There’s something vaguely creepy about inviting people to paw through piles of your underwear, even if the Dior and La Perla price tags are still attached. Yet there I was, feeling a little bit dirty for lingering over the lingerie, at the Camille Grammer estate sale, held over the weekend at the house she just sold in Malibu’s exclusive and gated Serra Retreat.
Of course there was more on display than intimate apparel. There were Louboutin shoes, red soles unscathed. Designer dresses for all occasions and creamy cashmere so soft you want to bury your face in it, and many did. A $2,000 Judith Leiber evening bag with Nieman Marcus price tag affixed. Who spends $2,000 on a crystal encrusted evening bag and never uses it? Who has a closet full of $1,000 plus dresses they will wear only once, if ever? Apparently, minor reality stars who marry and divorce well do. Camille Grammer is the prominently unhappy ex-wife of Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer.
Relatively speaking, clothing and accessories were the small ticket items for sale. Down filled silk sofas with ornate pillows had price tags higher than many single mother’s annual salaries. Lamps, chairs, paintings, chandeliers, chatychkes, patio furniture, all the finest quality, and the very table that the psychic held a seance on during one episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, could be had for the right, eye-popping amount.
After putting it on and off the market for several years, Grammer’s 4.75 acre estate finally sold in late November for $12,940,000. It had been listed at one time for $17.5 million. Some of the estate’s more arresting features include a gourmet kitchen designed by Wolfgang Puck, a master suite with ocean views, a state-of-the-art home theater, a horseback riding area and nine-stall barn.
Of course estate sale shoppers didn’t see most of those features. We were limited to a handful of rooms in the main house and guest house, as well as the garage, where the lower ticket items, including a massive video tape collection of cinematic classics, could be had for quite the bargain basement price, if anyone out there still has a VHS player.
I was overwhelmed by the time, effort and money it must have taken to acquire all that stuff, and surprised that she would open her private life up to strangers in such a public fashion. I’m of the old school belief that what you don’t pass down to family, friends and devoted colleagues, you donate to charity. I envisioned foster kids keeping warm in Burberry jackets, or snuggling on four-poster beds under furry comforters, with sweet dreams of scholarships they’ve recently received dancing in their heads.
I also envisioned Camille locking the front door to her grand estate one last time, taking nothing more than a suitcase full of toiletries, wardrobe essentials and a smile with her.
But perhaps I’m a wee bit idealistic. There were no signs displayed announcing that a percentage of the proceeds from this sale would go to any specific charity. No causes seemed to be connected to the event at all, save for on the estate sale web page, where there’s a button that takes you to a site where you can donate to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. The connection to Camille Grammar is vague at best.
The garish event will have some charitable implications, and will indeed make some difference in the life of the less fortunate, however. It inspired me to go home and take a look at all my assets and abilities and seriously recommit to using them to benefit others. Granted, my material blessings come nowhere near the value of Grammer’s, but charity starts at home, after all. I’ve decided to make 2016 my Year of Giving, and you can hold me to that.
Camille Grammer Estate Sale — An Intimate Look at a Life of Luxury