Audrey Hepburn auction: going going gone!

09 December 2009

audrey hepburn auction

The hammer fell on a très successful auction of Audrey Hepburn’s legendary wardrobe yesterday, as sales predictions of £100,000 were more than doubled to a whopping £268,320. Vintage dealers, movie enthusiasts and Audrey-lovers all gathered to bid on the 36-piece exhibition, which included ensembles the iconic actress wore in the movies Love In The Afternoon, War And Peace and How To Steal A Million.

The black Givenchy couture lace cocktail dress Audrey wore in How To Steal A Million was the highest-priced item, selling for £60,000 to an anonymous bidder. (Ooh mysterious, we’re going to keep a verrry close eye on what super-fan Victoria Beckham decides to wear over the next few weeks then – Posh apparently pre-ordered a lot catalogue and was also rumoured to be the buyer of the iconic Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress at an Audrey auction back in 2006.) A turquoise silk Givenchy gown was the second most expensive piece, and sold to an American museum for £18,000. The ivory bridal gown, designed by the Fontana sisters for Audrey’s marriage to James Hanson, sold for £13,800 after being donated to the sale by an Italian woman who received it after Audrey’s wedding was cancelled. Amabile Altobella was given the dress after Audrey asked Zoe Fontana to give it to 'someone who couldn’t ever afford a dress like mine – the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find'. *Cue Grazia Daily doing a dreamy romantic swoon to the sound of violins*

'There was a real mix of people from all walks of life at the sale,' says Rachel Aked from Kerry Taylor Auctions. 'One woman who bought the jade velvet Givenchy hat told me she was putting together an Audrey Hepburn collection in London, and another man who spent £7,800 on the Valentino ruffle dress, modelled for us by Darcey Bussell on Monday, was buying it for his wife’s Christmas present!' Erm, jealous much? 'It was all really good fun and phones were ringing constantly,' Rachel continues. 'Everyone from museum representatives to Audrey fans were there, including Amabile Altobella’s son-in-law. I’m told even Bette Midler came to look around, and over 2,000 people attended the collection’s exhibition in Paris.'

The collection was sold by Tanja Star-Busmann, a life-long friend of the star, who will give 50% of net sale proceeds to The Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

And what about the Givenchy white couture gown we were drooling over when the auction was first announced? Well, that one sold for an incredible £7,800. Please turn up under our Christmas tree, please turn up under our Christmas tree…

- Alex Davies


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