Fashion | Vintage Couture Sale You Can’t Afford to Miss

Chanel haute couture, 1963
Black sequined cocktail dress from the wardrobe of Romy Schneider
Estimate €1,500 > 2,500

Rencontres Couture à Paris
de la Collection Didier Ludot
Paris Encounter with Couture
from the Didier Ludot Collection
Paris | France
Exhibition 4 > 8 July 2015
Sale 4:00 CEST 8th July 2015

Thierry Mugler, S/S 1990
‘Rainbow jacket’ in gabardine wool
Estimate €500 > 700

A stone’s throw from the Louvre, in Paris’s premier arrondissement, in the prestigious Palais Royale, La Petite Robe Noire is dedicated to original haute couture versions of the little black dress. ‘A magical garment which exacerbates the femininity of a woman,’ according to Didier Ludot, who was so besotted with it that he opened the shop in 1999, designed his own line that is also sold there, and went so far as to publish a book on the subject. La Petite Robe Noire is one of three shops, the first established in 1975, all owned by Ludot, around the Palais Royal, one specialising in evening couture, the other in ready-to-wear, where – although you may not be able to afford to buy anything – you can touch, feel, and even try on some of the most extraordinary, and impeccably-detailed items of clothing ever produced. Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Balmain, Lanvin, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto and Hermes, are among the many other famous names in couture that appear on the labels.

Yves Saint Laurent haute couture, A/W 1977 > 1978
Velvet strapless sheath, edged in spiralling flounces of shot wine and green taffeta
Estimate €1,500 > 2,500

Pierre Cardin haute couture, 1966
Pink wool cape with circlet armholes and glass bauble buttons
Estimate €1,200 > 1,800

Schiaparelli haute couture, S/S 1938
‘Circus’ collection. Silk crepe gown printed with designs after Marcel Vertès
Estimate €2,000 > 3,000

Each piece is carefully selected for its technical skill, its beauty, the trademark style of the couturier who created it, and often simply for the elegance of the woman or man – Ludot also stocks menswear – who wore it. Ludot’s vintage collection provides a comprehensive overview of 20th century fashion, and is a tribute to the expertise of the designers, tailors, embroiderers, leatherworkers, feather merchants and lace makers responsible for its creation.

Elegant dressers themselves, Ludot’s mother and grandmother’s wardrobes were always fit to burst with clothes they diligently copied from haute couture. As a small boy, he had attended the fittings and has been specialising and dealing in the fashion business himself for over 40 years. He also curates exhibitions, using his exclusive shop windows as gallery space.

Balenciaga haute couture, A/W 1965 > 1966
Evening dress in satin covered in ostrich feathers
Estimate €6,000 > 8,000

Commes des Garçons by Rei Kawakubo A/W 2000 > 2001
‘Punk’ collection. Tartan jacket with tousled, tasselled hem
Estimate €700 > 900

Needless to say, Ludot’s much written about shops are a mecca for the international fashion crowd, among them American Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, who is a fellow collector and loves to compare notes with him. The rich and famous are discreet visitors, too, but a selection of Ludot’s vintage haute couture is also available to buy in the luxury department stores: Printemps, London’s Harrods and New York’s Barneys. And now, his private collection having grown so large, he has decided to sell over 170 exceptional items via auction at Sotheby’s in Paris, in their Rencontres Couture à Paris de la Collection Didier Ludot sale, next week. ‘Sotheby’s is very chic,’ he told at the auction house, ‘the first couture show I ever saw was right in this very spot, around 1970.’

All images courtesy Sotheby’s Paris, © Sotheby’s Paris

Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Leave a Reply