May 3, 2016
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Couture jewelry from Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga goes up for auction

May 3, 2016

As part of its Haute Couture auction, Artcurial's new Hermès Vintage & Fashion Arts department will be selling two private collections in Paris on July 4. The sale will include a collection of haute couture jewelry -- pieces created at the request of designers to accessorize their collections -- and items from the catwalk collections of Elisabeth de Senneville, an influential fashion designer of the 1980s.

Roger Jean-Pierre for Givenchy, circa 1960.©Artcurial

The upcoming auction, which will be held in Paris, France, will see collectors and couture fashion fans bid for around a hundred pieces of jewelry from some of the biggest fashion houses, such as Chanel and Dior, as well as 130 items from the professional archives of Elisabeth de Senneville. These two private collections will be accompanied at auction by a selection of Louis Vuitton trunks, Chanel leather goods and haute couture gowns from Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Nina Ricci, Yves Saint Laurent and Paul Poiret.

Haute couture jewelry from Chanel, Dior and Givenchy

While there's much talk of "high jewelry" in the world of luxury goods and jewelry-making, "haute couture jewelry" is generally less well-known. This art form originated in the mid- and late 1930s, before falling out of favor at the end of the 1970s. For almost four decades, haute couture jewelry was created to accessorize and embellish the collections of the biggest fashion designers, with whom craftsmen worked in close collaboration, making small series of jewelry for a handful of wealthy clients.

Auction house Artcurial will be selling around 100 pieces from the "Ciel Mes Bijoux" collection of haute couture jewelry, which notably includes pieces from Roger Jean-Pierre, Maison Gripoix, Roger Scemama and Robert Goossens for Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel and Givenchy.

An icon of 1980s fashion

Another private collection up for sale July 4 sees 130 pieces from Elisabeth de Senneville's archives go under the hammer. Fans of retro fashion will be able to bid for a host of items crafted by the influential 1980s designer, such as flannelette or brushed cotton garments printed with her "furniture" or "photo story" motifs, as well as sweaters, coats and jackets made from technical fabrics.

Pénélope Blanckaert, director of the new Artcurial Hermès Vintage & Fashion Arts department, highlights the visionary nature of Elisabeth de Senneville's work when considered 40 years later. In fact, de Senneville successfully pinpointed one of the key issues of the modern era -- the screen -- and, more generally, all things digital. This monographic auction celebrates the designer's avant-garde, artistic and experimental spirit of absolute sincerity in an inaugural sale for the Hermès Vintage & Fashion Arts department.

The various auction lots will be exhibited July 1-4, 2016, at Artcurial's Paris showroom, located at 7 rond-point des Champs-Elysées. The sale will be held July 4.

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