Realising a total of €966,259, three times the pre-sale estimate, the first Couture auction at Sotheby's Paris achieved great success. Celebrating the greatest French fashion designers, the collection of Didier Ludot included 171 lots, dating from 1924 to 2006, and was sold in its entirety, achieving coveted “white glove” status.
The highest bid of the sale went to a Balenciaga evening dress covered in pink ostrich feathers. This iconic piece from Madame Francine Weisweiller’s wardrobe was acquired for €56,250, against a €6,000 - 8,000 estimate. A green gazar evening gown signed Pierre Cardin sold for €41,250 (estimate: €2,000 - 3,000). A moulded green leather breast-plate byThierry Mugler and a finely checked wool suit from Christian Dior by Gianfranco Ferre were both highly sought-after, selling for € 35,000 each. Five pieces were bought by the Musée de la Mode et du Textile des Arts Décoratifs, illustrating the universal interest from institutions and private clients for this selection of elegant and authentic pieces.
On 8 July, Sotheby’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, embroiderers, 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 individual 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.
There are some stunning surprises among the 150 garments and accessories, produced between 1924 and the early 2000s. These unique pieces – still in their original condition, all brimming with history, all emblematic of a moment in fashion or a designer's style – make up a collection of extraordinary quality. They will appeal to private collectors, museums and stylish women the world over who buy vintage fashion to wear.
Sotheby’s and Kerry Taylor Auctions are proud to assist a passionate, wholehearted collector who has now decided to pass on his treasures. Through this sale, Didier Ludot gives new life and new owners to his dresses, as the harbinger of a world where the exquisite meets the timeless.
On Sunday 5 July, visits for the exhibition will be by appointment only please contact Camille de Foresta (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Le dimanche 5 juillet, les visites seront sur rendez-vous uniquement, veuillez contacter Camille de Foresta (email@example.com)