December 9, 2014 – LONDON
Today the Issey Miyake corset that many of you will have seen at our Westfield shop went under the hammer… and took a whopping £38,000! The even better news is that it has sold to a reputable museum, so will be kept for posterity.
Auctioned on our behalf by fashion expert Kerry Taylor, it was an incredible result for an item that we discovered, unbranded, in a workshop amid circus props and costumes. The design, a corset in moulded resin featuring nipples and a bellybutton, was created in limited edition by the great Issey Miyake as an art piece in 1984, exploring attitudes to the female body. A black version was memorably modelled by Grace Jones in an image by Greg Gorman, 1995. Amazingly, this red edition was bought by the vivacious Hannelore Smart, then wife of Circus King Billy Smart Jr, and regularly worn by her – as fabulous photos in the family album attest. We had it authenticated by Issey Miyake, and sold on behalf of the family – who generously donated a share of the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society.
It is good to know, as it heads off to a new life behind glass, that this corset was really loved and put to use, as great design should be.