Actress Catherine Deneuve sells huge couture collection

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French actress Catherine Deneuve is selling her extensive haute couture collection - including unique pieces by iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Some 130 lots will be auctioned by Christie's in Paris on 24 January. A further 146 items are up for online auction between 23 January and 30 January.

Suits, dresses, coats and accessories will all be on sale.

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Yves Saint-Laurent kisses Catherine Deneuve during his last fashion show in 2002

"They are the creations of a man who was so talented and who only created to make women more beautiful," Deneuve said.

The 75-year-old said she was selling the clothes after leaving her home in Normandy, northern France, where they had been stored for years.

Deneuve was a long-standing muse to Yves Saint Laurent, one of the most celebrated designers of the 20th Century, who died in 2008. The pair met in 1965 when she was 22, and soon to be presented to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Deneuve asked the designer to make her a dress for the occasion, and a 40-year friendship was born.

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The actress and the designer pictured in 1987

"She was there during all the important moments of his career, in the first row of the audience at fashion shows - he would kiss her right after he'd taken his bow," said Camille de Foresta, a sales co-ordinator at Christie's.

"He gave her strength and confidence, because she said that wearing Yves Saint Laurent clothing was like wearing a light armour."

The sale features vintage pieces such as the beaded mini-dress in which Deneuve first met director Alfred Hitchcock in 1969, valued at 5,000 euros (£4,350; $5,670).

Image source, Christie's Images Ltd, 2019
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The dress in which Deneuve met director Alfred Hitchcock in 1969

A black velvet gown she wore for the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1982 is also up for grabs.

The red carpet numbers include a golden Yves Saint Laurent Oscars dress worn in 2000, when Deneuve's film East/West was nominated. The gown is expected to sell for between 2,000 and 3,000 euros, Reuters reports.

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Deneuve's gold Oscars dress was YSL couture, and made from lurex velvet

The designer pieces, many of them one-offs, have been on pre-auction display at Christie's auction house in Paris.

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The sale coincides with Couture Fashion Week in Paris
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The collection has been on display at Christie's auction house in Paris
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The president of Christie's France said of Deneuve: "When she found herself in possession of all these clothes, she didn't have cupboards in Paris big enough to hold them all."
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