A stunning array of dresses worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland, the 103-year-old British-American-French actress whose career from 1935 spanned the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema to the late 1980s, will be sold by auction house Hindman in Chicago on September 17th.
De Havilland is one of the top actresses of all time, with a career that includes 49 feature films. One of her most remembered roles was Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind (1939), in which she plays Scarlett O’Hara’s sister-in-law.
The September 17, 2019 Haute Couture & Luxury Fall Fashion Auction at Hindman includes an impressive collection of 400 lots of vintage clothing gathered from around the United States and Europe. This compelling group of designs features wearable early 20th century dresses, numerous examples from post-WWII American fashion designers such as Norman Norell, Adele Simpson and James Galanos, and unique haute couture creations from Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro, among others.
Headlining this auction is an exciting collection of Parisian haute couture and Hollywood designs worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland from 1954 to 1989. A majority of the items (27) are haute couture creations by Christian Dior, including ensembles made under the creative direction of Christian Dior himself, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Bohan.
“Dame Olivia de Havilland is a timeless fashion icon and this couture is nothing short of historical,” said Timothy Long, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of luxury accessories and couture. “Olivia’s collection, along with the auction’s other offerings, must not be missed by fashion experts and enthusiasts alike.”
Three of the Dior ensembles were worn by de Havilland in her movies, such as Light in the Piazza (1962) and the iconic Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964).
A Dior coat was worn for her role in the Broadway production of A Gift of Time (1961), while other Dior designs were worn by de Havilland to the premieres of her movies, such as Proud Rebel (1958), Lady in a Cage (1964) and the 1961 special showing of Gone with the Wind (1939) in honour of the Centennial of the Commencement of the Civil War.
There are also eight evening gowns worn by de Havilland to formal events between 1977 and 1989. These events include the 1977 American Film Institute tribute to Bette Davis, for which de Havilland wore a gown designed by Hollywood costume designer Edith Head. Another dress was made by Hollywood costume designer Paul Zastupnevitch and worn in 1989 by de Havilland when she accepted the People’s Choice Award for Gone with the Wind as the favourite film of all time.
In addition to Christian Dior clothing and accessories, this collection includes six paper programmes, printed by
the House of Christian Dior, detailing the garments included in Dior’s fashion shows in Paris, which were attended by Olivia de Havilland. Each programme features hand-written notes by de Havilland, including her thoughts on each collection and scheduling details.
With these programmes are two photographic prints, provided with the clothing, of Olivia de Havilland with Christian Dior. One image is of de Havilland wearing a wedding dress, designed by Dior, for her role in The Ambassador’s Daughter (1956). The second image is of Dior seated at a table with de Havilland in a white hat.
For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.
Christian Dior by Marc Bohan Haute Couture Dress, Inner Bodice and Shoes, Spring-Summer 1964
Worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland in the 1964 movie ‘Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte’.