On 27th June at Christie’s South Kensington, heiress Daphne Guinness, model, muse and fashion fanatic will auction 102 items from her wardrobe including 40 dresses, 48 coats and jackets, and 8 pairs of shoes as well as tops, trousers, and skirts to raise money for the Isabella Blow Foundation.
Blow, a great friend of Guinness’, and one time Tatler fashion director had not only a wonderfully flamboyant, indubitably idiosyncratic sense of style, but an incredible ability to spot talent, launching the careers of Alexander McQueen, Phillip Treacy, Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl amongst others. Having battled with depression, been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ovarian cancer, Blow tragically committed suicide on 7th May 2007, after several failed attempts.
Guinness set up The Isabella Blow Foundation after her death, seeking to honour Blow’s memory, to support aspiring fashion and art students and to facilitate future research into the fields of depression and mental health. The sale, expected to realise in excess of £100,000 is, Guinness believes, “the only practical way for me to say thank you to my friend who I carry in my soul.”
She elaborates, “It gives me enormous satisfaction that, almost two years to the day – my seemingly impetuous decision to purchase the entirety of Isabella’s collection, is now clearly going to set a few injustices to rights.”
Highlights under £2000 include a fitted black Chanel mini dress and a deep purple ovoid coat by Christian Dior. Highlights under £10,000 include a terrifying pair of Alexander McQueen spiked and studded wedge boots. One of the most valuable items to be auctioned is a metallic sculptural creation, again by McQueen featuring puff sleeves and a tulip shaped skirt and estimated at £15-20,000. Also on sale are designs by Christopher Kane, Christian Lacroix, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta to name but a few.
A portrait of Ms Guinness by Mario Testino, shot for British Vogue in 2008, carries one of the highest estimates of up to £30,000. At the other end of the spectrum, a military inspired, navy blue pleated coat dress listed at £300-500 is one of the least expensive items to be auctioned.
Pat Frost, Director of Christie’s Fashion Department said: “We are delighted to be offering the fashion world this incredible one-off opportunity to buy some of the most iconic and cutting-edge haute couture of the early 21st century, owned and worn by Daphne Guinness.”
Iconic collections sold previously at Christie’s include those of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Piaggi and Diana, Princess of Wales as well Dames Shirley Bassey and Margot Fonteyn.
The full contents of the sale will be on public exhibition at Christie’s saleroom on Old Brompton Road from 23 to 27 June 2012 free of charge, make sure you check it out!