An Elie Saab gown worn by Emma Stone on the 2015 Oscars red carpet and the sequinned outfit donned by Geri Halliwell in the video for the Spice Girls hit Wannabe are among the star lots at the upcoming To Beirut With Love auction.
Running from Monday, December 7 to Tuesday, December 15, the auction is organised by Sotheby’s, in partnership with Creatives for Lebanon and Art for Beirut, two non-profit organisations established by the Lebanese diaspora in the wake of the August 4 blast.
Proceeds from the auction will be shared among five charities: Nusaned, Beit El Baraka and Baytna Baytak, which focus on offering shelter to displaced families and rehabilitating residential homes and local business; Al Fanar, which provides support for social entrepreneurs and small businesses; and House of Christmas, which is dedicated to preserving and protecting Lebanon’s heritage.
“Lebanon is home to an artistic community whose contributions to the cultural landscape cannot be overstated," says Edward Gibbs, Sotheby’s chairman for the Middle East.
"The explosion in the Port of Beirut this summer sent shockwaves through the city and the world, impacting every sector of society in Lebanon with countless tales of loss, damage and displacement. Sotheby’s has come together with our partners to host the auction To Beirut with Love, to provide much-needed relief and funds to aid the healing process."
From Giambattista Valli to Ralph & Russo, and Azzedine Alaia to Prada, the auction is a treasure trove of archive pieces by the world’s most influential fashion houses.
Lebanon’s designers are also well represented. Leading the march is the custom-made long-sleeve beaded chartreuse Elie Saab gown worn by Stone to attend the 2015 Oscars. Embroidered with guipure and sequins, and featuring an open back and a thigh-high slit, the dress is estimated to fetch £20,000-£30,000 ($26,500-$39,800).
Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran's matador-inspired costume for Madonna is also on the auction block, as are dresses worn by Middle Eastern stars, including a silk haute couture gown designed by Egyptian actress Sherihan to wear in her Thousand and One Nights Fawazeer show in 1987, which has been signed by the star for the auction and is estimated to sell for £18,000-£25,000.
Also among the lots if a sky-blue embellished dress from the collection of beloved Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi, which is predicted to fetch £8,000-£10,000. There is also Mick Jagger’s jacket from his 2017 European tour and a guitar signed by Pete Townshend on offer.
Those looking to round off their perfect outfit, meanwhile, may want to avail of the opportunity to create a custom-made pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.
A number of covetable jewellery pieces will also appear in the auction, including a woven yellow gold My Dior cuff with an estimate of £30,000-£50,000. Designed by Victoire de Castellane, artistic director of Dior Joaillerie, the bracelet is a riot of colourful gemstones, from diamonds and sapphires to spinels, amethysts, aquamarines and tourmalines.
Damien Hirst's gold Pill bracelet with diamond skull (estimate: £8,000-£12,000), created in a limited edition of 50 in 2013, as well as the artist's For the Love of God, a sculpture consisting of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, are also set to attract attention.
And in another example of fashion and art intertwining, supermodel Naomi Campbell has donated one of her favourite portraits to the auction, shot by photographers Rocco Lapasta and Charles DeCaro, which is estimated to raise £3,000-£5,000.
Other artists represented with works in the sale include filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige and photographer Fouad Elkoury, alongside French product designer Herve Van der Straeten.