Historic auction house Leonard Joel is hosting a luxury fashion auction in its 19th-century bidding room in Melbourne tonight. Lucky for us Sydneysiders, it's also open to absentee bids, as well as those placed over the telephone.

More than 300 pre-owned handbags, accessories and couture pieces are available at discounted prices. Keep your finger on the refresh button for the classic Chanel flap bag (Lot 1), a Chanel charm bracelet (Lot 9), a Hermes “Kelly” bag (Lot 68A), and an embroidered Valentino gown (Lot 140).

Founded in 1919, Leonard Joel specialises in trading fine arts, vintage collectables, couture fashion, jewels and timepieces. Bethany McGougan, co-curator of the event, says the auction house’s fashion category has attracted a huge youth demographic in recent years.

“People who wouldn’t usually be able to buy [these high-end pieces] would be able to buy them because of the lower price point,” she says. She also mentions the auction’s important role in endorsing pre-owned fashion, to battle “fast fashion”, which sees clothing end up in landfill. “Instead of buying a lot, [our clients] can buy one really good piece and keep it forever,” she says.

All items have been rated via an in-house grading system, with grade one being “new” and grade six meaning “fair condition”. A specialist, who has previously worked at Hermes, helps to authenticate the collection. Many of its pieces will be kept in their original packaging, while some have never been worn before (with original labels still intact).

The auction will be held tonight at 6.30pm. Interested parties can also bid online by registering or by telephone (03 9826 4333) if they are unable to attend the event in person. The next auction will be on September 5.

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