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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Fashion House YSL to Hold Second Art Auction

Those with an interest in the world of high fashion may have noted the recent auction of artworks hailing from the personal collection of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, but with all of the turmoil happening in haute couture these days, it's probably forgivable if the event was missed. The death knells, ringing out not so long ago, of French house Cristian Lacroix may lead to the idea that any sort of sale is directly linked to the effects of the global economic downturn on the classic sensibilities of the high fashion world. In a sense, this may be true in the case of YSL's auction, but the tone is distinctly different from those of other brands of late; the proceeds are going to charity. Namely, to AIDS research. Perhaps feeling charitable at the hands of personal misfortune (even if YSL stays afloat, the current state of affairs has to sting a little), or perhaps simply due to a personal inclination, the designer's decidedly opulent art pieces have lent their star power to helping further research for this serious health concern.
As if the masterpiece paintings and rare accentuating objects sold in the last auction weren't enough, the fashion mogul's estate has decided to hold another round of bidding on more of his collection. Coming from his country estate as well as his two urban residences in France, the items range from original Van Gogh paintings to a valuable ancient Chinese vessel, with plenty of eye-catching and rare items in between. Over the course of many years, Saint Laurent cultivated an impressive art and artifact collection with his partner, resulting in a treasure trove of items that are sure to draw even the most cash-strapped of bidders. After the designer's death last year, his partner made the choice to sell the pieces –a decision criticized by some, but applauded by others.
Of course, the auction may prove perfectly valid as grounds for dressing up and causing a bit of a stir in fashion mags. After all, the beauty of a Van Gogh doesn't have to mean that viewers' own artistic tendencies are totally out-shined. With a mild season prevailing in Paris, the event is ripe for a host of fluttery, flattering dresses, and audiences are rapt with attention to discover just what vintage YSL designs will make their way into the auction house. No matter the designer duds, there's plenty of room for costume jewellery to make a grand appearance at the event. With all the extraordinary items on the block, shelling out for pricey stones and branded baubles isn't likely to be in vogue. Instead, auction attendees can get a visual –and financial-- lift from radiant Swarovski crystals, complex chandelier earrings, beautiful brooches, and other jewellery pieces that look worthy of a few raised paddles but don't cost as dearly as anything in the lot.

a collage of designer Yves Saint Laurent

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