My Look: On the Way to St. Tropez

While you are reading this I am on my way to St. Tropez for the ASW Summer Weekend, followed by the Cannes Film Festival. I am truly looking forward to some fun times ahead.

My look: Tweed blazer by Balmainwhite lace dress by Azzedine AlaïaCassandre light blue clutch with tassel by Saint Laurentleather platform pumps by Gucci and pearl earrings by Chanel.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © 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.

Marignan - Photos Ilvio Gallo (10)

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

My Look: White Night in Capri

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The first evening in Capri was a «White Night», guests were asked to dress head to toe in white. Before leaving to dinner, I took these photos on the terrace of the Caesare Augustus Hotel in Anacapri with spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea.

My look: White lace dress by Azzedine Alaïawhite «Duffle 6» bagAlice T-strap studded sandals, both by Saint Laurent, «So Real» sunglasses by Dior, white cuff and earrings, both by Chanel, Limelight Gala watch by Piaget and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

If you are interested in some travel tips for Capri, click here for Tommy Hilfiger‘s insider scoop.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Capri Wedding

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One weekend ago, I went to Capri to attend the most beautiful wedding in the Garden of Augustus. The gardens, designed in terraces overlooking the sea, can be considered a testament to the rich flora of the island, with various ornamental plants and flowers such as geraniums, dahlias and brooms. A perfect spot to get married! The dress code was bohemian glamour – couldn’t have been better.

My look: Knitted long gown in gold beige by Azzedine Alaïafringed Monogram bag in goldwoven lurex tassel necklaceiconbeaded bracelet and Bianca leather sandals, all by Saint Laurent, bohemian headpiece, earrings and necklace, all by Chanel, diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery, Mitza ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie, Lady Excalibur watch by Roger Dubuis.

LoL, Sandra

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Sandra_Bauknecht_and_Patrick_Liotard-Vogt Patrick Liotard-Vogt with me

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All the best to the newly weds!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Spring Brunch

Sandra_Bauknecht_Spring_Brunch_TibiZurich weather can be so unpredictable. I left the house to attend a spring brunch in full sunshine and when we took the photos of my look in the afternoon, the clouds were grey and it started raining. Such a pity!

My look: Cropped cardigan by Azzedine Alaïapink neoprene dress iconby Tibiiconyellow, magenta, powder pink leather Rockstud tote and matching pink Rockstud heels, both by Valentino, Olivia patent-leather belt by Moschino, Lady Excalibur watch in rose gold with diamonds by Roger Dubuis, Tiffany T bracelet by Tiffany & Co., bangles by Chanel and rose gold bracelet with heart charm by Chopard. Diorette ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

LoL, Sandraicon

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Sunset Boulevard at Night

Sunset Boulevard at Night-Sandra Bauknecht

Being in my favorite city, Los Angeles, always makes me happy. Therefore I was over the moon when Smashbox (in Switzerland available at Marionnaud) invited me to come here for a truly amazing experience that I will tell you all about.

The first night I had dinner at Chateau Marmont. Here you see me leaving my hotel, Sunset Tower, which is right around the corner.

My look: Lampion dress, leather waist belt, platform shoes and stingray clutch, all by Azzedine Alaïa, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond ring, both by Piaget, diamond ring and bracelet by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

TO SHOP A GREAT SELECTION OF ALAÏA ACCESSORIES, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Dots in Pink

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How fun to add an unexpected flair to this daytime look with this olive, pink and black number. And good news is polka dots are here to stay, so a really good investment!

My look: Bomber jacket in olive green by Jonathan Saunders, cropped cardigan by Azzedine Alaïacotton polka-dot T-shirt and Cassandre small suede shoulder bag, both by Saint Laurent, leather and gabardine shorts by Tibi, scarf with fur trimming and leather boots, both by Gucci, diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery and diamond studs by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Tibi Skirt, Saunders Jacket

Saint Laurent Studded Bag 2

Sandra Bauknecht in Tibi Skirt and SL Tee 2

Tibi Skirt Close

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Gucci Boots

Sandra Bauknecht in Saint laurent Tee 2 and Tibi Skirt

Tibi Skirt 2 Close

Sandra Bauknecht in Gucci Scarf Saunders Jacket Tibi Skirt

Saint Laurent Tee Fuchsia Sequins

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Alaïa Downtown Girl

Alaïa Downtown Girl

During London Fashion Week I had a very fun dinner with Net-à-Porter, that I will soon tell you more about. In the meantime, enjoy this outfit post. I hope that you will like it as much as I do.

My look: Cropped fine-knit cardigan, wool skater dress with fine black stripeswide belt iconand black and white platform pumps, all by Azzedine Alaïa, fringed tweed bag by Chanel, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia

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Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia in London

Chanel Bag with Fringes

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Greetings from Bangkok

Greetings from Bangkok - Sandra Bauknecht - Cabinet de Curiosities de Thomas Erber

This week I flew to Bangkok to attend the launch celebration of the fifth Cabinet of Curiosities, the acclaimed yearly pop-up exhibition, that is presented this time by Siwilai, the renowned multi-brand concept store. More will be coming up soon about this event.

Dinner Bo.lan

Wednesday evening, the exclusive pre-opening dinner took place at Bo.lan, one of the world’s best Thai restaurants, located in Sukhumvit. We enjoyed fine dining at its best, a very spicy Thai cuisine created from age old recipes. After we had finished, the most fun part of the night took place. We were all driven to the after party at Sugar Ray You’ve Just Been Poisoned (to be taken literally) in tuk-tuks. What a fun and very fast ride through the city of Bangkok.

Sandra Bauknecht in bangkok in Alaia Dress at Okura Prestige Terrasse

Before I left to the event, those pictures of my outfit were taken on the terrace of my hotel, the Okura Prestige, a luxurious and contemporary five-star hotel.

My look for the night: Nude dress with pleated skirtcutout suede sandals iconand scalloped laser-cut leather waist belt, all by Azzedine Alaïacloquet nappa leather bag Swarovski crystals and crystal-embellished clip-on earrings, both by Miu Miu, Limelight Gala watch by Piaget, diamond bracelet and ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

K.Barom and Thomas Erber

The two protagonists: Barom Bhicharnchitr (Managing Director of Central Embassy and Siwilai) and Thomas Erber (Founder of Le Cabinet de Curiosités).

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Dinner Bo.Lan

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Dinner Table

Lovely international company at the dinner table at Bo.lan.

Sandra Bauknecht in Bangkok in Alaia

Tuk Tuk Bangkok

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Miu Miu Bag Bangkok

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Sandra Bauknecht and Laend Phunghkit

A fun tuk-tuk ride with Swiss-Thai designer Laend Phuengkit, who also designed some limited edition pieces for the exhibition.

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Sandra in Alaia in Bangkok

Sugar Ray at Night

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Sandra Bauknecht at Sugar Ray

A truly fun night – stay tuned for more coming up from Bangkok soon!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: You Have My Whole Heart

Sandra Bauknecht in Azzedine Alaia

For a true fashion lover, Azzedine Alaïa is a must in a closet. An Alaïa dress is a seasonless wardrobe wonder piece that never lets you down. I bought my first item by the Tunisian-born designer probably 20 years ago and it still looks up to date. His designs play with discreet luxury, they are comfortable and ultra feminine. For the Bally x L’Officiel event I wore this look and played with the color combination of dark blue and black which I adore, it is so chic.

My look: Blue heart motif stretch-knit dress, black cropped fine-knit cardigan and corset belt, all by Azzedine AlaïaDirty ’50s stretch-denim jacket iconby Saint Laurent, dark blue suede strappy sandals by Miu Miu, Kelly So Black bag by Hermès, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond necklace by Piaget, diamond ring and bracelet by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

Monsieur Alaïa, you have my whole heart…

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Alaia with Saint laurent Denim Jacket

Kelly Bag Hermes

Close Alaia Heart Dress

Vainard Diamond Ring 2

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Denim Jacket by Saint Laurent

Miu Miu Sandals Suede Blue

Sandra Bauknecht in alaia Dress

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht