Christie’s Second Auction of André Leon Talley’s Fine Art Collections: A Campaign to Support Churches in the Diagonal Mass Era
“It was especially gratifying to see the interest that generated astonishingly high bids across the board,” said Elizabeth Seigel, Christie’s head of private and iconic collections. The collection of André Leon Talley is testament to his taste, and Christie’s is happy to have helped achieve such strong results.
A trove of the veteran editor’s possessions went under the hammer at Christie’s in New York on Wednesday, fetching almost $1.4 million, before a further 350 lots were sold online by the auction house.
The creative director of Vogue magazine for more than a decade died last year at the age of 73. He had a huge collection of fashion garments, ranging from Tom Ford kimonos to a selection of Prada crocodile coats. Among the top sellers were a Christian Dior greatcoat and a silk satin “Climate Revolution” cloak by the late Vivienne Westwood, which fetched $40,320 and for $32,760, respectively.
Many people believed that Ri-ri wore the red coat to honor the woman who died of cancer. The two apparently shared a mutual admiration, as evidenced by recently resurfaced video of Talley fawning over Rihanna’s outfit at the 2015 Met Gala.
Elsewhere, a veritable miscellany of items went on sale to buyers from 47 countries, including travel clocks, amethyst geodes and a Vera Wang-designed silver cutlery set.
The auction house said that proceeds from the sale will go toward two churches that “were close to Mr. Talley’s heart”: the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York and the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina.
The final price for 10 pairs of leather, woolen or kid gloves ranged from $756 to $94,500, and the final price for two Warhol paintings ranged from $60,000 to $90,000.
An Interview with Talley: Celebrating the Birth of Fashion in Durham, and a Nod to Rihanna’s “Umbrella”
Talley, the first Black man to hold his position at Vogue, grew up in segregated Durham and traced his interest in fashion back to attending church with his grandmother as a child.
His career included work at Interview Magazine, W, The New York Times and Women’s Wear Daily, as well as close friends with other giants of art and fashion.
“The collection is both glamourous and intimate, reflecting his decades-long relationships with fellow icons including Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Rucci, Tom Ford, Diana Vreeland and Anna Wintour,” Christie’s said.
A long train and Antonio Lopez sketch of Talley with Vreeland and designer Paloma Picasso were some of the highlights.
Talley’s official Instagram account, which has remained active, celebrated her before the show by sharing a video of the two talking and embracing. And it followed up later with a nod to her outfit: a picture of Talley in his iconic red coat, captioned with lyrics from Rihanna’s song “Umbrella.”