Who says nobody buys couture? Mouna Al-Ayoub does - and how
It is no wonder that designers jiz their pants when they see Mouna "I have it, I can't hide it" Al-Ayoub. Without her it is possible that a great portion of the couture world would collapse. "I can't wait to buy it. Maybe now, I don't need to go to Chanel," said Mouna at Galliano's show. If this had happened, Karl Lagerfeld's fan would have gone into helicopter overdrive, because Mouna's "budget" last year at Chanel - where Lagerfeld is designer - was $400,000. Her total annual spend on clothes is rumoured to be pounds 1 million.

Born in Kuwait, Mouna, 39, is mother of five children - four boys and one girl, who must have the greatest hand-me-downs in the world. She was married to the billionaire engineer Dr Nasser Al-Rashid for 20 years. When they divorced last February, Mouna said bye bye to a $100m, eight- storey yacht stuffed full of David Linley furniture, a very large palace with a staff of 70 and a private jet. But fear not, investing wisely over the years has given Mouna her own personal fortune.

Although Mouna is a great society figure (her friends - and Lordie must she have lots of them - include Anouska Hempel and Shakira Caine), she retains a humbleness and a roaring sense of humour. She gives extensively to charity, eats at McDonalds (not all the time of course) and once, at a swanky dinner, she passed her 110 carat blue diamond round the table for all to try on. AB