Friday, November 24, 2023

Put a bow on it, Mouna Ayoub Chanel Auction, Black Friday Sale

 I hope you all had a jolly Thanksgiving  yesterday, if you’re in the US. Ours is on Saturday. 

On Monday, late in the afternoon in the rain, I viewed 252 pieces from the Chanel auction of Mouna Ayoub,the world’s biggest couture buyer.

If you think I’m a full-blown Chanel fanatic, I’m not. But I am curious. The fanatics were no doubt lined up at the door before 10 AM.  I got there too late to shoot them.

Instead I found late-comers, browsers, dreamers etc.

The fun of an auction preview is you can TOUCH all the merchThere really are gold chains sewn inside those iconic tweedy jackets to keep hemlines straight. 

The closest I’ll ever get to a Chanel jacket, is the one I painted 🎨 Totally affordable. Choose your favorite color.

Is this a jacket-dress? 

The rags-to-riches back-story of Mouna Ayoub (66) drew me. Formerly an impoverished 18-year old Lebanese waitress in Paris, she was swept off her feet by wealthy Saudi business executive Nasser Rashid, advisor to King Fuad.

For the 19 years they were married she bought 50 outfits yearly from French couture (around $1,000,000) with a passion. 

Designers love her
because she doesn’t want to change their original concepts. Mouna now lives in Paris as an entrepreneur and socialite. A portion of the funds will be donated to la Fondation des Femmes.

Her mannequin is in every top designer’s atelier. I overheard someone say she was a size 38-40 at her thinnest. 

Not your wispy model’s figure like Lagerfeld’s fav,Ines de la Fressange. 

I am a full-blown bow fanatic and there were plenty 🎀 to drool over.

When Chanel said, “Take one thing off before you leave the house etc.” she was not talking about Mouna.

The ‘piece de resistance’ in Mouna’s collection was this sequined coat dress made with 800 hours of embroidery

Using a Coromandel lacquer pattern.

Inspired by Chanel’s Chinese screens in her rue Cambon Ritz apartment.

The estimated price was 150,000-200,000 euros. It went for 320,000 euros. They always underprice items to give false hope…

Another fabulous dress was this delicate black, pleated chiffon. I overheard a buyer talking on the phone 📞 to his overseas customer…

“You gotta see this black number! Karl had to be thinking Sargent! Madame X all over. Ya know the Sargent? It’s simply Beyond! Just beyond!! It’s a good jewelry dress.(something I’ve never had to worry about ☺️)

And the sequin gold jacket is another must have. Stupendous! Just Stupendous!” 

STUPENDOUS is my BLACK FRIDAY SALE on etsy for my Paris Subscription Letters

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Time to celebrate 🥂 The Chanel auction was starting 6:30. I could see them polishing the Champagne glasses🥂


  1. and the camellias...stunning

    1. Anonymous6:54 AM

      Yes the CAMELLIAS ❤️

  2. Anonymous6:39 AM

    Wonderful post!What an amazing collection.
    Having read Mouna's autobiograhy, and having lived in Lebanon, her words ring true. Wonderful that orhers benefit from her philanthropy.

    1. Anonymous6:50 AM

      I’m so happy to hear! I never heard of her before…I was reading her story 6AM Monday morning & thought I gotta go see this !
      All auctions have free viewing days open to the public.
      That’s why auctions are such fun to visit. Plus you get to ‘handle the merch’ ☺️

  3. Such great photos of these exquisite pieces! I've never purchased couture, but if I could it would definitely be Chanel. Was the auction by invitation only?

    1. Anonymous6:53 AM

      Auctions always have viewing days and are free.
      Usually a week before the auction takes place, including the day of…right up till they bring down the gavel 🔨

  4. I like so much about Chanel style. Her jackets, quilted hand bags, strands of pearls, and of course the camellia. Oh, how could I forget her signature fragrance! Your water color is very nice.

    1. Anonymous6:51 AM

      Thank you Ga ❤️

  5. Anonymous8:19 AM

    A sumptuous part of the haute couture collection of Mona Ayoub was on display at the Marseille art museum some years ago. I was there absolutely overcome by the beauty of it all. And learned that the price paid for an haute couture dress is never given only the hours spent making it.

    1. Anonymous8:33 AM

      I read about the Marseilles exhibit.
      I didn’t know that about couture prices never being revealed 🤫

    2. Anonymous8:47 AM

      Mouna names prices in this video on Youtube
      She never wears the same dress twice, because she is photographed so much! She is the biggest collector of couture pieces outside the museums, who would love to own her collection.

  6. Replies
    1. Anonymous9:02 AM

      You would have been in 7th heaven Monique. I was 🥰

  7. Bonnie1:15 PM

    Oh, how fun! I dream of Chanel jackets…timeless. Looks like Mouna had plenty to chose from. Your camellias await, Madame!

    1. Anonymous1:41 PM

      And I dream of Gingermen…

  8. Anonymous1:39 PM

    This was so much fun. What an adventure! Lynne

  9. How interesting to see couture pre auction rather than the publicity footage from the fashion houses! I’m kind of amazed they let you touch it when it’s so expensive, they should give you gloves, ha ha.
    Fifty items purchased a year is about one new item every week - wow!! That is a serious social life!
    Thanks as always Carol for the fun Paris outing.

    1. Anonymous8:05 PM

      Fine arts auctions are the same Kirra - touch & examine. In the video she says how she keeps her couture outfits in special boxes with special tissue laying horizontally, so it must upset her to see them disturbed.


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