Liberty Ross, Cara Delevingne and Jodie Kidd were among the star-studded crowd at Christie’s on Thursday night as the hammer went down on the designer Pudsey Bear collection, raising over £150,000 for Children in Need. With the hottest names in fashion, from Versace, Burberry and Louis Vuitton to Smythson, Alexander McQueen and Dior all turning their talented hands to reinventing the charity’s mascot; the auction proved quite the coveted event.
Model Isabeli Fontana was the recipient of Giles Deacon’s Swarovski crystal-encrusted bear, which achieved the top bid of the night at £24,000. Speaking to vogue.co.uk, Fontana said: “I loved the sparkle of the Swarovski and the design – it’s so cute. It’s not just a teddy, it’s THE teddy. It was the best bear, for sure. The most beautiful one! It’s an amazing cause and something that you would never normally get the chance to buy. It’s unique and something that I will treasure forever.” The 29 year old mother of two explained why Children in Need is particularly close to her heart: “I have two sons and so of course, anything to do with children’s welfare is a priority for me,” she said. “I am really excited to have been able to support this amazing charity.”
Designer Marc Jacobs carried his creation for Louis Vuitton up to the rostrum entreating a flurry of paddle-action resulting in a bid of £20,000, followed by Tom Ford’s bear at £12,000 which went to stylist Elizabeth Saltzman, and the Burberry Pudsey which realised £9,000 and was carried off by British model Jade Parfitt. The Dior and McQueen designs made £8,500 each, going to Jo Wood and Kristen McMenamy respectively.
There are a handful of bears still available to bid on, including the Vogue Pudsey – presented by actress Gemma Arterton – and the four Balenciaga designs by former creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, which are even more covetable as they are among the final pieces he created for the French fashion house prior to announcing his departure. The auction will close tomorrow night (Sunday 18 November) at 6pm.
What better Christmas gift for a mini fashionista than a designer teddy bear? Especially one with philanthropy stitched into the very fabric of its being.