The catwalk has met the auctioneer’s gavel and gone online – offering Chanel-labelled fashion and accessories and one of the late Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond rings.
In a streaming fashion show last Saturday, a California auction house aimed to modernise the auction format with what it called the “first ever runway fashion show auction”.
GWS Auctions had put up for sale a huge collection of Chanel-labelled fashion and accessories, along with items including the diamond ring and mink fur coat once owned by Taylor, who died in 2011.
The entire collection would have been worth more than US$25 million if bought in stores at current prices, organisers said, although the seller wished to keep the final selling prices private.
Kruse said: “We’re actually going to provide a live visual for our bidders.”
The firm put up for sale a collection of 225 pieces, including 139 labelled Chanel. They were from the collection of a former honorary consul of Liechtenstein, Mary Jean Thompson.
Also on offer was jewellery and other articles from a Californian family who are descendants of Vietnamese royalty.
GWS called it “one of the largest personally-owned Chanel collections”, but the auction also included pieces labelled Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.
Another ring offered at the auction was owned by the British-American actress Taylor, a two-time winner of the Oscar for best actress, whose best known films included National Velvet, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The ring had been valued between US$20,000 and US$40,000, but Kruse said it had small diamonds and was not one of the actress’ “quintessential pieces”.
“There are no photographs of her wearing it,” Kruse said.
Without Taylor’s name associated with it, the ring would have been worth no more than US$1,500.
Taylor's chocolate and burgundy mink fur and charcoal woollen coat, with an estimated value of up to US$6,000, was also included in the auction.
Among other items offered for sale was a mid-sized Lady Dior shiny turquoise/navy ombre graded lizard skin bag – one of only 19 made – with an estimated value of US$$12,500 to US$15,000.