evening auction of The Daphne Guinness Collection; Sold to Benefit the Isabella Blow Foundation realized a total of £476,800 / $744,285 / 595,523 far-exceeding the pre-sale estimate of £100,000. The auction offered 102 lots, including a selection of dresses, coats, skirts, tops and jackets belonging to Daphne Guinness, as well as selected photographs and her signature shoes.
The top lot of the sale was Daphne Guinness, a photograph taken by Mario Testino for British Vogue, March 2008 which realized £133,250 / $208,003 / 166,429, setting a new world record price for the photographer at auction.* The top dress of the sale was an ivory silk tulle empire line gown, The Girl Who Lived In The Tree by Alexander McQueen, Autumn/Winter 2008-9, sold with Daphne Guinness, a photograph by Mat Collishaw (b. 1966), for Harpers Bazaar UK, May 2012, which set a world record price for the designer at auction, selling for £85,250 / $133,075 / 106,477.** Two dresses (lots 41 and 99) offered in The Daphne Guinness Collection surpassed the previous world record price for McQueen at auction.
The auctions purpose was to launch and raise funds for The Isabella Blow Foundation, set up by Daphne in memory of her friend to continue the work of Issie, supporting new and emerging talent in the sphere where art and fashion meet a realm championed by Daphne. With the help of Christies specialists, Daphne selected pieces to be auctioned from her personal wardrobe which embody her personal style, most of which were acquired by Daphne directly from the designers themselves. Exceptional designs by the likes of McQueen, Chanel, Balenciaga, Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane, Lanvin, Lacroix, Prada, Gucci, Alaia and others featured in the sale.
Daphne Guinness commented: As I watched the auction from invisible wings this evening, I crossed my fingers and toes. This cause is close to my heart. I am genuinely touched by the response it has generated, and truly excited for the future of The Isabella Blow Foundation. Im overwhelmed by how many bidders took part this evening and Im particularly moved by Lady Gagas support for the Foundation. I like her very much, and its lovely to see the nascent beginnings of something that may help other people.
Pat Frost, Director, Fashion and Textiles, Christies and commented: Christies are delighted with the stellar results of the evening charity auction of the Daphne Guinness Collection sold to benefit the Isabella Blow Foundation, set up in memory of Isabella by Daphne. In assisting Daphne Guinness in her aim to support new fashion talent through the Foundation, Christies has been privileged to play a part in ensuring the future of couture. It is testament to the style and individuality of Daphne Guinness that international institutions, important designers, well-known fashion icons and private collectors bid against each other for items from her personal wardrobe.
From working on curating Isabella Blows wardrobe in 2009 before it was sold privately to Daphne in 2010 to keep it intact, through to this auction of her own Collection and beyond, Christies passion continues in promoting couture and cutting-edge design talent. Further exciting curated collaborations with both collectors and international clients are planned for the immediate future, commencing with our Vintage Couture sales in November.
*The previous world record price for a Mario Testino photograph at auction was £46,100 / $94,331, achieved for Diana, Princess of Wales, Vanity Fair, sold in November 2007.
**The previous world record price for a design by Alexander McQueen sold at auction was £78,000 / $120,978, achieved for a black velvet and bugle beaded evening gown, from Alexander McQueens 'In memory of Elizabeth Howe, Salem 1692' collection, Autumn-Winter 2007, auctioned in November 2011.