All her material possessions: Sally Ann Lasson gets a tour of supermodel Marie Helvin's wardrobe

Marie Helvin says she has been on a diet all her life but judging from a close look at her, it's surely been worth it. Still fabulous at 57, Helvin is in the process of decluttering her life, and to that end is auctioning off many of her clothes and dresses, including the Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche wedding outfit from her 1975 marriage to David Bailey. A photograph included in the lot shows the couple with their witnesses: Tina and Michael Chow, Michael Roberts and Cathy Damon, another supermodel of the day. A little piece of fashion history with an estimated value of £300 -500.

The clothes, a hundred or so items altogether, will be auctioned by Kerry Taylor, the upmarket vintage clothing experts, next week in London. Helvin's wardrobe shares the stage with another fashion legend, Audrey Hepburn, whose estate is selling a large number of her clothes, including an unused wedding dress. Was she worried about being overshadowed by the screen idol? "Not really. She's on the front cover of the catalogue, I'm on the back," Helvin says pragmatically. "And it will get a lot of attention." The show has been previewed in New York and is off to Paris before viewing begins in London. The reasonable estimates may take a hike so close to Christmas.

The Helvin collection includes all of the designers with which she is most readily associated: Azzedine Alaïa elastane dresses from the 1980s, Antony Price cocktail dresses and Bruce Oldfield evening gowns. She was an early devotee of Rifat Ozbek, owning several items from 1986 when he was barely out of his New Romantic phase. Oh, what fashion was then, with draped Turkish pants and gold flamenco skirts. But the supermodel has now become something of a purist . "I am constantly searching for the perfect white shirt," she says. "At my age, I can't wear all these short, tight things anymore. I'd look ridiculous. I like a plain white shirt, a black A-line skirt and some nice shoes. And that's it."

She sustained a back injury recently trying to shimmy into an Antonio Berardi dress, so high fashion may be out for a while. And some of her outfits in the past have been so figure-hugging, that she admits to sometimes cutting herself out of them at the end of an evening. Her favourite item in the auction is an Ossie Clark velvet and chiffon evening gown from the late 1980s. Helvin modelled for Clark in 1975 and remained friends with the designer until his death in 1996; the dress was a special one-off for Marie. "It's an engineering work of art," she says, "because there are no buttons or zips."

She is equally enamoured of lot number 270, a collection of Antony Price eveningwear from the 1980s. There is a picture of Helvin wearing one of the dresses with a very impressive embonpoint. "It's all padding," she says, looking at the photo. "He created a body within a body. The breasts are padded, the hips are padded. Even the butt is padded. He loved the glamour-puss thing."

Still, she's not sorry to see it all go. She says none of the clothes fit her anymore ("I couldn't even get a finger into most of them now") and seems to have no sentimental attachment to things. "I don't have the space, I don't want to hang on to everything. The only things I really want to keep are my books." She hasn't got any personal pictures of herself and the auction includes a huge nude portrait of her and the 1977 Adel Rootstein mannequin, a snip at £250-300. She says, refreshingly, that she does not remain friends with her numerous exes – "They weren't my friends anyway" – with the exception of the notoriously tetchy and David Bailey. As he owns all the copyright to the pictures he took of her, this is probably rather sensible.

Her famous friendship with Jerry Hall is also no longer. She says they just don't have anything in common any more but, of course, all the pap pictures from the 1970s and 1980s are of them together. Here they are at the races; here they are at Club Sept in Paris with Andy and Yves; here they are smoking and hanging out. Anyone who saw them on the catwalk together would not easily have forgotten the sight of these two American girls, having fun, with supermodel bodies that you couldn't quite believe the perfection of even though they were right in front of you. It wasn't just dieting that produced that body, more a genetic anomaly, a fortunate mix of American and Japanese genes. So, she will be happy when she finally retires home to Hawaii? "It will be nice to eat," she says longingly, and confides that once a month she treats herself to a croissant.

She is also looking forward to wearing a "muu muu", which is not a new line by Prada but a sack-like dress designed by missionaries when they arrived in Hawaii and sought to clothe the natives. She didn't like wearing them as a child but now appreciates the appeal of an unconstricting garment. What a long way she's come since her Hervé Léger bandage dress of 1998 (£300-500).

Helvin is the face of a new range of Agent Provocateur couture lingerie which she shot in the summer, just before her 57th birthday. "I didn't want to be 57 when I did those pictures because I thought that was too old to be standing around in panties," she says, "but I'm over the shock now." She has also written and narrated two documentaries for CNBC about Japan and Alaska – "I could not believe that there was such a thing as snow when I was a child in Hawaii. I have always been fascinated by it" – and is hoping to do more.

She published her autobiography last year and is working on a health book but somebody really ought to snap her up to do a clothing range. Like Twiggy before her, Marie Helvin has seeped into the national consciousness. She may share her auction with Hepburn, whose most famous role was Holly Golightly, but Helvin embodies the spirit of that character more precisely in a way. She doesn't own any property, is unattached and has no children. If we allow her to drift back to Hawaii we will miss her more than we know.

The Passion For Fashion auction, including the Audrey Hepburn and Marie Helvin Collections is at Kerry Taylor Auctions on 8 December with viewing from 6 December at La Galleria, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London, SW1. Kerrytaylorauctions.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model of a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
    She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

    Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

    The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
    American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

    Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

    James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
    Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

    Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

    Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

    Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

    If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution