Sale of the week: Kerry Taylor auctions

Sale: Passion for Fashion

Location: Kerry Taylor Auctions, La Galleria, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London SW1 Tel: +44 (0)20 8676 4600

Date: Thursday March 17. On view Wednesday, 9am-5pm and day of sale, 9am-11am. Catalogue online at

Need to know: Kerry Taylor joined Sotheby’s at its now-defunct Chester saleroom in 1979 and, within a year, had become one of the firm’s youngest-ever auctioneers at the age of 21. Taylor quickly graduated to the New Bond Street HQ, where she established a department specialising in costume and textiles, through which were sold items as diverse as the wardrobes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the stage costumes of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and the wedding suit of King James II.

Taylor left Sotheby’s in 2003 to set up her own auction house and has since sold the collections of Daphne Guinness, Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin.

Highlights: The most valuable item to cross the block at one of Taylor’s auctions was a black dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, which fetched £192,000 ($308,406) last summer. Further displays of royal fervour are expected this time around, with the sale of the see-through knitted dress that caught Prince William’s eye when modelled by Kate Middleton at the 2002 St Andrew’s University fashion show. It is estimated to fetch £8,000-£10,000, while £40,000 apiece is expected for two dinner gowns, one by Zandra Rhodes and the other by Catherine Walker, that were worn by the Princess of Wales during state visits to Japan and France during the late 1980s.

Also on offer will be a selection of accessories, jewellery, handbags – and even lingerie originally belonging to the Duchess of Windsor. A 1960s Louis Vuitton vanity case is tipped to fetch £6,000-£10,000, a Cartier perfume atomiser from the 1940s could make £5,000 and some racy nightgowns are on offer at estimates from £300 to £800.

Nor is the sale confined to royal cast-offs – among 300 other lots are couture gowns by Dior, Balenciaga and Chanel, with one of the best pieces being a 1965 Yves Saint Laurent dress carrying a design inspired by the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. It is expected to fetch up to £35,000.

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