CHRISTIE’S LANDS RADZIWILL: Nearly five months after the death of style-setter, socialite and interior designer Lee Bouvier Radziwill, Christie’s has secured the sale of her personal collection.
Like her famed sister Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Radziwill had an eye for fashion, design and art. The slender, sloe-eyed brunette was perennially associated with her iconic sister, but Radziwill cultivated her own high-flying persona through her work, wit and kindness. Christie’s plans to showcase her personal collection in an exhibition and sale at its Rockefeller Center address in October. Radziwill, who died in February at the age of 85, fostered an interest in art by writing letters as a teenager to the esteemed Renaissance art historian Bernard Berenson. The adolescent informed him in a letter, “I am so terribly thrilled when I find anything concerned with art and at the height of enjoyment in an art gallery or museum.”
While it is premature to identify specific lots, Christie’s plans to spotlight fine and decorative art, books, costume jewelry, photography and memorabilia during its Collector Week of auctions in New York. The catalogue is expected to be released in September. Aside from being a member of the Kennedy administration’s inner circle, Radziwill also had a lifetime of photographic moments. She joined the Rolling Stones’ North American tour in 1972, along with photographer Peter Beard, who took pictures, and Truman Capote, who covered it for Rolling Stone magazine.
After a short stint as an interior designer, she became a brand ambassador, public relations executive and special events coordinator for Giorgio Armani. In terms of fashion, she favored streamlined looks from Givenchy, Courrèges, Halston, Armani and Marc Jacobs. She also became a muse for Michael Kors.
Through the course of her life and many cultural pursuits, she befriended such influential personalities as Andy Warhol, Armani, Rudolf Nureyev, Jacobs, Capote and Sofia Coppola. (At one point, she and Nureyev enjoyed window-shopping antique stores in Paris at night.) Radziwill worked for Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar and later worked in the Paris offices of Vogue. With homes in Paris and New York, Radziwill created well-appointed interiors with Renzo Mongiardino. Her Mongiardino-influenced interior designs had the antiquarian richness for which he was known. Later, her decorating style also became more minimalist.
After her death, Reinaldo Herrera said Radziwill’s style was a result of her taste. “Taste is innate. You don’t learn taste. You learn to look at things. But she had this great natural taste,” he said.