Yves Saint Laurent and Catherine Deneuve at the couture house's 20th birthday on Jan. 29 1982

BELLE DE JOUR: French actress Catherine Deneuve is putting her personal collection of Yves Saint Laurent pieces up for auction at Christie’s France.

Starting Jan. 23 during Paris Couture Week, the auction house will unveil 300 items of clothing and accessories belonging to Deneuve, a longtime friend of Saint Laurent’s.

On Jan. 24, it will put 150 lots on sale, with additional pieces being presented online from Jan. 23 to 30. An exhibition of the lots will be open to the public between Jan. 19 and 24.

“Today, I am letting go of my house in Normandy where I kept this collection, not without sadness,” Deneuve said in a statement. “These are creations by such a talented man, who only designed to make women more beautiful.”

A standout piece up for sale is a short, fringed and embroidered dress from the spring 1969 haute couture collection that Deneuve wore when she first met Alfred Hitchcock in 1969, estimated to sell for between 3,000 euros and 5,000 euros.

Other lots include a long, peacock blue, silk evening dress from the fall 1997 collection worth 2,000 euros to 3,000 euros, and a black wool Le Smoking tuxedo, chosen by Deneuve to wear at the couture house’s 20th anniversary event in 1982, worth 1,000 euros to 1,500 euros.

The French actress met Saint Laurent in 1965 at his atelier on Rue Spontini at the suggestion of her then-husband, photographer David Bailey. Deneuve, who at 22 had shot to fame in Jacques Demy’s 1964 Palme d’Or winner “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg,” was looking for an outfit to wear for her presentation to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

“I showed up at Rue Spontini with a photo from the previous year’s Russian collection, which he agreed to make for me,” Deneuve said. “A long white crêpe dress with a red embroidered bib — that was the start of a long professional collaboration and friendship.”

The Parisian couturier went on to dress Deneuve for 40 years. He famously designed the costumes for her character Séverine in the iconic film “Belle de Jour” by Luis Buñuel in 1967.

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