YSL muse to auction off wardrobe

 Haute Couture dresses belonging to Danielle Luquet De Saint Germain, a former model, are displayed prior to their auction on October 14, 2013 at Drouot auction house in Paris. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Haute couture owned by Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain, a former model and muse to Saint Laurent. She’s auctioning off her impressive fashion collection in Paris.

PARIS – A huge collection of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion owned by the model who inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s famous “Le Smoking” tuxedo went under the hammer on Monday in Paris.

The collection — the biggest of its kind — contains some 12,000 garments and accessories and attracted keen interest from private collectors, museums and fashion lovers.

Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain, who is believed to be in her 70s, built up her collection as a model and muse for Saint Laurent and later as an artistic adviser at Christian Dior.

“It breaks my heart to see these dresses go one after the other,” she told AFP by telephone, explaining that she no longer had the energy to maintain the collection.

An ad for the auction of Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain's coveted clothes.

Gros & Delettrez

An ad for the auction of Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain’s coveted clothes.

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Among around 300 lots that went under the hammer was a long black robe in sheer black chiffon with a band of ostrich feathers around the hips.

Made in 1968 with Luquet de Saint Germain as the model, the dress fetched about $ 160,000, far in excess of its less than $ 20,000 estimated price.

The collection could be seen as a “witness to the significant moments in fashion history” in the last quarter of the 20th century, said auction house Hotel Drouot.

A feathered gown once worn by Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain.

ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

A feathered gown once worn by Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain.

Luquet de Saint Germain spent 10 years at Yves Saint Laurent before taking up the role of artistic advisor at Christian Dior.

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Speaking in 1969, Saint Laurent said of her: “I had nothing to teach her; on the contrary, it was she who helped free me of outdated references.”

In addition to working at Christian Dior, she also helped French designer Claude Montana with his first collection.

Fashion designer Yves St. Laurent at his workshop in 1977.

NBC

Fashion designer Yves St. Laurent at his workshop in 1977.

The model, who has lived in Geneva since 1978 and did not attend the sale, maintained a strong interest in haute couture over the years, becoming a client of Azzedine Alaia and Christian Lacroix, whose creations feature in the collection.

“The collection is the thread of my life. I kept everything that I found significant, as a baseline for those who love fashion…. Nothing is outdated. Everything is so beautiful,” she said.

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Other designers represented at the sale include Montana, Paco Rabanne and Thierry Mugler.

A luxury expert holds a hair piece that once belonged to former French model Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain, which hit the auction block on Monday.

ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

A luxury expert holds a hair piece that once belonged to former French model Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain, which hit the auction block on Monday.

Monday’s auction was the first of a number which will be held until all 12,000 items have been sold.

Just compiling the inventory of items to be auctioned took five weeks, according to auctioneers Gros & Delettrez which organised the sale.

Francoise Sternbach, of the French Union of Professional Art Experts, told trade journal Women’s Wear Daily earlier this year the collection was of a very high quality.

Luquet de Saint Germain had a “strong eye, she did not pick any pieces that were banal” with many “one-offs, prototypes, designed especially for her,” she said.


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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