Couture collection of Betsy Pickering Kaiser heads to Chicago auction



2015-06-26 10:52:52

Items from the personal estate of Betsy Pickering Kaiser – one of the most famous fashion models of the 1950s and 60s – will be sold at auction in Chicago next week.

On September 11, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will present a sale featuring 380 lots of suits, coats, gowns and accessories collected by renowned model Betsy Pickering Kaiser throughout her lifetime.

Pickering Kaiser was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1971, with the following entry: ‘Mrs. Michael Kaiser (Betsy), socialite, Galanos muse, former model.’

“Betsy was an original, in fashion, decoration, entertaining and gardening,” said Julia Koch, a friend quoted in her Palm Beach Daily News obituary in February 2013.

“She was always very kind and generous to me, to my children and to her friends.She was so wise, and I wish she was around to share her stories, there were so many, and they were wonderful.”

Her modelling career saw her appear on the cover of numerous national publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Charm, Town & Country and GQ – and was a constant inspiration to her close friend, designer James Galanos.

The majority of items in the sale are original creations by Galanos, sold alongside pieces by designers including Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo.

The sale will also offer clothing and accessories purchased at the high-end Palm Beach boutique Trillion, along with 174 bolts of fine vintage fabrics, including rare examples by Abraham and Gandini, purchased from Galanos in the late 1990s.

Over the years, Betsy made significant donations from her Galanos collection to several museums, including many to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In accordance with her wishes, the proceeds from the auction will benefit LoveLife, the largest HIV/AIDS prevention, education and awareness organization in South Africa.


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