Sale: Garouste and Bonetti Furniture from the Christian Lacroix fashion house
Location: Sotheby’s, 76 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, tel: +33 (0) 1 53 05 53 05
Date: Wednesday (May 26). On view on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday 10am-6pm, www.sothebys.com
Need to know: Christian Lacroix was among the brightest stars in the fashion firmament when he opened his original atelier in 1987 on the ground floor of a sumptuous Parisian town house in rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The look of the place had to be in keeping with his striking couture creations, so he chose the renowned interior decorators Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti to produce a Baroque “theatre of fashion” filled with opulent furnishings set against richly coloured walls and bright floor coverings.
Inspiration came from objects such as the “mask” wall lights that Garouste and Bonetti had produced for the jet-setter’s nightclub Le Privilege and, in contrast, from the simplest forms of nature such as tree branches and foliage. For more than two decades, the atelier hosted high-profile Christian Lacroix clients including Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Christina Aguilera and Madonna before last year’s recession forced the brand’s owner, US retailer the Falic Group, to close down the haute couture side of the business. Now, in what Sotheby’s describes as the first sale of an “oeuvre d’art totale” from the second half of the 20th century, the contents of the atelier will be dispersed in this 100-lot auction that could realise up to €400,000.
Highlights: The star lot might have limited appeal since it comprises a pair of filigree-pattern iron gates and an arched top with a combined height of more than 18ft. The gates, which graced the front of the atelier, are estimated at €20,000-€30,000 while a 16ft sofa from the “grand salon” is expected to fetch up to €15,000. More manageable objects include several of the famous gilded bronze wall lights in the form of grotesque masks (€10,000-€15,000) and some distinctive wood cabinets adorned with lacquered sycamore branches (€4,000-€6,000).
Also up for grabs are tree-trunk stools, a wood and wrought-iron fitting room complete with curtains, mirrors and lights, and chairs and banquettes upholstered in acid-coloured fabrics. The clothes racks that once held some of the great Lacroix creations are also on offer, as well as the handles from the glass front door, some metal drinks trays and even the waste paper bin – which is, of course, remarkably stylish.