Some of the vintage clothes worn by a German air hostess who shot to fame after her whirlwind marriage to a British circus impresario are to be auctioned off for charity.
A treasure trove of items from the stylish wardrobe of Hannelore Nagel, the widow of Billy Smart Jr., are to go under the hammer.
The couple met in 1973 on a Pan Am flight from LA to London when Hannelore worked as an air hostess.
Smart, the youngest child of the legendary founder of the world famous Billy Smart Circus, was a noted lothario and wooed stars like Shirley Bassey and Diana Dors.
But he put his womanising days to an end when he met Hannelore, who would remain at his side until his death in 2005.
The besotted pair tied the knot five weeks after they met in a lavish wedding a beach in the Mexican resort of Acapulco in front of guests such footballer George Best.
On the day of the wedding, Billy told reporters: “I was sitting in first class and Hanna served me.
“There were only a couple of other passengers, so she had plenty of time. She came to sit next to me and we just talked and talked.
“Since then, we have been together almost the entire time. And it’s really terrific. We are so in love.”
It catapulted Hannelore into the world of the international jetset and built her a reputation as glamorous style icon.
Together they rubbed shoulders with the stars and led an international life of luxury while building a multi-million pound fortune.
Hannalore built a substantial wardrobe to meet the needs of her new lifestyle, which included skiing in The Rockies and holidaying on palm-fringed beaches.
She chose outfits from a string of leading designers, from Jean-Paul Gaultier and Chanel to Christian Lacroix and Thierry Mugler.
Now, 50 years after the couple met and a year on after the death of dementia-stricken Hannelore at the age of 77, a selection of her personal wardrobe is being sold off.
Eye-catching pieces from the stylish collection include her iconic Pan Am uniform from her days as a hostess (pictured above).
It also includes a rare Louis Vuitton Boîte a Tout velvet-lined jewel case with two keys, ring box and velvet cushion, estimated to sell for £500.
A violet Christian Dior double-faced Italian cashmere coat is expected to fetch £300.
Another highlight is a Vivienne Westwood wool tartan coat expected to sell for £270.
The sale will take place as part of Ewbank’s Vintage Fashion auction in Surrey tomorrow (Friday). A proportion of the sale will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society charity.
Elena Jackson, from the auctioneers, said: “Drawing up the catalogue for this consignment was like reliving the high life of the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
“The heady mix of a dramatic and enduring love story, a non-stop life of sporting prowess, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and royalty, and an extensive runway of beautifully-designed gowns and accessories – this collection has it all.”
Having grown up and performed in the circus launched by his father, Billy Smart Snr, had become an expert of training and caring for animals.
He was also a striking performer and his Wild West presentation as Davy Crockett made him a star.
He appeared in two Royal Command Performances and three films shot at Billy Smart’s Circus – Circus of Horrors, Berserk! and Circus of Fears.
The couple ran Windsor Safari Park after the death of Billy Smart Snr before selling it off in 1977.
Smart Jr later concentrated on a second career as a property developer, based in Spain, before his death in 2005 aged 70.
Family photographs show the couple mixing with the likes of Rod Stewart, Elton John, Burt Bacharach and Sean Connery.