2007_06_arts_nan.jpgIf you're a vintage couture enthusiast, and we imagine there are quite a few in this city, you probably already know about socialite, philanthropist, clotheshorse and fashion maven Nan Kempner - and how trunks of her wardrobe are being sold tomorrow with items going for $25 and up (and way up).

The muse for Yves Saint Laurent inspired as much as she collected, and prior to her death in 2005, the 74 year old filled several rooms of her Park Avenue home with her couture collection. Last year, this same collection was exhibited at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with 200 pieces becoming part of the museum's permanent collection.

What happened to the rest? There was a lot leftover, and the items were spread out over museums, charities, and Christie's. The latter (where her memorial service was held) is planning a Kempner sale in the future. For now, 25 cartons of clothes are at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop (she raised $75 million for them throughout her living years), but they won't be there for long. Tomorrow it all goes on sale: accessories, clothes, couture and designer goods you won't find in your regular thrift shop. Items from Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Emilio Pucci will all be sold off at "reasonable" prices. Expect to see some designers duking it out with fashionistas and common folk - and we're guessing that since Kempner famously said, "I loathe fat people," that all the sizes will be pretty dainty!

The Sun reports that "in preparation for the sale, the store's manager, Anita Askienazy, sifted through bins of clothing earlier this week, pulling out items including a fur-lined sweater by the designer Bill Blass; a floor-length silk evening gown by Givenchy, and a bright red, ribbed satin clutch with a bejeweled clasp by Valentino." The entire process of unpacking, oohing and ahhing lasted months, however. If you want to see what was in all those boxes, and possibly purchase a piece yourself, give the sale a shot. Doors open at 10am (expect long lines and women in Chanel throwing right hooks).