High fashion from the golden years of Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld
Would you like to own a piece of fashion history? Mouna Ayoub has created one of the largest haute couture collections in the world. She is now auctioning 252 of the most beautiful pieces from the Lagerfeld era at Chanel. She never wore most of them, but Claudia Schiffer did.
MYou forget about it so quickly, with all the celebrities, flashing lights, spectacular parades and beautiful dresses. But without customers willing to spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros on a look, high fashion would not exist. And how far a woman’s passion for this exquisite fashion craft can reach is demonstrated by the story of a private collection of Chanel Haute Couture dresses that will be auctioned on November 20.
The collection, which exclusively includes designs from Karl Lagerfeld’s creative period, comes from Mouna Ayoub, whose story is as dazzling as the embroidery on a floor-length gold Chanel dress from the 1996 summer collection. She got excited like a young waitress at Paris in the 1970s The Lebanese-born woman caught the attention of a Saudi Arabian billionaire and advisor to King Fahd, who was so entranced by the sight of her that he soon asked her to marry him and took her to Saudi Arabia as his wife.
The affair made Ayoub a wealthy but lonely woman who eventually devoted her time and resources to purchasing high-fashion clothing. She became a regular customer, especially of Chanel, from 1990 onwards. 252 pieces from his wardrobe, created between 1990 and 2014 and reflecting the golden years of the Lagerfeld era, are now being auctioned in Paris as part of a partnership between auction house Maurice Auction and l British high fashion auction institution Kerry Taylor.
Among the most surprising models is the “Coromandel” evening coat from the 1996/1997 winter collection, entirely embellished with Lesage embroidery and inspired by the Coromandel screens with Chinese lacquer paintings that adorned Coco Chanel’s apartment in Rue Cambon. A red tweed suit was worn on the catwalk by Claudia Schiffer in 1993, and a black silk crepe dress with chain jewels was worn by Christy Turlington in 1992. Items also include bags, belts, shoes and jewelry.
Ayoub preferred to purchase the most important and captivating looks from each collection, and is a demanding customer: she demands at least four-six fittings from the houses. “Every piece has to fit perfectly, otherwise I return it,” she says. Especially at the beginning of her passion for collecting, she had no intention of wearing the clothes. Especially short hemlines or deep necklines did not fit into their daily life in Saudi Arabia, which is characterized by strict dress codes for women. Ayoub bought it anyway, driven by her admiration for the craft and her joy in visiting the studios and interacting with the seamstresses.
And so almost all the pieces that are now on sale have only been worn once or have never been worn before. Instead, they were carefully stored for years in museum-worthy conditions in a warehouse outside Paris. Ayoub justifies that the time has come to get rid of some models with the fact that many pieces of her no longer fit her. On the other hand, after the death of Karl Lagerfeld, the time has come for a new generation to enjoy his projects and fill them with life.
In any case, Ayoub will have no shortage of valuable clothing items even after the auction. His collection amounts to around 2,700 models and to this day he continues to purchase models from houses such as Chanel, Dior, Schiaparelli and Armani every season. She divorced her husband in 1997 and today she deals with real estate and lives in Monaco. She will donate part of the proceeds from the auction to the French humanitarian organization “Fondation des Femmes”, which fights for women’s rights around the world.
The auction “The Golden Years of Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel from the Haute Couture Collection by Mouna Ayoub” will take place on November 20 at 6.30pm at the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris. You can bid in real time through Maurice Auction.