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.
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