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Elizabeth Taylor Auctions
Total Over $150 Million

WarholLizWhile the first of Christie's Elizabeth Taylor Auctions got the lion's share of the attention what with its world famous jewels and breathtaking prices, the combined sum of the rest of the sales added about $40 million to the grand total of the sales —nothing to sneeze at.

For those of you with a morbid fascination for what the belongings of a deceased star of the silver screen were worth (and we include The Shophound in that category), here's how it all broke town

Grand total: $155,170,124.

Only one item we are aware of, the yellow chiffon dress she wore at her first wedding to Richard Burton, was pulled at the last minute. The other famous item not included in the auction was perhaps her largest diamond, the 69 carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond. She sold it in 1978 after her second divorce from Burton for what now seems like a paltry $5 million which was used to build a hospital in Botswana. The online auction, whose staggering 974 lots included selections from every category, turned in the largest total for a non-jewelry sale among all the auctions. This grand total, however, is not entirely complete as it doesn't include her collection of fine paintings including well known works from Frans Hals, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and most famously Vincent Van Gogh among others. Those items will be included in major painting auctions scheduled for early next year, and are sure to add several more millions to the haul, an unspecified portion of which will benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.


Doo.Ri, Oliver Peoples, Giorgio Armani, SURR, NUMBER:Lab, Missoni, John Varvatos, Nooka, Calvin Klein, DVF, Nicole Miller, D&G, ADAM

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Happy clicking!

Oliver Peoples/Mosely Tribes/Paul Smith Sunglasses, Jay Godfrey/Redacted by Jay Godfrey, ASH, Current/Elliot, A Second Chance Vintage Apparel, Stella & Jamie, Torn/Hyden Yoo, Doo.Ri/Yigal Azroüel, Casadei, Gustto, Michael Stars, Mayle, Obakki, Isabel Lu, Antik Batik, House of Harlow 1960, Cosabella —join HERE
Giorgio Armani Sunglasses, Garret Leight California Optical, Martin Greenfield, SPURR, All Saints, NUMBER:Lab, Penny Stock, Missoni Accessories, J Brand, John Varvatos ★ USA, Pierre Balmain, Portolano, N.D.C. Made by Hand, Band of Outsiders, Nooka Watches, Bespoken, WeSC, Calvin Klein Underwear —join HERE
Archipelago Candles & Diffusers, Yep Yep Pet Beds & Accessories, De'Longhi, Waterworks, Rizzoli Books, Vitrocolor and Cenedese European Decorative Glass, Illlume Candles & Diffusers, Bellino Bedding, Hickory White and Lillian August Furniture, Skip Hop Diaper Bags, Bedding & More, Zoobies, Kazam Bikes, Halo Sleepsacks, ERGObaby, Pint Size Furniture by Kindergarten Plus, JJ Cole Bundle Me —join HERE
Prada Apparel, Autumn Cashmere, Koolaburra Footwear, Brunello Cucinelli, Frances Moncho Accessories, Moncler Kids, Fred Leighton Estate Jewelry, Loro Piana Apparel, Jimmy Choo Handbags, Robert Rodriguez, Furla, Paul Smith, Adidas Y-3, Burberry Kids —join HERE
Final Sales for Men, Women, Kids & Home, Vilebrequin, William Rast, Timberland Boot Co., Diane von Furstenberg Home DKNY, Charles Jourdan, Soia & Kyo, ScoreBig, Peter Millar, L.A.M.B., Lindt, Porst 1961, BELLE by Sigerson Morrison, Lux Linen Closet —join HERE
Dermanew, GHD, Nicole Miller, Peter Lamas, Spense, Swiss Legend, Absorba, Ahava, Cult of Individuality, D&G, Nine West, Pomega5 —join HERE
Home Environment, Top Tables, Preppy Plates, Wetterindochine, Ateriors Home, Matt Camron Rugs, BergHOFF International, On The Agenda, Julia Knight, Core Bamboo, Lands Downunder, Sterling Publishing, MFA Vintage Prints, Loominary, Waterworks, nuLOOM, Blue Oceal, Fissler & Roman —join HERE
Ella Moss Collection, GOSSIP GIRL by Romeo & Juliet Couture, William Rast, L.A.M.B. Shoes & Handbags, Report Collection, NYX Cosmetics, Donald J Pliner, Pajar Outerwear, Breil, Joseph Abboud Loungewear, Charm Wrap Bracelet, Hale Bob, CK Jeans Shoes, Lafayette 148 New York, Jamison, Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Robin Piccone Swimwear, Butter Shoes, Diamonds & Pearls by Tara, Segolene Paris, Threads For Thought, Pixi & Pop Beauty,, Aquiesse Candles, Kickers for Big Kids, Me Too Kids Blowout, Kickers, NYLA —join HERE
ADAM by Adam Lippes, Cavalli Casa, Little Paul & Joe, Swarovski, Cass Luxury Shapewear, Robindira Unsworth Jewelry, Ruthie Davis, ABS, Anne Klein, Alejandro Ingelmo, Calvin Klein, Rachel Pally, BTNS, Givenchy Scarves, BergHOFF, Aviva Stanoff, Walter, MG Black Label, Emile Henry, Lodge, John Varvatos, Juicy Couture Baby, Amicale, Luca Charles Robes, L.A.M.B., ASH —join HERE


H&M And Sony Team Up To Promote "The Girl With the Dragon tattoo"

We can't really encourage you to run down to West 14th Street to H&M's Blink-and-you'll-miss-it Dragon Tattoo Collection by Trish Summerville pop-up store because it'll be over by the end of today. We have to wonder a little bit why H&M would go to such expense for a temporary store that doesn't even take advantage of the weekend shopping traffic in the Meatpacking District, and then we remembered that it probably didn't cost H&M a dime. Our guess is that Sony Pictures which produced the film "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" footed the bill which was probably a drop in the bucket of a presumed blockbuster's promotional budget.

Still, it's too bad if you missed it, because Sony/H&M did a more than respectable job turning whatever raw space was there into a grungy, gloomy Stockholm city corner/cybercafé (cybercafé, what a quaint concept in the age of the iPhone). In fact, the setting is far more interesting than the special capsule collection inspired by the movie's urchin-like central character, Lisbeth Salander. Mannequins throughout the shop are fitted with not-iPad tablet devices (by Sony!) that alternate showing snippets of the film and serving as incredibly unflattering little electronic mirrors, and racks are suspended by rugged chains for a dungeonlike effect.

The real winner here is costume designer Trish Summerville, who otherwise would be working in relatively anonymity behind the scenes, and now gets her name on the label of a line that will be sold in H&M stores worldwide with Sony picking up a big promotional tab. The actual clothes, motorcycle jackets, jeans, hoodies, biker leggings and Rick Owens-y draped knits in lots of black and gray are not unlike what lots of New York women have been wearing for years (think of a scruffier version of styleblogger favorite Elle senior style editor Kate Lanphear), so they should sell nicely and have some life beyond any mass inclination women might have to dress like the film's slightly scary character.

Of course, if the movie flops when opens next week, those "Dragon Tattoo" displays are going to look a little sad, but for now it's all promotional buildup with breathless anticipation.

Dragon Tattoo Collection by Trish Summerville available at H&M stores now.


Elizabeth Taylor Auctions
Set More Records

Andy_warhol_liz_d5502694hThe second and third installments of Elizabeth Taylor's Grand Estate Auction took place last night at Christie's including the rest of her jewelry and the first part of her clothing collection. For some reason, a personally signed lithograph of Andy Warhol's famous "Liz" image was included in the clothing sale, and got a great deal of attention going for $662,500. The rest of her jewelry added about $21 million to her gem haul for a record busting $137.2 million of jewelry sold in total. The second night's items were less significant pieces, though they still went for many times their estimates including a non-precious costume brooch that was given by Taylor to her mother on Mother's Day and included a personal note. estimated at $1,000 to $,2000, it went for $74,500. Generally, bidding reportedly did not reach the previous night's frenzy. Most items still went for more than $50,000, with many hitting six-figure prices, and a few cracked the million dollar mark including an antique natural pearl and diamond necklace and the wedding bands given by Richard Burton for both of their marriages, sold as a set of two.

Proving that there is no event that cannot be tainted by the presence of a Kardashian, a set of three diamond and jade bangles by Lorraine Schwartz were purchased by Kim Kardashian for $64,900 after an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000.

As for Taylor's best couture, it set a record for a clothing sale at $2.8 million. Standouts included a silver enctusted evening gown with a matching purse by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior from 1968 that garnered $362,500 and an embroidered Chanel ballgown and cape with matching shoes and bag from the 1960s that sold for $134,500. A 1992 beaded Versace bolero featuring portraits of Taylor went for $128,500. It is almost unheard of for Haute Couture, even from such illustrious labels, to sell for six figure sums. Her first Burton wedding gown designed by Irene Sharaff was removed from the auction at the last minute to be donated to charity, but her second designed by Gina Fratini sold for $62,500 as did a costume by Sharaff for Cleopatra.

Tonight will see the rest of her clothes and accessories hit the block including lots of Hermès and Chanel bags and a set of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage that should certainly attract interest. The Memorabilia sale, a grand finale of sorts will be held on Friday. Save your pennies.

Liz Taylor’s ‘Cleopatra’ Robe, Wedding Gown Set Fashion Record (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
The Collections of Elizabeth Taylor Auctions
run through Friday, December 16th at Christie's

Shiny Things: Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels Set Records And There's More To Come


Bell & Clive Goes Live
With Big Brands

Bluefly launched its new flash-sale site Belle & Clive today in a Beta format with a bevy of coveted brands to try and get a piece of the off-price pie that has made Rue La La and Gilt Groupe tha darlings of off-price shoppers.

Today's début brands include MiuMiu, Rebecca Minkoff, Magaschoni, Bottega Veneta, Gucci Fine Jewelry, Vintage Chanel & Louis Vuitton, and, for men,  Prada and Theory. Discounts on the big luxury brands are only about 30%, but Theory, Minkoff and Magaschoni were more in line with the deeper discounts we have come to expect from the established flash players. Gucci jewelry, in particular, showed some very deep discounts. Like its competitors, Belle & Clive requires an invite, so feel free to click HERE and consider yourself invited.

On Friday, they will roll out their next group of sales including, Gucci Women's Apparel, Céline Handbags, Vintage Chanel & Hermès Accessories, Nicole Miller, Kooba, Diamonds by KC Designs Fine Jewelry and Tom Ford Men's Apparel, a label we have yet to see on any flash site.

So far, the selections are limited, but this Beta is much more extensive than Vente Privee's meager test, so we think it is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Belle & Clive (Official Site)


The Latest List Of Retail Restrooms

There's nothing that will ruin the fun of a shopping excursion more than the sudden need for.... relief.

Our friends at RACKED have compiled a handy list and map of stores round Manhattan that have public restrooms, and we suggest you commit it to memory immediately. Some choices are obvious, like any department store, and some are less expected. We have a few in mind that they didn't note, but we'll keep them to ourselves. After all, we don't want to have to stand in line...

Take a Seat: Here Are 16 of Manhattan's Best In-Store Bathrooms (RACKED)


Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels Set Records
And There's More To Come

LaPeregrinaLast night, the first auction of Elizabeth Taylor's estate at Christie's surprised nobody by setting a record for the largest auction of a private collection of jewels totalling a whopping $116 million. The previous record was held by The Duchess of Windsor's auction in 1987, and ironically, last night's auction included the Prince of Wales brooch which Taylor herself purchased. It went for $1,314,500, more than double a high estimate of $600,000. We don't yet know who purchased these items last night, and we may never unless some of them step forward to identify themselves.

Other standouts included some of the star's most famous jewelry pieces such as the La Peregrina necklace (at right), featuring a centuries-old natural drop shaped pearl that had been owned by kings. It went for $11,842,500, setting the record for a pearl jewel at auction. The bidding for this bauble took a scant four minutes, and it was the highest priced item at an auction of breathtakingly priced jewels. The huge, 33.19 carat flawless Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, also known at times as the Krupp Diamond, went for $8,818,500, more than doubling its high estimate, and proved that there is really no guessing what famous items owned by a superstar will go for at auction. An emerald and diamond necklace from Bulgari more than quadrupled its estimate at $6,130,500. A matching ring nearly increased its estimate tenfold going for $6,578,500. The bracelet nearly quadrupled at over $4 million, and on and on it went. Even items with relatively modest vlaues such as gold charm bracelets with almost no gemstones at all went for well over $100,000. Only a Vacheron Constantin diamond watch and an Art Deco multi-gem bracelet fell within their selling price estimates, and there was not a single item that was sold for under $100,000.

Of course, last night's auction was the Legendary Jewels that Taylor owned, only the first of five auctions of her possessions. Tonight will see the sale of her other jewels which could conceivably top her own record. Though last night offered the big, famous diamonds, tonight's sale features 190 lots, more than twice as many pieces whose values are sure to be inflated by their glamorous provenance.

Then there is also tonight's Haute Couture sale, and Thursday's auction of her other clothes and accessories which we are betting will set records for Hermès and Chanel handbags at auction. Finally on Friday, there's The Memorabila which should also bring prices that nobody can accurately predict. And on Saturday, The Online Auction will end.

We can expect the grand total of all the items to add several million more dollars including the artworks that will be sold at Christie's various painting auctions next year. The Van Gogh will easily go for a few million dollars by itself. At the very least, seeing how much money her possessions are auctioned off for will be as entertaining as some of her movies were (Maybe more. Did you ever see "These Old Broads?" Ugh.)

Elizabeth Taylor Diamonds Fetch Record Prices At Auction (Forbes)
The Collections of Elizabeth Taylor Auctions run through Friday, December 16th at Christie's
Maximum Luxury Overload: In Which We Are Gobsmacked By The Staggering Elizabeth Taylor Auction Exhibition At Christie's

After the jump, a video of the auction from the Associated Press

Continue reading "SHINY THINGS:

Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels Set Records
And There's More To Come
" »


Polo Shirt Protocol Edition

1213critic2-popupIn this week's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica takes on the newest incarnation of Brooks Brothers on Broadway near Union Square. He frames his observations around the question of the popped collar and what exactly it means, an age-old controversy among wearers of polo shirts that is unlikely to be settled with one more newspaper article. This device is presented as a message from a "Bro" in a sartorial quandary. As usual, he entirely ignores the women's half of the store, which, in this case, may be appropriate, since the retailer has yet to define a stronger image for that part of its business.

Caramanica is divided, once again by the store which collects the most casual of Brooks Brothers lines in a college-themed outlet. He appreciates care taken in creating the store's ambiance, but notes that as much as he likes some of the offerings, not all of the merchandise has been developed enough to match its setting.

...plenty of Brooks Brothers styles make Gant Rugger look like Givenchy. Pastel sweaters with ribbed V-necks ($79.50) had a faint sheen (though the cashmere ones were fine). At the sight of the muted plaid scarves ($98), my shopping companion said, “This is the scarf you buy if you want to look like one of those ‘Nutcracker’ toys.”

Ultimately, he concludes that, "Unifying Brooks Brothers’ many collections proves to be not as seamless or meaningful a strategy as it sounds."

Critical Shopper: Welcome to Brooks Brothers, a k a Fraternity Row By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Brooks Brothers Flatiron Shop 901 Broadway at 20th Street, Flatiron District


Unconfirmed Twitter Says H&M
Taking Border's Time Warner Spot

(sounds good enough to us)


Sourcing news from Twitter is indeed a a dicey proposition, but when the Twitter account in question belongs to Jeffrey D. Roseman, "Executive Vice President and Principal of Newmark Knight Frank Retail, The largest Retail Leasing company in the country", then we will ascribe a certain level of importance to it that we may not extend to, let's say, Drunk Hulk.

Anyway, Jeffrey D. Roseman has tweeted that H&M will be taking over the gaping vacancy on the second floor of Time Warner Center that once held Border's along with a portion of the totally superfluous Samsung showroom one flight upstairs that has not exactly set the world on fire.

The other reason why we are even bothering to mention this rumor is that it totally makes sense. If they aren't going there, they should. While H&M is well represented in Midtown, SoHo, the Flatiron District and the Upper East Side, there is not a single H&M unit on the West Side between 34th Street and 125th Street in Harlem. H&M would fit in easily with the upscale mall concept at at Time Warner. In fact, H&M would probably do well with at least one more store higher up on Broadway as well (Filene's Basement at 79th Street maybe? Just an idea).

Here's hoping that this rumor is true, because there is nothing sadder than a huge blank vacancy in an otherwise successful retail center. If we're lucky, it will be finished in time for next Spring's Marni collaboration launch. Fingers crossed.

@jeffreydroseman/twitter (via RACKED)