Published: April 14, 2016
CHICAGO, ILL. — Piet Mondrian’s 1922 painting “Composition avec bleu, rouge, jaune et norie” was the inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent to design six versions of a haut couture dress in 1965. The graphically designed dress showed the iconic blocks of white, red and blue, with yellow and black lines, was made of wool, with two versions in silk (one of which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s fashion collection). On April 7 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Couture Auction, a possibly one-of-a-kind iconic YSL Mondrian dress sold for $27,500, including buyer’s premium, smashing its $4/6,000 estimate.
Anne Forman, director of luxury accessories and couture, said, “We’re extremely thrilled about the sale of this dress, which is a custom piece and the only one we’ve seen with sleeves. It’s also made of silk crepe versus wool. We weren’t sure what would happen at auction since it is such a rare dress. It was really exciting to work with this piece of Yves Saint Laurent history.”
In an interesting side story, the original Mondrian painting that inspired the garment sold as part of the Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Berge collection for $21.6 million at Christie’s in 2009, also exceeding its estimate range of $7/10 million, and setting an auction record for the artist at the time.
Many other historic couture pieces exceeded estimates in this sale, and a full review will appear in a future issue.
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