Fashion: On the street - Going for a song

At an auction of vintage Chanel, Versace and YSL clothing, Hannah Hunter find some visitors making a bid for glamour
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Alya Khan, 30, works in Sotheby's collections department, wears coat by Dolce and Gabbana, trousers by Helmut Lang, shirt and bag from Prada, boots from Stephane Kelian

"I love clothes and switched from my original training in law to work in fashion. This is our first vintage couture sale and we're hoping to have another in April. The clothes are so unbelievably well made and it is very cheap to buy them in auction. A dress that would originally have cost about pounds 40,000 will go for about pounds 5,000 in auction. I was bidding myself today, for the Pucci dresses, but they went for just over what I could afford. The Versace was what was focused on today. Some of the pieces were bought by Versace themselves, and someone else was buying for a Versace museum that they are starting."

Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini, age withheld, woman of leisure, wears suit by Chanel, handbag by Christian Dior, shoes from Italy, a fur hat of her own design, vintage stole

"I bought a Chanel black-and-white sequin dress and a Norman Hartnell cream, full-length embroidered dress. I love clothes, and have a large collection of unusual antique and modern items. I like to have things that no one else has. I live in Bologna and I travel to Paris and London to shop. I love London and there are lots of places that I like to visit on Kensington High Street that have beautiful antique Oriental textiles and vintage evening dresses. I found my stole in a flea market in Paris and it was very cheap. In Italy fur is not a big issue, but I would never wear my fur coats in London as people have very strong reactions to them."

Mads Kall Norregaard, 33, works for Yves Saint Laurent in London, wears made-to-measure coat from Stockholm, trousers from Rene Gurskov in Copenhagen, sweater from Italy, shoes from Prada, old Versace sunglasses

"I didn't buy anything today, as it's the first time I've been to an auction like this in England. I come from Denmark and have been to lots of fashion auctions there. The Seventies Yves Saint Laurent pieces were the main reason I came today as I am just starting to work for them, and wanted to see a bit of his history as a designer. I was tempted to bid today - there were some fabulous Chanel dresses and beautiful hats. I don't spend a lot on my clothes. I like to `build' a wardrobe taking what I like from new collections and add things gradually so my look becomes `me'."

Angie Smith, 30s, theatre director's assistant, wears Seventies Regency-style maxi coat, boots from Russia, bag from a street market

"I collect British boutique fashion mainly, as I'm not really a fan of couture. I'm into street fashion, between 1964 and 1975, from Ozzie Clark and Mary Quant to early Vivienne Westwood; I think I've got the largest collection of Biba in the world. I prefer British fashion as it has an exciting naivety which the French and Americans seem to lack. I go to lots of auctions - they're a great place to find bargains. My best buy ever is a four-piece leopard-skin Greta Garbo outfit. People don't realise the value of clothing. Things that are disposable and everyday are not seen as being as precious as painting or sculpture, but they do often go for large amounts of money."

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