Karl Lagerfeld’s five pairs of Chanel leather mittens sell for $ 54.5,000 at auction in Paris



PARIS: Karl Lagerfeld, a charismatic designer who died in 2019 and was as much a pop culture figure as a fashion superstar, would have been amused by what is happening at Sotheby’s here and in Monaco this month.

“Karl felt that objects are there to be used and that people should not be enslaved by them,” said Pierre Mothes, vice-president of Sotheby’s France.

“He never wanted to be locked up in a mausoleum, like a pharaoh. Twenty years ago he told me, “I don’t want to be the curator of my own collection.”

But a series of three auctions of 1,200 lots of this collection, gathered in the five residences of Lagerfeld in Paris and the surroundings and in Monaco, showed that his fans had no such moods.

“Karl’s taste and his photographic eye have inspired affection and positive feelings in many people, which makes them want to own a part of his personal world,” said Mothes, who is also the commissioner of the sale and the chief auctioneer, comparing the sales to “a luxurious but uncluttered photograph of the world of Mr. Lagerfeld at the end of his life.

Earlier this month, 1,400 bidders signed up for the first sale: 582 lots featuring sketches, memorabilia and personal items, as well as art deco furniture and contemporary works by artists such as Takashi Murakami, Joana Vasconcelos and Jeff Koons. In addition, a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Initially estimated at between 2 and 3 million euros (2.3 to 3.4 million dollars), the auction closed at 12 million euros. At one point, a set of five pairs of Chanel leather mittens fetched a hammer price of 48,260 euros.

“They are truly an iconic prop, part of a manga-like image that has passed on to posterity,” Mothes said.

For Lagerfeld, continues the curator, “wearing them was a culture of courtesy inherited from the 18th century, where one does not inflict one’s age on others. It is also a way to keep your fingers free to be able to draw. And at the same time, everyone on the planet recognized them as part of his character, along with sunglasses and slim jackets.

In Paris, the next act of the auction series was to begin with a public screening followed by an invitation cocktail and an after-party at Sotheby’s headquarters, rue du Faubourg-Saint Honoré. However, due to concerns about the omicron variant, it was scaled down and took place earlier today.


Pairs of Chanel gloves are on display ahead of the auction of the collection of late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld by auction house Sotheby’s in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Still, there was music. A festive but subdued party featured composer Thomas Roussel orchestrating “The Frozen Garden”, an original soundtrack composed for the Chanel fall 2011 fashion show held at the Grand Palais. The dancers performed a choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy.

In between, Michel Gaubert, who for many years compiled the soundtracks for Lagerfeld’s Chanel parades, has been a DJ for a constant stream of visitors strolling through the more than 200 lots spread over three floors, including contemporary furniture. from Lagerfeld’s estate, as well as casual attire. oddity (for example, a stack of Emgès shirt collars staged under a glass globe on a plinth with electric lighting).

The auction opened on December 14. Some in the audience dressed in furs and high heels or formal work clothes, but most wore jeans. Although several of the widely spaced seats in the hall remained empty, in an hour and a half, the Paris sale had already grossed $ 2 million on just 37 lots. The most popular item of the evening was a Soleil Noir mirror by Martin Szekely, one of many pieces purchased by Lagerfeld from Galerie Kreo in Paris, sold for 375,500 euros, a record for the artist and 25 times the price. valued.

A few minutes later, a cutout of Lagerfeld’s profile on paper sold for 32,760 euros, barely less than a monumental Louis XV style chandelier with 44 branches in cut crystal and gilded bronze dating from around 1800.

For its part, a Dior Homme winter 2008 jacket, in black wool embellished with a pattern of broken glass in PVC, estimated at 1,000 euros, sold for 35,280 euros. A Chanel tote in black crocodile-embossed lambskin with a photo ID for the FIAC 2011 contemporary art fair and a runway label from the Chanel Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art show was sold for 94,500 euros, a record for a Chanel bag at auction, said Sophie Dufresne, communications director at Sotheby’s Paris.

“Karl’s universe is luxurious, but it’s filled with everyday items,” Mothes said. “People relate to that, and they rip songs off like he’s a rock star.”

“Karl was the last sacred monster of his generation,” he added. “There is no equivalent.”

The auction in Paris ended on December 16 with sales of 6.2 million euros. The third and final sale in the series will take place in Cologne, Germany, in March. Profits will go to the Lagerfeld estate, which is managed from Monaco. Although there have been rumors that her cat, Choupette, was one of the primary beneficiaries, the actual names are being kept under wraps.



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