Tribute to Christian Lacroix from Arles

While visiting Arles yesterday, I passed by a Christian Lacroix store (photo at the end of this post) which immediately caught my eye as I had completely forgotten about the fashion house after it had been sold by LVMH to duty-free retailer Falic Fashion Group in 2005.

Visiting Arles yesterday – an inspiration for today’s post.

I had been a big fan of flamboyant Lacroix’s designs and even got married in one of his couture dresses. Personally speaking, when Christian opened his Maison, I started actively being interested in fashion and his creations inspired me a lot of what I do today.

The story of Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix was born in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône in Southern France. At a young age he began already sketching historical costumes and fashions. In April 1987, his dream came true and he founded his own fashion house in a private mansion at 73 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the heart of Paris. The House of Christian Lacroix was created by the Arlesian couturier and press agent Jean-Jacques Picart, with support from Bernard Arnault. Word quickly spread throughout Paris and Christian Lacroix’s name was on everyone’s lips.

A look from Lacroix’s F/W 1987 haute couture collection.

The following 26 July, Christian Lacroix unveiled his first Haute Couture collection for F/W 1987. This first collection was a radiant, opulent, virtuosic homage to the couturier’s roots; each look was infused with Mediterranean influences. The designer revisited traditional Arlesian outfits, drawing inspiration from the toreador’s cape. He highlighted southern France’s beauty, from the Camargue to Provence, in this 60-piece collection.

This first flamboyant fashion show was wildly successful, blowing the dust off the subdued world of 1980s high fashion and turning Parisian fashion of the day on its head. It was a departure from the minimalistic look of the influential Japanese designers en vogue at that time.

Christian Lacroix F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection

At a time when fashion was focused on simplicity, Christian Lacroix chose exuberance. When black became the standard, he opted for blood red, fuchsia pink and bright yellow.

With each new collection, Christian Lacroix designed pieces that combined unusual materials and colours, adorning looks with luxurious baroque touches. He brought back touches of folklore, history and theatre, infusing them with elegance and sophistication.

Very «Like a Prayer»: Anna Wintour chose for her first Vogue cover a Christian Lacroix couture jacket combined with a pair of jeans. It was photographed by Peter Lindbergh and  featured Israeli Model Michaela Bercu – US Vogue Nov 1988

Anna Wintour chose a Christian Lacroix Haute Couture jacket with a simple pair of jeans for her first American Vogue cover, photographed by Peter Lindberg in 1988. This look broke all the high fashion rules, pushing it into a younger and more liberated future.

After a spectacular debut, the Lacroix phenomenon spread as if propelled by the Mistral wind, and was soon featured prominently in all the most prestigious fashion magazines around the world.

Shalom Harlow in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture photographed by Bruce Weber for Vogue US, March 1995.

Throughout the 1990s, the brand continued to grow, diversifying its portfolio with household linen, tableware and more. This diversification continued to pick up speed in the following decade.

Between 2002-2005, Lacroix served also as the Creative Director for the Italian fashion house Emilio Pucci. He left on agreeable terms as he and the house believed that since he had other pursuits, it would be unfair to the house to not put in the energy required for future collections along with his other work.

Ad Campaign F/W 1997 featuring Karen Elson photographed by Paolo Roversi

In 2005, LVMH sold the House to its current owners, the Falic family, giving it new momentum as it explored other niches while continuing the House’s previous activities. In 2009, the fashion house put the business into administration and laid off all but 12 workers. Lacroix’s F/W 2009 Haute Couture was privately financed by Lacroix and each model was paid €50.

Final finale: Christian Lacroix and Vlada Roslyakova – Haute Couture F/W 2009

As Vogue editor Sarah Mower wrote: «It was one of the most poignant and emotionally fraught haute couture shows ever: a collection produced on a shoestring at the last minute, and only made possible by the collective will and donated time and skills of the seamstresses, embroiderers, jewelers, milliners, and shoemakers loyal to Christian Lacroix

«I didn’t want to cry,» said Lacroix «I want to continue, maybe in a different way, with a small atelier. What I really care about is the women who do this.» Lacroix said about his last Haute Couture collection. Throughout its history, the house never turned a profit and reported a €10 million loss in 2008.

When Christian Lacroix left his position as the House’s Artistic Director in late 2009, Sacha Walckhoff, who had worked at the House since 1992, was named Creative Director. Sacha continued the House’s transformation alongside President Nicolas Topiol, extending the creative focus to decoration and lifestyle collections.

Lacroix in 2018: Designing for Desigual

Lacroix, himself, started collaborating in 2011 with the Barcelona-based clothing brand Desigual. This year, he will launch 5 mini collections for the house.

Lacroix x Nymphenburg

He also collaborated with Nymphenburg for a limited edition collection of design objects.

Interior design by Christian Lacroix: Hotel Le Bellechasse in Paris 

Moreover, Christian Lacroix has completed interior design work at several landmark hotels, including the Hotel Le Petit Moulin in Spring, 2005; the Hotel Bellechasse, right in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris), in 2007 (a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World); and in 2010 Le Notre Dame hotel just a step from the cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Paris.

The newest hotel design project by Lacroix: Julius Caesar in Arles.

In 2014, formerly a 17th century Carmelite Convent, Julius Caesar in Arles opened its doors as a boutique hotel featuring décor designed by Christian Lacroix.

The Christian Lacroix store in Arles.

Lacroix without Lacroix… the House’s Studio still produces collections in men’s fashion, accessories (scarves, sunglasses, handbags, jewellery, watches and mobile phone accessories) and lifestyle (fabrics, wallpapers, cushions, rugs, tableware, candles and stationery). But unfortunately no women’s fashion… but to be honest that is also hard to imagine without Lacroix being there himself!

Lacroix, Sweetie, Lacroix! Your are a genius…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Christian Lacroix, via Vogue and © Sandra Bauknecht

Breaking News: Hedi Slimane to Join Céline

This breaking news for all fashion lovers. One of the industry’s leading image-makers and trendsetters, Hedi Slimane, was announced by LVMH today as Artistic, Creative and Image Director of Céline with effect from February this year. He will direct all Céline collections, extending to men’s fashion, couture and fragrances.

Hedi Slimane rose to fame during his tenure as the Creative Director for Dior Homme (also under the helmet of LVMH) in the mid-2000’s. You could say that he invented the skinny suit. A decade later and maybe most notoriously, he went to Yves Saint Laurent and rebranded the label simply Saint Laurent. Its entire visual identity was reengineered by moving the design studio to Los Angeles and showing revamped rocker looks each season. Hedi Slimane’s talent and his remarkable ability to anticipate and express in a unique way the evolutions and desires of his age, will ensure a further era of exceptional growth and development for the House of Céline.

Bernard Arnault commented: I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the reins of our Céline Maison. He is one of the most talented designers of our time.  I have been a great admirer of his work since we collaborated on Dior Homme, which he launched to global critical acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this Maison. Hedi will oversee and develop all creativity for both women’s and men’s fashion, but also for leather goods, accessories and fragrances. He will leverage his global vision and unique aesthetic virtuosity in further building an iconic French Maison”.

Hedi Slimane said: “I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers”.

LoL, Sandra

Photo of Hedi Slimane | Y.R.

Sephora Opening in Zurich

Yesterday evening, I attended the long awaited opening of SEPHORA in Zurich as a shop-in-shop concept at Manor located at Bahnofstrasse 75.

Craziness a few seconds after the doors opened at Sephora Zurich.

Here are some facts:
Selling Space65 m² (small, but filled with great stuff)

Staff: 10 sales associates and one shop manager

Question: which Becca highlighter should I get…

Exclusive brandsMade In Sephora, Too Faced, Make Up For Ever, Marc Jacobs,
Becca, Dr.Jart+, Tony Moly, Caolion, Skinfood, Too Cool for School

Other brands availableNars, Benefit Make Up and Benefit Skincare

ServicesSephora Make Up Bar and Benefit Brow Bar
Thanks to Click & Collect at manor.ch/sephora customers can order all their favorite products online and get them delivered to their preferred  Manor department store in Switzerland.

A goody bag filled with so many amazing products… thank you, Sephora!

Founded in 1969, Sephora is today part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and present in 32 countries worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

With lovely Myriam Françoise at the opening yesterday.

Photos: © David Biedert Photography, © Andrea Monica Hug and © Sandra Bauknecht

Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy and More

Industry speculations aren’t always so wrong as we can see now. Yesterday, Givenchy announced Clare Waight Keller, former creative director at Chloé, as the house’s new artistic director. Rumors have been out for months that she will be the first woman leading the French Maison. Waight Keller will oversee women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as haute couture with the appointment becoming effective May 2, 2017. Her first collection for S/S 2018 will be shown in Paris in October.

Clare Waight Keller with me

The British-born replaces Riccardo Tisci, who left the LVMH-owned brand in January, reportedly for Versace, though that appointment has not been made official. With 12 years at the house, Tisci, who is Italian, enjoyed the longest tenure after founder Hubert de Givenchy himself.

HUBERT DE GIVENCHY’S CONFIDENT STYLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN INSPIRATION AND I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF THIS LEGENDARY HOUSE’S HISTORY.

I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE TEAMS AND WRITING A NEW CHAPTER IN THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY. “ CLARE WAIGHT KELLER

Natacha Ramsay-Levi

But who is following Wright Keller at Chloé? For the world of fashion a popular name, for others probably not: Natacha Ramsay-Levi who has been working along with Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga whom she followed 2013 to Louis Vuitton. The French-born was in a relationship with fashion «enfant terrible» and «Purple»-founder Olivier Zahm, with whom she has a son.

New year, new designer moves… let’s keep the fashion world busy!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Givenchy, Chloé

Dior Hires Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri

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In the end of last week, it was announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri had left Valentino, where she was co-creative director with partner Pierpaolo Piccioli. One day later, we knew where she would head to. It is quite breaking news: she will be the new artistic director at Dior, which marks the first woman in the fashion label’s 59 year history to take this position. Chiuri takes the place of Raf Simons who departed in October (for the previous post, click here please).

2822Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri take a bow after the Valentino couture show on Wednesday.

Somehow, it feels quite sad. Chiuri worked with Piccioli for 25 years, first at Fendi then behind the scenes at Valentino. In 2008, they were named creative directors in 2008 and brought the label into a new era.

valentino-rockstud-sandals

Rockstud embellished leather sandals
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Think of all the famous «Rockstuds» that gained a huge following… romance with a twist of coolness, that is what there collections have been made of. The Valentino sales rose constantly, in the first quarter of 2016, already by 9%.

valentino-pre-fall-2016-collection-lookbookTO SHOP VALENTINO PRE-FALL 2016, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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It is sure that LVMH, Christian Dior’s parent company, is hoping for Chiuri bringing the same success there. She beat other contenders for the highly prized job, including Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton and ex-Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz.
Her first ready to wear collection will take place on September 30 in Paris.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Valentino, © Sandra Bauknecht and SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Donna Karan’s Next Journey

DonnaKaran

One of the most important designers in the history of American fashion, Donna Karan, has made a personal decision to step down from her day-to-day responsibilities as Chief Designer for Donna Karan International. She will remain with the company in an advisory role though and will dedicate her focus on her Urban Zen Company (available at Trois Pommes in Switzerland) and foundation, which she founded in 2007.

LVMH, the French conglomerate that bought the house in 2001, said there were no immediate plans to replace her as a designer, and the main Donna Karan collection would be suspended. It will not hold a show at New York Fashion Week in September.

DonnaKaranNY DKNY (Donna Karan New York) cites New York City as a point of inspiration.

05KARAN3-articleLargeDonna Karan with models wearing looks from her DKNY Spring 1989 collection in Times Square.

Instead, according to an announcement, the company will reorganize its teams and structure to in order to substantially increase its focus on the DKNY brand, which is the more accessible line and currently responsible for 80 percent of Donna Karan International revenue.

DonnaKaranFamilyDonna Karan with her beloved family

Over the past three decades, Donna Karan has inspired women around the world to embrace their power and sensuality. When she started her collection in 1985 she set out to simply make clothes for her and her friends. A little collection of simple black pieces that was all about need and desire. She quickly found out that she wasn’t alone- she had a lot of friends out there.

05karan12-articleLargeThe debut of the Seven Easy Pieces collection in 1985, centering on a leotard-like bodysuit, with layers to transition easily from day to night.

Her philosophy of a sophisticated system of dressing, “her seven easy pieces“, a handful of interchangeable items that work together to create an entire closet for day and night, revolutionized the working woman’s wardrobe.

Pre-Fall '15 collection_DONNA_KARAN Donna Karan Pre-Fall 2015 collection

Donna Karan is an icon, visionary designer and a passionate philanthropist. She believes in dressing and addressing women. Her impact on American fashion has been extraordinary and she will continue to influence and inspire for years to come. If you are interested in reading her full bio, please click here.

Let’s honor Donna today and always. We look forward to celebrating her past, present and future in her memoir, which is due out in October 2015.

TO SHOP THE LASTEST COLLECTION BY DONNA KARAN, PLEASE CLICK HERE.icon

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Donna Karan, Condé Nast Archive/Corbis, AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis

At the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014-coverc600x629

It was an amazing trip to the 2014 edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, as Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda served up with perfect conditions to experience days filled with sun, sports, fun and beautiful boats. First launched in 2008, this is the regatta that opens the Mediterranean superyacht calendar. Being on sea and watching the breathtaking fleet of sailing yachts crossing the emerald waters of Porto Cervo, I have immediately become a huge fan of this sport and the Loro Piana brand. Combining fashion, lifestyle and sailing, the core value they share is the search for technical perfection in harmony with nature.

Clothing Loro Piana

Like every year, the race provides a great opportunity for Loro Piana to test the new line of clothing especially designed for this competitive sport. The Italian brand stands for uncompromised quality and is extremely strong with 6 generations of know-how in the high-end fabrics production, a field in which it continues to be market leader. With textures ranging from linens, cottons to cashmere, vicuña and wools, it offers everything for the distinguished costumer. In December 2013, the Loro Piana family sold a majority stake (80 percent) of their family business to the LVMH Group for over 2 billion euros.

SardegnaThe beautiful Costa Smeralda from above

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My Song is Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s 25-metre yacht that also participated in the race and won on the final day. Below are some impressions of what I was able to watch and experience during the last days. I hope that I can transport you the beauty of this sport.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014 From above

Inoui

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014-4

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Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014-My Song

Loro Piana superyacht Regatta 2014 -11

Regatta 2014-2

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014-prizeLoro Piana Yacht Regatta 2014 Prize Giving Ceremony

Saturday evening, the prize giving ceremony took place followed by a private dinner party hosted by Loro Piana. I ran into many friends from all over the world.

Loro Piana Regatta - Inoui

My friends from Zurich, Marco Vögele and Franziska Rickenbach (here with Pier Luigi Loro Piana in the middle), owners of the most flamboyant yacht that participated in the race, Inouï, also won a prize. I love the eye-catching green color of their sailing boat mixed with the pink cushions and the elegant interior design.

Thanks to Loro Piana, I have beome totally hooked to sailing and cannot wait to be back to experience another regatta.

LoL, Sandra

Inoui Harbour Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014

Franziska Rickenbach-Marco Vögele-Sandra Bauknecht

Photos: Courtesy of Loro Piana and © Sandra Bauknecht

Madly Kenzo

Street Style Trend Kenzo

 

Now that unavoidable street style It-label is Kenzo. The brand has been around forever, but had disappeared off the fashion radar for quite some time. A subsidiary of LVMH, Kenzo has come back on the map this season with unconventional designs and prints, loved by the younger, hip fashion crowd. Launched in 1970 by Kenzo Takada and now under the creative direction of Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the Paris-based brand is your ticket to globe-trotting style.

Kenzo

Inspired by the label’s eclectic archives, the designer duo has charged the look with a covetably youthful vibrancy. Congrats to Kenzo’s very loud roar! Those popular lion-faced, Eiffel Tower, and logo sweatshirts are truly divine.

Kenzo Street Style 2

Kenzo is available at Net-à-porter, Farfetch,Mytheresa and Luisaviaroma.

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Another way to experience the Kenzo spirit is the house’s newest fragrance Madly Kenzo Eau de Toilette, a lighter, more carefree version of the spirited Madly Eau de Parfum scent that was launched last year.

Floral Woody Musk

Top notes: Pear and litchi.
Middle notes: Jasmine and heliotrope.
Base notes: Musk and cedar.

Available in 30ml, 50ml and 80ml.

LoL, Sandra

Madly Kenzo PhotoPhotos: Via Frontrowview, Phil Oh. Courtesy of Kenzo and © Sandra Bauknecht.

Paris Opening: Mandarin Oriental

MOPAR 706 TERRACE ONLY FINAL 01View from the top

The Mandarin Oriental, Paris has officially opened its doors yesterday. The new prestigious hotel is situated in a 30s art déco building on one of the most fashionable streets in the world, Rue Saint-Honoré, surrounded by high end fashion, haute couture and steps from the Louvre.

MOPAR RM 406 01Rooms

The 99 rooms and 39 suites were conceived by distinguished architect Sybille de Margerie, designer of LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc. Patrick Jouin, who designed Jules Verne and Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, designed the restaurant and bar spaces. 2-star Michelin chef Thierry Marx is in charge for your dining experiences.

MOPAR 8 BAR FINAL 02A (Email)The bar

The in-house spa works with Guerlain products and offers an indoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center.

Guerlain

MOPAR SPA POOL FINAL 03CThe pool

I’ve just received notice about an exclusive grand opening offer. When booking („J’aime Paris“ rate starting at  €765) between July 17 and August 28, 2011, you will be treated to a €300 voucher per room, per stay or a €500 per stay per suite to be used in the restaurant or the spa.

Jaime Paris

I love brand-new hotels especially when you are one of the first guests in a room!
And isn’t Paris always worth a visit?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental