A huge collection of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion owned by the model who inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s famous “Le Smoking” tuxedo went under the hammer on Monday in Paris.
The collection — the biggest of its kind — contains some 12,000 garments and accessories and attracted keen interest from private collectors, museums and fashion lovers.
Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain built up her collection as a model and muse for Saint Laurent and later as an artistic advisor at Christian Dior.
“It breaks my heart to see these dresses go one after the other,” she told AFP by telephone, explaining that she no longer had the energy to maintain the collection.
Luquet de Saint Germain spent 10 years at Yves Saint Laurent before taking up the role of artistic advisor at Christian Dior. In addition to working at Christian Dior, she also helped French designer Claude Montana with his first collection. The model, who has lived in Geneva since 1978 and did not attend the sale, maintained a strong interest in haute couture over the years.
“The collection is the thread of my life. I kept everything that I found significant, as a baseline for those who love fashion…. Nothing is outdated. Everything is so beautiful,” she said.
There will be several auctions held on different days until the vast collections of 12,000 items are completely sold. Just compiling the inventory of items to be auctioned took five weeks, according to auctioneers Gros & Delettrez, who organized the sale.