The New Loewe

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The fashion world is moving fast and sometimes labels that have been around for many years become all of a sudden absolutely trendy. It takes the right designer to lead the brand to new heights just like Alessandro Michele did with Gucci. Now, there is another fashion house that you should include in your wish list: LOEWE. Founded in 1846, Loewe started life as a cooperative of leather artisans in Madrid, before German entrepreneur Enrique Loewe Roessberg took over the workshop and consolidated it under his name in 1872. The Spanish label introduced its first ready-to-wear collection in 1965, bringing fashion to the centre of the brand.

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In 2013 Jonathan Anderson took over the helm at Loewe and transformed the Spanish house slowly but constantly into one of the most talked-about labels this season.

loewe-spring-summer-2016-ad-campaign01Raquel Zimmermann starred in Loewe’s S/S 2016 ad campaign.

Under Anderson’s creative direction, the label has had its logo and emblem rebranded by Parisian art duo M/M (Paris), Steven Meisel-lensed ad campaigns have been rolled out and the clothes and bags are quickly garnering must-have status among the style set. When it comes to taking a label steeped in heritage and making it relevant today, Anderson has the Midas touch.

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A statement bag that you should get: Loewe‘s Joyce embellished leather shoulder bag.

d08551fedc7faf2c5dbe9d0d7fa7a648A modern legacy: LOEWE Boutique Bilbao designed by architect Javier Carvajal, 1960.
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An authority in leather goods for over 160 years, Loewe, under the creative vision of Anderson, continues to design classic handbags using cutting-edge techniques. With a keen interest in interiors and architecture, Javier Carvajal (the architect responsible for the modernist Loewe stores in the 1950s and 1960s) is another key inspiration.

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The new must-have bag for the S/S 2017 season? Loewe‘s Puzzle leather shoulder bag.
iconFor Anderson’s first bag style, the Puzzle, more than 40 fragments of super-soft leather have been sliced and repositioned.

«I set out to find a new way of building a bag, fundamentally questioning its structure. It was about deconstructing a conventional bag to create a flat object with a tri-dimensional function» – Jonathan Anderson.

I love it! It is definitely on my shopping list…

You can shop a great selection of LOEWE at NET-A-PORTERicon, LUISAVIAROMAMATCHESFASHION and MYTHERESA.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Loewe

Interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

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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.

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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.

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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

Raf Simons Heads to Calvin Klein

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Long-running rumors in the industry have been finally confirmed today: RAF SIMONS has been formally appointed as Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, filling the vacant position left by Francisco Costa in April. It is said that the American brand and Simons have been unable to make any announcement due to the year-long non-compete clause in Simons’s Christian Dior contract that came to an end last month.

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Iconic minimalism:
Bara tulle-paneled stretch-crepe dress by Calvin Klein Collection
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Mr. Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. As part of his role as Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Simons will oversee all aspects of design, global marketing and communications, and visual creative services. Mr. Simons’ first collections will debut for the F/W 2017 season.

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The famous underwear:
Modern Cotton stretch cotton-blend soft-cup bra 
by Calvin Klein Underwear

Sandra_Bauknecht_Raf_SimonsRaf Simons with me
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The appointment of Mr. Simons as Chief Creative Officer marks the implementation of Calvin Klein’s new global creative strategy, announced in April 2016, to unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. The strategy comes as part of a global evolution of the Calvin Klein brand, which began with the reacquisition of the Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear businesses in 2013. As Calvin Klein looks to grow the brand to $10 billion in global retail sales, this new leadership is intended to further strengthen the brand’s premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth.

steve-shiffmanSteve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc.

The arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.

340172Raf Simons & his right hand Pieter Mulier in Dior and I (Courtesy of Dior)

As part of the creative strategy for the apparel and accessories business, Calvin Klein also announced the hire of Pieter Mulier as Creative Director, reporting directly to Mr. Simons. Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons’ creative and design vision for men’s and women’s ready to wear, as well as the bridge and better apparel lines and accessories. He will also manage all men’s and women’s design teams within the Calvin Klein brand, under Mr. Simons’ leadership.

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Calvin Klein, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp. [NYSE: PVH], is one of the leading fashion design and marketing studios in the world. It designs and markets women’s and men’s designer collection apparel and a range of other products that are manufactured and marketed through an extensive network of licensing agreements and other arrangements worldwide. Product lines under the various Calvin Klein brands include women’s dresses and suits, men’s dress furnishings and tailored clothing, men’s and women’s sportswear and bridge and collection apparel, golf apparel, jeanswear, underwear, fragrances, eyewear, women’s performance apparel, hosiery, socks, footwear, swimwear, jewelry, watches, outerwear, handbags, small leather goods, and home furnishings (including furniture).

PVH

With a heritage going back over 130 years, PVH Corp. has excelled at growing brands and businesses with rich American heritages, becoming one of the largest apparel companies in the world, having over 30,000 associates operating in over 40 countries with over $8 billion in 2015 revenues. Among the brands are Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, ARROW, Speedo, Warner’s and more.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Calvin Klein and © Sandra Bauknecht

Prada’s Iconic Vela Backpack Is Back

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My first Prada moment was in my French class in school when I spotted my teacher with an interesting bag in nylon (how I looked at that time you can see above, blonde as hell…). It must have been in 1989 or 1990. The Italian fashion house had just launched its first women’s ready-to-wear collection and was on its way due to its originality to become one of the most influential fashion houses and a premium status symbol of the ’90s. The designs came to be known for their dropped waistlines and narrow belts as well as the use of unusual fabrics. Prada has always been an emotional brand for me. Probably because I started to collect it from the first season. Most men don’t understand Miuccia’s style and I had many funny discussions about it as I was always drawn to it. It made me feel independent and strong while of course feeling extremely fashionable.

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One of my first Prada pieces I got was the famous «Vela» nylon backpack in black that accompanied me through my high school years (see photo above). For being over 20 years old, it looks pretty fantastic! Launched in 1984 in an “industrial-weight nylon used for army tents,” according to Vogue, the utile house classic evolved into its best-known form in 1987.

P00199298Vela Backpack by Prada

Now the label’s signature backpack is back on the streets and on its way to become again a must-have. Just as coveted as in the early ‘90s, this sporty-chic style will take you through off-duty dressing on a decidedly chic note. The Vela is just roomy enough to hold all your essentials safe, while keeping you supremely stylish and the nylon material is great when you hit the rain.

P00199910The modern version of 2016: Robot Backpack by Prada

Great news is that Prada finally made it into the world of online shopping and is exclusively available at Net-à-Portericon and Mytheresa.com.

This post inspired me to show you in the near future a Prada look of each season that I collected over the years. Going down memory lane can be quite emotional, especially as I link events to outfits and scents. I may not remember your name but I will never forget what you wore when we met… it is just the way my brain is structured, embracing a deep love of fashion that I hopefully spread with this blog!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Prada, © Vogue/Hans Feurer and © Sandra Bauknecht

Longest Collaboration: Karl Lagerfeld – Fendi

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Fendi is my Italian version of creativity. It’s Italian to its core. It’s not only Italian, it’s Roman,” says Karl Lagerfeld of his position as Creative Director.

This book set celebrates his astounding 50 year tenure with the labelthe longest collaboration ever between a designer and a luxury fashion house.

Beautifully presented in a custom-made wooden case modeled on the box of oil pastels on Lagerfeld’s work desk, it’s a compilation of exclusive interviews, recorded conversations, personal sketches and DVDs of his short films, through which we discover some of his earliest and fondest memories of the past five decades.

Get your issue of Karl Lagerfeld: Fendi 50 Years by Steidl online HERE.

Karl+Lagerfeld+Silvia+Venturini+Fendi+Fendi Fall 2011Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini (the granddaughter of Adele and Edorado Fendi) at the Fendi F/W 2011 runway show

THE STORY

Fendi was founded by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Via del Plebiscito, Rome in 1925. In 1965, their five daughters hired the young Karl Lagerfeld, who was around 30 years old at that time to come on board and help them to revitalize their fur business. Previously Lagerfeld had worked for Parisian houses Balmain and Jean Patou. Upon his arrival at Fendi, the German-born designer changed the way the house used fur and took the luxurious fabric rather as an embellishment for coats, stoles, and trimmings. He introduced bright colors of fur and mixed it with different fabrics to create interesting textures and silhouettes. He is responsible for the term «fun fur» along with the double F logo that is now recognizable worldwide.

In 1977, Lagerfeld introduced Fendi’s women’s ready-to-wear collection providing a wardrobe that the already popular furs and accessories could accentuate. The eighties became a time of expansion where many categories were licensed out to other manufactures to facilitate growth and global recognition. Also, during this time the next generation of Fendi children started to get involved in the company. Since 2001, the Italian House became a multinational luxury fashion brand and member of LVMH group.

Here are some of this season’s must-haves you should definitely get:

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A must: Karlito mink and fox-fur bag charm by Fendi

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iconAlready a classic: Petite 2Jours leather tote by Fendi

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The most famous baguette in the world: Micro Baguette hand-embroidered cross-body bag by Fendi
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The most charming monsters: Bag Bugs fur-appliqué roll-neck sweater by Fendi

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The backpack everybody wants: Bag Bugs nylon and fur mini backpack by Fendi
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It all started with fur: Flowerland appliqué fur coat by Fendi

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Fendi
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My Look: The Roaring Twenties

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Last week, I had a little fashion challenge as I got a last minute invite to a «Roaring Twenties» party. Thank God, Sandra’s Closet is full of little treasures that I have collected over many years… here is what I came up with. 1920s fashion is considered one of the most glamorous decades in fashion history. It was all about short flapper dresses in loose fitting that allowed women to literally kick up their t-bar shoes in new dances like the Charleston. The hair was worn shorter. One of the first trendsetter of this style was Coco Chanel.

My look: Gold fringed flapper dress by Bottega Veneta (Runway F/W 2007), feather stole, satin evening bag with fake fur trim, choker and earrings, all by Dior, long pearl and feather necklace
by Lanvin, t-bar shoes by Yves Saint Laurent, head piece with rhinestones by Sonia Rykiel,
icon diamond ring and bracelet by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

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DIOR-MARABOU_STOLE_BAG

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Boy Chanel – A New Androgynous Perfume

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DRUNK WITH LOVE AND ELEGANCE
Three letters were all it took to mark an entire existence. They form the nickname of Arthur Capel, that dark, handsome gentleman with a penchant for mustaches and tailor-made tweed, who was more than just the love of Coco’s life. He was the first to truly believe in the remarkable talent of the young Gabrielle. “‘Since you are so attached to them,’ Capel said to me, ‘I’m going to get the clothes you have always worn remade elegantly by an English tailor,’” she loved to tell. With the funds that he invested in the opening of her first Parisian boutique —and that she reimbursed in full, a sign of her legendary independence— Gabrielle revolutionized women’s style and rendered it more accessible, borrowing what she deemed essential from men’s apparel. This period was the wellspring for all the founding elements of Rue Cambon.

Chanel_Boy_Coco_1Arthur «Boy» Capel and Gabrielle Chanel

But Boy is not just the one who believes in her. He is a woman’s murmur to her lover. He is the promise of a life of adventure. He is the widely read intellectual with a passion for politics and spiritualism; the one who would introduce Gabrielle Chanel to Western esotericism, the world of symbols, and Eastern culture, among countless other subjects. He is the polo player with an aloof elegance. He is the burst of laughter in the morning. He is the accent of desire. He is the one who makes her feel most like her true self. And because he continually influenced Gabrielle and the House of CHANEL, BOY CHANEL makes a natural addition to the Collection LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL. An olfactory tribute to an all-consuming passion and the endless play on masculine-feminine.

Boy CapelCoco Chanel’s love, her boy Arthur Capel

FROM ICONIC MASCULINE TO INTRIGUING FEMININE
The dazzling love of Gabrielle Chanel for twelve years, Boy Capel became the stuff of legends by dying too young. And this short-lived passion, this enchanting parenthesis, is what interested House of CHANEL Perfumer, Olivier Polge. Rather than focusing on the historical portrait, he set his sights on how Boy influenced Gabrielle. As he perused the CHANEL photo archives, one thing became clear: Arthur Capel’s irresistible elegance. The way he combed his hair back, the care he took with his shirt collars, the way he sported his riding clothes and even his bedwear with panache. And then there was the muscular body he flaunted on holiday in Saint Jean de Luz, this virile strength that seemed to overwhelm Coco’s frail silhouette. A male mythology that inspired Olivier Polge and sparked his interest in the fougère accord. Traditionally blending lavender with geranium, coumarin and moss, this classic structure in perfumery conjures up images of a clean shave and unequivocal virility. Polge used it as his point of departure for further explorations.

Les_Exclusives_Chanel_1BOY CHANEL – the new addition to the Collection LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL

KALEIDOSCOPE OF ROSE GERANIUM
Like Gabrielle Chanel who borrowed from men’s wear without giving up any of her femininity, Perfumer Olivier Polge was motivated by this mix of genders, imagining the mark of a man on the skin of a woman. That unique fragrance of love when the other person’s scent permeates your skin and the fusion prevails over the original scent. Of the fougère structure, the nose was particularly interested in rose geranium. An androgynous flower with equally minty and rosy facets. A variety often tarnished by the monotony of balcony flower boxes and yet one that can prove to be absolutely splendid when properly cultivated. In Pégomas, near Grasse, where CHANEL already sources its jasmine grandiflorum and May rose, Olivier Polge chose to renew with this ennobled ingredient. He found it to be of an irresistible simplicity. All that remained was to give it a new breath, an impetus and a feminine touch.

BoyLEGACY OF REFINEMENT
From the very first second, you detect the lively energy of lemon and grapefruit zest, and the scent of lavender as if freshly rubbed in the palm of your hand. An aromatic and distinguished burst that heralds the heart of rose geranium to follow. This flower with vapors of lemongrass, mint and rose, often reminiscent of lychee, is accompanied by rose and an orange blossom that is as soft as it is surprising. And as if it had mellowed in contact with slightly salty, sun-warmed skin, the geranium gradually melts into sandalwood, almondy heliotropin and coumarin, with a hint of vanilla and cottony musk accords. The entire fougère structure is there. And simultaneously reinvented. Knowing whether the olfactory composition was designed for a man or woman no longer holds importance. Its refinement on the skin is all that matters.

GEOMETRY OF PURE LINES
True to the architecture of LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL bottles, BOY CHANEL is housed in a streamlined glass block with a monogrammed, magnetized cap that consistently realigns with the label.  BOY CHANEL will be available in two sizes 2016 (200ml, 75ml) as of June.
BOY CHANEL Eau de Parfum Vaporisateur 75 ml CHF 220.-
BOY CHANEL Eau de Parfum Vaporisateur 200 ml CHF 400.-

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Chanel

Remembering David Bowie in Fashion

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One week ago, David Bowie died at age 69, just two days after his birthday. As tributes flood the media, the fashion world mourns the star who had the power to express himself through versatile ways of dressing, hairstyles, makeup, and performance. His shape-shifting styles inspired generations of teenagers and adults, especially in the ’70s and ’80s. He was the one who first empowered gender-bending androgyny and was a huge inspiration for the world of music and fashion. In 2013, the V&A Museum opened the “David Bowie Isexhibition with great success, which toured the world.

Enjoy this little tribute and see some looks inspired from his quirky and amazing style:

davidbowieZiggyAladdin Sane, 1973

US Vogue reports: «The Ziggy red mullet that launched a million imitators was inspired by a fashion shoot on the cover of Honey magazine of a model wearing Kansai Yamamoto. Bowie went around to his mother’s hairdresser, Suzy Fussey, who worked in a salon on Beckenham High Street, to do the cut and color. He was wearing it the day he walked into Brian Duffy’s studio to shoot the cover of the Aladdin Sane album in 1973. Celia Philo (Phoebe Philo’s mother), who was art directing, remembers the spontaneous moment when Bowie conspired with his favorite makeup artist, Pierre La Roche, to paint on the lightning flash

DavidBowie1973David Bowie dressed by Kansai Yamamoto, 1973

david-bowie-Riseofdavidbowie Bowie on tour in 1973, from The Rise of David Bowie 1972-1973.

And here is how the fashion world got inspired by the musical genius in many ways:

DAVID-BOWIEKate Moss‘ covers for Vogue U.K. in 2003 (right) and Vogue Paris in 2011 (left).

david-bowie-jean_paul_gaultier1Jean-Paul Gaultier S/S 2013

saint-laurent-menswearspring-2014Hedi Slimane said once to AnOther magazine: «I was literally born with a David Bowie album in my hand.» Here some looks inspired by David Bowie from his men’s S/S 2014 collection.

David_Bowie_GivenchyTo the right, you can see one of the geometrically striped black and white outfits from Givenchy‘s S/S 2010 collection. It looked like a rendition of the one Bowie wore in 1973 during his Aladdin Sane phase.

vs-show-David_bowie_InspirationCandice Swanepoel on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk in 2009 in an asymmetrical jumpsuit reminiscent of the infamous Ziggy suits designed by Kansai Yamamoto for David Bowie who was one of the first ones to collaborate with fashion designers to create his costumes.

miu-miu-fall-2012-David_BowieMiuccia Prada‘s F/W 2012 collection for Miu Miu was basically a remake of the 1971 music video “Life On Mars?”.

Gucci-Spring-Summer-2016-Berlin-Ad-Campaign-Featuring-Dionysus-GG-Supreme-Bag-2The same could be said for Gucci‘s S/S 2016 collection. I am convinced that the new Dionysus bag would have been loved by the legendary David Bowie.

David_tildaHere is a funny one: there’s a website of cult fans that believe Tilda Swinton and Bowie are the same person. Check out Tilda Stardust, it is hilarious.

Bowie TeeDavid Bowie print T-shirt by R13
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Bowie Bag

Jeremy Deller God Bless David Bowie tote by House of Voltaire
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His legend lives on in both industries, music and fashion, as David Bowie himself does today, in immortality. Rest in peace and thank you for all your inspirations!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Vogue Paris, Vogue UK, Mick Rock/Taschen, Brian Duffy / David Bowie Archive, Getty Images

Paying Tribute to the Late André Courrèges

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«Where do his tennis dresses, his sailor dresses come from? Where did he find them? On the steps of Delphi. In the wardrobe of Electra. They are modern and they are antique
Violette Leduc ‘Is Courrèges Wearable?’ Vogue, 1965.

_MON0779_1280x1920Courrèges S/S 2016

September marked Courrèges‘ first runway show in 13 years, and the House’s new designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant offered a fresh take on the iconic «Space Age» classics. The LVMH Prize finalists got down to the basics, a great start to revive André Courrèges’ famous label of the ’60s. Unfortunately, Monsieur Courrèges, who retired from his vocation in the mid-1990s, won’t experience this relaunch to the fullest. Last week, he lost his 30 year battle with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 92.

courreges2André Courrèges

Born in 1923 in France, Courrèges was a major force in ’60s fashion and helped define a generation. After graduating in engineering, he studied fashion and textile design which got him a job at . He Balenciaga for ten years, where he developped his great skills in cutting garments. In 1961 he launched his own eponymous fashion house.

Courreges0Space Age coat by Courrèges, 1964

His breakthrough came with his 1964 «Space Age» collection. Stars such as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve loved the designer’s ground-breaking geometry, plastic miniskirts and futuristic textiles.

Courreges7Moschino’s S/S 2013 show was a copy of Courrèges’s 1965 collection (here seen at Audrey Hepburn).

Courreges9Courrèges left, Moschino S/S 2013 right

His favorite silhouette was known as «Moon Girl» look, that he embellished with oddities such as googles and astronaut helmets.

Courreges1His famous miniskirts

Courrèges was also known for his extremely short angular mini skirts and trouser suits in black-and-white. Over many years, there was a dispute with Mary Quant, who claimed to have first popularized the miniskirt. Regardless of who came first, his skirts were definitely the shortest and his creations came to symbolize the Swinging Sixties.

Courreges121968: Models pose in red and white looks

Courreges3Andre Courreges at his S/S 1973 fashion show.

Courreges11New owners: Frédéric Torloting and Jacques Bungert

In 1967, Courrèges married his assistant, Coqueline Barriere who took over artistic direction of the company upon his retirement. In 2011, the couple sold a majority stake of their company to two Frédéric Torloting and Jacques Bungert, the two former co-presidents of the Paris branch of Young & Rubicam.

Courreges10Courrèges x Estée Lauder make-up collection

Last Spring, Estée Lauder and Courrèges collaborated and launched a 12-piece make-up, including the first false lashes for the beauty giant, and added Kendall Jenner as their face. To shop, please click here.

French President Francois Hollande paid tribute in a statement that described Courrèges as a “revolutionary designer” who “made his mark on French haute couture.”

Another fashion icon has left our planet. Rest in peace, Monsieur Courrèges and thank you!

TO SHOP THE NEWEST DESIGNS BY COURRÈGES ONLINE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Courrèges, Estée Lauder, via Vogue, AGIP/RDA/EVERETT COLLECTION, Getty Images 

Fashion Before and In 100 Years

Fashion 100 Years

This week’s publication about the project «100 YEARS: THE MOVIE YOU WILL NEVER SEE» that will be released in November 2115 has inspired me to today’s post.

How will fashion probably be in 100 years? Will there be an innovation that will revolutionize the future that we don’t know about yet? Will women rule this world?

100 Years Louis XIIIThe movie with John Malkovich in the leading role was inspired by the legacy of hundred years of craftsmanship it takes to create LOUIS XIII Cognac.

Before thinking of 2115, let’s move back in time 100 years to the year 1915.

HobbleSkirtPostcardThe Hobble Skirt (1911) – the speed-limit skirt

from a 1915 Pictoral Review1915 Pictoral Review

In 1915, women’s fashion was affected by the war in Europe in many ways, necessity was more important than style. The need to be able to move faster as well as the new independence of women also asked for a looser, more comfortable models. The rich opulence that the century had started with slowly disappeared. Hobble skirts that were widest at the hips and very narrow at the ankle transformed from floor length into styles above the ankle that opened up at the bottom, allowing for freer movement.

Theda Bara in the 1915 film SinTheda Bara in the 1915 film «Sin»

In 1915, makeup started to become more popular, literally, as the term itself was considered vulgar, “cosmetics” was the more common expression but applying beauty products was still nothing chic and done only by people in the theater or of dubious reputation and not something for the high society.

Rubinstein 5th avenue salonRubinstein’s Fifth Avenue Salon

A big milestone for the beauty industry took actually place in 1915, when two major forces opened salons on Fifth Avenue — Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein. By then, Max Factor, who was going to invent the first lipstick just a bit later had already perfected his first cosmetic product, the «pancake makeup» for sale. And 1915 marked another milestone, Tom Lyle Williams, who was only 19 at that time, founded one of today’s most successful beauty giants: The Maybelline Company.

max factor 1915Max Factor in 1915

Personally speaking, when I started to research about what happened one hundred years ago in fashion and beauty, I was utterly impressed about how much we still profit from those inventions and changes in the world. I learnt about all of that during my fashion design studies, but most of the knowledge fades away…

Chanel Store BiarritzChanel’s Biarritz store 1915

… but one designer that has always interested me the most, Coco Chanel, started to really influence the fashion world in the mid 1910’s. With her reputation firmly established, she opened her first couture house in Biarritz, France in 1915, followed only three years later by the opening of the famous 31, rue Cambon store in Paris.

coco_chanel_Biarritz2Just after 1915, it became popular to wear a knitted sweater that pulled over the head (yes, a pullover!), with long sleeves, belted at the hip that left a no discernible waist as seen here at Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in Biarritz around 1920.

Just try to imagine the world now 100 years later if Coco Chanel had never been born, we might still be wearing corsets. This amazing woman redefined womanhood in fashion and gave us freedom. She gave us pants, the little black dress, costume jewelry and elegance in general.

Gabrielle_Chanel

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” Gabrielle Coco Chanel

If we start to think forward now, who might be the designer pioneer of today about whom the world in 2115 will still be speaking? And especially how will fashion change?

 Personally speaking, for me it is very interesting to see that in 2015 trends are fading, everything is possible and that we are reviving previous eras constantly. There is nothing really new.

Today, we are constantly challenged by the limitation of our resources on our planet. Returning to nature will and has to play an important factor. Organic fabrics will mostly be extremely common in 2115. The improvement of technology makes everything from impossible to possible.

slide_223561_923452_freeAlready very innovative in 2015: Studio Roosegarde has developped a fabric that undresses you. ‘Intimacy‘ is a curious material made from opaque e-foils which turn transparent during personal encounters thanks to a sensitivity to the wearers heart rate.

If I imagine the world in fashion in 100 years, I could think of very innovative materials that will show their impact as they might not stain anymore and have a self-cleaning effect. In an Huffington Post article from 2012, Mingce Long and Deyong Wu from Donghua University are mentioned “who have developed a fabric which could see washing machines replaced by a stint in the sun. The fabric makes use of a titanium dioxide and nitrogen coating which decomposes stains and kills microbes using light from the visible spectrum.”

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UK-based BioCouture, the world’s first biocreative design consultancy, is already investigating the use of microbial-cellulose to produce lab-grown clothing. New materials that could be used in clothing production might include fibers that can produce heat in winter and coolness in summer, so that you might be able to wear shorts in the cold season. Probably to go one step further and imagine the beauty industry, there might be clothes that have the ability to constantly speed up your metabolism so that just by wearing them you are loosing weight or have a treatment included that can cure skin problems or fight aging. That is a nice idea, don’t you think?

There might be machines in which we put our faces inside in the morning that will apply makeup by themselves. I would miss the fun of putting on my favorite beauty products in the morning though, but I know a gazillion of my girlfriends who would be in heaven with a machine like that.

But who could be the Coco Chanel of today, meaning a designer that will be remembered for his or her changes?

Sandra Bauknecht-Stella McCartneyStella McCartney with me

First to my mind came Stella McCartney who helped to pioneer the vegan leather movement and made environmentally-conscious fashion stylish.

Sandra Bauknecht with Mary Katrantzou at Dinner at BlakesMary Katrantzou with me

Another designer I thought of is my beloved Mary Katrantzou who made digital prints popular. As you might now printing uses a lot of energy but “with digital printing, prints are directly applied to fabrics with printers, reducing water usage by 95 percent, energy reduction of 75 percent, and minimizing textile waste“*.

Coco Chanel, Stella McCartney, Mary Katrantzou, all women that have changed our thinking. Women are key to improving the well-being of children and achieving lasting change in society. We have the power to make this world a better place. And I am sure that in 100 years, Mr. Georges Clot, a former LOUIS XIII Cellar Master, who used to say: “When you discover LOUIS XIII, you become a different man“, would have said:”… you become a different woman.”

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of LOUIS XIII, © Sandra Bauknecht, via Huffington Post, New York Sun, © Chanel*via gbnews