Hublot Loves Bavaria

My avid readers know how much I love Munich, the city I lived in for eight years and the place where many important events in my life took place. Every little corner holds a memory. Therefore I was over the moon when HUBLOT invited me to join them for a «Wiesn Gaudi» to celebrate the launch of the amazing BIG BANG BAVARIA in bronze. Two renowned houses, HUBLOT & MEINDL, have joined forces to fuse innovation and tradition to celebrate Bavarian craftmanship and what could be more appropriate to present this «Art of Fushion» during the world’s most renowned festival—Oktoberfest?!

Traditions provide new generations with a unique way of reconnecting with their identity, it is why they last. Braudel said that in order to hope, in order to move forward, we also need to know where we come from.The Big Bang Bavaria is a concentration of history and traditions.

Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of Hublot

When I arrived, I was brought directly to my hotel, Roomers Munich, which celebrated its soft opening during those days. Unfortunately, there was no time for me to change as the minute I entered the lobby, I had to leave immediately due to a fire alarm. What a pity!

In my beautiful room waited a surprise for me: a MEINDL dirndl that features ultra soft buckskin, the iconic material MEINDL has been relentlessly working with for many decades on its traditional production.

With Ricardo Guadalupe enjoying the first beer after the unveiling of the Big Bang Bavaria.

As if I had a premonition of what was to come, I was dressed already in Bavarian style and ready to go to the HUBLOT Boutique on Munich’s prestigious Maximilianstrasse where the BIG BANG BAVARIA was unveiled at 4pm on the dot in true «Wiesn» spirit with Markus Meindl, CEO of Meindl, present uttering the cry «O’zapft is», Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, opened the first barrel of the event just like at the Oktoberfest. It took three taps of the mallet to get the beer flowing.

«O’zapft is» – Markus Meindl and Ricardo Guadalupe

But how does the new watch look like? Cut from bronze, a material created in 3000 BC that has the advantages of non-magnetism, resistance to corrosion and a unique appearance, it is strapped onto two robust, hand-embroidered bracelets in deer leather.

Centuries of expertise and tradition lie behind the BIG BANG BAVARIA strap. Firstly, the craftsmanship of a family that has been passing down its passion for leather from father to son since 1683. The BIG BANG BAVARIA strap is reminiscent of the «Lederhosen», the short leather breeches that originated in Bavaria and have been the traditional clothing of the mountain people since the 18th century.

Just like the garment from which the strap draws inspiration, it is cut in deer leather and hand-embroidered with a pattern only possible to create on deer leather. Traditional sewing gives a 3D effect to the leather tanned using the MEINDL tradition.

It takes 3 to 4 months to tan the hide using an age-old technique. The hides are salted then plunged into a limestone-based liquid before being washed, then treated by hand with cod-liver oil and dried. The last two steps are repeated several times until the leather is entirely soaked with the oil. The hide is left to dry in the sun to develop a light brown colour. To bring out the velvet character of the leather is then rubber with sandpaper. MEINDL then applies and brushes the leather with several tropical wood bark colorants, a procedure repeated up to 5 times. The products used are all without preservatives or chemicals to respect nature.

Big Bang Bavaria version one

Delivered with two «One Click» straps, the BIG BANG BAVARIA easily changes its look thanks to its patented attachment system. There’s a version with a cuff in natural light brown deer leather, enhanced by two leather tabs embroidered with a deer head. The second version comes in «altsalzburg» (black-brown)-coloured deer leather, embroidered with oak leaves.

Big Bang Bavaria version two

The BIG BANG BAVARIA beats to the rhythm of Unico, the Hublot manufacture movement, with 330 components for a 72-hour power reserve—a self-winding bidirectional movement with a flyback chronograph and a column wheel on the side of the dial.

The BIG BANG BAVARIA is available now in the Hublot Boutiques (88 all around the world) in a limited edition of 100 pieces for  CHF 26900 / € 27900.

After our first beer in the boutique, we went to the one & only Käfer’s-Wiesn-Schänke – a must at the Oktoberfest – also for HUBLOT! While enjoying the iconic Bavarian «Schmankerl», the crispy duck and knödel (dumplings), I was singing to the amusement of my table-mates (all from the countries) to all the German songs played by the live band. But no worries, I can be pretty contagious and finally we were all  standing on the seats, dancing the night away.

Such a great piece but unfortunately a little too big on me… 

One of those trips I will always remember and a new memory added to one of my favorite cities. Thank you Hublot! Please create a BIG BANG BAVARIA in dirndl-style. I am convinced I would not be the only one loving it!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hublot and © Sandra Bauknecht

Women of Impact

Last Sunday, I had a very interesting afternoon as guest of SWAROVSKI that made its debut with the «WOMEN OF IMPACT» discussion featuring Hollywood star Glenn Close, who had come to Switzerland that day to promote her new movie «THE WIFE» (in which the protagonist liberates herself from her husband) and to be honored with the Golden Icon Award at the 13th Zurich Film Festival.

Women of impact from left to right: Nadja Swarovski, Carolina Müller-Möhl, Glenn Close, Annie Starke and Nadja Schildknecht.

The famous actress joined her daughter Annie Starke (who also plays in the movie «THE WIFE»), Astrid von Stockar, and Member of the Swarovski Executive Board Nadja Swarovski for the «WOMEN OF IMPACT» talk, organized by the Müller-Möhl Foundation and Spoundation Motion Picture, that focused on the role of women in business and society, and women’s opportunities to create positive impact.

Glenn Close with me on Sunday after the talk at the Zurich Film Festival Summit Dinner at Terrasse.

Regarded as one of the most famous actresses of her generation, the Grand Dame of Hollywood has spent a successful 40 years working in the film business. Her roles in «FATAL ATTRACTION», «DANGEROUS LIAISONS» and, more recently, «ALBERT NOBBS» are unforgettable. But the multitalented Close is also a celebrated and successful screenwriter and producer with a total of highly respectable six Academy Award nominations to her name. Younger audiences will know Close for her award-winning portrayal in the TV series «DAMAGES».

Nadja Swarovski

The conversation started with a one to one discussion Nadja Swarovski, for whom «this exciting event provides a fantastic platform to showcase our passion for culture and the performing arts, alongside our wider commitment to supporting women’s empowerment issues across society

Swarovski strives to empower women across its value chain, from those who craft its products to those who wear them. The Swarovski Foundation partners with global charities to support programs that work with women on the ground, promoting their economic, social and political empowerment. Swarovski is also a signatory of the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

How can you have impact as a woman?

Nadja Swarovski: Knowledge is power. Nobody can strip you from that knowledge, wether this is through your education or experience. If you have that tool, you can have that positive impact in the world.

Do you have a female quota at Swarovski?

Nadja Swarovski: It is amazing how the company has changed over the last 30 years. At this moment now we are 70% female workers in the factories and the offices. But our customer base is 90% women in terms of sales purchasing or gift giving. It helps Swarovski that we have so many female workers as they can identify themselves with the consumer in the end of the day and know what they would like to wear. This has all an impact on the product design, the marketing and more.

You are the only female board member. Do you have a different style?

Nadja Swarovski: I definitely have a different style. I am also half American which gives me another style. I am more outspoken than the Tyrolean girl. Moreover, I was also very blessed to be raised by a very kind father and grandfather. This shapes your attitude towards men differently in a more embracing way. In general, I am convinced that intelligent men do not feel threatened by women. They enjoy the collaboration.

Do you have advantages?

Nadja Swarovski: One advantage is certainly motherhood, that female point of you which a man can or cannot rely to.

Why do you think Europe is still so far behind equality in the business field between men and women?

Nadja Swarovski: I think American women consider themselves more equal to men. They have a deeper understanding of the human condition. My theory is that this is because Europe was suffering so much during World War II. The men were at war, the women were home. I think those roles between the fighter and the mother were so much more distinguished. We almost just growing out of it now.

Glenn Close coming on stage with her daughter Annie Starke

How did you experience your role in «The Wife»?

Glenn Close: It was a fascinating challenge to play a woman pre-feminism. My daughter Annie plays her in the ’50s. It basically is a movie for me about this complex relationship as marriage. It resonated with me. I think I never like to go over the same emotional territory just to keep myself interested and to stretch as an artist. So this was definitely new territory for me.

Do you think that women of your generation have a different approach towards men?

Glenn Close: I cannot speak for all women of my generation but I can speak personally. I think my first instinct, and I wasn’t disabused of it by my mother, was to confront a man with: «Who do you like me to be? I can be that!» And then all of a sudden you find yourself saying: «But I am not that person.» Either you have to do something about not being in a relationship anymore or if you are lucky, you have a relationship that can evolve with you.

Women in the ’50s like my mother were expected to support their husbands. My dad was a brilliant doctor. My mother never went to college. They got married very young at the age of 18. She started to raise the children and never complaint. In the end of her life, she said that she feels like she never has accomplished anything. And we would always say: «But you raised us.» For me that was sad. She was an incredible women, had a library but my father never really supported her interests. Therefore I like the movie as it has great messages for both, men and women.

Is it true that behind every great man, there is always a greater woman?

Glenn Close: Yes, I think probably men do better when they have a great support by a woman.

Do you think that being with somebody in your industry makes a relationship easier?

Glenn Close: I dated both, and it didn’t work out. I dated civilians as I call them and actors. I think it is the personality, you cannot generalize. I see wonderful relationships within my industry that have lasted a long time and I am very envious. It can happen and it is wonderful when it happens. I look at my wonderful daughter and my future son-in-law who works in the financial business and who is extremely supportive to her.

What would be your advice for a young actress?

Glenn Close: You have this crazy belief that you will be able to live this dream. You have that engine that keeps you going and you have to get up and up and up.

My theory is that it is not about how many times you fall down, it is how many times you get up!

You have many choices to take. My advice is to be very subjective about what you think is good and be as true to that as you possibly can. I have always trusted that if I thought something was worth putting the time and energy in, that other people would feel the same way. It is deeply gratifying for me to achieve this award because it means that people agreed that the stories I have chosen to tell have been worth telling.

It can be hard to get great roles at a certain age but you seem to be the opposite, why?

Glenn Close: I think maybe because I am always open to anything and I don’t have to have a certain paycheck to do something. After a while you hope of course for a good paycheck especially when your daughter is getting married (laughs).

Thank you for having me! Let’s all become women of impact! Let’s start in our daily life with our children, family members and friends… if we make an impact in our close circle, we will already create a much better world. Give a smile to the people you meet on the street, already this makes a positive impact on others.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Remy Steiner/Getty Images for Swarovski, via ZFF
© Sandra Bauknecht

Omega Celebrates a Family Affair in Paris


Why do all great things tend to happen at the same time? This what I am asking myself constantly, for example last week, the Zurich Film Festival has officially opened, Paris Fashion Week has started, and the tempting Oktoberfest in Munich celebrated its end. As you cannot attend everything, I had to decline an exclusive invitation to Paris with a heavy heart.

Last Friday, OMEGA has officially opened its «Her Time» exhibition in the French capital at the city’s historic Hôtel de Sully. Having already been showcased in Milan, Moscow, Shanghai and Sydney, this exhibition displays the house’s evolution of women’s timepieces and changing styles, from early Lèpine pendants and the iconic Ladymatic, through to «secret jewellery watches» and today’s latest creations.

Such a beautiful family, Kaia Gerber, Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford and Presley Gerber.

As an added highlight for guests, OMEGA also welcomed Cindy Crawford along with her beautiful children, Kaia and Presley, who have recently been announced as the brand’s newest ambassadors. Moreover, a family portrait taken by Peter Lindbergh on Malibu Beach was unveiled to celebrate the occasion. Having joined OMEGA in 1995, Cindy Crawford is one of brand’s closest friends and has been a renowned figure in the house’s advertising and events for over 20 years.

Raynald Aeschlimann at last Friday’s event in Paris with the supermodel family

OMEGA’s President and CEO, Raynald Aeschlimann said about the «new family members» of his brand:«Kaia and Presley represent the next generation of watch wearers. They are good looking, motivated, inspirational and full of energy. It’s incredible to have such a passionate family tradition within our brand and I’m so excited to begin working with these two young people.»

Personally speaking, I couldn’t agree more with Raynald. Kaia and Presley are stunning as their mom, who has been one of my favorite models since ever. I had the chance to meet the family on several occasions and they are all not only super good-looking, but also extremely kind and fun to talk to.

Framed by Kaia and Cindy last January at Nikki Beach in St. Barts.

Fashion soulmates

I liked Cindy’s look a lot. Surprisingly, she decided not to go for something new season but to wear a knee-length dress in iridescent sequined jersey by Givenchyicon from their Pre-fall 2014 collection that I sported for the Fashion Days Zurich three years ago.

The «Her Time» exhibition can be seen at the Hôtel de Sully until the 15th of October 2017 from 9am to 7pm each day.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of OMEGA and © Sandra Bauknecht

Montblanc Celebrates Adventure in Florence

It is always a pleasure to be invited by Montblanc to one of their special events. This summer, it was Florence calling for the launch of the new 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection which takes its inspiration from safari travel and exploration.

With this beautiful vegetable-tanned leather collection that is finished with vintage gold hardware for the modern adventurer, Montblanc continues their story of innovation.
So gentlemen, whether you plan an excursion to the sandy dunes of Sahara or a safari to the plains of East Africa, this line is for you.

If you are rather an urban nomad, you will love those 1926 Montblanc Heritage piece as well as they offer an extremely chic and stylish way to carry personal items or technology around the city.

Ladies adventurers: Divine Bonga, PR Montblanc, and my humble self, exploring the launch event.

I am absolutely convinced that many ladies will fall for its vintage feel and the earthy, easy to combine desert hues, too. At the latest, when they spot the bright red printed lining that is inspired by the vibrant fabrics worn by the regal Maasai tribe.

Dubbed the Heritage 1926 collection in recognition of the year Montblanc added leather goods to its business with a small collection of pen cases, the new range features backpacks of different sizes, portfolios, document holders and brief cases, as well as a mid-size weekender and some fine stationery.

Hugh Jackman with me

The launch party took place at Europe’s largest private garden. Italian hospitality at its best with great music, fine food, beautiful displays to create a whole world around the new collection and a special guest that is a true adventurer: Montblanc ambassador Hugh Jackman who had flown in for this special occasion.

An Italian worker explaining how the tanning process of the leather works.

Montblanc’s Creative Director, Zaim Kamal explained to me that for the first time, Montblanc has been using traditional Tuscan vegetable-tanned leather that will take on a patina with age. An early trend for next summer has been spotted at Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear and accessories trade fair in Florence: Seventies-style bohemianism that plays exactly with that vintage feel that makes the products genuinely personal.

At Montblanc’s manufacture in Tuscany where the leather goods are produced.

The morning after the launch party, I visited the Montblanc manufacture in Tuscany and saw with my own eyes the leather craftsmanship that goes into each of those pieces. I was extremely impressed by the different steps that have to be applied in order to achieve the antique gold color finishing of the metal fittings or the bridge and clasp closing systems.

I am sure that the new 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection will be a full success among all gentlemen and ladies adventurers. Below you can enjoy some more of my impressions of this fantastic event in Florence …

LoL, Sandra

At the launch event in Florence dressed in Gucci.

The evening started with a cocktail reception in the largest private garden in Europe.

Every little detail was perfect.

Mr Hugh Jackman had fun as we did!

On our way inside the tent where dinner was served, we felt like adventurers on a safari.

You could feel the mood behind the collection perfectly.

Seated dinner

Beautiful ambiance

Pieces from the 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection on display.

Photos in Collage/Still: © Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Montblanc
All other photos from the event: © Sandra Bauknecht

UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion

During the vibrant atmosphere of London Fashion Week, I had the pleasure to participate in a very interesting new project combining the world of finance and fashion: UBS Unique – Economy of Fashion.

Just as the world around us is changing, the face of wealth is evolving. The global income of women will grow from USD 13 trillion to USD 18 trillion by 2021* – more than China and India’s combined GDP growth and since 2015, women have held 30%** of global private wealth.

As women are looking for a response to their needs, UBS Unique has been created. The aim? To catalyze a long-term change in the financial industry to better serve women and to enable them to make the most of their wealth.

My lovely host, Kathrin Genovese Head Vice Chairmen Office, Global Ultra High Net Worth

Therefore a lovely group of female ultra high net worth individuals from all over the world was invited by UBS to London for two inspiring days. The event had it all: shows, talks and insights on how fashion can change the world for the better.

As I thought you might be interested in what I have taken home from UBS Unique, here’s a quick roundup of insights from the event’s speakers.

«The future of fashion will see creativity re-emerge as a key driver to take us from our current crisis state and into a new model for fashion. If we don’t push creativity at every step of the fashion supply chain to find new ways to design, produce, sell, wear and dispose of clothes, then we face a bleak future for fashion.”»Christina Dean

From left to right: Christina Dean, my humble self, Giorgia Caovilla and Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis.

The look of love – how will the fashion industry change?

Women should “fall in love with the fact that fashion is a force for good,” says Christina Dean, founder of Redressan organisation working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Christina believes fashion’s ethical future is in the hands of young designers and consumers. Or as Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis describes it vividly, “it’s down to designers to rebel. There’s a lot of pressure on designers to become commercial so it stops creativity. I am anyway bored of all the fashion shows. There are too many.”

Online shopping is definitely an opportunity as emerging designers cannot always afford a retail space. They have a different pricing model. But in terms of sustainability it can cause also problems as people end up buying multiple sizes knowing they’re going to return it.

Dress with Sense – the practical guide to a conscious closet by Redress

How can you play your part in making fashion more ethical?

As I am always promoting, you can easily play your part in making fashion more ethical by buying the things you love and wear them for longer. When shopping, think about the value, not the price. And consider ways you can make sure your investments match your ethics.

You can also donate your quality, branded items with high value to charity Redress for resale.

Designer Mary Katrantzou and me framed by UBS key speakers, James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist, Chief Investment Office, UBS Wealth Management, to the left and Helen Brand, Head of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank

A short industry outlook

The top 3 words executives used to describe the fashion industry in 2016*** were: «Uncertain, Changing, Challenging.» But despite the wider economic slowdown last year, fashion has been a key value-creating industry for the world economy. In 2017, a slight recovery is expected to a point where the industry may see some growth next year.

Let’s take China for example. Chinese growth hit a soft patch: a stock market dip and real estate concerns have decelerated chinese growth, and shifted attention to India, Turkey, and other high-growth markets. China’s fundamentals, including growth of the middle and upper classes, remain strong and the government’s new fiscal policies are expected to improve conditions in 2017, but uncertainty remains.

A woman shops in a Louis Vuitton store in Shanghai. © SCMP Photos

London-based Helen BrandHead of Equity Research, European Luxury Goods, UBS Investment Bank, trusts in the mid market and expects “growth going forward to come from the Chines middle class consumer and therefore more at the entry level price points, with more chances for the handbag category compared to watches as many brands still have to strengthen the CHF 2000-5000 offer.

 When you think about China, factors such as pollution, a deteriorating environment, inhumane work conditions in factories, mass production come immediately to your mind. China and sustainability, connecting the dots between economy and ecology seems to be a complex problem. Therefore a valid question was raised during one of the panel discussions: how can we as consumers/potential investors contribute to overcome these issues?

Tailor-made investments – how can you invest ethically in fashion?

What’s impact investing? Put simply, it’s investing in ways that help make the world a better place. And it can make a big difference to the fashion industry, “especially when dealing with problems in supply chains,” says James Gifford, Senior Impact Investing Strategist at UBS. It’s good news for investors, too.

Impact investing is one of the tools that we can use to improve terrible situations such as exposure to slavery and trafficking – lots of brands don’t have full transparency throughout their entire supply chain.  Shareholders can take part in helping brands address that. Most critical is the intent – the willingness to change for the good. This impact must be measured with defined performance indexes to make it tangible to all stakeholders of the corporation.

Many investors assume that impact investment is a form of charity. In reality, quiet the opposite is the case. Gifford delivers the facts: two thirds of impact investment funds deliver comparable results to more traditional funds. Generating a financial return is indispensable and sustainable in itself; generated profits are more likely to be re-invested in impact projects and new investors may follow.

How to invest

  • Invest in best in class – some great companies that are trying really hard to improve.
  • Underweight / overweight the good guys and the bad guys.
  • You can engage your fund managers and advisors on this topic as most of them might not have thought about these issues. So having that dialogue can have an impact already.
  • Shareholder engagement is where shareholders use their voice to encourage companies to improve their behaviour. This can be done through fund managers or family offices.
  • Shareholder engagement can be very effective and you don’t even have to own that many shares to have a voice.

Great show: Mary Katrantzou’s F/W 2017 presentation took place at Tate Modern.

During those two amazing days, we had also the chance to talk to two outstanding designers who both have build up their brand in a breakneck pace. Cherry on the cake was the possibility to experience the excitement of fashion week as guests of Mary Katrantzou and Erdem at their shows.

With Erdem in his Mayfair store for a private shopping event during the «Economy of Fashion».

I don’t believe in fast fashion – I get a kick out of seeing real women wear my clothes on the street,” says Erdem Moralioglu, founder of the designer label ERDEM.

Shaping up – how Erdem Moralioglu built his brand

Since launching in 2005, the brand has become synonymous with versatile and powerful femininity. After studying at London’s Royal College of Art, Erdem started his own company and fashion line at the age of 27. The business took off when Barneys bought his first collection. In 2014, he put his collection online and opened his flagship store in Mayfair in 2015.

Today, ERDEM is sold in over 170 of the world’s most exclusive retailers, including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Joyce, Colette, Dover Street Market, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
In the beginning of November 2017 his collection for H&M will hit the stores as he is the next designer to collaborate with the Swedish clothing giant (for more info, click here please).

With Mary Katrantzou in the private shopping suite at the at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, wearing an amazing coat from her F/W 2017 collection.

Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa,” says Mary Katrantzou.

Pioneering digital prints – how Mary Katrantzou became the fashion world’s darling

Greek-born Mary Katrantzou had an appreciation of applied design from an early age. Having begun training as an architect at Rhode Island’s School of Design, she transferred to Central Saint Martin’s in London to study textiles and finished also with a fashion MA in 2005. Katrantzou shifted her direction from textile design to womenswear with a focus on print as she loved the way printed textiles can change the shape of a woman’s body.

Success from the first moment: Mary Katrantzou’s graduate collection in 2008.

Her graduate collection in 2008 of digital trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on simple shift dresses served as a counterpoint to the minimalist movement that was dominating the runways at the time. From there, Katrantzou picked up 15 prestigious stockists including Browns, Joyce and Colette. Today she boasts over 250 stockists worldwide. Among the many prestigious awards, she received in her career, she also won the Swiss Textiles Award in 201, which helped her grow her business further. And would she rule out ever taking on an investor? “In the future, who knows,” says Katrantzou. “But true global scale is our ambition.”

Best of both worlds… fashion and finance.

I hope that you enjoyed this little insight into the new interactive event Economy of Fashion under the roof of the UBS Unique platform that was a great success. For two days, we received an exclusive insight into the business of fashion of emerging and established designers, disruptive technologies and brands that are making their mark on the industry.

I met amazing ladies from all over the world and it was a pleasure exchanging knowledge while enjoying some fun shopping and great food.

I would love to conclude with a quote from shoe designer Giorgia Caovilla: “The future of fashion will shorten the distance to be able to convey more clearly its message: LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!’”

LoL, Sandra

*Harnessing the power of women investors in wealth management, Ernst & Young LLP, 2016
** Global Wealth 2016: Navigating the client landscape, Boston Consulting Group, 2016
*** Source BoF-McKinsey Global Fashion Survey, September 2016

Photos: © Sam Bowen for UBS, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Redress, © Mary Katrantzou

Marc O’Polo Celebrates 50 Years with Robbie

Yesterday, MARC O’POLO celebrated its 50th anniversary with a very special celebrity appearance and collaboration. Robbie & Ayda Williams, synonymous for couple goals, were in the brand’s Munich flagship store to present their special edition sweatshirt in person.

«I just like pink.» – Robbie Williams

In the evening, the clothing company was rocking its birthday in festival style at its headquarters in Stephanskirchen with 1800 guests, a fashion show, and a live concert. Joining Robbie Williams that night was another celebrity and current face of the MARC O’POLO campaignMads Mikkelsen.

I had been so much looking forward to attending this fun night but a severe food poisoning had knocked me out and I had to stay home. Therefore I can only show you the official photos and some old ones of me with the three stars.

Left: Mads Mikkelsen, top right: Peter Lindbergh and bottom right: Robbie Williams

Personally speaking, I adore the campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh and also the sweater in pink. Too cute! The MARC O’POLO Iconic Capsule Collection is available exclusively now in MARC O’POLO Stores and on www.marc-o-polo.com.

LoL, Sandra

Werner Boeck, owner of Marc O’Polo, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Williams attend the launch of the Marc O’Polo 50th anniversary special edition sweatshirt and the crowds in Munich go crazy.

The unveiling of the campaign and the sweater in Munich in the morning.

Cuddling moments – Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda were accompagnied by their dog ‘Showbiz’ during the launch event.

Mads Mikkelsen and his wife Hanne Jacobsen front row at the fashion show. 

Tribute at night to Marc O’Polo’s 50th anniversary… 

… with a fashion show that was quite impressive.

1800 guests at the headquarters in Stephanskirchen, Germany.

Max the Sax performed prior to the fashion show.

Photos: Getty Images for Marc O’Polo, © Sandra Bauknecht

Met Gala 2017

Always on the first Monday in May, the Met Gala takes place and its 150-foot-long red carpet is probably one of the most-watched fashion events of the year with a gazillion of celebrities walking it in the most exquisite gowns. This year, it celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” that will go on until September 4, 2017.

Today I would like to share my personal list of best-dressed (and worst-dressed) celebrities that made their way last night into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the party of the year. The dress code called for avant-garde black tie, either you go big or go home, enjoy!

My favorite look on the red carpet: Lily-Rose Depp‘s pink Chanel look detailed with oversized silver camellias and a creeping vine.

Who did meet the dress code the best? The answer is clearly Rihanna. She showed up once again in a full-on fashion fantasy from the Comme des Garçons F/W 2016 runway that was also an architectural miracle, paired with Rihanna Loves Chopard jewelry.

As 2017 Met Gala cochair of the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition, Pharell Williams wore ripped denim by Comme des Garçons Jeans with a black biker jacket, and plaid shirt. His wife, Helen Lasichanh, paired her straight-off-the-F/W-2017-runway red onesie with a blonde topknot. Not showing any arms, it looked like a fashionable straightjacket.

Cara Delevingne appeared as a sci-fi fashion fantasy wearing an embellished pantsuit from Chanel‘s Spring 2017 Couture collection. I love how she always surprises.

One of my favorites! Even that Zendaya rejected the theme of the night, she ensured all eyes were on her wearing a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda ball gown covered in a tropical parrot print.

Two thumbs up for bringing glamour to the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez looked gorgeous in a Valentino dress and Harry Winston jewelry.

Lily Collins showed up with a graphic dark bob and black lipstick, juxtaposing her sweet Giambattista Valli gown and her fierce Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Plus-size model Ashley Graham channeled her inner flamenco dancer in a fabulous custom H&M dress. So pretty!

I am in love with Blake Lively’s Atelier Versace gown that featured a draped gold beading at the bodice, giving way to a plumed train in shades of blue. She had the best accessory of the night with her … her husband:-)! Couple goals I would say!

Another one arrived with her handsome husband who might have thought looking at his wife Gisele Bündchen in Stella McCartney, of Ed Sheeran singing «I’m in love with the shape of you» …

If you don’t have a husband to bring, bring the designer of your dress! That was Dakota Johnson‘s motto of the night, as she appeared in a stunning ruffled black Gucci gown with Alessandro Michele at her side.

Radiant like a sun goddess, actress Jessica Chastain in a yellow fluid Prada gown paired with some stunning Piaget jewelry.

Lupita Nyong’o also dazzled in Prada, pulling off the vibrant orange shade with Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Gigi Hadid looked amazing in a nude, asymmetrical Cinderella-esque Tommy Hilfiger dress. I am just not so sure about the stay-up.

Showstopper! Leave it to Bella Hadid to steal the show in a glittering catsuit by none other than Alexander Wang. She looked so fabulous!

Priyanka Chopra did not disappoint in a bold Ralph Lauren trench coat gown with an unbelievably long train. Very different, something I like. I am just not a big fan of her booties in combination.

Like it or not, the award for most nude goes to none other than Kendall Jenner, whose slinky La Perla Haute Couture dress will absolutely go down in Met Gala history.

When it comes to Gwyneth Paltrow‘s understated Calvin Klein dress, I love the cut and the color, but I am not fond of the ankle length.

Katy Perry was unfortunately not among my favorites last night. The custom red tulle gown by Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano himself, was topped with a heavy-looking wool coat covered in adornments like tulle flowers and plenty of beads. On the veil, a cryptic message across her eyes spelling “Witness” was embroidered, nevertheless it was truly one of the night’s most creative looks.

My favourite picture of the night! Have a look at Sarah Paulson dressed in a beautiful classy Prada gown. Her facial expression says everything! The American Horror Story actress seemed to have a heart attack after bumping into Madonna with the designer of her camouflage Moschino dress by her side, Jeremy Scott. Declaring war on fashion in camouflage, the famous singer was definitely not going incognito. I am not a fan of her look.

Swiss power at the Met Gala… Roger Federer in Gucci. I adore this snake embellishment on his back!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Getty Images, © Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock, © Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Sephora Opening in Zurich

Yesterday evening, I attended the long awaited opening of SEPHORA in Zurich as a shop-in-shop concept at Manor located at Bahnofstrasse 75.

Craziness a few seconds after the doors opened at Sephora Zurich.

Here are some facts:
Selling Space65 m² (small, but filled with great stuff)

Staff: 10 sales associates and one shop manager

Question: which Becca highlighter should I get…

Exclusive brandsMade In Sephora, Too Faced, Make Up For Ever, Marc Jacobs,
Becca, Dr.Jart+, Tony Moly, Caolion, Skinfood, Too Cool for School

Other brands availableNars, Benefit Make Up and Benefit Skincare

ServicesSephora Make Up Bar and Benefit Brow Bar
Thanks to Click & Collect at manor.ch/sephora customers can order all their favorite products online and get them delivered to their preferred  Manor department store in Switzerland.

A goody bag filled with so many amazing products… thank you, Sephora!

Founded in 1969, Sephora is today part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and present in 32 countries worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

With lovely Myriam Françoise at the opening yesterday.

Photos: © David Biedert Photography, © Andrea Monica Hug and © Sandra Bauknecht

Ruinart Jaume Plensa Launch Event in Paris

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Two weeks ago, I flew to Paris to attend the exclusive launch event of Ruinart’s new artist for 2017: Jaume Plensa, the renowned Spanish artist who is known for his monumental sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete and bronze.

He is recognized for his silhouettes of human bodies seated or kneeling who seem to scrutinize the horizon in a meditative manner, like the contemporary thinkers. His sculptures, which play with the relationship between words, signs and the human body, have today become his signature. They are recognisable amongst all the works of art throughout the world and have turned Jaume Plensa into one of the most important players of the contemporary artistic scene.

Jaume_Plensa_Artwork_RuinartPlensa’s amazing art work for Ruinart

Each year, Ruinart invites an artist to create a special artwork for the oldest Champagne house of the world. With Plensa, Ruinart has chosen an artist who has been able to express language, but more importantly the alphabets, the cultures of the world, their spiritualities, their transmissions and the visionary and erudite spirit of dom Thierry Ruinart, a key personality in the history of Ruinart at the confluence of philosophy and the art, merging the heritage with the future.

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The event took place at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris where Plensa also gives lectures. First we had the possibility to explore historic documents while enjoying my favourite champagne, Ruinart‘s Blanc de Blancs. Later, we were asked to move into the next room where the stunning installation by Jaume Plensa was revealed in his presence that will later tour the world.

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The sculpture takes up the shape of characters that he has already created, but there is never any repetition in his work. Every piece is unique. Every letter, assembled by hand, creates a second skin for the form, which is always reborn in a different manner. In the base of the sculpture he has engraved two dates: 1729 and 2016. They are like a secret code, an encrypted message, linking the history between the foundation of Maison Ruinart and the creation of the work of art.

Jaume_Plensa_Sandra_Bauknecht_RuinartWith artist Jaume Plensa at the event in Paris

The next morning, I had the chance to interview Jaume Plensa who is a very witty, charming and interesting gentleman. I loved his answers, the most significant quotes are in bold. Enjoy!

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What are the basics of creating for you? With what do you start?

That is a very interesting question as this is something I am asking myself every day in the studio. I guess the main subject in my work is that I try to create something that people could touch and be touched by. I work a lot in public spaces. Mainly my work is based to identify yourself in the myth of others. We have to break borders and the walls we have been permanently creating throughout history. When I am working with alphabets or portraits of people from different cultures, it is interesting to recognize that we are all so similar. It is just the little things that differ.

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You use a lot of letters in your work. Do you have a favorite letter or alphabet?

You cannot compare one alphabet with another. When you see Hebrew for example which is very rigid and you compare it with Chinese, that seems to be fireworks. Hindi is so beautiful always with a line on top which makes it so rich to look at.

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How long was the process to create for Ruinart and did you have immediately something in mind when you were approached?

In general the way I work is that an idea is born with the shape, the material and the specific scale. Obviously depending if it is for a show, a gallery or for a public space, my attitude can be changing.

It took me around 6 months to create the piece that had been revealed last night. I never understood art as a direction. My obsession was to grow up as a person, art was just the consequence of my life. I have never been interested in being in artist, but I enjoy it very much to express my emotions with visual art. The main material is life.

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When I listen to you, I don’t get the impression that you will ever loose inspiration. Do you ever feel pressure to not being inspired?

Not at all. Creation is a way to breathe. I love when I am flying and the flight attendant is saying «If the pressure is low, please pull the oxygen mask, press it firmly on your mouth and breathe normally.» There are many moments when life asks us to breathe normally, I think it is something we must honor, it takes a little while but the most beautiful experience is when you understand that you are breathing normally.

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Do you ever get frustrated when you are creating because something is not working out the way you have planned it?

Of course. My assistants are happy when I am not there. I have a lot of temperament. Creation is a dialogue with you and yourself. You could be your best friend, but also your worst enemy. That is one of the most beautiful experiences in creation when you must understand yourself, when you must accept yourself and this gives always a lot of frictions.

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The best about Jaume Plensa?

I have the privilege to be an artist, so I have the capacity and ability to observe the world. That is an amazing situation.

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Only 20 bottles of the special edition signed by Jaume Plensa will be available worldwide for €3500 worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Ruinart, © Sandra Bauknecht

Mode Suisse Edition 11

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Last night, I attended the 11th edition of the MODE SUISSE at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich. Ruling the runway were upcoming and established Swiss labels. A well prepared and entertaining presentation that showed a lot of passion for fashion in Switzerland. Some might still be too experimental, reminiscent of graduates at a design school, but the dedication that went into the work was absolutely worth it.

Bravo for the model casting! Very professional!

Mode_Suisse_2017Some of my own impressions of last night.

Mode_Suisse_Sandra_Bauknecht_GirlsSquad-1Girls squad: Laurence Antiglio, my humble self, Alexandra Kruse, Lisa Feldmann and Catherine Gonin.

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MODE SUISSE 11th Edition – THE DESIGNER

Julia Seemann
Ruling the runway was this upcoming Swiss label, one my favorites of last night. A little touch of Vetements paired with some Alessandro Michele ruffles, Julia used some of the most trending details of the season for this fun collection.

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LYN Lingerie
Just beautiful! Those lingerie pieces are ultra daring and very luxurious, all hand-made in the Swiss atelier, soon also available at Breuninger Germany.

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enSoie
Founded by Monique Meier, enSoie creates socially responsible fashion in Zurich, Los Angeles and Kolkata. Now in the hands of the youngest daughter Anna Meier, the label experiences a makeover. So Zurich, so Swiss, so traditional! 

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LIDA NOBA
Inspired by her Iranian roots, the designer created fluid lines with feminine details. Personally speaking, some of the looks were a little too much “Chloé”, but other parts have absolutely convinced me such as the dress below.

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GARNISON
The label’s post-dandy menswear starring Louis Vuitton-exclusive Noah Brown (see above) and Zegna-boy Fallou Gueye (see below).

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Julian Zigerli
Julian Zigerli’s second showing of womenswear and the gender fluid menswear that he is known for, this season inspired by the musical «Cats».

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studiowinkler
For me, this was not Julia Winkler’s strongest collection. The looks were not very flattering, the music was depressive, this season she was a little too much experimental.

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WUETHRICHFUERST
The designer duo made their much-anticipated debut at Mode Suisse. The fashion brand is based in Basel and their garments are not particulary linked to the seasons. The cosmic prints reminded me a bit of Christopher Kane. I like!

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Adrian Reber
The Swiss designer uses vintage fur patches to create new pieces. I would like to see some men on the Swiss streets in those extravagant looks or probably not… what do you think?

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HEAD – Genève
The work of Jeremy Gaillard, Vanessa Schindler and Flore Girard de Langlade were presented during the 11th edition of  Mode Suisse.

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Special Guest – DOROTHEE VOGEL
Dorothee continues to be one of the most significant players in Swiss fashion. Her perfectly finished waisted jackets are legendary.

I hope that you enjoyed my little summary of last night. Great news is that Mode Suisse intents to make sure Swiss designer fashion is not only presented on the catwalk but becomes a day-to-day experience for everyone. You can try on and buy Edition 11 creations in the Mode Suisse pop-up store until February 25, 2017. Location: enSoie, Strehlgasse 26, 8001 Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Mode Suisse 11 by Alexander Palacios and © Sandra Bauknecht
Photos of the ladies and of me: © David Biedert Photography