A couture collection formerly owned by Catherine Deneuve and designed by the late Yves Saint Laurent has fetched $1million (£785,887) at the auction house Christie’s.
The French actress was a muse to the designer as well as a close friend for 40 years (she read a poem at his funeral in 2008) and many of the pieces in the collection date back to the 1960s and 1970s when Laurent making waves in the fashion industry by introducing the Le Smoking female tuxedo suit.
Therefore, unsurprisingly, the Smoking black wool jacket and trousers that the designer made for Deneuve for her to wear at the YSL 20th anniversary celebration in 1982 set a new world auction record for any of the designer’s Smoking range at €20,000 (£17,440).
The auction in Paris saw 90% of the 129-piece collection sell for over the pre-sale estimated price and the whole event lasted five hours.
The most expensive sale was a YSL haute couture fine evening ensemble of a chiffon blouse, scarf and taffeta skirt which the designer created for his autumn/winter 1977 collection. With an estimated pre-sale of €3,000-5,000, it ended up selling for €52,500 (£45,780).
Next up was a short beaded dress designed for the spring/summer 1969 collection which Deneuve wore when she met Alfred Hitchcock. It sold for €42,500 (£37,060) against a previously estimated €3,000-5,000.
Additionally, a gold metallic velvet evening dress, which Deneuve wore at the Oscars ceremony in 2000 went for more than ten times its estimated value price of €2,000-3,000 to reach €21, 250 (£18,530).
The 75-year-old actress was at the auction, which she said “exceeded [her] expectations in many ways”, and said she hoped the new owners “enjoy these pieces of couture as much as I did”.
Despite the huge success of the sale, there’s even more to come. An online-only auction of another 140 items from Deneuve’s YSL wardrobe will culminate on 30 January.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK