Madame Helene Rochas was truly a symbol of elegance and more than just a fashion icon.
She had the flair, the attitude and the character required of an industry leader and yet she still maintained the poise and grace of her femininity.Helene Rochas 1927-2011 was very active among the artistic and fashionable circles often seen in company with people such as Onassis, Sinatra as well as other popular figures. Her collection of art now on auction at Christies reflects her cosmopolitan as well as exquisite taste. The auction will be held on the 27th of September 2012 in Paris after the public exhibition held from 11th of to the 26th of September.The collection comprises largely art works from the Modern and Post-War eras, fantastic examples of Art Deco beauty, European objet d art and a few exquisite Old Master and 19th century drawings and paintings. Helene Rochas lived for almost 60 years in her Parisian apartment on the 7th arrondissement, adding and increasing the beauty of her domain over the years the collection is now estimated at 8 million euros.Helene Rochas, also known as 'la belle Helene’ or 'la Belle Madame Rochas’ epitomised the French allure and style. Her unique taste blossomed beyond the boundaries set by the Parisian social elite at the turn of the 20th century and built on the influences of wealthy foreigners, aesthetes, and collectors who followed in the footsteps of Carlos de Beistegui, Arturo Lopez-Willshaw, Antenor Patiño or even took inspiration from the more modern tastes of Eugenia Errazuriz and Cole Porter. That signature style and preference was so unusual because it differed greatly from the traditional collections of the bourgeoisie which had been amassed over decades and were constrained by traditional and conventional boundaries. The collection of art of Helene Rochas on the other hand reflected the rich and varied international circles of which she was a natural member. Among here collection are four portraits which she commissioned from Andi Warhol in 1974, a superb Balthus and a breathtaking Kandinsky.Though very much a member of the social elite often referred to as the Old Jet Set, Helene Rochas resents the innuendos that association suggests. In her own words she said that terms like jet set refer to people who do not work, she sniffs, and I do. Vraiment. Following the death of her husband Marcel Rochas in 1955, Helene took over and ran the company until 1970—the year she sold out to the French chemical company Roussel-Uclaf a sum estimated near $40 million. In the 80s, she was often seen in the company of one of the most handsome men in Europe Kim D Estainville, a Parisian fashion retailer. The firm was always an integral part of her and she led the company in the same way that she led her life, with style, elegance and character.