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Record price realized at Christie’s for iconic dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Audrey HepburnBlack dress by Hubert de Givenchy, Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961 Sold: £467,200

London – Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy from the much-loved 1961 classic film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, more than exceeded pre-sale expectations, selling for £467,200/$923,187/€692,390 at Christie’s South Kensington in the Film and Entertainment Sale on 5 December 2006. This price establishes a new world auction record for a dress made for a film. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the charity City of Joy Aid, which benefits the under-privileged in India.

Sarah Hodgson, Head of Christie’s Popular Entertainment said: “This was the biggest Entertainment Sale we have had in London since sales began in the 1980s. We are particularly thrilled with the price achieved for Audrey Hepburn’s dress, and the amount it has raised for a charity.”

Monsieur Dominique Lapierre, founder of City of Joy Aid said: "There are tears in my eyes. I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools."

The classic black dress was personally donated to the current owners, Monsieur and Madame Lapierre by Hubert de Givenchy, who designed Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe for the film. This was one of three identical dresses made for the film. In the opening sequence Audrey Hepburn emerged from a cab in the early morning on to a deserted 5th Avenue in New York – a glamorous, gamine figure in an elegant black dress, peering wistfully into the window of Tiffany’s and eating her breakfast from a brown paper bag. It was this appearance as Holly Golightly that sealed Audrey Hepburn’s international fame and the success of the film has become a timeless classic, watched again and again by millions. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the film.

City of Joy Aid is based in Calcutta and was founded by the Lapierres in 1981, following a meeting with Mother Theresa. It is dedicated to helping the poorest of the poor through a network of clinics, schools, rehabilitation centres and hospital boats. The Lapierres personally absorb all overhead expenses and rely totally on donations. They have contributed to the rescue, shelter and rehabilitation of over 4 million patients suffering from tuberculosis, cholera, leprosy and other diseases which exist under the shadow of poverty.

Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston in Brussels, Belgium on 4th May 1929. The daughter of Joseph Hepburn-Ruston, a British banker and Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch Baroness, she was educated in the UK and trained in dance by Marie Rambert, who also trained Vaslav Nijinski. She made her stage debut as a chorus girl in 1948, in High Button Shoes at London’s Hippodrome. She was awarded an Oscar for “Best Actress in a leading role” for her performance in Roman Holiday in 1953 and it was during this year that she began a lifelong friendship with Hubert de Givenchy. In her later life, she became known for her humanitarian work, becoming Unicef’s Goodwill Ambassador in 1988. Following Audrey’s death in 1993, The Audrey Hepburn Childrens’ Fun in Los Angeles was set up to continue her work.

The previous record for a dress made for a film was for Dorothy’s blue Gingham dress worn in The Wizard of Oz which realized £140,000 in 2005.

For more details visit the Christies
web site.


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