My Look: Love Always London

Last week in London, I wore one of my favorite dresses by Mary Katrantzou. The so-called Knight dress draws inspiration from vintage 1960s ties. Its striped bodice opens to a pleated skirt decorated with an array of typical animal prints you would see on an Hermès tie. Have you ever thought of transforming your hubby’s old ties into something new for you?! Might be worth the thought… If you are wondering why I am wearing such chunky boots, it was raining cats and dogs.

The photos were taken in my beautiful Belgravia Suite at the COMO The Halkin. A hotel review will be coming up shortly.

My look: Knight tie-neck graphic-print dress by Mary Katrantzouicon, Ceinture cut-out leather ankle boots by Balenciagaiconblack cardigan by Miu Miu, patchwork flap bag by Chanel (Resort 2011).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Prêt-à-Portea

This week, I was in London for Fashion Week and treated myself to the legendary Prêt-à-Portea designer afternoon tea experience at the Berkeley Hotel which is inspired by the world of fashion. I had already done it once 6 years ago (for the previous post click here please) and was curious to see the Collins Room after it had undergone renovations.

You might be wondering what is Prèt-à-Portea exactly? It is a menu of couture cakes especially designed for the respective season gets a makeover every six months to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. For F/W 2017-18, Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat has sent out a brand new collection of exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. It takes inspiration from an array of distinguished fashion and accessory designers, and the latest creations shown on the international fashion runways.

YOUR FASHIONISTA’S TEA INCLUDES
A delicate collection of cakes and fancies inspired by the world’s finest designers:

Gucci’s kimono, complete with a charming parasol, transformed into a pomegranate and grenadine bavarois, with cassis and apple compote topped with a crystallised edible flower and a chocolate parasol.

Balenciaga’s effortlessly luxe black-and-white flouncy dress reimagined as a moist chocolate cake, layered with white chocolate Grand Marnier mousse, crunchy ganache and a sexy orange leg.

Gianvito Rossi’s red-heeled boots, recreated as a fennel seed biscuit iced with burgundy red royal icing.

Bottega Veneta’s daring mustard-coloured suit, gracing the cakewalk as an iced speculoos chocolate biscuit.

Anya Hindmarch’s orange leather clutch as a dulce and ginger cake sandwiched within foxy orange chocolate.

Burberry’s sleek white feathered cape, recreated as a tonka bean cheesecake with cinnamon crumble base, covered with glossy white glaze and finished with a curvy white chocolate feather.

Miu Miu’s luxuriously warm coat transformed into a bûche of pistachio crémeux set on hazelnut sable and topped with waved meringue.

Christopher Kane’s ‘LBD’ taken to another level with stunning flowers and transformed into a chocolate moelleux cake with lacte café and Bailey’s cream, finished with sugar flowers.

Dolce & Gabbana’s stand-out dress, now an almond génoise complete with a mango & passion fruit insert and a cocktail caraibe mousse, topped with a rainbow of chocolate disks.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose from a large selection of loose leaf teas (I personally recommend the Ceylon & Rose tea) from the hotel’s extensive collection and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly like I did. Raise a toast in style!

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £52.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £62.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £70.00 per person.
A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your bill.

Bookings
Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866

THE PRET-A-PORTEA BOOK
There is also a great coffee table (I meant tea table book :-)) that I can recommend: «Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Bakes and Biscuits» was published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley’s iconic afternoon tea with 20 recipes and baking techniques from the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. To buy the book, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Runway Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
Photos Cover: Courtesy of the Berkeley Hotel

My Look: Heathrow

Yesterday, I flew back from London Heathrow filled with amazing memories from Fashion Week that I will soon share with you. When I am flying, I like to be comfy but still look stylish. Leather leggings and a striped sweater are one of my favorite combinations and the trending baker boy cap adds a little French touch!

My look: Double-breasted wool-blend felt coat by Saint Laurent, cashmere striped sweater by Chloéicon, skinny leather pants by Guccilarge classic flap bag in caviar leather and long bi-colour scarf, both by Chanelicon, metal chain necklace by Prada, baker boy cap by Dolce & Gabbana, and corset-style booties by Valentino. Trolley by Victorinox.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Lanesborough Hotel London

My avid readers know how much I love London. Personally speaking, a weekend trip to the British metropole is one of my favorite things to do, as the city offers everything you can dream of, culture, shopping, nightlife, and great restaurants.

Happy me at The Lanesborough wearing Mary Katrantzou .

One of my favorite hotels to stay is THE LANESBOROUGH that belongs to the Oetker Collection. Perfectly positioned between Knightsbridge and Mayfair, just a short walk from Harrods, Harvey Nichols and London’s exclusive Sloane Street, this grand mansion overlooking Hyde Park Corner has undergone an inspired renovation by the famed interior designer Alberto Pinto. The hotel is home to 93 luxurious suites and bedrooms, Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, the vibrant Library Bar and Garden Room and the magnificent Lanesborough Club & Spa.

About the latter I would like to tell you a lot more as this is one of the many reasons to stay at this hotel! It is a true sanctuary of health and relaxation in the city and was crowned the World’s Best New Hotel Spa 2017 at the World Spa Awards™. This private 1600 m² members’ fitness and health clubs and spa with its divine interior, is offering members and hotel guests access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness.

The spa’s hydro pool area

A must for all spa lovers: the steam room and sauna.

Beautifully designed: the ladies’ changing room

A sanctuary of relaxation in the city: the private area for spa members

The so-called «Painting Room» serves for manicures and pedicures.

You can enjoy some of the finest spa therapy treatments with products from much-loved spa and beauty brands ila and La Prairie, as well as the expertise of facial and beauty expert Anastasia Achilleos. Good to know is that for non-members, day passes can also be combined with treatment bookings for access to the exceptional facilities.

The restaurant and bar of the Lanesborough Club & Spa

Moreover, The Lanesborough Club & Spa has its own restaurant, offering all-day healthy dining, developed by Michelin-starred Chefs Eric Frechon and Executive Chef Florian Favario in collaboration with Clean & Lean nutritional guidance from Bodyism founder James Duigan. High-protein snacks, smoothies and juices are available throughout the day, and all personal training sessions will finish with a bespoke blended drink to complement each members’ workout.

The hotel’s exquisite rooms and suites, are all uniquely refurbished with stylish, luxurious interiors and responsive technology seamlessly interwoven, including in-room tablets and powerful WiFi. Each room, not only suites, has a round-the-clock, dedicated butler service so that you can be assured that your needs are well served.

The seven-bedroom Royal Suite is a residence fit for a king, queen or head of state.

If you love food, you will enjoy the hotel’s Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant (see photo below) with its richly decorated dining room in light blue and yellow hues, naturally illuminated during the day by a domed glass roof.

Beautiful ambiance at the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant

Moreover, I recommend the award-winning afternoon tea service, the seductive Library Bar and for the cigar aficionados among you one of London’s best cigar and Cognac loungesThe Garden Room. You see that THE LANESBOROUGH caters to all tastes…

I love having breakfast in the room… the first thing that makes my day…

One of my favorites in London is tea time which is served at the hotel’s «Withdrawing Room».

I am a big fan and hope that you will enjoy your stay at THE LANESBOROUGH as much as I do!

And if you become a fan, I recommend getting this beautiful Globe Trotter The Lanesborough Suitcase, that is only available at Eden Being.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Lanesborough Hotel and © Sandra Bauknecht

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

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
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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

Christopher Bailey To Exit Burberry

Yesterday, I got the news that after 17 years at Burberry, Christopher Bailey is set to leave the iconic British fashion house in the end of March 2018 making way for a new vision in the brand’s creative strategy.

A digitalized shopping experience at Burberry’s Regent Street store in London.

46- year-old Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 and became CEO and chief creative officer in May 2014. He led the company through successful years, especially when the brand focused a lot on social media. Like other fashion houses, Burberry has endured a difficult period in recent years and in July 2017, Bailey was succeeded as CEO by Marco Gobbetti in July this year who brings a new vision to the brand.

Marco Gobbetti

«Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the company’s success in that period,» said Gobbetti in the official statement. «We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead for our teams, our partners and our shareholders

Christopher Bailey

«It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,» said Bailey. «I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition

An iconic piece and a must-have for every closet:
The Kensington Long cotton-gabardine trench coat

Rumors are that Phoebe Philowho worked alongside Gobbetti so successfully at Céline (Gobbetti was CEO at the French luxury brand before), could be a potential candidate to succeed Bailey. Burberry shares fell 1.46 percent on the news of the designer’s departure in London trading.

Burberry F/W 2017 show

TO SHOP BURBERRY ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Burberry

Tea Time at Elton John’s Home

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One beautiful sunny day last fall, I flew to London to follow Lalique‘s very exclusive invitation to have tea time at Elton John’s gorgeous home. The reason for this once in a lifetime experience was the launch of the ELTON JOHN MUSIC IS LOVE FOR LALIQUE collection that includes four exceptional crystal sculptures. As you can imagine, the estate is breathtaking and Sir Elton John is absolutely lovely to talk to.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique_Sandra_BauknechtInside Sir Elton John’s beautiful home

«The ultimate goal of this project is to raise money to support urgently needed projects that address the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic across the globe. In doing so, we also want to create beautiful and meaningful pieces for people to purchase that speak to the high standards of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Lalique. Through purchasing one of these crystal pieces, people are also learning something about EJAF’s work and helping to make a real difference in the lives of people in need.»
– Sir Elton John

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-3Inside the house’s art gallery where Sir Elton John and David Furnish officially tied the knot in 2014.

IMG_1084David Furnish and Lalique designer Marc Larminaux listen to Sir Elton John’s speech.

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Four Special Editions (the unique Angel Cire Perdue, the Heart in platinum enamelled red crystal, the Heart in gold enamelled clear crystal and the Angel in gold-stamped clear crystal) each signed by Sir Elton John, will be auctioned during this weekend’s 2016 Academy Awards, in partnership with Paddle8, to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

IMG_1181The unique Angel Cire Perdue.

«I don’t think that I have ever seen a more beautiful piece of glass than the big Angel. It is breathtaking!»
– Sir Elton John

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The standing Angel in clear crystal and the Heart in clear or red crystal are available at Lalique boutiques and their select retailers. Lalique will contribute 10% of sales to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-12The socle of the statue engraved by Sir Elton John.

Sir Elton John, the theme of the pieces is ‘Music is Love’. Why do you think music and love have always been so intricately entwined?

Love is one of the primary forces that can unite us and bring us together despite our differences. Indeed, love shows us that the differences dividing us from each other are ultimately very superficial, that we have so much more in common than not. Music is a powerful medium for expressing all the many faces of love, and it is a participatory medium. Music draws us together. It is a universal language. We come together to make music, to listen to music, to share music. This is why I believe that music and love are synonymous, that music IS love.

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Music is your passion and your most widely-known medium of expression. How have you found working in sculpture, particularly in crystal?

The process of artistic creation – whether for music or dance or visual art – arises from the same impetus, the same need to express thoughts, feelings, ideas. I found the entire design process for this project – from theorising, to working and revising with drawings, to realising the concept as a three-dimensional object – to be absolutely exhilarating. Working in crystal is fascinating, and Lalique crystal has an amazing way of constantly changing with light and shadow, the time of day… Such a beautiful, magical medium!
The finished piece is even more exciting and beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I’m completely thrilled with it and really looking forward to the auction in February 2016.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique

You’re a collector of glass and crystal, and have a number of Lalique pieces in your collection. What is it that you appreciate about crystal and Lalique in particular?

For me, Lalique stands for craftsmanship, luxury and a strong tradition of devotion to the art of producing the highest quality, most beautiful objects using these materials. Lalique sets a standard of craftsmanship that is simply unparalleled in the world. I think glass is a much underappreciated art form. That is why I collect it and I love it very much and Lalique to me represents the Rolls-Royce of glass.
As an oral artist who makes music, the visual arts of glass inspire me when I write a song or when I play the piano, because every day I get up and I am surrounded by glass and a lot of Lalique. Subconsciously, it inspires me to do better things, I think.

heart-red-white-crystal--elton-john-music-is-love-for-laliqueMUSIC IS LOVE Heart Red Crystal (limited edition of 499 pieces) and Heart Clear Crystal (limited edition of 999 pieces).

«The heart is a universal symbol of love.»
– Sir Elton John

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique_Sandra_Bauknecht2

You have also been working with the Lalique design team to create three other sculptures – a smaller angel and two heart sculptures, with part of the proceeds going to the Foundation. What do these symbolise for you?

The heart is a universal symbol of love, as well as the Angel. Love is ultimately what guides and inspires the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and love is what we need to end this epidemic. Science has made amazing advances in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. But unless we love each other enough to make sure that everyone – no matter who they love, what they do, how they look or what they believe – has the resources to stay healthy and prevent further transmission of the disease, then all the science in the world will be for naught. LOVE is the ultimate solution to AIDS.

Thank you, Sir Elton John, for this amazing invitation!

To visit the Lalique website where you can shop the limited edition pieces or bid for the collector’s items, click HERE please.

LoL, Sandra

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-2The beautiful library.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-8The estate is truly breathtaking.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-23Sir Elton John in front of the three other sculptures that are available in stores.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-32Sir Elton John is a dedicated art collector.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-33Art plays a very important role in the life of the famous singer.

IMG_1034I loved this statue inside the guest bathroom.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Silvio_DenzWith Lalique owner Silvio Denz in front of the unique Angel Cire Perdue.

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Being at Sir Elton John’s home was a truly special experience that I will treasure forever. I am wishing Lalique and him good luck this weekend to achieve the best result possible in the auction.

Stay tuned for more coming up from Los Angeles where I will be from Thursday on…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of Lalique

My Look: Green Thumb

GreenThumb_Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_Mulberry

 «The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.» ~Hanna Rion

At the Mulberry showroom in London I discovered my green thumb. A little garden inside the building – a beautiful oasis to sit down and take a deep breath during those hectic times.

My look: Godiva skirt and matching Godiva jacket, both by Mary Katrantzou, cropped cable knit top by Cushnie et Ochs, white Lily shoulder bag by MulberryMonogramme embellished shopper tote and ‘Babies’ studded mid-calf boots, both by Saint Laurent.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra_bauknecht_mulberry_Showroom_Mary_Katrantzou

Mulberry Plants

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mulberry_Lily_Bag_Mary_Katrantzou

Saint_Laurent_Studded_Bag_Mulberry_Showroom

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Sandra_bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_2Mulberry

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_8Mulberry

Mulberry_Flowers

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_Mulberry_Lily_Bag

Saint_Laurent_Studded_Boots

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_7Mulberry

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_6Mulberry

Mulberry_Showroom_2

LilyBag_Mulberry_Saint_Laurent_Bag

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_Katrantzou_4Mulberry

Sandra_Bauknecht_Mary_KATRANTZOU_3MULBERRY

Mary_Katrantzou_Skirt

Mulberry Headquarter-Sandra Bauknecht

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Alessandra Rich: London

Alessandra Rich London

My avid readers know how much I adore Alessandra Rich‘s designs. Her gowns are feminine and sophisticated with an edgy and ironic slant, for me my favorites on the red carpet.

After the Italian born designer had officially launched her eponymous label with her S/S 2010 collection, she has fast become a name synonymous with defined glamour loved by celebrities around the globe. She works from a showroom in London’s Mount Street, where I visited her to get her insider scoop on the British metropole, and an atelier close to Venice. In everyone of her collections, she shows her unique skill for making the elaborate fabrics of lace, ruffles and this S/S 2015 season fringes appear modern and extremely special.

Sandra Bauknecht and Alessandra Rich 2

Your favourite city?
LONDON. It’s where I spend my best time.

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Your favourite hotel?
CLARIDGE’S, because it’s a classic.
49 Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, +44 20 7629 8860

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Your favourite restaurant?
SCOTT’S, I love their oysters.
20 Mount Street, London W1K 2HE, +44 20 7495 7309

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Your favourite bar or nightclub?
CONNAUGHT BAR. Perfect for a drink with friends.
The Connaught, Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL, +44 20 7499 7070

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Your favourite sightseeing spot?
THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE. It‘s an intense experience.
Bow St, London WC2E 9DD, +44 20 7240 1200

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Your favourite park?
HYDE PARK. It’s just around the corner from my office.
+44 300 061 2000

Virginia antiques

Your favourite shop?
VIRGINIA ANTIQUES on Portland Road. This vintage and second hand clothing shop is a Pandora’s vase.
98 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11 4LQ, +44 20 7727 9908

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Your must-have accessory?
RED NAILS. I always wear Lollipop by Essie.

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The best soundtrack for this destination?
Anything from LED ZEPPELIN or PINK FLOYD.

Guide London

The best book to read while being on vacation there?
WALLPAPER CITY GUIDE LONDON To have smart tips about the city.

Thank you, Alessandra, for sharing your insider scoop on London with us!

TO SHOP ALESSANDRA RICH, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
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LoL, Sandra

olivia_palermoOlivia Palermo in a fringed lace gownicon from Alessandra Rich‘s S/S 2015 collection.

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, © AP Images