On 8 July, www.sothebys.com’s Paris, in association with Kerry Taylor Auctions, will stage its first auction of Haute Couture, which gathers together 150 items from the private collection of Didier Ludot.
Didier Ludot, France’s greatest “fashion antiquarian”, surely needs no introduction: his legendary Palais-Royal gallery is a must for any fashion-lover visiting Paris. Specialising and dealing in vintage fashion for more than forty years, he has carefully selected and set aside many of the most important pieces he has handled for his own personal collection.
With designs by Paul Poiret, Yohji Yamamoto, Madame Grès, Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Azzedine Alaïa, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, John Galliano and Comme des Garçons, Didier Ludot’s collection provides a comprehensive overview of 20th-century fashion. The 150 items in the sale are a vibrant tribute to French haute couture and the time-honoured expertise of its craftspeople, including tailors, embroiders, leatherworkers, feather merchants and lace makers. Each piece was carefully chosen by Monsieur Ludot for its technical skill, its beauty, the trademark style of the couturier who created it, or the elegance of the woman who wore it. It is to these women, famous and anonymous alike, whom Didier Ludot owes his vocation. This sale unveils their wardrobes and personal style: Chanel’s sequinned “little black dress” owned by Romy Schneider; the Duchess of Windsor’s psychedelic 60s dress; Loulou de la Falaise’s Yves Saint Laurent hat; Mona Bismarck’s Balenciaga cape; the sculptural dresses Alaïa created for Bettina; the impeccable Dior jacket designed for Josette Day; Barbara Hutton’s Cartier jewel box – and so the list goes on. These elegant women of past and present are an endless inspiration for our fantasies.