Feb 16, 2009
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Vintage YSL sale on heels of giant art auction

Feb 16, 2009

' Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose' by French artist Henri Matisse during a tour of an exhibition of 'The Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge.' - Photo : Shaun Curry/AFP
PARIS, Feb 16, 2009 (AFP) - As art collectors flock to Paris next week for a giant sale of works amassed by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, an auction of hundreds of the designer's vintage pieces a few days later may give them a reason to stay.

Clothing, jewellery and furs ranging from 100 euros (130 dollars) to 6,000 euros (7,800 dollars) are on the roster in a two-day auction from February 26, a day after works owned by the fashion icon and his partner Pierre Berge go under the hammer for up to 300 million euros (440 billion dollars).

Divided into themes that characterised Saint Laurent's work -- gypsies, bedouins, old-English and of course his signature "le smoking" -- the vintage collection pays tribute to YSL, said expert Dominique Chombert on Monday.

Highlighting Saint Laurent's passion for art, the most expensive piece is a Pablo Picasso inspired swirl-patterned dress, but the sale overall features more ready-to-wear than haute-couture pieces.

Also available to the highest bidder are original multi-coloured "love" postcards created by Saint Laurent in the 70s and 80s, valued between 60 and 90 euros (78 and 117 dollars).

"We hope the notoriety of the Berge sale will help us find buyers," said one of the organisers, art expert Hubert Felbacq.

Items are from individual collectors, said Chombert. "YSL lovers wake up and go to bed wearing his clothes. Since his passing many of them now feel like orphans."

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