What Was Inside Audrey Hepburn's Closet?
The personal collection of Audrey Hepburn will be showcased by Christie's at a flagship auction in London later this month. Hepburn's beloved clothes and accessories, as well as film memorabilia and photography, will make up the 500 lots included in the sale, with single items expected to reach up to £80,000.
The price tags might be impressive, but the auction serves as a unique archive charting the 40-year career of the Hollywood legend. It's also the first time these items, which Hepburn left to her sons, Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti, have gone up for sale, giving Hepburn fans a rare opportunity to buy and view piece's from the star's wardrobe.
With this in mind, Meredith Etherington-Smith, creative consultant on the auction, is anticipating attention on a global scale.
One of the 23 Gelatin Silver Publicity Prints taken by Mark Shaw for Life Magazine in 1953.
"We are really expecting global interest because Audrey Hepburn never really goes away," she told Harper's Bazaar. "You see her everywhere and her look was always unbeatable, so generations who have might have only just discovered her will be fascinated by this auction."
It's Hepburn's "unbeatable" appeal that makes her so relevant today. This will no doubt help to draw in the buyers when the auction opens to bidders online on 19 September.
"After Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, people were captivated by Hepburn when she came along," Etherington-Smith explained. "They still are because's her look is still modern. The capri pants, ballet slippers, and malo sweaters are still relevant, so when you look at her in the films, she doesn't look dated. Audrey looked young, alive and exercised, and people still want to look like that."
A blue cloque dress from Givenchy couture
As to be expected from one of the world's most admired style icons, some of the most sought-after pieces come from inside Hepburn's wardrobe. There's a Burberry trench coat, with an estimated price tag of £6,000-8,000, a 1970s red silk couture coat from Valentino, a collection of her cherished Ferragamo pumps and a blue satin cloqué satin dress by Hubert de Givenchy, who became a life long collaborator and a close friend of Hepburn's.
But as Etherington-Smith notes, there are a couple of designs not to be missed by her biggest fans.
A black satin cocktail gown adorned with feathers by Givenchy Couture
"The piece which sums up the Audrey look is a dress that Givenchy made for her in 1968. It's a black shift trimmed with cock feathers and it's engaging and young and fun."
A black satin Givenchy two-piece
While Hepburn's annotated scripts from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sabrina and My Fair
"If she loved an item, she kept it and all the clothes in the auction are the things she really loved. She invented the little black dress, but she was also fairly obsessive about shoes. 'If you've got wonderful shoes, nothing else really matters,' she believed."
The script for My Fair Lady
As well as couture, the auction includes a number of Hepburn's treasured gems and jewels. A personalized Tiffany & Co. bangle, presented to Hepburn by Steven Spielberg after filming Always will be featured alongside a colorless tiara which Hepburn wore a Givenchy gown to the London premiere of The Nun's Story in 1959.
worn by Hepburn to the premiere of Nun's Story
Out of all the lots being offered up for auction, there is perhaps one which sums up Hepburn perfectly. A letter from legendary fashion editor and Harper's Bazaarcolumnist Diana Vreeland informing Hepburn of the success of her UK Vogue cover in April 1971 is estimated to reach £400-600. In it, Vreeland writes: "The most appealing creature there ever was." Over 40 years later, that sentiment is still true today.
The auction of Audrey Hepburn's personal collection will take place at Christie's King Street headquarters on September 27, alongside an online sale which will be open for bidding from September 19 through October 3. The collection will be on view to the public in an exhibition at Christie's from September 23 and Christie's Lates - a night celebrating the renowned film actress - will take place from 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on September 25.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.