About Kerry Taylor Auctions
Established in 2003, Kerry Taylor Auctions is the world’s leading auction house specialising in vintage fashion, fine antique costume and textiles. We hold at least five auctions a year including two ‘Passion for Fashion’ auctions which feature fine and rare costume and only the best examples of vintage haute couture.
Kerry Taylor Auctions was featured in Channel 4’s ‘Princess Diana’s Dresses: The Auction’, broadcast in July 2013, which covered the company’s historic auction in March 2013 of ten of Princess Diana’s dresses, the most ever exhibited and auctioned in the UK.
We are based in Bermondsey, London, close to the White Cube gallery and the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Kerry Taylor joined Sotheby’s in 1979 and rapidly rose through the ranks to become the youngest auctioneer in the company’s history at just 21. Kerry was made Director and Head of the Collector’s department in the early 1980s and in 1986, re-established costume and textiles auctions at the New Bond Street saleroom. She was responsible for numerous international high profile sales including the renowned Castle Howard Ballets Russes collection, the wardrobes of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, Maria Callas, as well as the pop stars, Geri Halliwell and Robbie Williams! Kerry left in 2003 to set up her own auction business, specializing in the fields she loves – fashion (of all periods) and textiles. Since leaving Sotheby’s she has repeatedly attracted headline grabbing collections and historically important garments belonging to some of the most beautiful and fashionable women of the 20th century – Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Daphne Guinness, the Duchess of Windsor (again) and many others. However, it is her unrivalled expertise and experience built up over more than three decades, her interest, knowledge and passion for the subject, and her care and research of the items she handles that makes her sales unique.
Kerry is a regular contributor to television programmes, and is the go-to person for journalists worldwide on the subject of historic and vintage fashion. In 2007 the Guardian voted her one of their ‘women of the year’ and she has been profiled in British Vogue and the New York Times amongst others.
Kerry is a Patron of the Gallery of Fashion at Platt Hall, Manchester. She continues to act as textile consultant to Sotheby’s and regularly assists major museums giving lectures, providing valuations, assisting with applications for funding and regularly sits on the UK Government’s Export Review board. Her book ‘Vintage Fashion & Couture, from Poiret to McQueen’ was published by Octopus in 2013.
Kate has been working with Kerry Taylor since December 2007, soon after graduating. Having first studied Fashion Promotion at university, she then went on to gain a Masters degree in History and Culture of Fashion, from London College of Fashion. Kate acts as the Office Manager and works with Kerry to ensure the smooth running of the auctions at all stages. She is often the first point of call for clients, assisting them with valuations, general advice, shipping requests, condition reports and much more. Kate is Kerry’s ‘Right Hand’!
Kate’s favourite: ‘One of my favourite collections to handle was Audrey Hepburn’s, in 2009. She is such a style icon and it was an honour to be chosen the auction the pieces – the beautiful Givenchy gowns and coats in the collection epitomised her timeless style and elegance’
Lucy has been part of the Kerry Taylor Auction’s team since 2010 and is also a London College of Fashion graduate with a Masters degree in History and Culture of Fashion.
Lucy is responsible for the beautiful photographs on our website and in our catalogues and masterminds our social media. She assists with the sales generally, helps Kerry prepare condition reports, sets up the pre-sale exhibitions, oversees our team of interns and is the friendly face that welcomes you on sale days.
Lucy’s favourite: ‘One of the most memorable collections I have handled was that of Mary Holden Illingworth (1838-1908), the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. What made her collection so remarkable was that through handwritten provenance we were able to trace her life from a young bride to grandmother, through her clothes, which included a gown from the father of haute couture, Charles Fredrick Worth’.
We are always very grateful to the various voluntary interns who assist us throughout the year. If you are interested in helping, please contact us with your CV. Applicants must be students in full-time education.