One of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s Classic Dresses Is Going Up for Auction

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 5: Lee Radziwill and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy at Supper Club for the party follow...
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy wearing the Yohji Yamamoto dress alongside Lee Radziwill.Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

You may think that, by now, the quiet luxury trend is behind us as many have moved on to more conspicuous dressing perhaps in an overcorrection after months of unassuming fashion. In reality, though, the true arbiters of the quiet luxury lifestyle never abandon ship and will continue to reach for The Row, gobble up Jil Sander, and eschew any flash of branding. While the name was applied to it last year, the idea of quiet luxury has been around for decades, and it will remain the go-to style of a certain kind of discreet person as long as they’re able to pair a slip dress with a great trench. And it’s those people who will be ecstatic to hear that a dress once worn by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, the patron Saint of inconspicuous dressing, is going up for auction next month.

The Succession fans cheered when the ludicrously capacious bag went up for sale, and the noughties obsessed salivated over the auctioning off of Kate Moss’ sheer dress. Now, those who consider themselves “classic dressers” can join in on the fun. In June, the New York auction house Bonhams will host its third online fashion sale in the U.S., where a look worn by Bessette-Kennedy will be available for bidding.

The item in question is a black silk wrap trench dress from Yohji Yamamoto’s spring/summer 1998 collection. It features a layered collar and lapel, a black silk adjustable waist tie, and trench cuff details. The piece is marked as a size small and is reported to be in excellent condition. Bessette-Kennedy originally wore it in 1998 at the members-only Supper Club where she attended a dinner and subsequent performance from the Parsons Dance Company. It is the first piece from Bessette-Kennedy’s wardrobe ever to go to auction, and bidding for it will begin at the price of $1,800. The expectation is for the dress to sell for $3,000, though it will likely go for much more.

Bessette Kennedy’s Yohji Yamamoto dress.

Courtesy of Bonhams

The dress was provided by Sasha Chermayeff, an old friend of Bessette’s husband, John F. Kennedy Jr. Both Bessette Kennedy and Kennedy Jr. were godparents to Chermayeff’s children.

“After a couple of months of conversations, the timing just felt right with the book CBK: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy: A Life in Fashion coming out,” Marissa Speer, head of the Bonhams sale told WWD. In addition, July will mark the 25th anniversary of Bessette-Kennedy and Kennedy Jr.’s plane crash death, placing even more emphasis on the couple. Of course, obsession over Bessette-Kennedy’s wardrobe has been consistent for years, and this could just be the beginning of the plans for that long-untouched treasure trove.

Bessette-Kennedy wearing the Yohji Yamamoto dress.

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