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How to Score Couture When You’re Shopping on a Budget

How to Score Couture When You’re Shopping on a Budget


leslie hindman auctioneers

I’m swathed in wool the color of fresh tangerines. Fur trim adorns my collar and wrists. My reflection, more charming than ever before, spills onto the mirror in front of me. Is this the closet of my dreams? Basically. But none of this couture belongs to me. It could, however, belong to you.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has Your Valentino

I’m at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers previewing the Adele Bergreen couture collection, which will be sold off in just a few moments.  Adele Bergreen, a lawyer circa 1960, had a love for Italian culture and excellent taste where both fashion and friendship was concerned; she was besties with Valentino and wore his clothing almost exclusively.
In the showroom at Leslie Hindman, handbags, Louis Vuitton luggage, vintage furs, and glittering accessories encased in glass line the walls like masterful paintings. It’s installation art, but this exhibition of Bergreen’s wardrobe won’t last long: the effects are only around until they’re auctioned off.

leslie hindman auctioneers

leslie hindman auctioneers

If the word auction elicits imagery of high-brow aristocrats with nasalized British accents and Yorkies in their laps, you, my dear, are in for a surprise. Online bidding is the new, convenient way to score coveted couture, esteemed art, and estate jewelry. If you’ve ever placed a bid on Ebay, you know the drill. Interested parties can view collections online and place their bid via Bidsquare.

However, instead of competing with just a few others in a confined space, bidders are now up against a global pool. The stakes are higher but so are the rewards.  Bergreen’s black and cream Valentino dress, valued at between $300-$500, sold for $200.  A sheer floral dress with a cinched waist sold for just $100.00!

The auction room at Leslie Hindman is a row of house staff facing computer screens, bidding on behalf of their online contingents. It’s a quick symphony of call and response; a gavel pound signals the final price.

The tangerine wool dream I tried on was sold today for $1125.00. I’m fine, really, thanks for asking.

The other piece I had difficulty parting from, a pleated wool blend coat in vivid canary yellow, sold for just $188. Mere pennies comparatively, and for this loss I will enter a respectful period of mourning.

leslie hindman auctioneers

But you — YOU — have the chance to avoid heartbreak because the Adele Bergreen tag sale starts this Thursday. Visit their showroom from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m until Friday, December 11th. Unlike at the auction, clothing and accessories will be fixed-price and available for purchase immediately. Luxury couture will start at just $25. Ferragamo shoes, Chanel accessories, and what’s left of Valentino will be ripe for the picking. Go early to secure boast-worthy buys and one-of-a-kind designer ensembles that aren’t available anywhere else.

And by all means, try on the furs, darling.

Sarah Corday is our newest contributor. She writes about ART. Follow her work here! You’re welcome.

Images courtesy of Josef Slezak.

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