Hermès Art of Leather Watches

Combining leather craft and watchmaking skills, HERMÈS has recently launched ARCEAU Cavales and SLIM D’HERMÈS «Les Zèbres de Tanzanie» wristwatches that are so beautiful I have to share them with you!

For these new must-haves, the animal motifs much beloved by the French Maison are expressed in colourful artisanal style through leather marquetry. An equestrian profile and zebra stripes form vivid leather patchwork patterns, meticulously assembled on the dial of the two models. Within the confines of this incredibly small space, the refined composition of tiny calfskin tesserae is a true work of miniaturisation. Hermès Red, Malta Blue or Graphite: the chromatic signatures of the Maison suffuse this combination of leather craft and watchmaking skills. These inherently rare white gold models are issued in limited series.

On an inch-perfect dial, the Hermès leather artisans compose a variegated work depicting a horse or zebra. Reduced to the format of a round case, these creations flaunt the radiant colours of slim leather fragments carefully selected, cut out and juxtaposed with all the skill and expertise of saddle-making and leather craftsmanship.

The leather marquetry technique calls for a meticulous approach extremely similar to that of assembling a watch movement. Made from full grain calfskin, the leather pieces are split to a thickness of around 0.5 mm, before each element composing the motif is accurate cut to its appointed size and shape. One by one, the artisan picks up these fragments and fits them on the dial to form the design. The ARCEAU Cavales and SLIM D’HERMÈS watches set the stage for the art of leather miniature work.

ARCEAU Cavales

«Hermès Red» and «Indigo Blue» are two iconic colours of the Maison interpreted through subtly varied leathers lit up by Capucine or Agate Red touches. After six hours of patient assembly by the artisan, the many-hued pieces form a patchwork reminiscent of slim poppy petals for one model, and a stylised camouflage pattern for the other.

A closer look shows the «Cavales» motif symmetrically revealed in the dial centre. Swept over by slender leaf-type hands, this micro-leatherwork creation forming the watch face is framed by a 41 mm-diameter white gold ARCEAU case. Its asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs secure a smooth calfskin strap matching the dial colour. These two six-piece limited series are powered by a mechanical self-winding Manufacture Hermès movement driving hours and minutes hands.

SLIM D’HERMÈS
Les Zèbres de Tanzanie

The aura of refined understatement that is the Slim d’Hermès signature magnifies the striped coat of the zebra, in a creation adorned with leather marquetry as well as champlevé and miniature enamelling techniques. Framed by the ultra-thin case with its right-angled lugs and beautifully open dial, «Les Zèbres de Tanzanie» motif designed by animal artist Yves-Marie de Malleray in 2010 takes on a whole new dimension. Colourful stripes, composed of hand-fitted leather inlays, enhance the profile of the miniature-painted creature. The previously hollowed dial is filled with several layers of white enamel, interspersed with drying periods and firings in the oven. It is then hand-polished before the stripes are applied using an extremely fine brush and enamel powders mixed with natural essences. After 26 hours of enamelling and leather marquetry, the motif with its «Étoupe» and «Graphite» tones takes shape in contrasting matt and shiny surfaces. Slender baton-type hands sweep across this work of art, in step with the cadence set by the Manufacture Hermès H1950 ultra-thin movement with its micro-rotor. A matt alligator leather strap matches each of these three white gold variations, issued in 12-piece limited series.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès / David Marchon

Here Comes Your New It-Bag

How do fashion dreams come true in our days? Forget ad campaigns, press releases, fashion magazines, samples and announcements. You just take an It-bag and let it “unexpectedly” dangle from the arm of a celebrity. That is modern advertising and just happened when Lady Gaga sported Hedi Slimane’s first piece for Céline.

A preview for all fashionistas that will surely hit the runway as part of the designer’s inaugural collection for the brand during Paris Fashion Week next month. Slimane was announced as the new artistic, creative, and image director of the French fashion house back in February, succeeding Phoebe Philo.

While visiting Paris, the singer wore the structured bag that is personalized with Lady Gaga’s initials and features gold clasp.

Probably your next Birkin or Kelly bag will be the «Gaga» instead… I am already loving it and you?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Instagram/@sarahtannomakeup (Lady Gaga’s makeup artist Sarah Tanno)
Instagram/ @ladygaga

Louis Vuitton’s Drink-It Bag

While this isn’t the first time LOUIS VUITTON is releasing small fancy minaudières, you could say that this is their most outstanding and fun piece ever. New for 2018, the Drink-It handbag quenches our desires for pretty little must-have accessories and reveals an innovative soda can form decorated with shimmering Swarovski® crystals.

This futuristic style is made to the House’s high level of craftsmanship with polished metal hardware and luxurious leather trimmings. An elegant lambskin lining and calf leather strap finish the design. No need anymore to carry a Starbucks cup when you can have your own luxe cola to clutch.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The Most Expensive Motorcycle in the World

BUCHERER PRESENTS THE MOST EXQUISITE – AND RACIEST – MOTORCYCLE OF ALL TIME
The tradition-steeped Swiss watch and jewellery company Bucherer presents the Harley-Davidson BLUE EDITION, the latest – and most unusual – member of the Bucherer BLUE EDITIONS watch collection that comprises 17 models so far all in collaboration with renowned brands such as Audemars Piguet, Chopard or Piaget just to name a few.

The custom motorcycle of Bündnerbike, the boutique Harley-Davidson workshop, is both a luxury one-of-a-kind product and a real beast. The rumble of 100 PS, an exciting, individual design and unique embellishments lend this motorcycle par excellence a magical, animalistic power of attraction. The one-of-a-kind model was produced in Switzerland in cooperation with the family company Bündnerbike and with a value of CHF 1.888 million it is the most expensive motorcycle in the world.

It took the watchmakers of Carl F. Bucherer, the jewellers of Bucherer Fine Jewellery and the specialists of Bündnerbike a year to design and produce the Harley-Davidson BLUE EDITION. A team of eight employees from both companies contributed all of their expertise. More than 2,500 working hours were invested in this project, which combines Swiss craftsmanship and the passion for exclusive, tailor-made and very cool products.

COOL STYLE – CUSTOMIZED
The Harley-Davidson BLUE EDITION is based on a Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S. However, there is not a great deal left that is reminiscent of the initial model with its cool vintage style. Every metal element found on this one-of-a-kind motorcycle has been produced, welded, beaten, ground and polished by hand. The complete frame of the motorcycle is welded seamlessly, and even the rims are custom-made. The rotating camshaft is visible through a window in the camshaft housing, as are the valve control and the gold-plated throttle valves. Heat-resistant LED lights illuminate the scene.

The Harley-Davidson BLUE EDITION is thus the world’s first motorcycle to have a motor that is lit up from the inside. Various parts of the motorcycle are also gold-plated. The cowhide saddle has been sewn by hand in Switzerland. A special detail: the iridescent colour. A specific technique had to be employed to illuminate the Harley-Davidson in this intense blue. In a first step, the entire motorcycle was silver-plated, before six colour coatings were then applied using a secret coating method.

COMBINING CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE DESIGN AND ART OF JEWELLERY MAKING
This unique piece is perfected by the incorporation of the arts of watchmaking and jewellery making. This is also a world first: never before have a manufacture watch and jewels been integrated in a motorcycle. The Dizzler rotating ring from the Bucherer Fine Jewellery collection was adapted for the Harley-Davidson BLUE EDITION to allow it to be mounted on the hand grips.

That was a technical challenge,” says Jürg Ludwig Jr, Managing Director of Bündnerbike. “To ensure that the rings really stay in place, a special method was applied that guarantees a very strong hold. How this works remains a secret of the Bündnerbike blacksmith,” explains Ludwig. A further pair of Dizzler diamond rings can be found on the forks, while a large version of the Dizzler ring is located in the left half of the tank.

Underneath a glass dome made from armoured glass, another piece of jewellery of special value can be found in a retractable safe: a six-prong Heaven solitaire ring with a 5.40-carat diamond.

This is also a unique feature, as is the watch from Carl F. Bucherer at its side. This special custom-made watch, which is based on the Patravi TravelTec II model, is located in a second safe in the right half of the tank. The dial of this unique piece is adorned by elements of a motorcycle engine. To ensure that the vibrations of the engine do not damage the mechanical movement, the watch is housed in a cage with an elaborate holder made from silicon rings.

It was a long road,” says Samir Merdanovic, Head of Manufacture Movements at Carl F. Bucherer, about the development process, which demanded a great deal of thinking. “The holder, for example, also serves as a watch winder. The watch is therefore wound regularly and continues to run, even if the motorcycle is not ridden for an extended period,” explains Merdanovic.

The owner can also look forward to wearing a further unique Carl F. Bucherer watch on their wrist. This has been created by the manufacturer exclusively for the buyer and also incorporates design elements of the motorcycle and its engine on the dial. Even when not riding the motorcycle, the buyer will therefore always have a piece of the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking at his or her side.

A testimony to the passion of craftsmanship, and probably the first motorcycle that makes the heart of every woman leap with joy! I definitely would like to turn the Dizzler rotating diamond ring…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bucherer

Chanel Code Coco

So pretty… at first glance, a bracelet that sparkles around the wrist – like a precious jewel. CHANEL is bringing new meaning to the term «timepiece» with the latest addition to its watch family: CODE COCO. The name derives from the idea to be intriguing, with parts that are working together to cleverly reveal different design elements, much like a code.

Inspired by the iconic CHANEL 2.55 purse, the new jewelry watch is available in stainless steel or white gold with diamonds. It closes with a click like the quilted bag, created by Mademoiselle Chanel in February 1955, whose clasp adorns the heart of the watch’s dial.

This swivel clasp can be positioned horizontally or vertically, masking or revealing the time as the wearer pleases. The flexible steel strap also features the iconic quilted motif – a signature of the French Maison.

The CODE COCO watch above all stands out with the way that it fastens around the wearer’s wrist. Rather than using a classic folding clasp, this timepiece furls around the wrist until its two ends meet. In fact, the watch bezel – available in steel or studded with diamonds – is located at one end of the strap, which curls around the wrist to encase the dial at the other end, fastening the watch closed with a click.

A tribute to a story, style and look, the CODE COCO watch carries the ever-renewing codes of CHANEL. Definitely on my wish list…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of CHANEL
#CODECOCO#ChanelWatches #ChanelHorlogerie

The Alanui Hype

«Like a blanket that always stays with you – it has sentimental values.» – Nicolò Oddi

Sometimes, it is fascinating how a fashion item can rise to fame in a short amount of time, mostly thanks to Instagram. One piece that has been spotted all over is an oversized cuddly cardigan handcrafted from 980 grams of Cariaggi cashmere. Created by Nicolò Oddi in dialogue with his sister and muse Carlotta in the beginning of 2016, luxury Italian label ALANUI is defined by its colorful jacquard knitwear that pays homage to Native-American iconography, focusing on this one style only.  The production of one ethnic-style cardigan can take up to 11 hours.

Carlotta Oddi in her own design, a fringed pink jacquard-knit cashmere cardigan by ALANUI.
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Carlotta Oddi herself steers a large part of that success – after all, she’s probably the label’s best testimonial. She’s admired by many for her individualistic look, which can also be seen in her 97,700 Instagram followers. It all started a few years ago when Carlotta flew to Hawaii with a large vintage cardigan in her suitcase, a gift from her brother Nicolò, a piece that became her travel companion and that inspired both siblings to create their own line.

TO SHOP ALANUI CARDIGANS ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.icon

This season the siblings have added for the first time sweaters with fringe, cardigans with hoods, ponchos, and small accessories like cashmere hats. Moreover they launched their first collaboration with the concept store Colette. Today, the must-have knitwear has spread like wildfire, selling worldwide across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and the USA. A statement of pure luxury that has inspired other designers to copy it.

ETRO seeked inspiration from ALANUI this season. I have to admit that I like those cardigans a lot and great news is that they are much cheaper. Who would have thought this?
From left to right: Fringed red intarsia wool cardigan, reversible intarsia blue wool-blend and jacquard jacketiconreversible intarsia multi colored wool-blend and jacquard jacketicon, and fringed black and white wool-jacquard cardiganicon, all by Etro (all 40% off on sale).

By the way ALANUI means «large path» in the Hawaiian language. This might be a good omen, and it will carry them a long way further.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Alanui, Net-à-Porter and via Instagram @carlottaoddi

Hermès Birkin Auctioned for a Record Price

Yesterday, an Hermès Niloticus Birkin bag made «fashion history» when it sold for a record price of HK$2.98 million which is around US$383,522 at Christie’s in Hong Kong. As South China Morning Post reports it became the world’s most expensive handbag ever sold at an auction, the Holy Grail for bag lovers so to say.

The muse: Jane Birkin

The story behind the Birkin bag, that was launched in 1984, is actually pretty sweet. Back in the early 1980s, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. The actress had just placed her straw travelling bag in the overhead compartment, when she spilled the contents all over the place. As she gathered her belongings, the passenger in the seat next to her suggested that she should have a bag with pockets.

She replied, presumably very annoyed, that when Hermès made such a bag, she would have one. The man then announced himself as Jean-Louis Dumas and the idea of the ideal handbag was born.

Yesterday’s auction at Christie’s in Hong Kong

We all know that a Birkin bag is a safe investment due to its long waiting list and probably even more lucrative than stocks. According to the Independent, there was a study published in January 2016 that compared three different types of investments: the S&P 500 (an index that reflects the stock market and is said to be the leading indicator of U.S. equities); gold; and Hermès Birkin handbags. The research concluded that the latter are by far the safest investment of the three as they’re not subject to fluctuations in the market. Fans of the iconic piece tend to beat the lines by scoring it at one of those auctions where it has been continuously breaking price records.

In yesterday’s case, a matte white Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30 with a diamond-encrusted white-gold buckle and hardware was auctioned by an anonymous collector, who won the bid by phone and who is surprisingly not from Asia.

Object of desire: A rare exceptional Matte White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 30 with 18k white gold diamond-encrusted hardware.

What is so special about this Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin bag? It is one of the most coveted bags due to its extreme rarity, status symbol and exquisite craftsmanship. A similar style was auctioned for HK$2.94 million at Christie’s last year. The gradation of the color of the crocodile leather resembles the majestic, snow-capped Himalayas, from smoky grey to pearly white. The diamond-encrusted hardware make it of course extra scarce. 

So beautiful and rare: the Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Kelly 28 bag with Palladium Hardware, approximately €60,000–80,000.

Apart from the Birkins, Hermès also started to craft a few Himalaya Kelly bags for top clients, which are fabled as «the rarest handbags in the world».

Personally speaking on top of my wish list…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Hermès, South China Morning Post

The It-Bag You Cannot Buy in a Store

Something really exciting to share with you… for one week only you will be able to purchase the Gabriela Hearst bags that you cannot buy in a store or online besides now. These bags are highly sought after and trying to get them is almost impossible with extremely high waiting lists – on average there is a waiting list of 1,500 client per bag at any given time. If you really want the bag, you have to email, hope and wait.

The friends of Gabriella Hearst who were carrying the famous Nina bag as one of the first ones have caused a big hype: Miroslava Duma to the left and Brie Larson to the right.

My favorite: the Nina leather tote in cognac.

After having produced 20 of those must-have pieces for friends and family, the designer got so many requests that she created an It-bag without even thinking about it. Now, New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst has partner with NET-A-PORTER LTD to raise funds for Save the Children for the unprecedented hunger crisis and impending famine in Turkana, Kenya. The designer is committed to make a donation of $600,000. From the money raised, save the Children will provide cash transfers to those affected families, giving them the ability to purchase urgently needed food and clean water to help them survive the drought.

Gabriela Hearst

… next to her beautiful Ella two-tone leather tote.

A trio of its own: the Nina, the Demi and the Ellie. Hard to decide… and not a lot of time left as they are selling out like crazy!

TO SHOP THE GABRIELA HEARST BAGS FOR ONE WEEK, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Please be aware that the proceeds from the sale of the bags by NET-A-PORTER will not be donated to Save the Children. Instead, NET-A-PORTER is helping to raise awareness about the important work that this charity does and the donation will be made by Gabriela Hearst directly. The donation is made up of the money Gabriela Hearst makes from wholesaling the bags to NET-A-PORTER.
Photos: Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst and Net-à-Porter

Expensive Taste: Linda Farrow Sunglasses

Today I would like to invite you to discover the world’s most exclusive eyewear. Established in 1970, the Linda Farrow brand rose quickly to acclaim. Originally a fashion designer herself, Linda Farrow was one of the first to treat sunglasses as fashion, her finger always on the pulse of the times. A tireless experimenter, Farrow pioneered many of the shapes and styles that remain au courant today. Her pioneering use of shape helped move eyewear into high-fashion territory, with avant-garde styles favoured by stars like Yoko Ono and working with brands such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Sonia Rykiel.

Creative direction: Tracy Sedino and Simon Jablon.

After a twenty year hiatus, the brand was revived in 2003 by Farrow’s son Simon Jablon and his wife Tracy Sedino, following the discovery of a vast archive of vintage sunglasses in the family’s London warehouse. Today, the brand is renowned for collaborating with some of the world’s most acclaimed designers and continues to be the luxury leader in eyewear design. Timeless in design and uncompromising in quality!

A great selection is available at EDEN BEING – click here to visit the online shop.

The packaging itself is sensational.

I went for this beautiful classic aviator style. A modern design, crafted in a warm and luxurious rose gold-plated titanium with monochromatic lenses, I love to wear them for a glamorous escapade.

Enjoying a healthy breakfast this morning on my balcony at the beautiful Villa Stéphanie with my new sunnies by Linda Farrow.

Right now I am at the Villa Stéphanie in Baden-Baden, Germany that is also part of the Oetker Collection for a week of detox that I will tell you more about soon in detail. At the moment, I am super busy with my program that includes different treatments, healthy eating and lots of sport. For instant updates follow me on Instagram @sandrascloset.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Linda Farrow and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Straw Hat Dress

This S/S 2017 season, French designer Jacquemus showed the so-called Santon wide-brimmed straw hat at his runway presentation that has become a must-have among fashionistas. This week, he unveiled a new summer dress, that is made entirely of eight straw hats sewn together.

Being unlined and made 100 percent of straw, it sounds like something very itchy and comfortable to wear, but I adore it. I just imagine that it will break the minute I sit down, but it is definitely a museum piece and I would love to own it. Available to shop exclusively at Ssense, the Jacquemus design retails for €2495.

Why throwing on one straw hat if you can have eight… .

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Jacquemus