Oscar de la Renta Is Dead at 82

Oscar de la Renta RIP

Sad news not only for the fashion world! OSCAR DE LA RENTA, the famous fashion designer, died yesterday on October 20, 2014 at his home in Kent, Connecticut at the age of 82, surrounded by family and friends and “more than a few dogs,” according to a statement signed by two of his company’s executives, stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen. De la Renta gave up the title of chief executive of his company in 2004, handing over business duties to the two of them, but remained active on the design end, continuing to show his collections during New York Fashion Week.

His death comes one week after it was announced that former Nina Ricci designer Peter Copping had been appointed as creative director of the Oscar de la Renta label. De la Renta is survived by an adopted son, Moises, a designer at the company.

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The fashion designer after his show at New York Fashion Week on September 9 with Karlie Kloss (left) and Daria Strokous (right).

He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and said at that time, “The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”

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Most recently, Amal Alamuddin wore a de la Renta-designed wedding dress when she married George Clooney. Here, he is pictured with the bride in a photo shoot for Vogue.

Fern Mallis, Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 1991-2001, called him once “The Sultan of Suave.” De la Renta himself served as President of the CFDA from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988. Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo was born on July 22, 1932 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. The award-winning designer also worked for Lanvin and spearheaded the Pierre Balmain collection from 1993-2002, marking the first time an American designed for a French couture house. His eponymous fashion house is famous for its red carpet gowns, bridal and evening wear that has been loved by leading figures, from film stars to royalty, over decades until today.

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Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta at this year’s Met Gala in NYC.

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Stunningly beautiful: this gold bullion embroidered ball gown from the F/W 2013 runway.

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First lady Laura Bush wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball and Hillary Clinton wore a gold de la Renta in 1997.

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In 2006 Oscar de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a Leading Small Hotel of the World boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club.

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Oscar de la Renta was definitely one of the last great American couture fashion designers. If you want to own a piece of his last collection, I invite you to have a look HERE. I will absolutely get this two-tone silk-satin gown, as I love its cocoon-like cut.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Anne Leibovitz/Vogue, © Getty Images

Elie Saab S/S 2014: A Lace Garden

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Elie Saab called his S/S 2014 collection “A LACE GARDEN” and sent the extremely feminine material in all shades over the runway. The Libanese designer is a red carpet favourite and of course he offered a lot of choices for the big moment. His strongest designs are the long gowns, this season definitely a lacy affair to remember… My favorite is a black see-through dress with layers of lace in between as photographed below.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of Elie Saab

Celebrate a Disney Christmas at Harrods

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This Christmas, Harrods and Disney are celebrating a glamorous collaboration with a pop-up boutique and exciting in-store events. The exclusive 7,000 square-foot boutique is open on the Fourth Floor at Harrods until January 2012. Housing an array of Disney products, it will also include bespoke limited-edition items, collectables and show-stopping dress-up pieces.

For truly royal treatment, visit the Disney Princess Parlour dress-up area and try on iconic costumes. Plus, for £19.95, visitors will have the opportunity to have a 15 minute photographic experience against an enchanting Disney backdrop and take home mounted photographs (by appointment only).

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There will also be a Cinderella Slipper Salon offering replica glitter-embellished glass limited-edition slippers, ranging from £24.95 to £34.95; with limited stock available be sure to stop by early to guarantee your purchase.

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To celebrate this pink and sparkly paradise, leading fashion designers including Versace, Valentino, Elie Saab and Roberto Cavalli were invited by Harrods to create a special interpretation of one of 10 Disney Princesses animating the store’s Christmas project.

An here is your exclusive first look at the beautiful gowns that will be unveiled in the famous Harrods Christmas windows on Thursday November 1, 2012. I love!

CLICK HERE TO SHOP DISNEY AT HARRODSicon.

LoL, Sandra

Roberto_Cavalli_HarrodsPocahontas by Roberto Cavalli

Harrods_Elie_saabAurora by Elie Saab

Harrods_Versace_CinderellaCinderella by Versace

Snowhite_Harrods_Oscar_delaRentaSnow White by Oscar de la Renta

Harrods_Belle_valentinoBelle by Valentino
Photos: Courtesy of Harrods

The Best from Paris Haute Couture F/W 2012

Haute Couture F:W 2012Last week, the Haute Couture presentations for F/W 2012 took place in Paris and they have brought along some adorable and stunning looks. From Christian Dior to Stéphane Rolland, from Versace to Valentino, enjoy the best of the best.

GIVENCHY HAUTE COUTURE:

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Personally speaking, Givenchy Haute Couture F/W 2012 is my favourite. It is so modern, edgy and cool. This fringed top above or the long embellished cape with fur details are both to die for! If I could wear couture every day, how I would long for it to be Givenchy Haute Couture…

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STÉPHANE ROLLAND HAUTE COUTURE:

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Stéphane Rolland is always one of the highly anticipated presentations during Haute Couture fashion week in Paris, and this time was no exception. His couture designs are modern and sexy, more of a “Hot Couture”.

Do you remember when supermodel Yasmin Le Bon closed the show in a gigantic red gown last season? Click here for the previous post. This time, it was actress Fan Bingbing, whom I had met at the Trophée Chopard party in Cannes in May, who wowed the guests in a striking sleeveless gown with a cape that took over the entire runway.

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CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE:

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Two contradictory words on the invitation: “New Vintage”. At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld returned to the essence of the fashion house and delved into the past with a collection of bouclé jackets and feather-trimmed gowns. His bridal look left me speechless.

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ZUHAIR MURAD HAUTE COUTURE:

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Opulence is what Zuhair Murad is all about. Haute Couture how you imagine it.

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VALENTINO HAUTE COUTURE:

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Valentino‘s embroidered and hand-painted looks were proof that couture’s artistry and craftsmanship are higher than ever. Absolutely breathtaking!

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who have been helming the famous label since 2008 following Mr Valentino’s retirement, did a wonderful job.

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CHRISTIAN DIOR HAUTE COUTURE:

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Raf Simons’s debut collection for Christian Dior was probably one of  the most refreshing couture show. Clean but masterfully tailored, those strapless embroidered mini gowns over pants, all free from fuss, looked like contemporary couture should look like.

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ATELIER VERSACE:

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Donatella Versace returned to the Ritz Paris for the presentation of her Atelier Versace F/W 2012 collection. 
The famous hotel had hosted many Atelier Versace shows before. Donatella was paying homage to her late brother Gianni with a collection that encapsulated the best of the iconic Versace looks.

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ARMANI PRIVÉ:

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Those sultry veils seen at Armani Privé were outstanding.

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JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER HAUTE COUTURE:

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Speaking of Hot Couture, Jean-Paul Gaultier served up a good dose of sexiness with his creations. Gaultier at his best!

I hope that you have enjoyed my little Haute Couture report.

LoL, Sandra

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JPG9Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, © Getty Images

Swarovski Sparkles in Mirror Mirror

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Swarovski once again adds sparkle to the big screen! Julia Roberts stars as the queen in Mirror Mirror, a fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, wearing spectacular handmade costumes adorned with over 100,000 SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Oscar®-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka (Immortals) put her imagination to the test. “The Swarovski crystals were used in Eiko’s designs in creating three spectacular handmade costumes for the Queen, adorned with over 100,000 SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in nearly twenty colours, including the outrageous golden costume ball and blood-red party dress, as well as the elaborate wedding gown,” said assistant costume designer, Martine Gagnon.

In theatres now, Mirror Mirror features breakout star Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince (Armie Hammer) in this magical adventure comedy, directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell).

A visually stunning movie for the whole family!

LoL, Sandra

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SNOW WHITE Photos: Jan Thijs. Copyright 2012 Relativity Media. All rights reserved.

Meet Kaufmanfranco

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At the moment I am in London where I met the lovely dynamic designer duo Kaufmanfranco at the net-à-porter offices yesterday. The New York label’s signature is dazzling evening wear that’s delicately embellished, plus modern day wear with an urban twist.

Kaufmanfranco with meIsaac Franco to the left and Ken Kaufman to the right with me

Their sleek American style have landed them a stockpile of fans in every age group, spanning Taylor Swift to Jennifer Aniston. Calling themselves “the New Sensualists”, their designs are pure sophistication.

Celebrities KaufmanfrancoTaylor Swift and Jennifer Aniston in Kaufmanfranco (Photos: Getty Images)

It was lovely talking to the charismatic designer duo who answered openly my questions.

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Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco met over 25 years ago. FIT-alumni Ken offered Isaac his first job who at that time had just finished his studies at Parsons School of Design. Since then, the two have been working constantly together for the likes of Valentino or Emanuel Ungaro, just to name a few. In 2004, they decided to launch their own label.

You two seem like yin and yang, same vision, different approach but complementing each other perfectly. Who designs which part of the collection?

Me, Isaac, I take care in general of the day wear styles and Ken is more into eveningwear.

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How can I imagine your creative process?

Each of us designs and does sketches that we present each other. We then sometimes change what the other came up with which makes our designs better and special.

Whom would you like to dress? This could be also a person in history.

I think Madonna. But I have recently been asked whom I would like to invite for dinner and I thought Moses and Madonna would make a great combination at the dinner table.

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Why don’t you do a runway show?

We are still a small label and prefer putting all the money into the clothes.

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Last night, I got a wonderful preview of the Kaufmanfranco F/W 2012 collection that is full of sophisticated cocktail looks and all the fall coats and dresses you need. The colours are dark, from black to silver and rust. The materials are luxurious with lots of embellished pieces, Kaufmanfranco’s signature style. Enjoy the photos that I took for you:

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If I have whetted your appetite for some Kaufmanfranco shopping, I would like to invite you to explore their S/S 2012 collection which is in stores now by clicking here.

LoL, Sandra

KaufmanfrancoPhotos: Courtesy of Kaufmanfranco and © Sandra Bauknecht

Talbot Runhof F/W 2012: Great Expectations

Great Expectations

For Talbot Runhof‘s  F/W 2012 collection, the designer duo seeked inspiration from the 1998 movie Great Expectations starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow and Anne Bancroft, the latter of whom, impressed the most with her masterful performance of Nora Dinsmoor.

“Deserted on her wedding day as a young woman. Her garden still decorated and waiting in vain, in anticipation of a celebration. Covered in a verdant mélange of foliage, a daily affirmation of her life, her sadness, her passion, swirling through the decaying rooms of her home to her hymn of hope: Bésame mucho. She (Anne Bancroft as Nora Dinsmoor) was the inspiration for our F/W 2012 collection!

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Talbot Runhof is the German red carpet label worn by A-listers all over the world. Famous celebrities such as Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry have been spotted in their elegant and feminine designs. Today, their creations are sold in the best stores worldwide, among them Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

The success story started in 1991 when Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof met in Munich. Discovering their mutual passion for fashion they decided to join forces and began designing collections together under the label All about Eve. In the year 2000 the brand was renamed Talbot Runhof. They both share interesting and unusual backgrounds:

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Johnny Talbot, born 1964 in Nashville Tennessee, USA, studied electrical engineering and worked as systems manager for the U.S. government before he decided to become a fashion designer.

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Adrian Runhof, born 1963 in Mainz, Germany, studied business administration after growing up in a family of fashion producers and retailers and worked every since in the fashion business.

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Before the show, I went backstage, so please enjoy the photos.

The collection is all about green: From ivy to oak, from acorn to gingko, birch to maple. Colour nuances of chartreuse to olive, emerald to evergreen, turquoise to jade, moss to bronze.

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Famous MAC makeup artist Romero Jennings at work creating the feminine, elegant makeup look in a gorgeous green colour palette.

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TalbotMe front row at the show

Among my favourites are the stretch suede skin tight leggings and the evening gowns of net lace, hologram sequins combined with layers of chiffon. Leaf applications adorn necklines, tops and dresses. Tweed appears soft and luxurious.

Accessories include booties, booty sandals, platform pumps, or peep-toes of tweed and of printed satin. Matching baguette clutches of velvet, tweed, printed satin embroidered with metallic borders, leaf motives, patchwork belts of matt shiny nappa.

And now enjoy the show! Talbot Runhof have fulfilled the great expectations, haven’t they?!

LoL, Sandra

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Shop the Look: Fresh Florals

Fresh Florals Dresses

In the mood to shop the floral trend for S/S 2012?
Here are the best pieces available at the moment.
Just click on the highlighted text to be transferred directly! Happy Shopping!

DRESSES

1 Floral-print silk crepe de chine dress by Dolce & Gabbana
2 Floral-print silk crepe de chine dress iconby Sonia Rykiel
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Floral-print silk-chiffon dress iconby Jason Wu

Fresh Florals- Skirts

SKIRTS

1 Floral-print silk-georgette skirt iconby Proenza Schouler
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Embroidered tulle skirt iconby Marc Jacobs (my personal must-have)
Floral-print ruched silk-chiffon skirt iconby Jason Wu

Fresh Florals- Tops

TOPS

1 Floral-print jacquard blazer iconby Etro
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Rose-print silk blouse by Prabal Gurung
3 Shay floral-print silk scarf iconby Jimmy Chooicon

Fresh Florals- Gowns

GOWNS

1 Lucietta floral-print silk crepe de chine gown iconby Erdem
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Draped floral-print silk-chiffon gown iconby Roberto Cavalli

LoL, Sandra

At the Versace S/S 2012 Show

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It might not be for everyone, but if you like Versace, you are going to fall in love with this S/S 2012 collection. It was truly sexy. Short mini dresses and hot pants were all over the runway. If you were looking for pants, no chance! Pastel colours gave a very feminine approach and even made the studded materials look soft. Of course, there was leather and lots of beautiful embellished  evening gowns. The final look resumed the beginning having a sparkling coral on the belly. And with the help of the Neptune-like prints showing sea shells and corals, Donatella has whetted our appetite for the next summer already.

LoL, Sandra

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The Glam Gallery

Roberto Cavalli 'The Glam Gallery'

“ … The right dress, at the right time, can change your life forever…”

– Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli presents “The Glam Gallery”, a selection of red carpet gowns, among the most representative of the Maison Cavalli, on sale from early October on the online store at www.robertocavalli.com. From Hollywood to Cannes, his vibrant and sexy style is admired by many celebrities who are recognised worldwide in his multi-faceted designs.

RCLady Victoria Hervey in a stunning red gown by Roberto Cavalli at the Roberto Cavalli Opening Boutique London Party last Saturday

“The Glam Gallery” makes the unattainable world of the red carpet accessible for every woman: dream gowns are available exclusively to clients of the online store www.robertocavalli.com who, by registering on the site from now, will have the possibility to access a special selection of the evening gowns and purchase them in advance. This is your chance to look like a star.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli