SIHH 2013: Stars, Art and Montblanc

SIHH2013_Montblanc_Cover

During last week’s SIHH 2013, I visited also the Montblanc booth that was an absolute eyecatcher due to the extraordinary pieces of the Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection that currently comprises more than 180 artworks.

In the collage above you can see me with Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, Director of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, and some of Montblanc’s very special guests…

Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours
Of course, the house’s newest watch highlights such as the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours were also presented at the booth.

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Me visiting the Montblanc booth

Montblanc Villeret Seconde Authentique pair

Montblanc Villeret Seconde Authentique Pair

Pair watches are a huge trend especially in Asia and wouldn’t those watches just be perfect for this gorgeous couple below?!

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Montblanc friends of the brand Olivia Palermo (wearing Montblanc Star Classique Automatic watch) and Johannes Huebl (wearing Montblanc Star 4810 Chronograph) in front of an artwork by Hiroyuki Masuyama.

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Proving that Olivia is a style icon all over, she combined tweed and leather with statement heels, golden jewelry and a vibrant clutch that would upgrade every outfit to a new level.

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The couple being interviewed in front of an artwork by Stephen Craig.

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Montblanc Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco
Pétales de Roses Motif
This beautiful unique piece has been sold during the fair, but of course there was more to be admired…

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Montblanc Villeret Seconde Authentique diamonds

Montblanc Villeret Seconde Authentique Diamonds

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Montblanc Star Classique Lady Automatic RG diamonds

Montblanc Star Classique Lady Automatic RG Diamonds

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Christopher Lambert during his visit at the Montblanc booth

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The famous actor was wearing the Montblanc TimeWalker World-Time Hemispheres (Northern Hemisphere).

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Montblanc TimeWalker World-Time Hemispheres, Southern+Northern Hemisphere

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Montblanc, © Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Montblanc

My Year in Fashion – Highlights of 2012

MyYearinFashion2012

I would like to dedicate the first day of 2013 to a flashback of 2012. It was such an exciting year for me and I am truly thankful for all the magic moments I was able to experience and share with you. May 2013 bring us as many adventures and fashionable events as 2012 did.

Thanks for following me!

LoL, Sandra

January2012

JANUARY 2012

The year started with my visit to the fourth edition of Luisa Via Roma’s Firenze 4 Ever. As usual I had a lot fun, for example having dinner at the church, and adopted the Emilio Pucci Pug Dog for Happy Kids. It had been my third time at Firenze 4 Ever.

Then, I went to Paris for the Haute Couture shows and celebrated with Mary Katrantzou the launch of her amazing collaboration with Longchamp at Colette. Another highlight of 2012’s first month was the IWC Top Gun Gala held during the SIHH where I met lots of celebrities.

February 2012

FEBRUARY 2012

In February, I flew to the Fashion Week New York where I walked in my first runway show, Polyvore Live. I went to many fashion shows, spotted celebrities such as Olivia Palermo, Bradley Cooper and attended the Fashion 2.0 Awards plus the Bloglovin’ Awards.

After coming back from NYC, I had around 24 hours to repack and left for Paris with Dior for my photo shoot for the launch of Dior Addict Extrême.

Later this month, I accepted Gucci’s invitation to see the F/W 2012 show, followed by a trip to Florence to visit the manufacture.

March2012

MARCH 2012

March started with Paris Fashion Week. Spotted on the streets, bloggers and editors wearing the veiled beanie designed by Stephen Jones for Jil Sander. The sun was shining already and I wore my first summery outfits like this one by Emilio Pucci.

In the end of the month, I flew to London to meet the American designer duo Kaufmanfranco at the net-à-porter offices along with jewelry designer Diane Kordas.

April2012

APRIL 2012

April marked the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A good reason to fly again to London. As it was Easter break, I took my daughter on a girls’ trip.

In my luggage, of course, all of my Union Jack-inspired must-haves. A lot fun for every fashionista: Having Prêt-à-PorTea at the Berkeley.

May 2012

MAY 2012

Being on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival was truly one of the biggest highlights of the year. The night of the Chopard Trophée was outstanding. The most memorable part: A private performance of Lana Del Rey.

A wonderful trip to the Lausanne Palace & Spa finished off this amazing month perfectly. I indulged in the world of Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie and enjoyed a feast for senses at La Table d’Edgar.

June2012

JUNE 2012

June was a busy month. I started for one day in Paris for the launch of Pleats Please by Issey Miyake. Then, the Art Basel took place. My favorites: Montblanc’s party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Cutting Edge Art Collection together with Parisian art gallery Perrotin and Galerie Gmurzynska’s private dinner held with Zaha Hadid for the start of the Art Basel.

Later in June, I went on my road trip through the US with stops in Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City. I drove all the way through Wyoming to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, survived a hail storm and visited the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.

August-2012

JULY 2012

July was such a relaxing month that I spent mostly in Maui, Hawaii followed by a short trip to Texas before heading home to Switzerland. Just a few days later, I flew to Munich for the launch of Bobbi Brown’s newest book Pretty Powerful.

August2012

AUGUST 2012

In August, I flew quite a lot to Germany for work and Sandra’s Closet reached 40.000 Facebook likes (By the way, today we are close to 75.000 likes, how amazing is this in this short amount of time?!).

An absolute highlight were the St. Moritz Art Masters where I had the honour to be photographed by Amedeo M. Turello and Steve McCurry, two of the most famous photographers in the world. The results will be posted soon.

September2012

SEPTEMBER 2012

September was one of the busiest months of the year. For me, it started with the Venice Film Festival. I was invited by Gucci for the launch of Gucci Première and was so excited to meet with the face of the campaign, Blake Lively. Right after, I had the photo shoot for Swiss News.

In Zurich, I met perfumer Geza Schön during a lunch over the rooftops of the Swiss city. With Dior, I attended the Zurich Film Festival.

With Piaget, I went to the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris and visited the famous Château de Malmaison. Just a few days later, I flew back to the French capital for Fashion Week. Best party: Anna Dello Russo’s Paradise Ball. Favourite shows: Pascal Millet and Jean Paul Gaultier.

October2012-2

OCTOBER 2012

The first days of the month, I was still in Paris for Fashion Week and attended blockbuster shows such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Miu Miu.

Later, I flew to Hamburg to visit the Montblanc headquarters and worked on the creation of my Bespoke Limited Edition Ink “Sandra Berry” that was launched in the end of the year. Another exciting collaboration with Closed was revealed: My limited edition blogger “Zurich” T-shirt.

Then, I left for New York City for the best party of the year: The launch of Maison Martin Margiela with H&M where I spotted celebrities such as Julianne Moore, Chase Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The last days of the month, I went to Geneva to visit the Chopard headquarters in Meyrin.

November-2012

NOVEMBER 2012

Another busy month that started with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Zurich. November marked a lot of events on Zurich’s social agenda, such as the opening of the Rolex boutique and the Moncler store.

I flew to Greece with Hermès and hosted the exclusive Caviar & Oyster collection dinner with Bobbi Brown at my house.

December2012DECEMBER 2012

Such an exciting month for me as my Montblanc Bespoke Limited Edition Ink “Sandra Berry” has been finally launched.

I went to Gstaad with Louis Vuitton for the opening of their new store in the Swiss Alps and flew to Doha, Qatar for New Year’s Eve.

Welcome to the World of Montblanc

Welcome_to_montblanc

Recently, Montblanc invited me to visit their headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. As I told you, I have been working on a very secret  project with them that will be revealed tonight during a special launch event. Let me just tell that there has never been anything else like it.

ABOUT MONTBLANC

The company was first begun in 1906 with a partnership of three men: Claus-Johannes Voss, August Eberstein, and Alfred Nehemias and got its name Montblanc in 1913. Inspired by a trip to the United States where two of them had been fascinated by a new invention: the fountain pen, they had the vision to bring this achievement to Europe. For over a century, Montblanc has been associated with the “Art of Writing” and is famous for its writing instruments of outstanding quality, but its precision craftsmanship can also be seen in its own watchmaking workshop in Le Locle (Jura/Switzerland), in the well-crafted leather goods and the house’s jewelry line. In 2006, Montblanc even unveiled its own diamond cut in the shape of the famous  “White Star”, the so-called “Montblanc Diamond Cut”.

Montblanc_MeisterstueckSince its launch in 1924, the Meisterstück – and especially the original fountain pen, the Meisterstück 149 – has become the ultimate “power pen” with cult status, one of 20th century’s design classics with a permanent place in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The nib’s engraving “4810″ is recording the height of the Mont Blanc in metres.

Montblanc_HeadquarterMontblanc_Art_Collection

When you arrive at the headquarters, the “Montblanc House”, you are greeted by the outstanding Cutting Edge Art Collection, that the German brand has built up during the last 10 years under the creative supervision of Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, Director at the Montblanc Cultural Foundation (Please click here for a previous post if you are interested to hear more about this project).

Sandra_Bauknecht_Montblanc_nib_ManufactureMontblanc_visiting-The nib_manufacture

The first stop of my visit was the nib manufacture, where Montblanc manufactures the nibs for all its writing instruments. The inhabitants of Hamburg are sometimes considered being chilly, forget this prejudice when you enter the world of Montblanc. I was cordially received and had an amazing tour around the different work stations. All nibs are made of gold. You absolutely need fine sensory motor skills to create such a detailed work and of course, a magnifying glass. Altogether, it needs 35 operational steps to finish the nib.

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You can feel the great working atmosphere. Speaking to the employees, I learned that most of them have been with Montblanc for generations. The lady, whose hands can be seen in the collage, told me proudly, that she has worked for the company for over 30 years. The passion the team shares is utterly impressive.

Each employee can split his or her time accordingly to the different steps of production so that they are not doing the same work the whole day. After the whole process is completed, each of the finished fountain pen is tested in a separate quiet room with invisible ink. You can hear the sound the nib makes when touching the paper and suddenly understand Montblanc’s love for perfection in manufacturing.

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As I love to write, I was eager to try it out myself and explored Montblanc’s Bespoke Nib Service which is available in selected stores worldwide. In keeping with Montblanc’s motto “Your handwriting – as unique as you are”, a signature is the lasting mark of someoneʼs personality, like your fingerprint revealing something special about you.

Therefore it was natural to Montblanc to develop the technology necessary to capture the individuality of human writing to offer the ultimate bespoke service, a personalized nib.
How does it work? I had to write a predefined sentence on a piece of paper that was placed on a special computerized pad. Montblanc than deciphered my distinctive style, the angle and the pressure that I used. By analyzing my form of my writing, it can be emphasized in a bespoke nib. Available for € 1500.-.

A handwritten note has become so rare nowadays in times of e-mails and text messages that it is even more special to the receiver. By keeping this in mind, you will really make a difference.

Montblanc_Star_Appeal

Many politicians and famous businessmen have used the ultimate “power pen” to sign contracts between companies and agreements between nations. On my way to Montblanc’s Star Lounge, where we had lunch with Christian Rauch, Managing Director for Montblanc’s Writing Instruments, I enjoyed looking at all the photos of celebrities that have been spotted with Montblanc writing instruments.

MontblancArtisan_atelier

Later, I visited Montblanc’s Artisan Atelier, that was the most breathtaking part of my tour. Here, the house’s famous Limited Editions, exceptionally rare pieces, range from the annual Writers Edition and Patron of Art pens, restricted in number are created and produced, eagerly awaited by collectors all over the world. In some cases, they are sold out before they hit the shelves. Sabine Bach, Master Goldsmith at the Montblanc Artisan Atelier, introduced me to this exclusive universe and underlined that “some collectors always ask for the same limited edition number.”

The lovely brunette explained to me the process with such joy that I also became inflamed with passion for these amazing products. The environment is light, modern and quiet. The perfect surrounding for the craftsmen to produce such exceptional work. It can take up to two years for an artisan fountain pen to be finished, starting with design sketches, followed by the plastic print model, the so-called mock up, to the final touches. The limited edition number usually relates to the person it is dedicated. Prices range from € 10.000 to € 200.000 and higher.

And of course, you can even have your very own Bespoke Fountain Pen, starting at € 250.000. There is a desk with an installed video camera for the high-end customer to watch the manufacturing of its unique piece live from his or her home.

Each of Montblanc’s Limited Edition artisan fountain pens has its own story that reads like a fairytale. Below are some that I enjoyed the most:

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Frida Kahlo Limited Edition 70

Dedicated to the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and inspired by her creative work, the fountain pen’s design features a cobalt blue body reminiscent of her birthplace Casa Azul, or Blue House along with beautiful golden ornaments. The limited edition is comprised of 70 pens, one for each page of her diary, whose famous final entry reads, “I’m happy to be leaving and I hope never to return.”

Limited Edition of 70, € 21.800

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Beijing Opera Mask Limited Edition 3

The most bejeweled and extraordinary piece I have seen on my tour through the artisan atelier. Focusing primarily on the Chinese market, this fountain pen pays tribute to the famous Beijing Opera, symbolised by the opera mask that is embellished with black sapphires, diamonds and rubies. Only experienced craftsmen can set the gems so smoothly and delicately.

Limited Edition of 3 – € 120.000

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Romancing Hearts Limited Edition 14

Imagine your beloved one surprises you with a poem written with such a beautiful fountain pen, that even goes by the name of Romancing Hearts. I am hopelessly romantic and this ornate 18k white gold fountain pen skeletonised in the shape of hearts, set in pink sapphires and framed with diamonds has definitely caught my eye. A total of 14 were made, referring to February 14, Valentine’s Day.

Limited Edition of 14 – € 72.000

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Gaudi Limited Edition 125

Montblanc celebrates Antoni Gaudi’s legacy with this gorgeous limited edition fountain pen. The skeleton body and is made with 18k gold and inspired by Gaudi’s spectacular architecture. The tower of Sagrada Familia is depicted in fine engraving on the 18k gold nib. As the famous cathedral was for 125 years under construction, the edition is limited to 125 pieces.

Limited Edition of 125 – € 19.500

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Charlie Chaplin Limited Edition 88

Paying tribute to perhaps the greatest figure of 20th century cinema, Charlie Chaplin, this fountain pen shows Montblanc’s passion for detail in perfection. Intricate cog-wheels stand for the machines featured in Chaplin’s most celebrated film, Modern Times, and each detail recalls a different aspect of the silent actor’s famous persona. The captop for example is based upon his ever-present bowler hat; and the solid gold clip resembles his indispensable walking cane. The 18K rhodium-plated gold nib is engraved with Chaplin’s iconic accoutrements. The 88 stands for the age, Chaplin died at.

Limited Edition of 88 - € 21.800

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Prince Rainier III Limited Edition 81

The artistically skeletonised fountain-pen is made of 18k white gold and superbly studded with diamonds and rubies totalling more than 8 carats. This edition is limited to 81, the age at which Prince Rainer III died in 2005.

Limited Edition of 81 – € 200.000 (Half of the sales revenue will be given to the “Fondation Princesse Grace” to continue the cultural commitment lived by Prince Rainier III.)

Montblanc_Jewelry_Susie_otero

One and a half year ago Parisian designer Susie Otero joined Montblanc to vamp up the jewelry line and bring her French flair to the German brand. Otero works from Paris and comes to Hamburg several times a month. I was lucky to meet her personally during my visit. A very elegant, sophisticated lady with great style and charisma.

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Her impact on the line has been seen immediate when she developed the Princesse Grace de Monaco Collection as an homage to the late Hollywood actress and Princess of Monaco. Grace Kelly’s favourite flower the rose, a symbol of romance, provided the inspiration for the exquisite designs. She explained me that “each petal is different, has a different movement, is foldable like the petals of a real rose” which makes the pieces not only beautiful but very comfortable to wear.

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The bangle from Montblanc’s Infiniment Vôtre Collection in warm skin flattering pink gold is held in the soft shape of the infinity motif. A diamond set in the Montblanc setting gives this precious piece a discreet signature. I love it.

Montblanc Earrings

But on top of my wish list are those beauties: The 4810 Collection hoop earrings in rose gold with pave set diamonds. I have completely fallen in love with their sparkle.

My visit to Hamburg was truly special, a wonderful experience. I have rarely seen a company with so many passionate and enthusiastic employees that absolutely seem to enjoy their work. Culture, quality, craftsmanship and continuity – these are the core values which Montblanc carries proudly into the 21st century, already writing another chapter in its history and I am very proud to be a little part of it!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Montblanc’s Cutting Edge Art Collection

Montblanc Party

It is  Art Basel and it has been a very busy week for me. Called the “Olympics of the art world” by The Daily TelegraphArt Basel is considered the world’s leading contemporary art fair. Each year, nearly 300 international galleries come to the Switzerland to showcase over 2,500 works. Open until Sunday, June 17th, 2012.

Last Tuesday, MONTBLANC, the German manufacturer of writing instruments, watches and accessories, often identified by their “White Star” logo, celebrated together with Parisian art gallery Perrotin the start of Art Basel and the 10th anniversary of their CUTTING EDGE ART COLLECTION. The private dinner party was held on a boat called Das Schiff – Restaurant Treibgut in Basel with a live performance of the band WhoMadeWho.

The engagement with the arts and artists has been embedded in Montblanc’s corporate philosophy for a long time. In regard to this, Montblanc began to build a contemporary art collection ten years ago. The works from the collection are displayed in the entire cooperation’s facilities at the headquarters in Hamburg.

Above you can see Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, Director at the Montblanc Cultural Foundation with me, who has built up Montblanc’s art projects from the very first beginning. (She wore the gorgeous cadillac leather skirt and matching heels from Prada’s S/S 2012 collection. Funnily enough, Miuccia Prada’s designs are very coveted among art lovers.)

02-MONTBLANC CUTTING EDGE ART COLLECTION_Foyer im Montblanc Headquarter, Hamburg_Foto_Helge Mundt_Abdruck frei, Beleg erbetenMONTBLANC CUTTING EDGE ART COLLECTION, Foyer at the Montblanc Headquarter, Hamburg

In 1998, Ingrid Roosen-Trinks started negotiations with artists and galleries and in 2002 Montblanc presented the first work by US artist Tom Sachs. Sachs considered it as a challenge to interpret the Montblac star, the emblem of the long-established company, and created the first commissioned work.

Sachs_Tom_USA_Big Lunar Module_2002_178 cm x 178 cm x 233 cm  PVC, foam core, thermal adhesiveTom Sachs, USA, Big Lunar Module 2002, 178 cm x 178 cm x 233 cm  
PVC, foam core, thermal adhesive

Since then, the collection expanded to 160 unique artworks including works by Thomas Demand, Liam Gillick, Jonathan Meese, Sylvie Fleury, Jorge Pardo, Ugo Rondinone, Michel Majerus, Lijun Fang.

Meese_Jonathan_Germany_DIE 2 (SUSSIS) im milchfrischen Scarlettierbabyland de lovely PIE_ 2008_210 cm x 140 cm  Oil and mixed media on canvasJonathan Meese, Germany, DIE 2 (SUSSIS) im milchfrischen Scarlettierbabyland de lovely PIE, 2008, 210 cm x 140 cm  
Oil and mixed media on canvas

Many of the artists were considered as Cutting Edge at the time they were commissioned – in other words, just at the edge of becoming well known. Today, they claim international recognition and continue a close relationship with the company. To view the brand through the eyes of internationally renowned artists and with that also perceive it undergo a contemporary interpretation is a privilege Montblanc is enjoying to get new impulses for their own work. The collection is also accessible to the public with guided tours.

Pflumm_Daniel_Shwitzerland_Untiteled_2002_diameter120x16cm, Light instalationDaniel Pflumm, Switzerland, Untiteled 2002 – 120×16cm
Light instalation

The MONTBLANC CUTTING EDGE ART COLLECTION is growing constantly. The MONTBLANC YOUNG ARTIST WORLD PATRONAGE project is an addition since 2005 to the collection. Young artist who are standing at the beginning of their careers are being chosen and offered to interpret the Montblanc logo. Reproductions of the works are then being displayed in all 410 Montblanc Boutiques around the world. This guarantees the young artists a unique attention and visibility.

Montblanc Art Bags, Headquarter HamburgMontblanc Art Bags, Headquarter Hamburg

During the growth of the collection, six unique objects were created in 2002: on the occasion of the opening of the Montblanc Flagship Boutique on the Champs Elysées in Paris, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Sylvie Fleury, Gary Hume, David LaChapelle, Sam Taylor-Wood and Anne et Patrick Poirier each created a three meter high shopping bag sculpture made of aluminum and each imprinted with a design created by the artists. These MONTBLANC ART BAGS travel around the world and have already been presented at art events, and in front of Montblanc flagship stores. The project was continued with a seventh sculpture by Marcel van Eeden in 2011. On time for the tenth anniversary of the CUTTING EDGE ART COLLECTION, Montblanc is presenting three new MONTBLANC ART BAGS, created by the internationally renowned Chinese artists Zou Cao, Ma Jun and Huang Min.

Jani and IA familiar face at the party: Finnish artist Jani Leinonen with me.

Montblanc’s dedication to promoting worldwide creative talent and young artists is truly commendable. Stay tuned for a detailed post on my outfit!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Montblanc, © Helge Mundt and © Sandra Bauknecht

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