What is it with English editors and auctions of their wardrobes? Following a selection from Suzy Menkes and seemingly endless recombinations of Isabella Blow’s collection of Alexander McQueen, Diana Vreeland is the latest great to have her wardrobe go on the block (June 25 at Kerry Taylor in London).
The famed icon and fashion wit was, along with muses Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent’s biggest fan, champion, and patron. The most noteworthy of her YSL pieces to go under the hammer is a couture gown that the Vogue editor-in-chief commissioned from Saint Laurent in 1985 to wear to the Met Gala, which she’s credited with masterminding. The bespoke piece — dripping with Lesage embroidery and glass beading — is expected to fetch as much as £3,000.
Another item, Vreeland’s navy wool pea coat from the late sixties, features her red Legion d’Honneur ribbon, France’s highest civilian decoration. When she received the news of the award, she’s said to have telegrammed her son Frederic, who was then a diplomat in the American embassy in Paris, saying, “Darling, buy me five yards of that ribbon.” Only a centimeter was actually needed.