Culture / People

A selection of polaroids from Ellen von Unwerth’s personal collection are going to auction

ellen von unwerth polaroids

It feels rare to come across unseen images of the 90s supers these days. Everything from their past runway moments, personal style, influence, image archives and life trajectories have been pawed at and mined for fragments of fresh information. This is the environment we find ourselves in as photographer Ellen von Unwerth unveils her personal collection of polaroids as part of an upcoming auction by Phillips.

These grainy squares are portals into the past. Taken on Type 100 peel-apart film as a means of predicting how a photoshoot would develop, the polaroids capture Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Karen Elson, and more, during the 90s and early 00s. Each polaroid comes with its own story, whether that's chatting over coffee with Moss or the crew running around to avoid being sprayed by Paris Hilton in a water fight.

ellen von unwerth polaroids

More importantly, the polaroids will be up for sale soon, with art, design, photograph and watch specialist Phillips hosting an auction at the end of November. At this stage a single polaroid is estimated to sell for around £3000 a pop, however you can preview the collection prior to the auction in London or Paris, where they will be exhibited in a show entitled Ultimate Ellen von Unwerth first.

Although as pieces of fashion history, these polaroids are priceless. They speak to a time before social media, where all we had and all we knew of models were what we saw in glossy pages or through archives like these. Speaking to i-D about the polaroids, von Unwerth said, "Each one, I can still hear the laughter".

ellen von unwerth polaroids

"For me, it's like I'm back at that moment. It's very emotional. They're my precious moments. It's great to share them with the world."

Ultimate Ellen von Unwerth will open in Paris from November 7-11 before exhibiting in London from November 16-22. The polaroids from Ultimate Ellen von Unwerth will go to auction on November 22. Head to the Phillips website for more information.

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