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August 20 2014

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28 posts tagged "Christie’s"

Christie’s Hosts Old Queens and New

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Alexander McQueenIn the age of Middleton mania, there’s no shortage of mythology (or obsession) surrounding what it means to be a queen.

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” »

Suzy for Sale

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Items in Christie's Suzy Menkes Auction

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.

Photo: Courtesy of Christie’s

Coomi’s Ancient Accessories

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“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.

Photo: Courtesy of Coomi

It’s A Zoo In London—And The Bears Are Better Dressed Than The Bidders

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Sometimes the gap between London and New York seems infinitely wide. The charity auction scene in NYC, so firmly established and often the model of decorum—and can we say, often quite dull—would not have known what had hit it when confronted by the frequently hilarious and very drunken antics in London last night. Whoever thinks the British are civilized is sorely mistaken. It was like one of those Gossip Girl auction set pieces, taken over by a hard drinking and older version of the cast of Saved by the Bell.


Christie’s auction house in Mayfair was the site of the Children in Need auction. It featured numerous re-fashionings of that charity’s iconic figurehead, Pudsey Bear, by many of the top designers and houses in the fashion world. The stylist and editor in chief of Love magazine, Katie Grand, who curated the event, had ensured that the bears turned out in force. She is, as she would readily admit herself, quite bossy, which proves extremely useful in the mustering of such an event. “It’s really like doing a show!” she said backstage, perfecting the bear running order with their celebrity handlers, each of whom was attired according to the bear’s provenance. That is apart from Sibling’s showgirl, Cara Delevingne (above left) who decided to just dress as a bear herself.

The day before, Grand had mused, “I don’t really know rich people who do this sort of thing. I bloody hope they come.” She had nothing to worry about, they turned out in force. And were on the phones.

Backstage, the gaggle of models, actresses, fashion designers, WAGs (like Abbey Crouch, who did the honors for Norton & Sons, left), and the odd photographer and sports star wrangled with their bears. “It’s bigger than me, this thing!” the petite actress Jaime Winstone said of her Fendi bear. The statuesque Jodie Kidd struggled with the weight of her gigantic suede Smythson bear, made even more difficult by the folds of caftan she had been attired in. Liberty Ross, meanwhile, became so attached to her Loewe bear she started a bidding war for it when she got onstage.


Chloë Moretz (above, right) gave one of the best sells of the evening with her Versace bear: “He’s quite high maintenance. And Audrey, Donatella’s dog, has some issues with him. He had to go.” And Kristen McMenamy’s coruscating and brilliantly unhinged performance with her McQueen bear: supermodel sashaying, the screeching “There are children in need, you know!” and the accosting of one phone bidder who hung up on the model. “I actually thought it was a man when I got on that phone,” said McMenamy, left, afterward. “I said ‘I’ll go out on a date with you,’ but it was a woman and she got offended! That’s improv for you.” (John Waters, give this woman a part.) There was also Marc Jacobs in disbelief at how much his Louis Vuitton bear was selling for: ¬£20,000. And the finale to the event was the footballer Peter Crouch’s robot dance, the voguing of designer Giles Deacon, and the disco turn of the auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades—the international director of auctioneering, no less—with the staff of Christie’s looking on agog.

The online auction, featuring Nicolas Ghesquière’s bear creations for Balenciaga, continues at www.designerpudsey.co.uk.

Photos: Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images

Coming, Going, Gone

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Norman Parkinson was an instrumental force in taking fashion photography out of the studio and into the street in the 1950s. Visual proof: Coming and Going, a diptych featuring Nena von Schlebrügge (a.k.a. Uma Thurman’s mom), which will go on the auction block at Christie’s in London next month. (She’s wearing, for the record, Yves Saint Laurent’s first collection for Christian Dior [Coming] and Estrava [Going].) “Norman Parkinson revolutionized the world of British fashion photography in the 1950s with images such as these, where he brought his models from the staid studio environment into the more dynamic outdoor setting—in this case the streets of London,” Christie’s specialist Mark Wilkinson tells the Telegraph. “He paved the way for others who then developed this concept, most famously, David Bailey.” The diptych is expected to fetch £3,000 to £4,000 at the September 3 auction.

Photos: Norman Parkinson / Christie’s