Glamorous with a Touch of Gold

If there’s one night to go all out and turn on the flash, it’s undoubtedly New Year’s Eve. But some of us are challenged throughout the whole festive season with specific dress code for special parties. Personally speaking, I will attend the 8th annual ASW Winter Weekend Mid December at the fabulous Gstaad Palace in Switzerland and for Friday night’s dinner «La Vie en Or» the dress code says asks for «glamorous, with a touch of gold». This is great! I love any reason to wear sparkle, but such an occasion is the perfect time to shine. And gentlemen, you are in this, too!

«Golden Girl» or just a little golden accessory – you decide how much you would like to shine.

From full-on sequin dresses to just the right gold accessory, there isn’t one right way to fulfill the dress code. The golden rule is you have to feel comfortable, in every tailored sense of men’s style, is purchase clothing that fits you properly. Nothing destroys an outfit – whatever the dress code and no matter how expensive the clothes are – like an ill-fitting jacket, shirt or trousers.

In general, gold is the perfect color to lift an all-black or an all-white outfit to something glamorous and fun. Perfect for all festive occasions!

To make your life a little easier, I put together a fun guide for all budgets so that you don’t need to worry about anything and can focus entirely on celebrating the start of the winter season in style!

HIGH END BUGDET – Full Looks

Get his look: Metallic jacquard dinner jacket by Dolce & Gabbana, shirt gold detail shirt by Comme des Garçons, turn-up hem wool-blend tailored trousers by Pradaicon, ruler cufflinks by Paul Smithicon, skull and polka dot tieicon by Alexander McQueen and leather embroidered loafersicon by Gucci.

Get her look: Racko open-back sequined cady mini dress by Rachel Zoe or wondering lace-paneled fil coupé georgette blouse by Temperley London and sequined wool mini skirt by Marc Jacobs, Anya d’Orsay metallic patent-leather pumps by Saint Laurent, Celeste sequined canvas clutch by Jimmy Choo and Roma gold-tone earrings by Annie Costello Brown.

HIGH END BUDGET – Great Accessories

Stand out with a statement headpiece with a touch of gold and be the queen of the night: embellished satin headband by Dolce & Gabbana.

Lifting every basic look to new heights: Candy box by Jimmy Choo.

LOW BUDGET – A touch of Gold

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your outfit, I recommend getting some fabric with golden sequins. Those accessories will have a great effect on your outfit and can be combined with all sorts of colors. Moreover they are less expected than some golden shoes or a handbag. I still love the mixture between gold and black the best.

You don’t need to be an expert in tailoring to do some cuffs or a belt. If you get a stretchy material, you can even glue it together instead of sewing it. In case you are to lazy for some DIY, you can order them directly here:

Cuffs with gold sequins

Sequined belt

The perfect touch of gold for a man: the right colored pocket square.

LOW BUDGET – Taking the Dress Code Literally up a Notch

Zara has some cool pieces in gold. Minimal investment for a maximum effect.

Be the star of the night: golden bomber jacket for men by Zara.

The perfect touch of gold for women and great for dancing: shorts in gold combined with a black top by Zara.

And don’t forget… you want to start the New Year with something new for good luck, it’s a great excuse to add a new piece to your wardrobe.

Happy Shopping! And I am looking forward to seeing some of you in Gstaad…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, Gstaad Palace and © Sandra Bauknecht

Get Your 50% Off Code at Moda Operandi

My favourite time of the year is right around the corner! My dearest readers, today I have a special surprise for you! Warm up your wallets and click through to be transferred to the Friends & Family Sale for 50% off your purchase of beautiful F/W 2017 pieces with code FRIENDS50, only valid until November 19, 2017. And an extra goodie for my British followers, you will receive free UK delivery. If you are off to a warm destination for New Year’s Eve, you will love my selection below…

Happy Shopping! Enjoy my favorite pieces I couldn’t resist…

LoL, Sandra

Pipe Dream Belt Silk Dress by Temperley London
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Belted A-Line Dress by Emilio Pucci
iconM’O Exclusive Mahi Tie Blouse by Johanna Ortiz

iconPrinted Cotton Dress by Peter Pilotto

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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H&M x Erdem Lookbook

Finally we know what to expect on November 2, 2017, when Erdem‘s collaboration with Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M will hit the stores. It’s full of tweeds, animal prints and of course so many florals, everything the London-based designer is known for.

The lookbook, that you can enjoy below, was photographed by Michal Pudelka, who is known for his dreamy fashion campaigns. I am sure that you will agree now that we’re finally getting a glimpse at what, exactly, the Erdem collection will include, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t disappoint at all.

For the first time, the retailer’s designer collaborations will include men’s wardrobe offerings, which is also marking Erdem’s menswear debut at the same time!

I love this collaboration and it is truly hard to decide what to get as everything is beautiful. My personal favorites are those ones shown in the collage above… and yours?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M

Heidi Klum Goes Lidl

Breaking news that disturbed my detox time: Heidi Klum collaborates with Lidl. No, I am not dehydrated or out of my mind. It is true. The famous blonde is launching a clothing collection with the German grocery store, called «Esmara by Heidi Klum: Heidi and the City».

The line was created with low price points and high fashion in mind, in order to bring Klum’s aesthetic to Lidl’s 114 Swiss stores on September 18. Altogether, it will be available in a total of 28 countries in over 10,000 stores.

I wanted to create fashion with a wow effect that is easy to combine and makes every woman look fantastic – and all at an unbeatable price.” – Heidi Klum

The 18-piece collection features a leopard-print camisole, bomber jackets, skinny jeans and vibrant hues, as well as a real leather jacket in cognac already looking to be the collection’s hero piece. And of course Heidi models her styles herself in the #LETSWOW campaign. And if this was not enough… Klum brings the collection to New York Fashion Week where it will be revealed in it’s entirety on September 7th before going on sale on September 18th.

Even if you are not a big Heidi fan, you will have to admit, this lady is a business woman in every bone. Thumbs up!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Lidl

Erdem x H&M

Today H&M announced its big secret: the next exclusive designer collaboration will be with ERDEM, the London based must-have designer loved by celebrities and fashion insiders alike.

H&M is also pleased to reveal that the visionary film maker Baz Luhrmann will bring the collection to life through his unique storytelling. ERDEM x H&M will be available in selected stores as well as on hm.com, November 2.

For H&M, Erdem has designed a brand-new collection for women and, for the first time ever, a collection for men. Erdem believes in the power of beauty, exploring historical references and personal narratives in every piece he makes. For ERDEM x H&M he’ll reflect and reinterpret the design themes from some of his most celebrated collections, playing with the prints, textiles and delicate craftsmanship that have made his name.

Erdem with me

I am so happy to collaborate with H&M, and to explore my work on a whole new scale including a menswear collection which I have never done before. It’s also such a thrill to work with Baz Luhrmann, one of the most important storytellers of our time,” says Erdem.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor, to the left, Erdem in the center, and Baz Luhrmann.

For me fashion is always about more than just clothing, it is a form of expression – a stand alone art form. I am excited to be collaborating with ERDEM and H&M to reveal the story of this unique collection,” says Baz Luhrmann.

From the moment we started talking with Erdem about the collaboration, I was captured by his vision. For ERDEM x H&M he has created an enchanting world full of beauty, delicacy and rich details. These are special pieces you will want to wear forever,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor.

Have fun watching the video below and start dreaming!
LoL, Sandra

Photos/Video: © H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017

Last week, I had the chance to preview the upcoming H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 at the new showroom in Zurich which is a dream by the way. The Swedish fashion house knows how to amaze us when it comes to affordable fashion, but it’s the work the brand is doing with its latest sustainable line that will blow you away.

Natalia Vodianova is the face of the campaign and looks absolutely divine in my favorite dress of the collection: a dreamy, blush-pink gown that seems to float on air, made of the new material BIONIC®a recycled polyester made from recovered plastic from shorelines, waterways and coastal communities.

It is the very same plastic that is constantly polluting our beach ecosystems that is used throughout the newest Conscious lineup. Have a look at the video at the end of this post explaining the new material further.

Launching in stores and online April 20, you can enjoy here the mind-blowing preview of the future of fashion.

The full assortment will also include of men’s and kids’ clothes and accessories as well for the first time a fragrance.

LoL, Sandra

My favorite dress on display in the Zurich showroom…

… along with more beautiful pieces from the collection.

Those tulle dresses are also absolutely beautiful.

Photos: Courtesy of © H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht

Only Today: Harvey Nichols Shopping Party

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A little party never killed nobody... especially if it is a shopping party. HARVEY NICHOLS celebrates today our favorite hobby with a discount up to 25% on amazing F/W 2016 fashion pieces, accessories and beauty products, for both men and women.

Below are some of my favorites to wet your appetite:

givenchyGreat for the day with jeans and amazing at night with a pencil skirt:
Black cape-effect jersey blouse by Givenchy
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gianvito_rossi

Those heels will vamp every outfit!
Classic red suede pumps by Gianvito Rossi

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You cannot go wrong with these shades!
Dior So Real clubmaster-style sunglassesicon by Dior

duvetica

Practical and always needed…
Ociroe charcoal fur-trimmed shell coat iconby Duvetica

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Already a classic – on sale in black, grab it!
Falabella black faux suede shoulder bagicon by Stella McCartney

candle

Start looking for Christmas gifts early, especially when they are on sale…
Orientalist large scented candle by Tom Dixon

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FOR HIM! A little surprise for your hubby, boyfriend or crush…
Navy checked wool blazer by Giorgio Armani
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Happy Shopping Party!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

50% Off at Moda Operandi with Special Code

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Today, I have a very special offer for you at MODA OPERANDI that will last until November 20, 2016. As a dear Sandra’s Closet reader, you will get 50% off during this special and very exclusive Friends & Family Saleicon featuring must-have F/W 2016 pieces by Burberry, Mary Katrantzou, Giuseppe Zanotti and many more.

Just use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout! There are so many beautiful pieces waiting for you hereicon. Here are my personal favorites.

Get the look with 50% off: Suede trench coaticon by Red Valentinolace dress by Temperley London,icon leather crossbody bagicon by Delpozo, Karlie embroidered suede pumpsicon by Aquazzura.

More amazing F/W 2016 pieces on sale are:grey_sail_cape

Grey sail cape by Temperley London

velvetVelvet top by Dolce & Gabbana

zanottiColine cutout suede sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti

clutchGalactic Penelope clutch by Charlotte Olympia
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iconCLICK HERE TO BROWSE THE FULL SELECTION THAT IS 50% ON SALE.
Don’t forget to use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout!

Happy Shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Moda Operandi

Interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

interview_carol_lim_humberto_leon_kenzo_hm

Dear readers, the big day is almost here. This Thursday, the KENZO x H&M collection will hit the shelves. I am thrilled to introduce you today a little more to this great collaboration and to the two masterminds behind it. Get to know the designers, that are truly two amazing people, and dive into the must-have pieces. I took many photos for you when I met them in NYC at the H&M showroom on Fifth Avenue.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzoxhm_look_day1_carol_lim_humberto_leonFramed by lovely Carol Lim to the left and Humberto Leon to the right in NYC.

Here is a little bit more insight about CAROL LIM and HUMBERTO LEON, the creative directors of KENZOicon, who have been friends since their studies at the University of California Berkeley.  In 2002, they opened their first store in New York. They took this decision after they had quit their corporate jobs at different fashion houses. Carol was a merchandise planner at Bally and Humberto was at Burberry. Even that it was a little bit of a risky time in New York, they dared this adventure. Not too surprisingly, OPENING CEREMONY went on to become a global sensation because Carol and Humberto bring such enthusiasm and fun to everything they do in fashion.

sandra_bauknecht_balmain_opening_ceremony_backMe running to the OPENING CEREMONY store in Los Angeles in 2013

The street wear brands that the designer duo brought into their store and made partnerships with, the things that they’d seen from their youth when they were growing up in the Los Angeles area, the celebrities who walked into their shop and expressed interest in the collection. This journey lead them to a big milestone in their lives. Five years ago, they became the creative directors at KENZO and transformed the brand immediately into something every fashionista wanted. Do you remember the hype about their tiger head sweaters (click here for a previous post from 2012)…

As you can see from the success, Carol and Humberto were clearly the right choice for the revival of the brand. KENZO TAKADA himself – when he started his brand in the ’70s in Paris – opened a store that was really visionary at the time. He mixed all these different cultures and design elements, and was one of the first ones transforming couture to street wear in a super accessible and fun way.

Therefore, H&M was eager for them to join their long list of designer collaborations. As ANN-SOFIE JOHANSSON, creative adviser at H&M, pointed out: «I think the timing was really right. We had our eyes on KENZO for a while, ever since Carol and Humberto joined and kind of recharged it. It’s really nice to have a house with kind of a history but also new creators giving it new energy

carol_lim_humberto_leon_anne_sofie_johanssonCarol Lim, Humberto Leon and Ann-Sofie Johansson, all in Kenzo x H&M

To begin, Carol and Humberto, looking at the beginning of these collaborations, 2004, the first was with Karl Lagerfeld, a couple years after you opened up your store, what was it like as retailers to see this phenomena happening in fashion, breaking the rules of what a designer brand could be, and what’s happened since then that made it possible for these partnerships to continue to be a success even 12 years later today?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think when we first heard about the Karl Lagerfeld and H&M collection, we were not only store owners but also lovers of buying and shopping and super excited. We were two people who lined up like everyone else. We just recounted all the pieces we had bought. I still own the suit, the dress shirt, the jeans, all these amazing things. I felt like it really gave us as consumers not only a chance to buy a designer, but also something that was created specially for this collaboration. So a really unique experience that is beyond just being able to buy the designer’s goods.

CAROL LIM: Yeah, and I think that having collaborated and having had a store, we realized the importance right away. We were excited to see the two brands coming together, creating something really magical. So for us, we had it marked in our calendars that it was something we were really excited to experience.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

Carol and Humberto, why did you think this was right for KENZO as the first brand under the LVMH umbrella to do a partnership with H&M, which is interesting in itself?

CAROL LIM: First, we love the idea of storytelling and also speaking to a broader audience. It is also the perfect opportunity to not only talk to people that know KENZO, but to a whole new customer that could discover the brand. For LVMH, it is the perfect brand to test such a project.

HUMBERTO LEON: The idea of being able to experience the KENZO brand in different ways is really part of our ethos. So this was a no-brainer. H&M has an amazing portfolio of designers that have done this. It feels exciting to be a part of this group of people.

showroom_kenzo_x_hm

That’s a really good point. The hesitancy some designers had at the beginning is completely gone now. There’s no reason to not think this is a great thing for them. Tell us about your concept. What is KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: The most exciting part about this collaboration is that every piece we created is somewhat unique for this KENZO x H&M collection. We wanted to treat this as if it was a true conversation between the founder, Kenzo Takada and us. We went into the archives and actually resurrected pieces in their original form but we obviously modernized them. For instance, the dress behind us is one of the famous dresses from a 1978 collection where there were only two pieces made. There’s over I think 300 meters of ribbons. We own one of the two pieces and a museum owns another. So it’s super exciting that the H&M customer can actually come in and get a piece of this.

For Carol and I it was important that everyone knew that this house has a really, really unique story. It started in 1969 by one man before all the other Japanese designers came that now show in Paris. Kenzo Takada was the first. It’s exciting to tell the story of him, his struggles and the joy that he brought to the French capital.

For instance, there are a lot of little details that we found when going through the archives, he finished all the pieces so beautifully that they look like they should be reversible, so we decided to make some reversible as Carol’s skirt among other pieces. I think knitwear is another great example. We did a really amazing knitwear exploration, probably more than a lot of the other collaborations. It’s a big code of the house. So it’s exciting that people can actually buy a piece of this part of history.

sweater_kenzo_hmThe «watermelon» sweater is super soft.

Some of the 110 looks are a little bit wild. Jean-Paul Goude, who did the advertising and imagery, and  worked on the show, described them as nutty. There are pieces that when you look at them out of context, people may not even know how to react to them. There’s like a pink and green tiger striped sweater that could have been inspired by a watermelon. What you were thinking when you decided to go in such a strong fashion approach?

HUMBERTO LEON: We came into it as us, as the fanatical shoppers. We wanted to approach this, and we’re obviously showing really strong looks on the runway, really strong looks on the presentation and the campaigns. But in reality I think, as consumers, you only have a chance to grab as much as you can as there are only a couple of pieces. And the idea we’ve always said is that we want people to mix with what they are already having in their own wardrobe.

We always feel a lot of times when you design fashion, when you give a really strong proposal on the runway, it ends up being really expensive. It’s the €3,000 piece. We thought this would be a fun opportunity to be able to buy a piece of fashion at a really incredible price. I think that’s why we wanted it to be super unique. Most of the stuff was never in our collection. It’s really almost kind of buying a piece of history. The idea is that you can make it your own. And, yes, there are strong pieces. I think that the brand is known for the prints and the color and the fun. We’re showing it one way, and we really feel like in the end people will kind of interpret it their own way.

CAROL LIM: I think true to the spirit of how we work and also the brand we wanted there to be a joyfulness. When you walk into the room and you see the clothing, you can’t help but smile. I also think Humberto is right, when you pull it apart, you’re going to find things. But each piece can stand on its own. Hopefully it’s going to be the kind of piece that, you know, even if you may not wear it at this point in time, you put it in the box and save it and it comes back out. We wanted to approach every single item that way.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

It seems there is something for many different types of customers, different generations in this collection. Who do you think is the customer for it, in your mind? With all this fashion, what challenges did you face, given the huge scale of this project?

HUMBERTO LEON: I feel like the customer who has grown and loved KENZO for the last almost 50 years will look at this and say, Whoa, they really arced back into the spirit of KENZO. I think that customer who is probably in their 50s, 60s, will be super excited to see what this is and reminisce about what this brand is. I think for a younger generation, there’s a lot of stuff that Carol and I injected into the brand that you can easily understand and  incorporate into your wardrobe. In many ways, there’s almost something for everyone. We always said, and Kenzo Takada also mentioned, it’s not about an age, it’s really about a spirit. So this collection is for a youthful spirit. That can really be an ageless notion.

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CAROL LIM: Actually H&M were incredible partners. The ribbon dress was not an easy feat to accomplish but they were able to create everything. They were equally as excited about pushing it to the right quality and the finishing. So everything, even the small little buttons for which we created specific hardware, down to even the thread. 

74f89b2552b6e7fe5213c3e02af4c60bHans Feurer, Kenzo ad campaign, 1983

Let’s go back to the specific references within the collection. It’s really quite fascinating what you found in the archives, more so than perhaps you even do in the KENZO collections. There is the net print from maybe the second collection you showed in the showroom. What other elements are actually from the archives here?

HUMBERTO LEON: All the florals are from the archives. So you see all the florals and the ribbon tapes. There’s these floral dresses. The original kind of leopard print is from the archives.

One of the things we decided to do was do a mash-up between the archives prints and our prints. So you see the original tiger print that was on these amazing photos that Hans Feurer shot of the three women in these body suits, three-colored body suits. So this is from the archives. We recreated those jumpsuits in the collection. They’re two pieces, so it’s not one full body suit. But they’re these amazing, washable wool. So it’s an amazing fabric. H&M really took the time to redevelop these fabrics for today’s times, so they’re super cool, washable wool jerseys.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzo_hm_outfit1

Aside from that, the fuzzy coat is one of the first things that Kenzo Takada made. He made these hoodies, jackets and everything, even faux fur, the latter was kind of a great little fabric that really kind of brings us back to when he began, almost this kind of great naïve way of working that was just raw.

floral_top_hm_kenzoThe cropped floral top.

But I think the off-the-shoulder thing is something that if you are a KENZO fan through the years, like, different journalists have told us, I bought my first off-the-shoulder piece back in the day. We recreated those pieces both in a little crop top and this floral pleated ensemble. These are all really kind of signature details of the house.

img_3781The must-have sweatshirt

Then obviously Carol and I brought in the sweatshirts, made those a big thing for the house. We wanted to celebrate that and give the icon, which says KENZO Paris, with the running tiger in the back, is actually from the archives. That is from a piece from the ’80s. So we really, really brought in a lot of archival elements into the mix, which we felt like was such a great way to celebrate the brand.

CAROL LIM: Then we also have a lot of silhouettes we created in our first and second collection. There’s a sleeveless reversible silk dress with the medallion in the larger and smaller scale. There’s kind of a long tiger striped dress. Each piece is kind of speaking back to the archives or the period of time we kind of put our collections out.

HUMBERTO LEON: Yes, the medallions come from a little tie and a silk square that is from the archives, as well.

Kimonos over the must-have ribbon dresses.

You are mixing global cultures, there are the sandals, there’s a kimono in the collection. How do you approach that as designers when you’re kind of sampling from different cultures in a sense? What kind of message does that promote for the brand?

HUMBERTO LEON: Carol and I have always used our travels as a prime example of where we gain inspiration. We try to really embrace the authenticity of cultures. Similar to Kenzo Takada, who also had these famous travels that he brought back into his brand. But you have to give it your own take and twist it. I would say that our kimonos, it’s not a rub-off of a traditional Japanese kimono. It’s really a fashion take on that silhouette. We made them reversible. We made them cropped. I think the idea is to be inspired by culture, but at the same time I think hint and reference to it, but also give it your own take, your own personality.

hm_kenzo_lookbookFor the lookbook, click here.

There’s a lot of personality in the lookbook. I’m sure the reaction you’ve seen to this already tells you quite a lot about how welcome the representation of diversity is in fashion today. How did you select the group represented? How did you approach them? How do they reflect the values of KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: When we sat down and talked about this project, Carol and I wanted people to represent, first and foremost, themselves, something that they stood by. Individuality was a really big expression in what we were looking for. People that were authentic and that expressed themselves. So we  didn’t look at the models how they looked but what they stood for as human beings. It was a really kind of genuine approach Then as a bonus, they all looked amazing in the clothing. There was a big diversity. There’s a makeup artist, a performer, a singer, a journalist. I think that we could really relate to these people as you could imagine sitting down at a dinner table with them and having great conversations. They felt like great ambassadors for us. 

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And what about the campaign?

HUMBERTO LEON: For the campaign, we have everyone from Chance The Rapper, Iman, Rosario Dawson, Martinez, Suboi. These amazing people from all around the world that in many ways are our idols that we think stand for something so great and so exciting. The look look together with the campaign presents a great group of people, really authentic and real to us.

kenzo-2012-fallKenzo F/W 2012 campaign shot by Jean-Paul Goude

Tell us about Jean-Paul’s involvement. How did you approach him? Isn’t there’s a slight connection to Kenzo Takada himself. Why was he the person for the ad campaign?

CAROL LIM: Humberto and I have been fans of Jean-Paul from growing up. I think we’re familiar with his work as an art director, as a photographer, and as really an image maker. When we first joined KENZO, Humberto and I, we were brainstorming about who would shoot the first campaign? Humberto came up with Jean-Paul. As we were dreaming up who we wanted to collaborate with when we joined the house, he was the first person that we approached. Through luck and perseverance and through developing a relationship with him, he came and he actually said to us, I know Kenzo Takada. Through scheduling conflicts, they never worked together. I can sense the energy of what you’re bringing. He’s very much about a personal connection. So he shot our first campaign for us at KENZO and we formed a very deep bond with him.

So when this partnership came about, we even deepened his involvement with the event. If you’ve seen any of his happenings, for example this incredible bicentennial for France. What he’s able to do on an event level, even on windows, a lot of different things, we thought if he would be open to it, would he be interested in working with us on this project.

untitled-article-1461238096-body-image-1461238226Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude

HUMBERTO LEON: I mean, even prior to everything Carol just said, I don’t know if everyone knows how amazing Jean-Paul Goude is, but he obviously did all those amazing Grace Jones covers, all this amazing, amazing work with different brands, incredible people. But Carol and I, even before we joined KENZO, when we were doing our interview for the job, the first question they asked, they said, Who are you going to get to shoot the campaign? We said, Jean-Paul Goude. They said, Oh, wow. Do you know him? We said, No. They said, How are you going to get him to shoot the campaign? We said, We don’t know, we’re going to figure it out. Okay, you get the job, let’s see if you can figure this out. In our first and second campaign, Jean-Paul shot it. We became friends. That was really the main thing that happened. We went into this as a part two of what we had done. I think that the show and the runway experience, it’s a deepened relationship because he really hasn’t done too many performances, art directed, creative directed too many performances. The bicentennial is probably the most famous.

kenzo_takadaSince selling KENZO to LVMH in 1993, Kenzo Takada has travelled the world and set up his own interior company.

What would Mr. Takada say about your collaboration with H&M? Would he approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think he would love it. I mean, number one, I guess it’s not good to say he’s a fan. But he’s a fan of what we do. He comes to our shows. We’ve had conversations with him where he really feels like we brought the energy and spirit of what he did in the ’70s and ’80s back, and that our values feel very similar to his values. In many ways, I feel like one of his biggest objectives and things that brought him the most joy was just seeing people wearing his clothing. I think this is an amazing opportunity to see more people wearing this brand that he created. I think that Carol and I have never shied away from our efforts really kind of being an homage to what he does. So I think he’d be thrilled, excited to see, I don’t know, after November 3rd, just people on the streets wearing these prints and these propositions that he once created, obviously newly thought about and newly done, but in a way seeing these things walk on people.

CAROL LIM: He’s known for being, and still, one of the most generous people in terms of his spirit and kindness. He’s had amazing, legendary parties, not only at his home but his shows. He staged them in elaborate ways and always included people he admired, his friends,different artists. I mean, before there was this term ‘collaboration’, he was doing it naturally. I think he would be really excited about this.

The reversible kimonos are amazing.

I would like to know more about your creative process. Do you sit down together or do you start separately from each other? Do you present then your ideas each other? Have you ever had an argument about a design one of you wanted to do and the other didn’t approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: Never about that. I think Carol and I talk a lot. The reason we were able to do as much as we do is because we’re together. I think we also know what we’re both good at. I think in 15 years we’ve been able to learn the other side of what we’re not good at. I feel like we’ve been able to really communicate well. We definitely never argue over, you know, whether or not something is good or bad or right in terms of design. I feel like we’re pretty in sync. At the end of the day we have the same end goal. Both of us are trying to work towards that end goal.

What are you strongest at and what is she strongest at?

HUMBERTO LEON: Inherently, I was the creative director doing more of the creative, and then Carol came in more as the business person. I think as everyone has learned today, the two really go hand-in-hand. I think that’s where we feel like our strength is, is really questioning every aspect of it and making sure what the end consumer gets is exciting and of value.

Thank you, Carol and Humberto, for giving us an amazing insight in the collection!

The Kenzo x H&M collection will be available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from this Thursday, November 3, 2016.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of H&M, Kenzo, © Jean-Paul Goude and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Secret of Monsieur René’s Amazing Collar

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When I spotted René’s jacket that he wore for the launch event of Kenzo x H&M in NYC, I was immediately drawn to it. The collar was divine and it drove me nuts that I didn’t get which designer it was. It looked a little Gucci… when I asked, he revealed the secret: those embellishments were earrings by H&M that he had just sewn on to it. What a great idea! The same goes for his ribbon tie. It is a silk band with one sparkling H&M earring attached to it.

This is what I call creativity! Bravo, René! Follow him on instagram @monsieurené or @rené_zibold.

TO SHOP THE LATEST H&M EARRINGS, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht