Vintage Hollywood Fashion On Auction Block In Chicago

Lisa Fielding
September 16, 2019 - 1:54 pm

(Hindman Auctions)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Timothy Long with Hindman Auctions says an upcoming luxury fashion show is one of their biggest haute couture fall fashion auctions.

"We're thrilled. This is big for us." Long said, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of couture and luxury accessories. "We're having seven auctions this year in the couture department."

The Haute Couture and Luxury Fall Fashion sale features vintage haute couture and Hollywood designs worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland, wearable 20th century dresses, unique designs from iconic designers and more.

"It's a 400 lot sale ranging from the mid 19th century to today and the headline is a very rare and special collection worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland from 1954 until 1989." he said.

Long said Hindman is working directly with the actresses' family.

 "A few of the items were worn by de Havilland in movies, one scene where she performs with Bette Davis." he said. "It's a green, Christian Dior, haute couture piece. These were items she wore in the 70's and 80's to awards ceremonies like the Academy Awards, The Golden Globe awards. All were custom made for de Havilland either by Dior or other Hollywood designers."

Dame Olivia de Havilland wore this high fashion dress when she played alongside Bette Davis in "It's Love I'm After." (Hindman Auctions)

Three of the Dior ensembles were worn by de Havilland for her roles in movies, including "Light in the Piazza" (1962) and "Hush…Hush," "Sweet Charlotte" (1964). Also included is a coat worn for her role in the Broadway production of "A Gift of Time" (1961), and designs worn to premieres and special showings of films including a 1961 showing of "Gone with the Wind" (1939).

“Dame Olivia de Havilland is a timeless fashion icon and this couture collection is nothing short of historical, both for its connection to the Hollywood star and for its intrinsic value in the history of fashion” Long said. “Olivia’s collection, along with the auction’s other offerings, must not be missed by fashion experts and enthusiasts alike.”

In addition to the Christian Dior clothing and accessories, the collection includes six paper programs, printed by the House of Christian Dior, detailing the garments included in Paris fashion shows attended by de Havilland. Each program features hand-written notes by the actress, including her thoughts on the collection and scheduling details. With these programs are two photographic prints, provided with the clothing, of de Havilland with Christian Dior himself.

(Hindman Auctions)

"The items are auctioned anywhere from a few hundred dollars to 5,000 dollars," said Long. "In the past, I think our record was a piece that went for more than $20,000."

The auction begins Tuesday morning online and in person at Hindman on Lake Street.

"This is huge for us. I've curated a Christian Dior exhibition in the past. We're really excited," he said.

He said the fashion exhibit has received international interest and is an excitimg time for the auction company. 

Hindman conducts over 100 auctions annually and appraises thousands of objects throughout the year, in addition to handling major single-owner collections. The firm is currently accepting consignments for fall and winter sales. To contact Hindman’s Chicago headquarters, visit their website or call (312) 280-1212.