In 1975 when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton came to South Africa for their honeymoon, Chris Levin heard that Elizabeth Taylor had always wanted an ostrich feather coat. Making contact with her, he offered to make one. His offer was accepted and he was also commissioned to make a number of items for Taylor’s personal wardrobe.
At the historic sale by Christies, ‘The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The icon and her Haute Couture’ on 12 December 2011, the late Taylor’s couture collection was sold including Lot 359, Chris Levin’s full length white ostrich feather evening cape. It sold for an astonishing $30 000.
It was upon hearing the success of this sale in New York that Chris Levin removed his collection from storage and approached Strauss & Co. about holding a sale of his work. Fifty-one garments of elegant vintage couture spanning four decades from the 1960s to the 1990s were selected, along with a number of original design sketches.
Excerpts from a catalogue designed for the auction of Chris Levin’s work from the 80′s:
Strauss & Co. is donating its commissions from the auction to the charity Vintage, With Love, an initiative that raises funds for illiteracy in South Africa.
Venue: The Wanderers Club, 21 North Street, Illovo, Johannesburg.
Date: Thursday 16 May 2013
Catalogue excerpts ©
Design and layout by Triple M Design
Photography by James Fox,
portrait of Chris Levin by Andreas Vlachakis
Printed by Ultra Litho (Pty) Limited, Johannesburg