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Classic French cars are up for grabs online

From auction of automobile to high-end fashion, here's what happened in the world of luxury this week

The 1981 Citroën Dyane 6 is part of the auction at Artcurial
The 1981 Citroën Dyane 6 is part of the auction at Artcurial (Courtesy Artcurial )

James Bond’s lifestyle doesn’t match his salary

We probably suspected it, but there’s now proof—the world’s favourite superspy lives far beyond his means. Researchers at the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research trawled through the Ian Fleming novels and made a list of the restaurants James Bond visited (most of them in France) as well as his estimated salary based on Bond’s own statements (it’s about 3.5 times more than the average civil servant’s salary). Then they pulled up the prices for meals from Michelin Guides and began their analysis. Yes, they did work in a ‘risk allowance’ or bonus, considering the dangerous nature of the job. Despite that, they found that Bond’s purchasing power has depreciated over time, especially after the euro was introduced in 1999. They found he’d have ended up spending more than 21% of his salary just on his fine dining habits along—and that’s not counting the rest of the meals he’d have needed to keep body and soul together.

Also read: Shoppers haven’t minded higher prices but that may change soon

Rare French cars up for sale

Some of the most beloved, and not outrageously expensive, classics from France’s automotive history are being sold by a private collector, reports Bloomberg. Starting on 4 November, Paris-based auction house Artcurial will offer dozens of iconic French cars from Peugeot, Renault, and the SM cars that Citroën later made with Maserati, for sale at auction online. The auction joins the ranks of online car sales that sprouted after the novel coronavirus shut down live auctions and seem to be demonstrating some staying power. Last month, RM Sotheby’s sold nearly $2 million worth of cars (nearly 80% among 41 cars listed) in its online ‘Open Roads’ sale. At another October online sale, BH Auctions sold a single 1982 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale for nearly $720,000. In January, Bonhams will launch an online auction platform for US buyers called the Market. Much like, the permanent platform will allow buyers to place bids in real time during each car sale; a European edition has already launched.

Fashion and history at an auction

Auction house Sotheby is looking to tap into the thirst for high end fashion and gems as the pandemic recedes and people seek joy again. On 28 October, its Fashion Through Time auction began, featuring fine fashion and collectibles from brands a varied as Hermès, Chanel, Nike and Louis Vuitton. The idea behind the online sale, which includes handbags named for filmstars Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin, sneakers worn by the late NBA star Kobe Bryant and rare diamonds belonging to former royals, is to draw in younger collectors with eclectic yet unusual offerings. The sale illustrates the evolution of fashion through the decades. Next week’s tranche includes Russian royal jewels smuggled out of the country during the 1917 revolution, alongside rare coloured diamonds. An orange-pink diamond weighing 25.62 carats, estimated at 3.6 million to 5.38 million Swiss francs ($3.9 million to $5.9 million), set in a ring, is the star lot at auction house Sotheby's semi-annual jewellery sale in Geneva on 10 November.

Chanel’s cruise line is out

The iconic French label Chanel drew throngs of guests and some celebrities to view the brand's latest resort collection with a runway show in Dubai defined by stark two-tone pieces and an evening after-party Tuesday under a simple white canopy, reports AP. The Chanel Cruise 2021/22 collection by creative director Virginie Viard was first unveiled virtually in May due to the pandemic, but it was shown to a live audience for the first time in Dubai. All guests had to prove covid-19 vaccination or show a negative virus test. The fashion for this collection was inspired by the label's founder, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, and her friendship with French filmmaker and visual artist Jean Cocteau. Specifically, the collection drew inspiration from a black and white experiential film Cocteau directed in 1960.

Also read: Celebrating 200 years of Louis Vuitton

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