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NEW YORK — As the sounds of the Sixties and Seventies pulsed through the James Christie Room at Christie’s, the famed auction house played host Friday night to a fashion show to kick off the buildup to its Nov. 30 Rock and Pop Memorabilia sale.
On the block is a collection of more than 70 vintage T-shirts that were obtained primarily from private consignors and the vintage store What Comes Around Goes Around, which published a book on the subject this year. On the runway — a selection of greatest hits including a 1973 Led Zeppelin tour T; a primitively screen-printed Woodstock Music and Art Fair V-neck, circa 1969, and a John Lennon and Yoko Ono “Double Fantasy” promotion shirt, circa 1980.
A|X Armani Exchange and its team used the T-shirts and other auction items as a springboard, accenting them with archival and current-season pieces to create characters. There were hippies, truckers, Black Panthers, tennis players and even a flashy pimp daddy sporting Britney Spears’ fake-fur and feathered stage coat. “It was a great mix of old and new,” said A|X Armani Exchange president Harlan Bratcher.
Viewings at Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries will be held Nov. 26-29. Estimates predict the Ts will fetch from $500,000 to $700,000, and with good reason, noted Toby Usnik, Christie’s international head of corporate communications. “These items are from a time before mass merchandising existed, when concert and band T-shirts were made just for roadies and friends.”