Best of British Style Struts into Bonhams British Cool Sale in London
The world of art and fashion come together at Bonhams British. Cool. sale on 25 February in New Bond Street, London, with designer pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Ossie Clark, and Zandra Rhodes to be offered alongside artworks, photographs, and entertainment memorabilia, all presenting the best of British. One of the star lots of the sale will be a unique photographic artwork of the world-famous supermodel Kate Moss by the artist Chris Levine – jointly donated by both Levine and Moss to raise funds for Oxfam GB. The work has an estimate of £20,000 - 30,000. The sale also has prints by Banksy, works by Yinka Ilori, and Tim Noble and Sue Webster, amongst others.
Head of Bonhams' Designer Handbags & Fashion Department, Meg Randell, commented: "British fashion is known for being bold and experimental and from Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes, to Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, British. Cool. will showcase some of the biggest and best names in British fashion from the last 50 years. Many of them played a significant role in elevating fashion into an artform, and it is only apt that these exquisite pieces are being offered alongside a host of wonderful works of art from across different visual mediums."
The sale will feature a number of pieces from the Queen of provocative punk fashion, Vivienne Westwood. Items range from designs dating from her early days with Malcolm McLaren, up to a Union Jack sequinned gown produced for the 2012 diamond jubilee – which has an estimate of £1,200 -1,800. Other highlights include a Putti Mackintosh featuring the memorable cupid print from 1992 (estimate: £2,000-3,000); a 'Harris Tweed' Crown, Autumn/Winter 1987-88, which is one of the most collectable Westwood items (estimate: £2,500-3,500); and a pair of 'Prostitute' Shoes, Café Society Collection, Spring/Summer 1994, worn by Yasmin Le Bon on the runway in 1994, with 'Yasmin' handwritten in the sole (estimate: £1,200 - 1,800).
A tortured genius and enfant terrible of British fashion, Alexander McQueen, knew how to cause a stir with his dark and expressive designs, as well as his shocking and inspired catwalk shows. The sale will offer a number of signature McQueen creations, including a Life in Pain, Mesh Top, Autumn/Winter 1996, which has an estimate of £600 - 800, and Birds of Paradise Gown, circa Spring/Summer 2008, which has an estimate of £1,500 - 2,000. The latter design was part of one of McQueen's final collections, before his suicide in 2010. Another example of the gown was worn by FKA Twigs in 2015, when she performed at the launch of the landmark exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A.
Zandra Rhodes was part of the new wave of British designers who put London at the forefront of the international fashion scene in the 1970s. During her long and esteemed career, Rhodes designed garments for Diana Princess of Wales as well as many other celebrities. In 2003 Rhodes founded the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, and she has won numerous awards recognizing contribution within the fashion industry. The sale will include a number of Rhodes dresses from her early collections, including a Blue Chiffon Butterfly Dress, circa 1969, which has an estimate of £850 - 1,000. This dress was photographed by David Bailey in 1969 for a Vogue fashion shoot with model Natalie Wood.
The sale will also feature a large selection of Ossie Clark designs, including a number of pieces featuring the fabrics of Celia Birtwell. A major figure in the Swinging Sixties scene in London, Raymond "Ossie" Clark is held in the same esteem as that of 1960s fashion great Biba, and influenced many major designers, including Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Sui and Tom Ford. Manolo Blahnik has even said of Clark's work: "He created an incredible magic with the body and achieved what fashion should do – produce desire". Clark's designs, and especially those created with his wife Celia Birtwell, are highly sort after, and have been seen on the likes of supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. The sale will include Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell's Tulip Dress, circa 1971, which has an estimate of £1,200 - 1,800, and a Cream Moss Crepe Maxi Dress by Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell for Radley, circa 1971, which has an estimate: £600 - 800.
Damien Hirst X Manolo Blahnik
A highlight of the fashion section of the sale will be two pairs of Damien Hirst designed Manolo Blahnik boots – one pair featuring Hirst's instantly recognisable spot designs, and another inspired by his signature spin paintings. They have an estimate of £2000- 3000 each.
In 2002 seven artists were partnered with seven top shoe designers to each produce 20 pairs of original limited-edition shoes. Damien Hirst and Manolo Blahnik were partnered, producing ten pairs of "spot boots" and ten pairs of "spin boots". The shoes were sold at Bergdorf Goodman and a proportion of the proceeds went to The New Museum of Contemporary Art.
The current owner received both pairs as a gift from Hirst. They commented: "I worked as the liaison between Damien and Manolo and organised collection of the leather from Manolo Blahnik, which Damien put on the spin machine & spun with household gloss. The spot boots were spots printed onto canvas, which Manolo Blahnik then made into the boots. Damien gave each of us in the office a pair of boots – I also had to send a pair to Liz Hurley & Victoria Beckham! Damien insisted I wore the spin boots to the opening on his exhibition at the new Saatchi Gallery in September 2003 – so they have been worn once! The spot boots have never been worn."
Other highlights of the sale include:
• As part of the sale, Bonhams will also be partnering with British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori, who will be curating a selection of his favourite works from the sale. Bonhams will also offer three unique works by the artist; United We Stand United We Fall, 2020, (Estimate: £3,000-5,000), Sometimes The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side, 2020, (Estimate: £3,000-5,000), and Ayomide, 2020 (Estimate: £3,000-5,000).
• A large number of prints by Banksy, including Girl with Balloon, 2004. Estimate: £100,000-150,000.
• Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Lucky, 1999 (2018 upgraded version). Estimate: £40,000-60,000.
• Lillian Bassman, Jean Shrimpton. Estimate: £8,000 - 12,000.
• Art Kane, The Who With Flag, 1968, printed later. Estimate: £10,000 - 12,000.
• Gerald Laing, B.B., from 'Baby Baby Wild Things', 1968. Estimate: £6,000-8,000.
• Bob and Roberta Smith R.A., Art Does Real And Permanent Good, 2020. Estimate: £4,000 - 6,000.
• Damien Hirst for Manolo Blahnik Spot Boots, circa 2002 (includes original box). Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000.
• Property from The Iain MacMillan Archive, including; The Beatles, 'Abbey Road', 1969, Estimate: £4,000-6,000.
• Alexander McQueen Birds of Paradise Gown, circa Spring/Summer 2008. Estimate: £1,500-2,000.
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