Westwood’s Wardrobe, Designs Net More Than 750,000 Pounds at Christie’s London

This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. EST on Sunday, June 30, 2024.

WESTWOOD’S WORLD: Vivienne Westwood’s prints and personal wardrobe items raised a total of 754,488 pounds during live and online auctions at Christie’s London in late June.

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The auction house said all the lots from “Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection” were sold, with the money going to charitable causes including The Vivienne Foundation, Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Greenpeace.

Christie’s said the live event, which took place on June 25, attracted both institutional buyers and new participants to Christie’s. Some 33 percent of registered bidders were Millennials while 9 percent were Gen Z, the auction house said.

The sale on June 25 spanned four decades and featured 95 lots. They included a set of limited-edition playing cards with messages warning about the future of humanity and the environment, and the dangers of capitalism.

The cards were produced in a deluxe edition of 10 portfolios, which together realized a total of 37,800 pounds.

Among the top lots from Westwood’s personal wardrobe was a corset gown of taupe silk taffeta from the Dressed to Scale Collection from fall 1998. It achieved a price of 32,760 pounds against an estimate of 5,000 to 8,000 pounds. The designer had worn it to a gala event held in her honor at London’s V&A Museum in 1998.

Lot 68 - Vivienne Westwood “Gaia The Only One” Collection Spring-Summer 2011
Vivienne Westwood’s Cinderella dress from the “Gaia, The Only One” Collection was a top seller.

Another top seller was the ice blue satin, scoop-necked Cinderella dress, inspired by a ballet costume. The dress sold for 25,200 pounds, outstripping its estimate of 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. Westwood’s needlework is visible on various parts of the bodice, which had been repaired multiple times.

Other pieces that flew off the auction block included a Harris tweed three-piece suit that sold for 15,120 pounds, more than seven times its estimate of 2,000 pounds, while a full-length nude “illusion” gown embellished with gold sequins realized 8,820 pounds.

Following the June 25 sale, Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood’s widower and creative director of the fashion brand, said: “What a wonderful day to wake up to. Thank you Christie’s. There are three days left [to the online sale] and we should do whatever we can to make the world a better place. Come, and let’s all be part of it.”

Bids for the online sale, which offered more personal wardrobe items, including hosiery, jewelry, t-shirts, and accessories, continued until Friday, June 28.

The Vivienne Westwood Foundation said that “throughout her lifetime, Vivienne used her voice to lead a relentless fight for justice, continuously highlighting the corruption in the world and trying her best to make [it] a better place. It was Vivienne’s ambition, prior to her death, to raise a significant amount of money for Greenpeace to help them protect our rainforests and oceans and save the planet from climate change.”

As reported, a free public exhibition of “Vivienne Westwood: The Personal Collection” took place at Christie’s headquarters on King Street, London, from June 14 to 24, attracting more than 20,000 visitors.

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