Merry Christmas 2017

«Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.» – Karl Lagerfeld

I love Christmas trees and my favorite one (besides my own) can be found at London’s Claridge’s Hotel where in the eighth consecutive year a creative visionary has been invited to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style. This December, it is Karl Lagerfeld, one of the fashion world’s most influential creative forces, who created the stunning festive installation, a sixteen foot high inverted tree with silver gilded roots topped with a multi-faceted mirrored star which reflects rays of magical light across the art deco lobby. Reminiscent of a silver stalactite, the tree is hung with traditional silver lametta decorations, silver butter leather feathers and snowflakes handmade by craftsmen in Germany with tree candles giving a warm, inviting glow. Under the centerpiece sit hand sewn white Icelandic sheepskin rugs to reflect a recent snowfall.The famous designer was inspired by his own childhood memories of Christmas.

The Claridge’s Christmas Tree has long been a festive Mayfair landmark, drawing visitors and Londoners alike to marvel at its magnificent and ever-changing design. Scroll down to explore Claridge’s Christmas Tree designs through the years.

2016: SIR JONY IVE AND MARC NEWSON

2015: CHRISTOPHER BAILEY FOR BURBERRY

2014: DOLCE & GABBANA

2013: DOLCE & GABBANA

2012: KALLY ELLIS OF MCQUEENS

2011: ALBER ELBAZ FOR LANVIN

2010: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

2009: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

Merry Christmas to all of you – may you all sparkle as these beautiful trees with joy, love and laughter.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s

Prada Silver Line

Prada presents PRADA SILVER LINE, an itinerant project offering customers the chance to acquire exclusive products – which are chosen for each leg of the journey – and presented inside an original installation.

For the Christmas Holiday, for one month, this imaginary railway station stops for the first time at the Galaxy shopping mall in Macau, hosting a selection of women’s luxury bags and accessories.

In particular, the Prada Cahier bag is reinterpreted in three new styles made of exotic leathers. A different selection of items will be developed for each future city of the itinerant retail space.

The concept is a reconstruction of an ideal train in which the various target is aesthetic themes are combined in a single design. The exterior is a metal shell reminiscent of the American Streamliners of the ’30s and ’50s. The interior features walls cover in floral-patterned red silk brocade to create a luxurious, romantic look. The setting is completed by the iconic black-and-white chequered floor which characterises Prada stores around the world since 1913.

Around and outside the train’s coach, a series of installations including life-size Prada robots and a ticket booth, which serves as a concierge service’s booth, finish off the perfect ambiance.

From January 2018, PRADA SILVER LINE will touch on several cities, including Dubai and later on some of the most important locations in Asia, Europe and the United States.

I am loving it… cannot wait for the PRADA SILVER LINE to hopefully stop in Zurich…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Prada

Gucci Expands Gucci Places

Gucci is pleased to announce the development of Gucci Places, its initiative designed to invite people to explore locations around the world that have inspired the House.
The very first Gucci Place, which was unveiled earlier this year was Chatsworth in Derbyshire, England, where Gucci supported House Style exhibition. Chatsworth was also the location of the Gucci Cruise 2017 advertising campaign.

Gucci Cruise 2017 advertising campaign

Now Gucci has chosen a variety of further locations that reflect the taste and values peculiar to the House, and designated these: Gucci Places. The idea is to encourage people to discover interesting and unexpected stories about these places, and so become part of a community. The Gucci Places programme is thus a network of locations connected to Gucci, all of which possess the quality of being able to surprise, arouse interest and inspire a creative response.

To bring the Gucci Places programme to life, the Gucci App has functionality that enables people to become involved in the story of each designated Place. It is configured to use the geolocation services of a user’s mobile device so that when you are in the proximity of a Gucci Place you will receive a push notification to invite you to visit the relevant location. When in the Gucci Place, the App allows users to check in and win a badge associated with it. You can thus collect the badges of all the Places recommended by Gucci, and can share these on social media.

The App also provides a detailed description of the Place, featuring texts, pictures and/or videos. Users can also access an information section, which enables them to contact the Place by email or phone, or visit its website. Each Place has a section on the App dedicated to the events it is staging, enabling you to browse the scheduled programme.

Furthermore, an exclusive selection of products, based on those in Gucci’s Courrier collection, is being created as part of the Gucci Places initiative. Special patches inspired by each Gucci Place have been developed and will feature on the products, which will be available for purchase at the relevant Gucci Place (when feasible) and at the nearest Gucci store.

The patches are inspired by the Place in question and reflect Gucci’s eclectic aesthetic, incorporating motifs that reference the location – a coat of arms, perhaps, or a design detail from a building.
The first products featuring the Chatsworth patch have been on sale at Chatsworth House and the Gucci flagship store in Sloane Street, London, since July.

The new Gucci Places are:

The Biblioteca Angelica, Rome, Italy. Founded in 1604, the this was the first public library in Europe and has a vast bibliographic collection, featuring manuscripts that belonged to the Augustinians. Gucci hosted a private party here to celebrate the publication of A Magazine Curated By Alessandro Michele, and it was also the setting of the Gucci Pre-Fall 2017 look book, shot by Derek Ridgers.

Castello Sonnino, Montespertoli, Firenze, Italy. A family home, historical wine estate and an international educational centre, Castello Sonnino was originally a customs post between the territories of Florence and Siena, and dates back to the 13th century. It was the location of the Gucci Cruise 2016 advertising campaign.

Moreover, Caterina de Renzis Sonnino, who lives and owns the Castle, has starred in the latest Gucci Cruise 2018 advertising campaign.

Maison Assouline, London, United Kingdom. Originally a banking hall designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922, this Grade II listed building is now home to the all-encompassing Assouline cultural lifestyle hub. The limited-edition Gucci book, Blind For Love, by Nick Waplington, documenting the Gucci Cruise 2017 collection, was published by Assouline and presented at this store at a special book signing by the artist.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California, USA. In 2011, LACMA launched its first annual Art + Film Gala. Each year the event celebrates the work of an accomplished filmmaker and artist who have made significant contributions in art and film. Since its inauguration, Gucci has been the presenting sponsor of this benefit event.

Bibo, Hong Kong. An extraordinary restaurant with a 1930s feel. Here, seasonal French gastronomy is served in a space featuring the works of some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists, including Banksy, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. To celebrate the #GucciGram Tian digital art project, which took place during Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, Gucci held a private dinner at Bibo.

Waltz, Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan. A shop specialising in cassettes, vinyl, VHS tapes and boomboxes, Waltz is a truly unique place. It also carries old magazine editions. The area of Meguro and its nostalgic atmosphere, where Waltz is located, evokes the set of the Fall Winter 2016 campaign which was shot in Tokyo by Glen Luchford.

LoL, Sandra

Photos:Courtes of Gucci

My Look: Marrakesh

Last week, I got back from Marrakesh where I spent some amazing days among dear friends. The so-called «Jewel of the South» is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco and absolutely worth the visit with its beautiful colors, the vibrant streets and bazaars that spill over with artistry, whether it be in architecture, cuisine, crafts or fine art.

If you are interested, have a look at those great travel tips for the city that I have gotten from Aerin Lauder and Tory Burch, who designed the dress I am wearing in this post.

My look: Rosemary printed silk crepe de chine and jacquard dressicon by Tory Burch, leather platform pumps by Gucci, Monogram fringed shoulder bag by Saint Laurent, earrings by Chanelgold-plated multi-strand necklace and cocktail ring, both by Etro.
My scent: Tangier Vanille by Aerin, that is inspired by Marrakesh.

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Blondey McCoy Unveils Burberry Murals

British artist, designer and pro-skater Blondey McCoy has created three hand-painted murals in the Flatiron and Soho districts of Manhattan, designed exclusively for Burberryicon.

Blondey McCoy wearing a Burberry Car Coat photographed by Alasdair McLellan

The murals mark the first time Blondey’s work will be showcased in New York and include his largest artwork to date. The three murals are inspired by the dichotomy of modern life and the traditions of the holiday season and feature the artist’s signature mix of eclectic imagery and striking motifs alongside references to Burberry and British culture.

Burberry mural by Blondey McCoy, Clerkenwell, London, September 2017

This collaboration marks the evolution of the relationship between Burberry and Blondey, who most recently appeared in a portfolio of images for the brand captured by British photographer Alasdair McLellan. In September 2017, Blondey created an artwork for Burberry on the largest paintable wall in London, situated near the brand’s show venue in Clerkenwell.

BLONDEY FOR BURBERRY
ABOUT THE ARTWORKS

Flatiron, Broadway and 22nd Street
Spanning over 80ft, the mural tells the story of a British Christmas Eve party. Beginning with the chime of the clock at midnight signalling the start of Christmas, the mural cascades down the wall with traditional holiday references including mistletoe, holly and Champagne, ending with children tucked up in a bed fashioned from a Burberry Vintage check scarf and presents waiting to be unwrapped.

A fashionable must-have that has been inspiring Blondey’s murals:
House-check cashmere-blend scarf by Burberry
icon

Soho, Lafayette Street and Broome Street
The 17ft mural illustrates the importance of family during the holiday season, portraying three figures exchanging gifts alongside a personal photograph of Blondey’s family.

Soho, Lafayette Street and Spring Street
Featuring two hands meeting, the 15ft mural symbolises the act of gifting and exchange.

All three murals will be up until the end of December 2017. Cannot wait to be back in December in NYC to see them live…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Burberry, © Alasdair McLellan

My Look: Teatro alla Scala

Last month, when I visited Milan with my daughter, I took her to the Teatro alla Scala, the famous opera house in Milan, which is regarded as one of the leading theatres in the world. Most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala. We enjoyed the German opera «Der Freischütz» by Carl Maria von Weber. Being considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality, it was a true pleasure to see it in our mother tongue surrounded by the stunning ambiance of La Scala.

My look: Ruffle-trimmed single-breasted wool coaticon, ruffle bow dressicon, embellished leather pumpsicon, and Sylvie mini buckle leather shoulder bag, all by GucciChoker with evil eye symbol by Chanel, diamond rose ring and Limelight Gala watch, both by Piaget.

My scent: Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum, which is the first fragrance developed wholly under Alessandro Michele’s creative vision and blended by master perfumer Alberto Morillas. The beautiful powdery floral scent features tuberose and jasmine combined with rangoon creeper, also called Chinese honeysuckle, which is a unique flower discovered in South India that is being used for the first time in perfumery to create a rich fragrance that transports its wearer to an imaginary garden.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
A big thank you to my daughter for taking them!

My Surf Air Experience

Flying to the UK for lunch on Monday sounds crazy to you? It might be. But if you are invited by SURF AIR to celebrate the launch of regular flights between London and Zurich, it is worth the time, especially that «saving time» is what SURF AIR is all about. It is private aviation with a regular schedule, «AIR WITHOUT LINES» is the slogan.

The first private plane being water arched in Zurich on Monday: A wet welcome to celebrate the launch of SURF AIR in Switzerland.

This first private air travel club of its kind is offering all-you-can-fly service for one monthly fee of CHF 3950 and is providing an effortless flying experience that saves valuable time with every trip. Operating a fleet of Embraer Phenom 300 Jets and Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, they fly to and from convenient airports in Europe and along the US West Coast and Silicon Valley, with additional regions and destinations to follow.

On our way to London in an Embraer Phenom 300 Jet, SURF AIR CEO Simon Talling-Smith with me.

You can arrive just 15 minutes before your flight. How amazing is that? No long lines, just hopping on the plane in style. As Simon Talling-Smith, CEO SURF AIR Europe, brings it to the point, compared to the hassle you sometimes experience at check-in or security at the commercial airport, SURF AIR is all about «being treated like a human being

Arrival lounge at London Luton airport.

For SUR FAIR‘s CEO, «Zurich is one of the most important airports that will be seeing the most flights in the near future.» Right now, there are 3 flights per week to London Luton and back, which are planned to be extended to 10 times per week. The company is also working on routes to London City airport to be a little closer to the city center than Luton airport.

SURF AIR’s Embraer Phenom 300 Jet that landed on Monday in Zurich.

Until March 2018, you will be able to fly to Munich, Luxemburg, Milan and Cannes from Zurich, followed by cities such as Frankfurt or Berlin. Also weekend getaways, such as Ibiza, are an interesting subject for SURF AIR.

Relaxing on board and saving time, probably one of the biggest luxuries of today’s world.

It is very convenient as you can book your spot on short notice depending on availability as often as you wish. All is included in the flat rate. Your luggage allowance is 15 kg. If this is not enough, you can get extra suitcases picked up at your home and delivered to your final destination. According to Talling-Smith, at the moment, SURF AIR has around 200 customers in Europe with one third being a female clientele.

Leaving Zurich from the private aviation terminal without the hassle of a commercial airport.

Personally speaking, if the route network is extended, it will be an amazing opportunity to use this service if you are traveling constantly to one of the mentioned destinations.

The narrow space allows great conversations.

When you become a member, you will have to pay a onetime entry fee of CHF 1300 plus the monthly flat rate of CHF 3950. Great news is that you can also book the service for just two months in the summer when you might be flying around more and then pause your membership for a few months. Moreover, you can book guest passes for family members, friends or business partners joining you on a flight.

Wishing SURF AIR a great start! I had a wonderful experience. To apply, click HERE please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Surfair, © Sandra Bauknecht and © Murat Temel

Louis Vuitton City Guides 2018

With an established catalogue of 29 cities, in both print and digital versions, the LOUIS VUITTON City Guide has established itself as the indispensable companion to the discerning traveller.

Since 1998, Louis Vuitton has instilled its nomadic nature into its City Guides and proposed a selection that is as specialized as it is individual. Completely updated, Paris is enriched this year with new addresses, following in the wake of London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin, Milan and Sydney.

Each city is thus revealed by independent journalists and guests from all horizons. This year, architect Dominique Perrault invites us to discover his Paris, artist Camille Walala accompanies us throughout London, curator Nancy Spector shares her New York, and Takeshi Kitano pursues a personalized exploration of Tokyo.

Publication date: October 19, 2017 – the digital versions of the Paris and New York City Guides will be available for free on the App Store as of October 19, 2017.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

My Look: Cruise

What do you wear on a cruise? Comfy swimwear and nice tunics are all you need. Enjoying the wind, the sun, the sea and visiting different spots each day. A great place to see is the Amalfi Coast in Italy with its picturesque towns like Positano and Sorrento as well as the beautiful islands of Capri and Ischia.

My look: Embellished printed cotton-voile kaftan by Tory Burch, cutout bandage bikini by Hervé Léger, crochet-knit and printed silk-chiffon headband by Missoni, embroidered brocade drawstring backpack by Guccibeaded necklace by Etro, and DiorOrigins1 round sunglasses by Dior.

LoL, Sandra

 Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Time to Unwind at Villa Stéphanie

With email at my fingertips, nonstop traveling, and around-the-clock social media delights and business events, actually making the time to unwind and shut down at the end of the day sometimes seems to be one of my biggest challenges. Therefore I was very much looking forward to taking some time off at the VILLA STÉPHANIE in Baden Baden and hope that you all want to hear about the best detox experience I have ever had!

There are plenty of different ways that you can give your body the relief that it needs from all of the pressures and stresses of the day. Each of us has to decide what works best for him or her. I had to try different kinds to finally find this haven on earth that offered me what I was looking for in order to regain energy. Probably you are like me and wished there was an easy, quick way to cleanse your body of all those bubbly toxins. Funnily enough, I believe we are all equipped with a natural cleansing system in our bodies, called liver and kidneys. Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a superefficient system for filtering out the vast majority of the harmful substances we eat and drink. The only important factor that those work well is a healthy and moderate lifestyle. And this can be hard sometimes.


Personally speaking that is the main reason why I choose to «detox» from time to time but not in this heavy, depriving way of barely eating anything but dry bread rolls. This doesn’t work for me! I get cranky, have no energy to do sports then and the overall effect is frustration and unhappiness. What I need is healthy pampering. And this is what I got at VILLA STÉPHANIE in perfection.

This luxurious and exclusive destination spa, which is part of the iconic Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, is dedicated to beauty, detox & nutrition, emotional balance and medical care. Every aspect of those mentioned is at your disposal. The beautiful and spacious rooms (15 rooms and suites only at VILLA STÉPHANIE) with views overlooking the River Oos have everything you wish for. There is even a button to turn off the electricity and the Wi-Fi connection in a second so that you will sleep better the old fashioned way without any radiation or e-smog disturbing your system.

Upon my arrival, I had a meeting with Kevin, my health coach. Before deciding on my tailor-made program and menus, I had to stand on the InBody 720 machine, which is a premium, medical-grade body composition analyzer that can fully tell your physical composition and water level in a single test. My results were great and I was looking forward to indulge in the House’s vitality-detox cuisine. Deceivingly filling, absolutely satisfying and beautifully presented, I could not believe that the three meals per day weighed in at around 1200 calories only.

What was served? Typically something like a porridge with berries and nuts in the morning and this fabulous green smoothie, a three-course meal for lunch, including even a filet of beef with a baked potato followed by a light desert. In the evening, I always started with a soup, nothing raw, and an entree such as grilled scallops with vegetables.

One evening, I was spoilt by two Michelin star chef Paul Stradner to a 5-course Vital Menu (completely lactose and gluten free as well as light on the carbs) in the Brenners Park Restaurant. Decadent detoxing I would love to call it.

There are plenty of group fitness activities, such as aqua fitness, yoga, jogging and biking for example, but I preferred working out by myself in the well equipped gym or taking a yoga lesson with a private trainer.

To accompany my detox program, I was spoilt to different treatments, such as a lymphatic drainage, clarifying and detoxifying body treatments and a luxury facial, all with products by AQUA ORGANIC, especially created by Munich based dermatologist Dr. Kuhr to support the cleansing effects of the body, to honor and stimulate the multiple talents of our skin. Other brands the experienced and fantastic therapists work with are SISLEY PARIS and SKIN CEUTICALS to offer also a more anti-aging and nurturing approach to their clients.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is dedicated to the world of spa in every aspect. Stretching over five floors and covering over 5000 square metres, it comprises a 500-square-metre sauna, plunge pool, private gym, hamam and a ladies sauna. The inspiringly designed treatment rooms overlooking the gardens offer complete relaxation. I truly felt the whole time so chilled, quiet (my readers who know me in person can assure you that this can be a challenge for me:-)) and just happy. Even digital detox seemed easy.

On the way to the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, where I enjoyed lunch and dinner, you pass the entrance to the gigantic swimming pool in Roman style. In the gardens, there are multiple possibilities to relax in the sun or just walk around.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is also connected to Haus Julius, a clinic with personalized state-of-the-art medical care from some of Germany’s top experts in fields like aesthetics, gynaecology, holistic medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology and preventive medicine. The medical teams will even visit you in the privacy of your room or suite if you wish.

I also recommend a visit to the Eden Being boutique located in the main building that offers a lot of one of a kind things. Moreover do not miss a stroll around Baden Baden. You will be amazed how many high end designer shops this little German town has to offer. The only challenging part was to pass the perceived millions of ice cream parlors.

In the evenings, I loved to sit in the lounge with its extensive library, enjoy one more green smoothie and play a round of backgammon or two before going to bed. After one week, I did not want to leave, something that I have never experienced before when being at a detox retreat as I was always looking forward to retoxing again:-).

On my last day, I got a final body analysis with my nutrition expert who gave me individual workout tips and a tailor-made menu plan, including recipes, for me to take home.

I left my stay calmer, balanced and more upbeat, regenerated by the surroundings of this picturesque resort in the Black Forest. During my whole stay at this former royal residence with its classic architectural heritage, I have never felt like being on a diet or deprived of anything. Old-school service reigned supreme. The friendly staff and professional executive team added a high touch to my experience. I will be back – that is for sure!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht