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  • Mark Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow painting from 1961 would be the star of the sale. What she didn't know was that it would achieve a record $86.9million final price – scarcity and bidders' unlimited means making it impossible to predict how high the bidding would go. "People just want the best work,” explains Paulson, “and that was absolutely one of the most extraordinary Rothkos ever.”

    As with the Pincus sale, which grew from Paulson's 30-year rapport with the family, relation­ships are key. “The essence of this business is trust.” She also knows how to apply subtle yet effective pressure when it matters: “As we often say, 'how will you feel tomorrow when you wake up and don't own this picture?'”

    A collector herself, she acquired her first important piece – a Marcel Duchamp lithograph titled Monte Carlo Bond – in the 1980s. Today, she and husband Andrew Fabricant, an art dealer, favor work by Christopher Wool, Christian Marclay, Carroll Dunham (father of Girls creator Lena), Simone Leigh

    and Hiroshi Sugimoto. “When you have an innate sense of quality and something just gets under your skin,” she explains, “it stays in your mind to the point that you have to have it or walk away entirely.”

    It's a compulsion often associated with fashion purchases, another area Paulson knows well. Her wardrobe contains a catalogue of designers, the most prevalent of which is Prada. “It fits me so well. Due to the pace at which I live, I have to know what works.”

    “There’s a VISCERAL connection between art and fashion. It's that creative power to make SOMETHING out of NOTHING”

    She says she “depends on dresses” by Jason Wu and Saint Laurent, and on the rare weekends she isn't traveling or visiting exhibitions, Paulson loves nothing more than

    to visit Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman, or clicking on NET-A-PORTER.

    “There's a visceral connection between art and fashion,” she says. “It's that creative power to make something out of nothing – whether it's fabric, paint, cloth or canvas – that has a mutual aspect

    of genius and pursuit.”

    Case in point: the Mondrian dress. “In the mid '60s, we all got those paper dresses. I had the Mondrian, someone else had the Warhol Campbell's soup can. It was just this little paper thing,” she pauses. “But I do wonder what happened to it.”

    LAURA’S go-to pieces

    “I AM ALWAYS traveling, so this is ideal for a professional look.”

    “THE GOLD PATTERN is a nice counterpart to a classic shirt.”

    “PERFECT for moving from the office to dinner.”

    credits

    Stylist: Sofia Catania
    Art director: Jon Wetherell
    Hair & makeup: Manami Ishikawa at Atelier

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