With a total of over €600,000, the sale of the Didier Ludot collection dedicated to the little black dress, staged in collaboration with Kerry Taylor Auctions, achieved a record total in France in 2017 for a Haute Couture auction.
The total fetched €611,922 against an estimate of €195,000 - €280,000, with nearly 100 % of the lots sold by value. This new sale celebrated a monument of fashion – a timeless garment that fascinates couturiers, glorifies women, enchants men and constitutes the indispensable item in any Paris wardrobe worthy of the name: the little black dress.
American museums scooped up some of the top lots of the day – a rare Balenciaga bridal gown, 1968 for €35,000 and Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty paid the top price of €52,500 for an Yves Saint Laurent Russian collection ensemble, which she is giving to the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. This set a record in France for a Haute Couture dress in 2017.
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce its second sale of Haute Couture to take place in Paris on Tuesday 3 October. In association with Kerry Taylor Auctions, it will offer at auction 140 Petites robes noires, “little back dresses” from the private collection of Didier Ludot. This sale celebrates an iconic garment, a timeless wardrobe staple that has fascinated couturiers, flattered women and enchanted men for almost a century.
The sale on 3 October will offer a fresh look at this fashion classic as Ludot again calls on Sotheby’s savoir-faire to sell part of his collection.
“Today I pay tribute to the astonishing story of the little black dress and to the designers who wrote its story, a dizzying tale that finds itself retold in the catalogue, from the Roaring Twenties to the new millennium. Lovingly collected, these pieces – whose estimates range between 800 and 5,000 euros – were created by the greatest of couturiers, from Chanel to Jean Patou to Marc Vaughan, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Balmain or Yohji Yamamoto (…). And as the little black dress doesn’t like to go out by itself, it will be accompanied at the sale by Roger Vivier pumps and a selection of furs.”
Didier Ludot, the dealer in vintage Haute Couture famous in Paris as the “fashion antiquarian”, hardly needs an introduction. His name is already known to cultivated fashion-lovers in search of a unique piece, rich with history, that will lend new chic to their wardrobes. Women from all over the world know Ludot’s boutique in the arcades of the Palais Royal, where they find the best of old and new. Alongside his business, Didier Ludot has built up, over a period of almost forty years, a private collection of rare and important pieces by the greatest designers.
The Little black dress from its birth in 1926, under the aegis of Coco Chanel, through its role in Nouvelle vague cinema and to the recent creations of Viktor and Rolf, the sale traces the story of the little black dress through almost a century of fashion history. “It is the symbol of Parisian chic, the very model of refinement, the sensual armour slipped on by generations of women who have found themselves transformed by a sublime raiment that forgives their failings and glorifies their virtues, turning heads everywhere it went. (…) While it may be ‘little’ in size – the black dress has always been worn short – it is immense in the story it tells.” (Didier Ludot)