The Modist

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More news from the Middle East, a region that is developing extremely fast at the moment in terms of fashion business. With the launch of VOGUE ARABIA, the new online shop OUNASS that only serves the Gulf markets, operating in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and a growing loyal customer base in the Middle East for global online shopping destinations such as NET-A-PORTERiconMATCHESFASHIONicon and MODAOPERANDIicon, the economy is booming. Many of those online houses are working on localised sites in the region, mostly planned for 2018/2019.

2-dolce-hijabDolce & Gabbana launched a collection of hijabs & abayas in 2016 with a lot of success.

According to a 2016 Digital Middle East report by McKinsey & Company, the Middle East is on the edge of a massive digital evolution with significant unused e-commerce potential.

The_Modist_Ghizlan_GuenezGhizlan Guenez, CEO and Founder of The Modist

Yesterday, the first global online destination for luxury modest fashion, THE MODIST, has been launched. Conceived by Ghizlan Guenez, CEO and Founder, it provides a destination for like-minded women who want in-season, luxury fashion choices while respecting the context of their personal style, spanning all ages, faiths, cultures and ethnicities. 38-year-old Guenez, who is originally from Algeria, has been living in the UAE for the last 20 years which has helped her to profoundly understand her target market. With this launch, she is definitely trying to own the region before anybody else.

Our mission is to build a strong sense of purpose to empower a woman’s freedom of choice and to acknowledge how similar women across the world are, despite our diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles – a relevant conversation at this time,” notes Guenez. “We aim to break down pre-conceived notions while building a community and dialogue that invigorates, informs and celebrates the fashionable, modern, modest woman“.

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THE MODIST is shipping to over 100 countries, it is dedicated to women who dress to express their style in a contemporary, fashionable yet modest manner. The selection includes pieces of over 75 of the world’s leading ready-to-wear and accessories brands including Marni, Alberta Ferretti, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou amongst others.

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If you are wondering how pieces from such designers can be modest, you come to the expertise that THE MODIST wants to curate by styling such brands in a more modest way and by proposing many ideas of styling, including clever layering, longer hemlines and sleeves. Being inspired by regional insights to still attract a global audience that is the motto.The ModCombining curated content and commerce, THE MODIST‘s accompanying magazine, «THE MOD» will provide shoppable content, seasonal features, styling guidance, moving image segments, behind the scenes excerpts as well as profiles and interviews. The platform will also include personal styling and shopping tips, an in-house studio and a 24/7 personal concierge all built on an enterprise level e-commerce platform with global logistics partnerships.

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Lisa Bridgett, Chief Operating Officer, whom I know from her position as Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Net-à-Porter, adds “The market potential within the modest fashion segment is vast and projected to reach a value of $484 billion by 2019. Our goal is to provide a one-stop, immersive content and shopping destination for the global luxury modest consumer whom we know and herald“.

The_Modist_Ghizlan_Guenez_Lisa_Bridgett_1The team behind The Modist: Sasha Sarokin, Sally Matthews, Ghizlan Guenez, Lisa Bridgett, Dima Ayad.

With offices in London and Dubai, THE MODIST team comprises, in addition to Guenez and Bridgett, international business and fashion industry specialists including Sasha Sarokin, Buying and Fashion Director (former Head Buyer at Net-à-Porter); Sally Matthews, Creative Director (former Fashion and Beauty Director of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia) and Dima Ayad, PR and Marketing Director (former Fashion Designer and Marketing VP).

Mary_KatrantzouAnother and interesting way of styling the Duritz pussy-bow printed crepe de chine maxi dressicon by Mary Katrantzou.

Great news is that you get 15% off your first purchase at THEMODIST with promo code MODGIFT.
Happy Shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © The Modist, @ Harper’s Bazaar Arabia

Dolce & Gabbana Loves St. Barth

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We wanted the Saint Barth store to have a relaxing atmosphere, that it be a meeting place to enjoy a moment of tranquillity at the water’s edge”.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

There is a new treasure chest in the Caribbean as Dolce & Gabbana inaugurates its first boutique on Saint Barthélemy, adding a precious tile with a distinctly paradise flavour to the mosaic of new shops around the world. As I am on the island at the moment, I couldn’t wait to discover the exclusive colorful special collection designed for St. Barth that is only available here.

sandra_bauknecht_st_barthMe in front of the new Dolce & Gabbana store in Gustavia.

My favourites? The beautifully embellished sun hats and beach bags. To make the gentlemen happy while you are shopping there is in the tropical garden surrounded by palm trees on the ground floor, the Dolce & Gabbana Martini Bar.

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Below you can enjoy the photos shot by the Morelli Brothers and styled by Anna Dello Russo that highlight the special capsule collection with prints from the island.

Kiss kiss from St. Barth!
#DGLovesStBarth

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, © MorelliBrothers, © Massimo Listri and © Sandra Bauknecht

Chanel Takes Up Residence in Le Marais

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Beaumarchais lived here, fabulous parties took place here, and great names have stayed here. Yet for more than half a century, the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, has been left slumbering in the heart of Le Marais. This winter a part of this unique building, recognised as one of the most beautiful in Paris, will come to life again and open its doors to the public once more. It is here that CHANEL has chosen to install a double ephemeral boutique.

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The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is classified as a National Heritage Site, and its high doors carved with two gargoyle heads and the coat of arms belonging to the family that acquired the townhouse in the 17th century, give one a hint of its impressive stature that lies within. These doors open onto the Cour d’Honneur, surrounded by two buildings, where one immediately senses a breath of magic and of mystery in the air. At the entrance four sundials have kept their polychrome in spite of the years gone by.

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The two ephemeral boutiques break from the traditional codes of CHANEL. Each space has been left in its untouched state: exposed stone walls are bare having been simply adorned with facades of transparent glass, giving pride of place to the history of this hôtel particulier which over the centuries has been witness to so many lives. The floor, with it’s worn appearance, is made from resin to resemble Corten steel. This desire for purity also offers a glimpse of the immense renovation in progress of these buildings and those hidden in the rear courtyard.

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Within this minimalist environment only the black linear clothes rails and the wooden console tables mounted on glass supports, emerge here and there. In the first building, on the left, the ready-to-wear collections and the accessories are presented over a single floor of 127m².

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A second space, consisting of just 37m², and made to look like the studio of a great artist, is housed in the building on the right. In complete respect for the mineral and almost archaeological atmosphere of this setting, once again, nothing has been changed, adorned, reconstituted or hidden. Here, only authenticity, miraculously preserved over the ages, prevails. Pierced with a window, this boutique brings together the CHANEL shoes.

Like a stroll through time and history it reminds us that a piece by CHANEL is anchored in modernity and the air du temps, yet is also transmitted from one generation to the next. The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is one of its most beautiful showcases yet.

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CHANEL Ephemeral Boutique
47 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris
+33 1 40 09 59 60
Open from now to the end of May 2017
From Monday to Sunday 11am to 7pm

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Olivier Saillant © Chanel

Prada’s New Shop in Zurich – VIP Opening

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PRADA has finally established a commanding presence in Zurich again with a new boutique on the legendary Bahnhofstrasse; one of the most exclusive shopping enclaves in Switzerland.

The new space covers a total area of approximately 1,100 square meters over three floors and offers collections for both men and women. In design, Prada sought to combine the strength of its own heritage with a dynamic evolution of style and technology.

Borsani chairs evoke classic Italian design while a sleek black marble façade and rhythmic composition of windows harmonize with the architectural elements of the existing building. The iconic checkerboard motif is reinterpreted through the use of accentuated color schemes. Expansive video walls, green ceiling beams, floors laid with yellow and white geometric patterns and green Alpine marble accents enhance furnishings and spaces.

The ground floor is dedicated to leathergoods, accessories and women’s footwear. The first floor is exclusive to women’s collections and offers very intimate spaces for Made to Order services. The second floor, dedicated to the men’s collections and Made to Measure, is characterized by more masculine colors, furnishings and geometric elements.

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Last week, PRADA hosted a private VIP opening event where guests got to explore the gorgeous store before its official party this Thursday.

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Checking out the beautiful Galleria Saffiano small leather shoulder bag collection.

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You can shop PRADA also online now at mytheresa.com and net-à-porter.com.

Enjoy some more photos below of the amazing new shop in Zurich and stay tuned for more…

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: Courtesy of Prada, © David Biedert Photography

Pasticceria Marchesi: Prada’s Sweet Tooth

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A year after the opening of Pasticceria Marchesi 1824 on Via Montenapoleone, the historical pastry shop controlled by the Prada Group opened the doors to its new stylish location in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on Monday.

Housed in the same building as the Prada menswear store, the inauguration of another iconic Marchesi pastry shop is the second phase of a major project in which the prestigious Galleria location of the Prada Group will become a genuine hub of its many facets, where fashion, food, art and a wide range of cultural activities will harmoniously coexist.

stefano-cantinoStefano Cantino

Towards WWD, Stefano Cantino, Group Strategic Marketing Director, said that Prada, which became a majority shareholder with an 80 percent stake in March 2014, will expand Pasticceria Marchesi outside of Italy. “We’ve had requests from international malls, but we are defining the timing. In the medium-term, we will open in Shanghai and Dubai. We are not doing franchised banners and we want to guarantee high standards,” explained Cantino, adding that “maybe” some Prada stores could also house the pastry shop. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

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I love the green interior design that is elegant and so reminiscent of the Prada stores around the world.  Part of the space in the new store is used as an elegant tea room which serves a variety of dishes throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, tea, and an evening aperitif.

Open one in Zurich, please!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Prada

A New Home for Maison Gassmann

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After 134 years at the same location in Zurich, Maison Gassmann moved and celebrated its new home located at Weinplatz 3 (the former Pastorini toy store) last week. The house has a rich history, its oldest part dates back to the early 13th century. Throughout the building you can find historic structures that are now integrated in the sophisticated contemporary interior design.

The brand portfolio includes a large variety of different established designers as well as newcomers, such as Etro, Missoni, Vilshenko and more, for women and children.

IMG_1586With Katja Hahnloser at the opening party last week.

2016, marks also the change of leadership for the renowned fashion store. With siblings, Michael and Katja Hahnloser, taking over the business from their father, the fifth generation is now in charge of the company. If you like to hear more about the heritage, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Maison Gassmann and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dolce & Gabbana Opening Party in Zurich

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Last week, when I got back from New York, I attended in the evening the opening celebration of Dolce & Gabbana‘s new boutique in Zurich, the first one directly operated by the brand in Switzerland. Located at Bahnhofstrasse 10, the new 830 m2 three-story flagship offers women’s, men’s and children swear collections as well as a large selection of accessories. Male customers can also benefit from a special made to measure service.

Guests were browsing the store and everybody loved the new sunglasses. The natural beauty of the flora of Italy is interpreted in this luxurious and fashion forward limited edition eyewear collection.

My look: Printed silk jumpsuitmatching satin sandals, transparent beltgreen ‘Miss Sicily’ bag and crystal-embellished key earrings, all by Dolce & Gabbana.

LoL, Sandra


Photos: © Alexandra Pauli @ Call List Agency

Fashion Vestis

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If you have read the February issue of L’OFFICIEL Switzerland, you might remember Monika Wildi and her fabulous Zurich based online shop FASHIONVESTIS. Three years ago she started this fashion adventure. Today she carries a great selection of young brands and upcoming designers.

Get the look: Blue sweater by Paul & Joeraffia shopper by Vanessa Bruno, white shirt, embroidered shorts and cowboy boots, all three by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini.

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Great news is that you can find the beautiful collection of Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini at FASHION VESTIS. The former Dolce & Gabbana womenswear designer was appointed in October 2014 as Creative Director of the brand that was founded in 1984 by Alberta Ferretti.
His second runway collection for Philosophy showcases beautiful dresses lush with painterly florals and Victorian embellishments, spicing it up with a hint of the undone prairie girl.

IMG_3093The package comes beautifully wrapped if you order at Fashion Vestis.

I couldn’t resist those two looks, stay tuned for the outfit posts coming up soon…

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Runway S/S 2016 Look 1: Floral printed chiffon dress with ruffles

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Runway S/S 2016 Look 13: White broderie anglaise dress with corset belt

LoL, Sandra

Photos via L’OFFICIEL Switzerland and FashionVestis
© Sandra Bauknecht

A Free Gift from Bobbi Brown

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Last week, the online launch of Bobbi Brown Switzerland was celebrated in Zurich with a special beauty event at Loft Five. Finally, you can shop your favorite beauty products from home. Have a look at the website, it is totally fun, especially the makeup tutorials are a great way to learn more about the perfect application.

Advantages of online shopping at bobbibrown.ch:
– Free shipping if you spend more than CHF 100.-
– Free shipping and returns on all foundations, correctors, concealers and powders!
– A free deluxe miniature of your choice

To celebrate the occasion, Bobbi Brown has a special surprise for you, my dear Sandra’s Closet readers.
If you shop until April 16, 2016, you will receive a free full-size lipgloss (while stock lasts). Just enter the code BBSANDRA at checkout.
Click HERE to enter the online shop!

Sandra_Bauknecht_BobbiBrown_ch_1Spoiled for choice…

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… here are my favorite Bobbi Brown products I cannot live without!
Nude on Nude Eye Palette
Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Bone
Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil in Saddle
Highlighting Powder in Pink Glow
All of her Make-up Brushes
High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Tulle

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Bobbi Brown Switzerland and © Sandra Bauknecht

Visiting Azzedine Alaïa in Paris

Visiting Azzedine Alaia in Paris

Today, my thoughts are with the people of Paris. Standing in solidarity with the French, I am appalled by yesterday’s heinous and immoral acts. So many amazing people live in the City of Lights and I am wishing all of them lots of strength. One of them is Azzedine Alaïa whom I met recently.

“It is Alaïa or not Alaïa! If it is not, you cannot negotiate.”

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Rue de Moussy in the Marais district of Paris, a very unlikely location for a high end fashion store. This has been the address of Azzedine Alaïa’s Maison since over 20 years. It is home to the ateliers, the showroom, the store, an art gallery, his apartment, a hotel with three rooms and the famous kitchen where he eats together with his employees every day and where he welcomed my humble self for dinner. Famous artist and longtime friend Julian Schnabel designed some furniture for the space, such as a massive cashiers’ desk, embellished with the initials, “A.A.”.

Moussy - Photos Andrea Aversa(8)The Alaïa store at Rue de Moussy

Marignan - Photos Ilvio Gallo (1)Housed in an 18th-century mansion, the new Alaïa store at 5 Rue de Marignan.

Before I arrive at the Alaïa temple, I had visited the second store on Rue Marignan which has been open since September 2013. It is quite the opposite on three floors, white, majestic, very artsy and clean, filled with the iconic pieces Azzedine is known for. You might say that he is one of the last couturiers. He is the master of tailoring. I haven’t seen one woman in my life that hasn’t looked good in an Alaïa dress and a pair of Alaïa shoes.

Azzedine-Alaia-12-Vogue-2Oct13-Patrick-Demarchelier_b© Patrick Demarchelier

It is an amazing success story: born in February 1940 as the son of Tunisian farmers, he got inspired for his love of couture by his twin sister. He attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis and studied sculpture which helped him define the silhouette of the modern woman. He had worked at Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler before opening his first own atelier in the late 1970s. There is no doubt, Azzedine Alaïa has made the sexiest clothes for the most stunning women on the planet, has rejected corporate fashion and become highly acclaimed among critics, designers – even first ladies. For me, it is a story of someone who has always stayed true to himself and has never given up on his own dreams and values, no matter how much more difficult it got because of this attitude. Being particularly successful since the 1980s, he is mostly famous for his tight fitting curve-hugging clothes and second-skin styles with complex seams and snaking zippers. Thanks to him, leather and Lycra have been elevated to the world of high fashion.

Azzedine-Alaia-2-Vogue-2Oct13-Paolo-Roversi_bLong sheath dress known as the “powder puff” from the S/S 1994 collection.
© Paolo Roversi

Mr. Alaïa once said: “A woman is like an actress, she’s always onstage. She has to look great to feel good. If she’s going to wear clothes by a designer, … then the clothes should make something happen, something unexpected. The dress has to be part of her, she has to feel it on her body. … I prefer the woman to be seen rather than the outfit. Her head, her body, her hands — the garment is there to cover her, to underline something, and make her beautiful.

Alaïa’s ability to flatter a woman’s body is unparalleled, his creations are timeless. I have been collecting his designs for over twenty years and not one of my pieces seems outdated.

6a00e5523a6edd8833013488290b1a970c-800wiAlaïa leopard love (F/W 1992), © Jean-Baptiste Mondino

He likes swimming against the tide. Whereas all designers follow the fashion week schedules, Mr. Alaïa premieres his collections at his own rhythm, in private défilés since over a decade now. He is openly not a fan of Karl Lagerfeld and had a big fall out with Anna Wintour who hadn’t included the designer’s work in the 2009 Met’s Model As Muse exhibition – which she had organized.

Azzedine Alaïa plays by his own rules. The tiny designer is used to make all the decisions himself. For him, being independent and putting all the effort in his creativity is the key to success. “It’s ready, when it’s ready.” Now, after over 30 years in business, he takes his kingdom to new heights with the launch of his first fragrance «Alaïa». Like an iconic dress of him, he wanted it to be like a second skin. Timeless, for the Alaïa woman, discreet and not vulgar. He created a team of four people to come up with the perfect scent. His longtime friend Carla Sozzani, founder of 10 Corso Como in Milan, famous fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, the French designer Martin Szekely, who created the bottle and last but not least Marie Salamagne, the nose behind it.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Marie_SalamangneMarie Salamagne with me

For her it was an unusual encounter with a designer. Marie explains to me: “Once a month we met and discussed what was going to be the fragrance. Mr. Alaïa was were interested to interpret his childhood memories that he had of the smell of fresh water. He had this clear souvenir in mind of cold water running down the hot walls of his family house. Therefore he wanted the fragrance to show exactly this contrast, a mix of cool and warm notes at one.” He was very clear about his vision: “It is Alaïa or not Alaïa! If it is not, you cannot negotiate.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Smelling_alaiaExploring the new Alaïa scent

Marie Salamagne used very fresh airy top notes to give this watery feeling that is transparent and pure. The idea to use pink pepper to add more lightness came from Mr. Alaïa himself. The second impression is floral, but in an abstract and not invasive way, built on peony and freesia. The base notes are warm and all about bare skin created through animal notes and musk.

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The bottle is all about the same contrasting elements. Built like a sculpture, it resembles the iconic perforated cut used for his leather pieces. It is opaque black but when you hold it into the light, it becomes see-through. The packaging itself plays with the famous nude color, the color of skin that Azzedine Alaïa loves to work with. Personally speaking, I had a clear idea in mind of how «Alaïa» would smell like and the new fragrance has totally surpassed all of my expectations. It is different like the house of Alaïa is, yet timeless and unexpected. The designer was very clear about his vision: “It is Alaïa or not Alaïa! If it is not, you cannot negotiate.

It was an amazing experience meeting Mr Alaïa himself. He is such a sweetheart!
Below are some more impressions of my time with him.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra_Bauknecht_AlaiaHeading to dinner in head to toe Alaïa

Moussy - Photos Andrea Aversa(7)Inside the Rue de Moussy store.

Rossy-De_palma_Sandra_BauknechtWith Alaïa’s muse, actress Rossy de Palma, at dinner.

IMG_3439The famous Alaïa kitchen

Hotel 3 Rooms - 5 Rue de Moussy- Photos Christoph Kicherer (1)One of the three hotel rooms

Rue-de-Moussy_Sandra_Bauknecht_alaiaTrying the amazing gown that I wore to my friend’s wedding in Capri.

Gift AlaiaA lovely gift from Mr Alaïa: the laser-cut leather clutch.icon

Marignan - Photos Ilvio Gallo (14)The stairs inside the Rue de Marignan store.

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Photos: Courtesy of Alaïa, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Paolo Roversi, © Jean-Baptiste Mondino and © Patrick Demarchelier