior, and more. Menkes, who reportedly hasn’t purged her closet since 1964, says she initiated the auction because “…there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks. They need to live again, and this auction provides the opportunity for them to walk out in the sunshine, to dance the night away, and to give someone else the joy that they gave to me.” While Ms. Menkes is, of course, priceless, most of the auction items will start at under 1,000 pounds.
“Anything I do tells a story,” says Coomi Bhasin, the designer behind the simultaneously luxe and brainy fine jewelry line, Coomi. Having launched in 2002, her previous collections have incorporated ancient Roman glass, or coins from the days of Alexander the Great. For fall, Bhasin’s one-of-a-kind rings, necklaces, and earrings combine diamonds, 20-karat gold, and arrowheads from the Paleolithic era. And the story she tells is one of evolution—both literal and artistic. “The skeleton is my favorite,” says Bhasin, referring to an arrowhead pendant she’s adorned with a gold and diamond iteration of Lucy—the oldest skeleton of human remains ever found on earth. “She’s very famous. And when her skeleton was found, there were some bones missing, so I recreated that,” offered Bhasin, adding that she’s embellished the back of the piece with three handprints, because handprints were “humans’ very first attempt at art.” Other highlights include arrowheads decorated with the skeleton of an ancient fish fossil, an interpretation of a bison cave drawing, and a deer running away from a slingshot—all done in diamonds, of course.
The collection will make its debut tomorrow during a luncheon at Christie’s. And Bhasin’s designs will be in good company—the event will also serve as an exclusive preview of the Impressionist and Modern masterpieces to be auctioned off at the auction house’s May 8th sale (think works from Matisse and Léger). “I’m a huge art collector, but what I wanted to show was that you don’t have to walk into Christie’s and only buy art for your wall,” said Bhasin, noting that she was honored to show her collection alongside Christie’s paintings. “The human body should be adorned with art, too. Your body is a temple. And it’s the best place to show off art.”
Coomi’s Fall 2013 collection ranges from $5,000 to $65,000 and will be available at Neiman Marcus.