PARIS - The sale of the Quidam de Revel collection achieved nearly €550,000 in 100 lots: a session punctuated with some splendid bidding battles for the most iconic pieces between major European collectors and international institutions. This unique session was marked by several world auction records, which were particularly impressive for Elsa Schiaparelli, Paco Rabanne and Martin Margiela.
According to Julia Guillon, specialist in charge of the sale: "As Sonia Rykiel put it, you can create fashion all over the world, but the place where you are crowned is Paris... Fashion is recognised today as a fully-fledged art at Sotheby's, and we are thrilled to have contributed to its international influence yet again."
The highest price of the sale went to the rhodoid necklace by Elsa Schiaparelli crawling with iridescent metal insects. It inspired a battle up to €85,000 (lot 91, estimate: €15,000-20,000) – a world record for one of her necklaces. An identical model once belonging to Millicent Rogers is now in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lot 91. SCHIAPARELLI, by Jean Clément, Couture, Fall 1938. A Rhodoid necklace with embedded multicolored metal insects. Estimate: €15,000-20,000. Lot sold €85,000 – a world record for one of her necklaces. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Elsa Schiaparelli, Dilys Blum, Musée de la Mode et du Textile, 17 March-29 Agust 2004, Ucad, Paris, 2004, similar model illustrated in catalogue p.184
Hommage à Elsa Schiaparelli, Musée Galliera, Pavillon des Arts, Paris, 21 June-30 August 1984, similar model illustrated in catalogue p.133
Note: A similar model previously owned by Millicent Rogers is kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Another star of the sale was Paco Rabanne, whose legendary designs attracted some of the day's highest prices. The 1969 rhodoid discs tunic dress multiplied its low estimate by ten and set a new world record for a piece by the couturier (lot 126, €43,750). The other legendary piece, unforgettably worn by Françoise Hardy, was the 1967 mini-dress in aluminium plates, which at €35,000 crushed its high estimate of €8,000 (lot 140).
Lot 126. PACO RABANNE, Haute Couture, Spring-Summer 1969. A tunic dress with brown, orange and white rhodoïd disks. Estimate: €4,000-6,000. Lot sold €43,750– a new world record for a piece by the couturier. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Lydia Kamitsis, Paco Rabanne, les sens de la recherche, Michel Lafon, 1996, approaching models illustrated p.124-125
Collection Paco Rabanne. 1969. © Georges Kelaïditès / Roger-Viollet
Lot 140. PACO RABANNE, Spring-Summer 1967. A mini dress constructed of square and rectangular aluminium plates with studs, unforgettably worn by Françoise Hardy. Estimate: €6,000-8,000. Lot sold €35,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Literature: Paco Rabanne, le sens de la recherche, Lydia Kamitsis, Michel Lafon, 1996, similar models illustrated p.56-57-59 et 101.
Two of the most iconic models – the Saharienne appropriated by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s, making it a feature of his collections, and the belt – were swept up a total of €38,125 (lots 48 and 49).
Lot 48. YVES SAINT LAURENT RIVE GAUCHE, Circa 1968-1969. A light green cotton serge Saharienne with matching pants. Estimate: €1,500-2,500. Lot sold €33,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Contemporary design also aroused keen interest with fashion lovers, as witness the new world record obtained for a piece by Martin Margiela: a stripped white and grey cotton duvet transformed into a coat by the couturier for his 1999 autumn-winter collection (lot 114; €12,500).
Lot 114. MARTIN MARGIELA, Fall-Winter 1999-2000. A stripped white and grey cotton duvet coat with tiny flowers. Estimate: €3,000-5,000. Lot sold €12,500. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Literature: Bill Cunningham, « Northerm Comfort », The New York Times, 19 March 2000, various models illustrated
Fashion, Une histoire de la mode du XVIIIè au XXè siècle, The Kyoto Costume Institute, Taschen, 2002, similar model illustrated p.707
Martin Margiela, Edition original Martin Margiela, Rizzoli, New York, 2009, similar model illustrated p.168-169
Margiela/Galliera 1989-2009, Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode, Paris, 3 March – 1 July 2018, similar model illustrated p.87-88
Musée Yves Saint Laurent
Lot 24. YVES SAINT LAURENT, Haute Couture, circa 1970. A black satin,lace and guipure slip dress. Preemption by Musée Yves Saint Laurent. Estimate: €1,000-1,500. Lot sold 1.125 €. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Lot 59. YVES SAINT LAURENT, Haute Couture, circa 1970. A pair of camel and black herringbone embroidered leather boots. Preemption by Musée Yves Saint Laurent. Estimate: €1,500-2,500. Lot sold 1.625 €. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Literature: Yves Saint Laurent Style, 1 November 2008 - 1 March 2009, Paris, La Martinière, 2008, similar model illustrated in another hue p.236.
Lot 83. YVES SAINT LAURENT, Haute Couture, Autumn-Winter, 1967-1968. A black jersey accordeon bag with leather straps and gold metal chain. Preemption by Musée Yves Saint Laurent. Estimate: €800-1,200. Lot sold 875 €. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Lot 158. ELSA SCHIAPARELLI, Couture, Eté 1939. An ivory satin and faille bustled dress with elegantes and poodles print. Preemption by Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Estimate: €6,000-8,000. Lot sold 10.000 €. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Exhibited: Dior, le bal des artistes, 14 May - 25 September 2011, Musée Christian Dior, Granville
Literature: Croquis Schiaparelli, vol. 21, planche n°80, 1939, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, similar model illustrated
A similar model shooted by François Kollar, 1939 (photographic heritage, Paris, Ministère de la Culture)
Elsa Schiaparelli, Dilys Blum, Musée de la Mode et du Textile, 17 March - 29 August 2004, Ucad, Paris, 2004, similar model illustrated p.201-203
Note: Two striped satin and faille bustled dresses from this same collection are kept at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.