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Monday, 16 March 2015

TRY THIS - Lady Luck x 2 At Auction

I find live auctions an exciting alternative to shop-bought style. And with that in mind, I recently spent an afternoon with Tracie Vallis the Fashion, Fur & Textile expert at Chiswick Auction House (this busy buying pro is also the Toy, Teddy & Doll expert). It was an eye-opener, watching her prepare for the upcoming sale slated for Tuesday 24 March CLICK HERE. Of course fashion 'know-who' is part of Tracie's DNA. Her mother was a model in the 60s - getting her start after being crowned Miss UK 1962. Tracie recalls weekly visits to Biba, Mary Quant and Carnaby Street, zooming about London town in her mom's red Mini. Once she grew up and grew interested in fashion, her mum handed down some of the best-of-the-best fashions from her own wardrobe. Tracie admits she didn't always look after the now-iconic clothing she donned back in the day - lesson learned. 

But before our conversation could continue, Tracie took a phone call and downstairs we scurried, off to meet a client. Enter Ruth rolling a discreet travel case behind her, what would turn out to be virtual Pandora's box of eye-popping pieces. As she unwrapped and revealed all that she intended to sell, I was beguiled by an elongated red fez with faux fur embellishment. Turns out this incredible hat was made for an Yves Saint Laurent runway show when the great man was still among us.

Ruth, a Brit living in France, worked for Mr Saint Laurent - part of a sales staff of 13 employed in the showroom for Rive Gauche during the "collections." She also worked for Sonia Rykiel, Chanel, Hermes and others. She describes her fellow showroom staffers as a "traveling circus, going from house to house." She felt particularly appreciated by the boss, Mr YSL, and considered herself part of the Rive Gauche family. Ruth also worked for the International Herald Tribune for a time and her own family founded Kitty Copeland, a once popular dress-maker. 

Spending time with Tracie and Ruth was delightful. Listening to these women - steeped in style - talk designers, trends and tribulations was the kind of informed chit chat that leaves me speechless. Listen and learn Huntress! Whether to buy or just browse (which I highly recommend), VIEWINGS for this particular auction are:
Sunday 22 March noon to 6pm, 
Monday 23 March 10am to 6pm and 
    Tuesday 24 March 10am to 11.45am     

CLICK HERE to see auction catalogue 


Nicola said...

Hi Anmarie,
Great write-up! The hat suits you ;)
Best wishes
Nicola X x

Anmarie said...

Thanks! Not sure the fez is really me BUT I loved trying it on. What a wonderful day I had hanging out with Tracie!

Tracie said...

Thank you so much, I have put it on facebook, on my page and my three groups including
I hope to see you this weekend. x

Anmarie said...

THANK YOU Tracie! What an afternoon...if I don't make it over there on the weekend, my pal Susan and I will def be there for the auction next Tuesday.