Atelier Swarovski’s Launch of Fine Jewelry

Atelier Swarovski First Fine Jewelry

Great news: Atelier Swarovski launches its first fine jewelry collection, designed by Matthew Campbell Laurenza. Hand crafted with Swarovski gemstones, the JEWELED GARDEN collection consists of 15 one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, which will be sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman from April 2014.

Swarovski began cutting rock crystal, garnets, agates and synthetic gemstones in 1965. By 1995 Swarovski launched a full line of machine-cut genuine, semi-precious gemstones and in 1997, through the development of advanced computer-aided technology Swarovski perfected the cutting of precious gemstones and added sapphires to the program. Topaz and Zirconia were added to the collection of Swarovski gems in 2004. Matthew was introduced to Swarovski Gems five years ago, and his fascination with the brand’s range of color-matched stones inspired him to create anatomically correct flower and insect sculptures drawn from a “parallel universe to our reality where flora and fauna rule the world”. These magical sculptures were transformed into wearable art to create the Atelier Swarovski by Matthew Campbell Laurenza jewelry collection.

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The exquisite collection comprised of eight rings, four bracelets and three necklaces is made with semi-precious and precious Swarovski gemstones including multi-colored sapphires, amethyst, rhodolite garnets, spinel and topaz. Each meticulously handmade piece is set in 18KT gold and highlights an element of beauty found in nature.

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ABOUT MATTHEW CAMPBELL LAURENZA

Matthew Campbell Laurenza is an American born, world-renowned fine jewelry designer who splits his time between Asia and the United States. He gathers inspiration for his collections from his frequent travels around the world. When Matthew travels, he makes time to see the sights and experience the culture. Matthew’s MCL jewelry collection is currently in Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford.

Enjoy this interview with Matthew Campbell Laurenza:

What inspired you to create the sculptures?
The concept took shape four years ago. The idea was to create sculptures that were not only intriguing but also showcased the technical proficiency of today’s metal craft. The garden pieces use 80,000 semi-precious gems to almost 200,000 gems and each one is hand-set by master craftsman. The assembly and casting alone for many of the pieces required more than 1,500 individual components which had to be carved in wax, cast, filed and then assembled together to make the final sculpture. On average, each piece took more than six months of a master goldsmith’s time.

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What was your process for creating the collection?
As with all my designs, the process starts with an idea that is translated into rough sketches. I then work on clay models to define the proportions and size so that master wax carvers can interpret the designs. Once in the hands of these masters, a piece will turn into an actual sculpture carved completely of wax. During the carving process, I review the prototypes on a weekly basis to allow for any changes and corrections. As an example, the scorpion took almost three months before its final wax was ready for the next stage. Once the waxes were approved, they had to be disassembled into small enough pieces to cast.

We used the lost wax casting method. Each part was labeled to identify its place in the puzzle and then we began filing. Assembly included relying on the original sketches and models. Each piece was laid out like a puzzle and then soldered together. We had to ensure the structural integrity of the sculptures as they needed to be reinforced internally while making sure that the exterior was kept pristine and free of any visual deformities. After reassembly, the sculptures were polished and each hole has to be counted, mapped, marked and measured so that the gems could be cut to size. To determine the colors needed for the gems, we made new sketches for each sculpture; mapping out exactly how each stone would be set.

The setting process involves dressing each mounting to carve a seat for the stone. This process was by far the most tedious since a professional stone setter can only set 400 to 500 stones per day and some sculptures have 200,000 stones. After each sculpture was set, it was sent for a final polishing and plated to add visual interest. Finally, the sculptures were set with rose cut pyrite, lapis and black onyx in special clays.

What is the story for this collection? What materials, color palettes etc. are you working with?
All of the sculptures were inspired by nature and classic works of art. We used Swarovski topaz, black spinel, rose cut pyrite, lapis, onyx and malachite. The color assortment allowed me to produce the designs as I had envisioned them. Colors that were near impossible to source were available in the topaz collections offered by Swarovski.

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Which is your favorite sculpture and why?
I like them all for different reasons. The giant sculptures to me are the most technical master pieces as they represent the most heartaches. The finished pieces are like my children and I love them equally jeweled GARDEN SCULPTURES.

What were some of your early influences when you first started designing jewelry?
I have always been intrigued with architecture and how it gives a city its soul. What’s amazing to me is what architects and craftsmen were able to accomplish in the past without all the technology that we have today. Notre Dame in Paris is a classic Gothic architecture and a truly inspiring structure. Other movements that continue to inspire me are the Orientalist, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements of the late Victorian Era. I currently source many of my inspirations from architecture I see during my travels in Europe, Turkey and the United States. Travel is a limitless source of inspiration.

How do you feel you have evolved as a designer over your career?
As a result of experiencing so many different cultures, especially those in Asia, I appreciate color in a way that I did not at the beginning of my career and have moved into using color as a main aesthetic in my designs. My pieces are more playful now.

What are some key terms that describe the pieces in your collection?
Colorful, precious and complex.

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The rings are quite colorful, what was the thought process behind the plating?
To me, anytime we can add color to a piece it adds interest and conversation. So when I learned of this new process of plating I immediately worked to incorporate it in my designs. I am pleased as it gives me new colors to compliment the vast colors of stones offered by Swarovski.

What type of woman do you think is the perfect fit for this jewelry?
A woman who is confident and looking for conversation. She knows that her power comes from her personal style. She finds her style from things that intrigue her in her day to day life. I am honored to be part of her life as she makes my designs fit into her universe.

Thank you, Matthew, for giving us such an interesting insight in your world!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Atelier Swarovski by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, © Mister Fran

My Look: Spring Fever

Sandra Bauknecht Dolce & Gabbana Dots

This was my outfit I wore to the Dior Addict event in Paris. I love the beginning of spring when you get to sport for the first time your new season pieces and you know that the summer months are ahead of you. And sunshine in Paris is just divine…

My look: Polka dot print mini dress with lace undergarmenticon by Dolce & Gabbanapointed leather Mary-Jane pumps iconby Saint Laurent, vibrant camouflage-print bag, matching scarf and bracelet, all by Anselm Reyle for Dior, Diorette ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Dolce & Gabbana Dots SS14

Dior addict Event Bag

Sandra Bauknecht Dior Addict Event Look 2

Dior Event Saint Laurent Shoes

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Verner Panton’s CloverLeaf for Prada

CloverLeaf Verner Panton Prada

Until the 13th of April, during the 2014 Milan International Furniture Fair, PRADA retraces its collaboration of 2012 with Verpan and presents the CloverLeaf sofas designed by Verner Panton in new and original colors: red, emerald green and gold.

Verner Panton (13 February 1926 – 5 September 1998) is considered one of Denmark’s most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers. During his career, he created innovative and futuristic designs in a variety of materials, especially plastics, and in vibrant and exotic colors. His style was very “1960s” but regained popularity at the end of the 20th century; as of 2004, Panton’s most well-known furniture models are still in production (at Vitra, among others).

Prada Monte Napoleone Donna_Verpan Cloverleaf A_low

In Prada’s Monte Napoleone store, a special display is dedicated to the CloverLeaf sofas, reproduced exclusively for the brand’s most important stores.

Prada Via Monte Napoleone 8, Milan
Special Opening: April, 10 2014 10 am – 8.30 pm

Prada Monte Napoleone Donna_Verpan Cloverleaf E_low

I love those sofas. Would love to have one in my closet…

LoL, Sandra

Prada Monte Napoleone Donna_Verpan Cloverleaf F_low

Photos: Courtesy of Prada and © Erling Mandelmann

Beach Bum

Beach Bum

This summer, you should take inspiration from sportswear for your beach attire and spice it up with some tribal details. Just make sure that your approach is completely luxurious. I recommend straps wrapped around your waist and vibrant prints. Accessories such as sunglasses, hats or embellished hair slides take your day in the sand to the next level of style. Use some bronzer for a sun kissed glow and add texture to your beach waves. Below is your shopping list:

Wings printed jersey maxi dress by Matthew Williamson icon
Leopard-print bandeau bikini by Matthew Williamson
Cat eye filigree gold-tone sunglasses iconby Dolce & Gabbana
Surf Bomb sea salt sprayicon by Original & Mineral
Printed flip flops by Givenchyicon
Mesh bra top iconby Gucci
Gold-tone and tortoiseshell-effect hair slide iconby Dolce & Gabbana
Shell Shocked gold-tone clutch by Charlotte Olympia
Mesh-trimmed silk crepe de chine dress by Gucci icon
10 Spotlight Groupie macramé-trimmed swimsuit by Eresicon
11 Number 7 cotton-terry beach towel iconby Karl Lagerfeld
12 Straw hat iconby Mulberry
13 Matte Radiance Baked Powdericon by Laura Mercier

LoL, Sandra

A Different Alice Dellal for Chanel Eyewear

Alice Dellal for Chanel Eyewear

To front the CHANEL S/S 2014 eyewear collection, Karl Lagerfeld chose his muse Alice Dellal and showed a much softer side of the famous model and punk rocker.

No more half-shaved head and ripped tights – those details are replaced by baby pink Chanel boucle jackets and flowers in her hair. The new campaign, photographed by Lagerfeld himself in an intimate, youthful and mischievous atmosphere, evoking a student’s bedroom, shows the House ambassadress posing nonchalantly.

In this post you can discover the campaign and the exclusive behind the scene shots.

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The visuals, with their edgy yet gently romantic energy, present Alice Dellal as part rebel, part blossoming young girl, revealing another of her facets for a collection that’s both feminine and in tune with the zeitgeist.

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The sunglasses focus on contemporary and stylised shapes, the cat eye, butterfly, round and XXL square, while the optical glasses prefer more classical frames including the pantos, square and oval.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Chanel 2014

Vieri Haute Joaillerie

Vieri Cover

Last week, I went one day to the famous International Jewelry and Watch Show in Basel, Switzerland: BASELWORLD. In the morning, I was picked up by Tesla for my first ride ever in an electric super car and brought directly to the VIERI showroom, located in a beautiful location in St. Margrethen, Binningen, to explore their stunning new Haute Joaillerie collections.

Vieri Lily Rings

I have become a huge fan of the jewelry brand lately that is looking back at over 70 years of experience in the jewelry industry. Launched in Pforzheim, Germany, the company moved its headquarters to Switzerland in 1999. Not long ago, I met Guya Merkle, granddaughter of VIERI founder Rudolf Merkle, through common friends. I was fascinated by her taste and vision. The charming 28-year-old took over the management of the company spontaneously in 2007, following her father’s sudden death. Since then, VIERI has produced all its collections in Valenza, a small municipality in northern Italy famed for its gold and jewelry.

VIERI_Guya Merkle_by Marc Lilius

Under the forward-looking leadership of Guya, VIERI Haute Joaillerie has been moving into a new era. »What is true luxury? Shouldn’t a luxury product have a positive effect on everyone who comes into contact with it?« Guya decided to give the company her personal stamp and to instil it with her own values. She travelled to Peru to get a true picture of working conditions in several gold mines – an experience that left a deep and lasting impression on her.

Afterwards, she founded earthbeat foundation, a foundation for responsible gold mining, and transformed VIERI into one of the first high-end jewelry companies to work exclusively with ethically sourced gold.

Please enjoy some more of VIERI’s impressive designs below:

Vieri NecklaceLily Collier Fireworks

Lily Ring FireworksVIERI – Lily Ring Fireworks

Vieri EarringsVIERI by Bibi van der Velden – The Pearls Light Earrings

Coweb BraceletVIERI by Bibi van der Velden – The Cobweb Bracelet

For further information, please visit the VIERI homepage.
More from my visit to the Baselworld 2014 coming up soon!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Vieri and © Sandra Bauknecht

Tom Ford Summer 2014 Color Collection

Tom Ford Beauty Summer 14 CoverRB_SUMMER14_GROUP_SHOT_BLACK

Complementing the recently launched limited edition of eight new Sheer Lip Colors and four new Nail Lacquer shades, Tom Ford offers everything you need for a sunkissed glow with the following amazing new products:

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TOM FORD SUMMER 2014 COLOR COLLECTION 
Eye and Cheek Compact – CHF 90.00

This limited edition eye and cheek colour palette imbues a sultry, effortless summer look with a refreshing twist of colour. Eyes are enveloped in a blend of soft pearl and satin finish neutrals and a bold accent of cobalt. Cheeks are illuminated with light rose and peach coral shades for a warm and sexy glow. Packaged in a retro-chic, ivory and gold coloured Tom Ford case.

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Skin Illuminator – CHF 76.00 (30ml) in Fire Lust

Inspired by the look of skin bathed in summer evening light, this limited edition illuminator creates an irresistible, translucent glow. Its peach-pink shade flatters every skin tome while moisturizing and soothing skin and it’s highly micronized pearls diffuse light for a natural enhanced, sun-kissed look. Apply the illuminator all over the face on its own or mix it with the Tom Ford traceless foundation to achieve radiant and balanced skin. The illuminator can also be used as a highlighter under or over makeup.

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Lip Shimmer – CHF 62.00 in Moonlight, Solar Gold

The new lip shimmer in moonlight and solar gold can be swept onto bare lips for a sultry, glimmering effect, or veiled over Tom Ford lip color to add radiant shimmer to a spectrum of nude and vivid shades. Infused with vitamins C and E and shea butter, this moisturizing lip glaze in a domed bullet is package in a limited-edition, ivory and gold-colored Tom Ford Case.

In Switzerland exclusively available at Jelmoli Zurich from April 2014.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Tom Ford

Jo Malone Silk Blossom Limited Edition

Cover Jo Malone Silk Blossom Limited Edition

Nature’s blooms at their most tempting. The nectarous, pink-fringed pompoms of Silk Blossom. Irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies. Apricot-fresh with a touch of spice. Airy with clouds of powder-soft heliotrope, nestling on a bed of moss. Fruity and enticing.
JO MALONE has captured spring in a bottle.

Silk Blossom Bottle 100

FRUITY FLORAL

Top note: White Pepper
Middle note: Silk Blossom
Base note: Moss

Fragrance Combining™: Orange Blossom

Jo malone Silk Blossom Cover 1

Available from May 2014.
(In Switzerland from May 21, 2014 at Jelmoli Zurich and Globus Geneva).
Cologne 30ml CHF 68 / £41
Cologne 100ml CHF 130 / £82
Home Candle 200g £42

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Jo Malone

My Look: Coins and Dots

Sandra Bauknecht - Dolce Gabbana-Coins and Dots

I am completely obsessed with Dolce & Gabbana’s S/S 2014 collection inspired by ancient Sicily and Greece. The prints and details are all about coins that give the impression they have just been dug up on an archaeological excursion and in combination with polka dots, they look divine, sophisticated and feminine. The bag is like a treasure chest that I will surely keep forever!

My look: Polka dot top, cotton-blend coin-jacquard mini skirticoncoin earringsoversized gold-tone coin belt, ancient coin print scarf and inlaid wood top handle bag, all by Dolce & GabbanaJanis leather pumps by Saint Laurent, Mitza ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie and Lady Excalibur watch by Roger Dubuis.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Dolce & Gabbana Dots 2 Kopie

Dolce & Gabbana Coint Belt

Dolce & Gabbana wodden bag

Sandra Bauknecht in Dolce & Gabbana Dots 3 Kopie

Sandra Bauknecht DIOR Mitza Ring

Dolce & Gabbana Coin earrings

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

This upcoming Saturday, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s hotly-anticipated new fashion exhibition will officially open its doors. Dedicated to ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014‘, it illustrates the history of Italian Fashion from the Second World War to the present day, and will be held until July 27th 2014. It features many looks from the archives of different Italian designers which pay tribute to the quality of the Made in Italy style.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, +44 (0)20 7942 2000

To celebrate the opening, NET-A-PORTER iconand the The Victoria & Albert Museum present a 22-piece limited edition jewelry collection that will be available as an online exclusive with 10% of all sales being donated to the V&A. Below you can explore my favorite pieces.

LoL, Sandra

Dolce Gabbana Earrings

Gold-plated, resin and macramé lace clip earrings by Dolce & Gabbana + V&A

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Swarovski crystal and resin necklace iconby Marni + V&A

Moschino Finger Rings

Set of two gold-plated knuckle rings iconby Moschino + V&A

Etro Earrings

Gold-tone agate clip earringsicon by Etro + V&A

Missoni Bracelets

Set of three palladium-plated woven braceletsicon by Missoni + V&A

Photos: Courtesy of NET-A-PORTER icon and The Victoria and Albert Museum

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