TINKER, TAYLOR: Pieces designed by the late Lee Alexander McQueen went under the hammer earlier this week, beating their valuations two and three-fold at Kerry Taylor’s Passion for Fashion auction in London. The clothing hailed from McQueen’s early years in London, his tenure at the helm of Givenchy, and designs from the years before his death in February 2010.
While two of the 20 McQueen pieces remained unsold, those that did sell outstripped expectations. A Givenchy couture tartan dress sold for 13,000 pounds, or $20,390, more than double its valuation.
A kaleidoscopic, snakeskin print dress from McQueen’s final collection went for a similar price, beating its 6,000 pounds, or $9,410, valuation.
A rare, early prototype of the designer’s famous low-rise “bumsters” from 1992 went for more than triple its estimate, commanding 2,800 pounds, or $4,390.
“These early pieces were badly made but… it was part of their charm and appeal,” Taylor told WWD, adding that they were purchased by a private British collector.
Taylor also noted that McQueen prices “vary depending on whether they are rtw for the buy-to-wear market, or more extreme museum pieces. Both areas sold strongly in line with our expectations, and often above.”
The auction’s lineup also included a rare, embroidered coat from Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1938 Zodiac collection; a raspberry-pink, molded plastic bodice by Issey Miyake; and a chain-linked metal dress by Paco Rabanne from 1967.
The bidders were a combination of international museums, and private individuals. Taylor said she expects the prices of McQueen pieces to spike once the Victoria & Albert’s Savage Beauty exhibition opens in London in March.