Clair L. Watson, Director
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 at 10am
On Wednesday, April 20 at 10am, Doyle New York will hold an auction of Couture, Textiles and Accessories showcasing two centuries of fashion history. Offering an extensive selection of dresses, suits and ensembles, the sale will also include important costume jewelry, handbags and accessories, as well as American, European and Asian textiles. The public is invited to the exhibition on view from Friday, April 15 through Monday, April 18. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan.
The upcoming auction offers a myriad of styles for the many discerning international buyers who attend this semiannual event, including museum curators, designers, celebrities, socialites, dealers and collectors. Among the early pieces are a charming aqua silk 1815 American redingote discovered in a trunk in Savannah, a 1901 Liberty dove gray brocade cape, and a circa 1913 Beer aqua satin embroidered gown. Also featured are a 1920 lavish embroidered Orientalist opera coat by Paquin and a 1930s pink Peplos gown by Fortuny with its original box.
A special section of the auction will feature couture from the collection of Princess Fawkia of Egypt. She was the half sister of King Farouk and the mother of Ahmed Fakhri Bey who married Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, the international socialite who would later be known as Gloria Guinness, one of Truman Capote's captivating "swans." The collection of Princess Fawkia traces her years as the royal wife of the Egyptian Minister to France and features 1930s designs by Worth, Vionnet, Maggy Rouf and Hermes, including a stunning paisley printed crepe de chine gown and a claret colored leather bag by Worth.
From the collection of a New York Lady is an exquisite group of early 1950s Fath and Rochas couture preserved in a Baroque Italian chest on Park Avenue for half a century. Highlighting this extraordinary collection is a remarkable 1951 black lace bouffant dress by Jacques Fath, reportedly one of only two made, the other being for Eva Peron. At the peak of his career, Jacques Fath was only 42 when he died of leukemia in 1954. The epitome of chic, he was considered by many the fashion heir apparent to Dior. His ravishing good looks and charm, combined with his exquisite couture, resulted in a post-War rise in popularity so swift that Vogue likened it to a comet.
Property from other owners includes a vibrant pink 1950s Jean Desses draped gown, an exquisite 1950s Balenciaga draped black chiffon gown, two late 1940s Carven gowns (including his 1947 Robe d'un Soire) and 1950s designs by Christian Dior. The 1960s are represented by Pucci, Gres, Mainbocher, Balmain, Norell, Lanvin, Chanel, and a version of St. Laurent's iconic black crocodile and mink trimed "Chicago" jacket. Highlighting the 1970s are two "gypsy" ensembles by Yves St. Laurent, a Thea Porter caftan (another example of which is in the Victoria & Albert Museum), Norell's famed "sailor" dress, a hand painted jacket from Mary McFadden's first collection, and a tie-dyed silk jersey caftan dress by Halston.
Among the more recent selections in the sale is a Great Lakes collection of clothing and accessories comprising early examples of Moschino's provocative wit. Highlights include the "Art is Love" leather jacket and handbag, the "I (love) Heels" shoes, the "This Bag is Full of Chic" handbag, and the "Peace and Pearls" suit.
Also from the 1980s-90s is a selection of designs by John Galliano and Geoffrey Beene. Highlights include an opulent 1998 velvet and lynx kimono with train by Galliano and two iridescent gowns by Beene that epitomize his structural simplicity.
Featured in the textiles section of the sale is the collection of Jelko Yuresha, comprising vintage and antique middle eastern caftans, Tibetan priest's robes, Kuna panels, and a Chinese embroidered ruby silk coverlet formerly in the collection of interior designer Mahin, Comtesse de Malleray, as well as examples of de Malleray's own designs.
The selection of handbags offers a large number of bags by Hermes, all in immaculate condition, mostly from a single private collection. Highlighting the collection is a remarkable black crocodile Birkin that was customized with a clasp and lock featuring over 14 carats of pave diamonds set in white gold. Also offered are a collection of iconic plush handbags from the 1960s by Roberta di Camerino, and a selection of trunks and cases by Louis Vuitton.
The fine costume jewelry in the auction comprises examples from the 1940s through 1990s with designs by Dior, Chanel, St. Laurent, and Lina Baretti. Highlights include extravagant pieces by the American maker, The Show Must Go On, including a startling, lifesize articulated lobster brooch and an earring and cuff set inspired by cobs of corn. Always popular with collectors, Iradj Moini is represented by an elegant plume brooch and a peacock feather rhinestone necklace.
Friday, April 15, 10am – 5pm
Saturday, April 16, 10am – 5pm
Sunday, April 17, Noon – 5pm
Monday, April 18, 10am – 2pm
Doyle New York, 175 East 87th Street, New York, NY 10128
Clair L. Watson, 212-427-4141, ext. 603, couture@DoyleNewYork.com