All praise due to the late Eunice Johnson. After previewing exclusive items from the Ebony Fashion Fair Collection’s upcoming auction last Saturday, I was mesmerized by the impact of Eunice Johnson as a true style icon who had an incredible eye for fashion that brought only the best for the Ebony Fashion Fair shows.

At Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago’s West Loop district, a room filled with collectors, admirers of glamorous style and the occasional high-profile fashion journalist (hello, Vogue editor at large Hamish Bowles) were quietly sifting through the racks of dazzling bold prints, chiffons, laces, leather, cutouts, silk, beads, sequins, grommets, dress, jumpsuits, furs and coats from designers such as Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Lacroix, Carolina Herrera, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy.

The collection, which includes 749 items—all are in great shape—is a mix of vintage pieces dating from 1960s and relatively recent pieces (mid-2000s) where bids for some start from $100.

Every now and then, you’d hear an “ohhh” and “ahhh” from someone holding a beautifully crafted hand beaded gown with an ornate high neckline or an intricate embellished coat with fur trim. Despite all the high-octane fashion goodies that cover every trend or possible historic reference (i.e. Byzantine era gold trim), even the non-risk taker fashionista could appreciate great daywear pieces and dresses in bold hues like this season’s Pantone emerald shade.  

Simply put, each of the pieces in the collection are remarkable—every item has a special detail whether it’s a unique fringe, embroidered element or a high low hem.

Ready to place your bets? The auction starts today! Visit the Online Catalog.