This fall, Christie’s will auction the personal collection of Audrey Hepburn including a dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy, an array of ballet flats and Cecil Beaton photographs. In addition to the Sept. 27 auction in London, there will be an online sale that will be open for bidding Sept. 19 through Oct. 3.
More than 24 years after her death, Hepburn remains iconic for her demure style, thanks in part to her longtime collaborator and good friend Givenchy. The actress suggested he be hired to design her wardrobe for “Sabrina,” which was her second film. On the block will be a robin’s egg blue cloqué silk cocktail dress with satin fringe that Givenchy designed for Hepburn for a 1966 editorial photo shoot with William Klein promoting “Two for the Road” with Albert Finney. Other emblems of her style — a Burberry trenchcoat and an assortment of her signature ballet flats — will also be up for bids, with starting estimates of $7,595 and nearly $1,900, respectively.
Christie’s knows firsthand how Hepburn’s fashion choices can drive sales soaring beyond estimates. In December 2006, a Givenchy-designed black satin evening dress the actress wore in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” sold at Christie’s South Kensington for $577,638 — well beyond the pre-sale opening estimate of $63,310. At that time, the auction set a new world record for a dress made for a movie. Givenchy gave the dress to Dominique Lapierre and his wife, who is also named Dominique, to raise money for their charity City of Joy Aid.
During her career, Hepburn won Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Academy awards and two of the scripts she used for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Charade” will be up for sale with estimates starting at nearly $76,000 and nearly $19,000, respectively. Each is marked up with the actress’ notes and revisions in turquoise ink — her color of choice. Another memento is the gold lighter engraved “For My Fair Lady, Gene Allen, December 1963,” a gift from the art director of the 1964 film of the same name. There is also a letter from Truman Capote in which he writes that he is pleased with her taking the role of “Holly Golightly” for the 1958 film adaptation of his novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Photographs from Hepburn’s personal archives on sale will include Beaton’s wardrobe photos from “My Fair Lady,” personally dedicated prints by Steven Meisel for Vanity Fair and personal portraits by Bud Fraker, a stills photographer for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”