Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Last night, fashion’s most anticipated yearly event (yes, hotter than the Oscar’s), the MET GALA, offered a breathtaking red carpet that I will tell you all about today. It always takes place on the first Monday in May. But if you’re not an industry expert, you might be wondering why on earth there should be so much hype about it. First of all, Anna Wintour is hosting the night along some well-known co-hosts, which are all much-worshiped by the paparazzi: Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. But there is more… many stars, models and fashion designers attend the night in showstopping outfits worthy of unforgettable photos.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, right, designer Donatella Versace, left, and Vogue US Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour  in Rome last February.

It is a huge night for fashion fundraising as it is dedicated to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute – formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum’s gala since 1995. It also celebrates the opening of the newest exhibition of which its theme sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly. Personally speaking, I find this year’s motto extremely interesting, instead of being dedicated to the work of one designer, it is inspired by the dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art: «Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination».

In Anna’s recent «Letter of the Editor» in the May 2018 edition of US Vogue, she writes: «The exhibition itself has been years in the making, and it will be not only the largest Costume Institue show to date but the biggest show ever at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to not sound hyperbolic about it, but it is going to be an absolutely magnificent experience – spanning some 26 galleries and including work from the likes of Valentino, Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana along with more than 40 extraordinarily opulent liturgical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican.

For curator Andrew Bolton, it required endless hours of patience dealing with the Vatican, given the labyrinthine way that it operates.»

Central to the conversation will be the papal garb on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, even in the 1983 Met blockbuster, «The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art».

An enduring influence of religion on fashion: for F/W 2010, church elements played a huge role on the catwalks. Have a look at this previous post: The Nun’s Story.

The display of these extraordinary ecclesiastical pieces will highlight the enduring influence of religion and liturgical vestments on fashion. Among the 150 or so ensembles that will be on display are pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, and John Galliano, whose transgressive F/W 2000 Couture collection for Christian Dior opened with a mitred, incense-swinging pope-like figure who proceeded down the runway to a voice intoning: «Understand the concept of love.»

First look of Christian Dior Couture F/W 2000

Fashion is a way to express yourself and by placing clothes within the context of religion, you realize how much power the looks of Christianity have and that fashion has supported the way we feel the Catholic imagination.

Part of the exhibition
Left: Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, Byzantine, 500–550, with modern restoration, marble, and glass; right: Ensemble, Dolce & Gabbana, F/W 2013

Me in a Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013 look: A Byzantine Moment

«Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination» is on view May 10–October 8, 2018. A catalog with photographs by Katerina Jebb will accompany the exhibition.

Below you can enjoy some of my favorite looks of last night.

My personal winner: Blake Lively in Atelier Versace
She needed to arrive in a party bus to have enough space for her amazing gown!

Love this look as well: Jennifer Lopez in Balmain, Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch.

Rare moment: The host of the night, Anna Wintour, caught smiling in Chanel.

Angel of the night: Katy Perry in Versace.

Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier

Co-host perfection: Rihanna in custom Maison Margiela by John Galliano, Christian Louboutin shoes, Maria Tash jewelry, Cartier jewelry, and a custom Judith Leiber Couture clutch.


Always an eye-catcher: Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Fisher.

Heavenly: Anne Hathaway in a stunning red Valentino gown.

Icon: Lily Collins in Givenchy


Cara Delevingne in Dior Haute Couture

Simple and elegant, matching the theme:
Andreea Diaconu in Michael Kors Collection and Chopard jewelry

Beautiful print: Ariana Grande in Vera Wang.

Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto, both in Gucci

Curvy and beautiful: Kate Upton in Zac Posen

Rita Ora in Prada

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in custom Ralph Lauren Collection

So cute: Cardi B shows off her baby bump in Moschino next to designer Jeremy Scott.

Kate Bosworth recreated her bridal look in Oscar de la Renta and Tacori jewelry.

Beautiful in velvet: Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren.

Definitely not the most sexy look, but matching the theme well: Greta Gerwig in The Row.

Stella Maxwell in Moschino and David Yurman

Sexy interpretation: Taylor Hill in Diane von Furstenberg

Best dressed man of the night: Chadwick Boseman in Versace.

I personally didn’t like this look at all, not matching the theme (as a co-host you would expect better) and the cut is not pleasing her beautiful shape: Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Melanie Galea, (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane DickFund and Fletcher Fund, 1998; Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Dodge Fund, and Rogers Fund, 1999 (1998.69; 1999.99) / © Metropolitan Museum of Art; Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana / Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb, Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Met Gala 2017

Always on the first Monday in May, the Met Gala takes place and its 150-foot-long red carpet is probably one of the most-watched fashion events of the year with a gazillion of celebrities walking it in the most exquisite gowns. This year, it celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” that will go on until September 4, 2017.

Today I would like to share my personal list of best-dressed (and worst-dressed) celebrities that made their way last night into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the party of the year. The dress code called for avant-garde black tie, either you go big or go home, enjoy!

My favorite look on the red carpet: Lily-Rose Depp‘s pink Chanel look detailed with oversized silver camellias and a creeping vine.

Who did meet the dress code the best? The answer is clearly Rihanna. She showed up once again in a full-on fashion fantasy from the Comme des Garçons F/W 2016 runway that was also an architectural miracle, paired with Rihanna Loves Chopard jewelry.

As 2017 Met Gala cochair of the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition, Pharell Williams wore ripped denim by Comme des Garçons Jeans with a black biker jacket, and plaid shirt. His wife, Helen Lasichanh, paired her straight-off-the-F/W-2017-runway red onesie with a blonde topknot. Not showing any arms, it looked like a fashionable straightjacket.

Cara Delevingne appeared as a sci-fi fashion fantasy wearing an embellished pantsuit from Chanel‘s Spring 2017 Couture collection. I love how she always surprises.

One of my favorites! Even that Zendaya rejected the theme of the night, she ensured all eyes were on her wearing a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda ball gown covered in a tropical parrot print.

Two thumbs up for bringing glamour to the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez looked gorgeous in a Valentino dress and Harry Winston jewelry.

Lily Collins showed up with a graphic dark bob and black lipstick, juxtaposing her sweet Giambattista Valli gown and her fierce Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Plus-size model Ashley Graham channeled her inner flamenco dancer in a fabulous custom H&M dress. So pretty!

I am in love with Blake Lively’s Atelier Versace gown that featured a draped gold beading at the bodice, giving way to a plumed train in shades of blue. She had the best accessory of the night with her … her husband:-)! Couple goals I would say!

Another one arrived with her handsome husband who might have thought looking at his wife Gisele Bündchen in Stella McCartney, of Ed Sheeran singing «I’m in love with the shape of you» …

If you don’t have a husband to bring, bring the designer of your dress! That was Dakota Johnson‘s motto of the night, as she appeared in a stunning ruffled black Gucci gown with Alessandro Michele at her side.

Radiant like a sun goddess, actress Jessica Chastain in a yellow fluid Prada gown paired with some stunning Piaget jewelry.

Lupita Nyong’o also dazzled in Prada, pulling off the vibrant orange shade with Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Gigi Hadid looked amazing in a nude, asymmetrical Cinderella-esque Tommy Hilfiger dress. I am just not so sure about the stay-up.

Showstopper! Leave it to Bella Hadid to steal the show in a glittering catsuit by none other than Alexander Wang. She looked so fabulous!

Priyanka Chopra did not disappoint in a bold Ralph Lauren trench coat gown with an unbelievably long train. Very different, something I like. I am just not a big fan of her booties in combination.

Like it or not, the award for most nude goes to none other than Kendall Jenner, whose slinky La Perla Haute Couture dress will absolutely go down in Met Gala history.

When it comes to Gwyneth Paltrow‘s understated Calvin Klein dress, I love the cut and the color, but I am not fond of the ankle length.

Katy Perry was unfortunately not among my favorites last night. The custom red tulle gown by Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano himself, was topped with a heavy-looking wool coat covered in adornments like tulle flowers and plenty of beads. On the veil, a cryptic message across her eyes spelling “Witness” was embroidered, nevertheless it was truly one of the night’s most creative looks.

My favourite picture of the night! Have a look at Sarah Paulson dressed in a beautiful classy Prada gown. Her facial expression says everything! The American Horror Story actress seemed to have a heart attack after bumping into Madonna with the designer of her camouflage Moschino dress by her side, Jeremy Scott. Declaring war on fashion in camouflage, the famous singer was definitely not going incognito. I am not a fan of her look.

Swiss power at the Met Gala… Roger Federer in Gucci. I adore this snake embellishment on his back!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Getty Images, © Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock, © Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The Fashionista Drink of Choice

KV_700x990evian® x Christian Lacroix Limited Edition bottles in 2016

10 years ago, some people might have asked what were they drinking? In 2007, the disruptive vision shared by the two brands brought together the purity of water with the creativity of fashion paving the way to a saga of collaborations with the greatest designers and launching the fashionista drink of choice.

Evian bottlesevian® x Christian Lacroix Limited Edition bottles in 2007

To celebrate this success story and to mark the 10th anniversary of the project, the House of Christian Lacroix pays tribute to evian®’s live young spirit, by reinventing the Paseo pattern. Born to Haute Couture, the delicate embroidery design was used for the first time outside the Christian Lacroix fashion collections on the initial evian® Limited Edition bottle in 2007. It has since become an iconic design of the House. This new colorful Paseo Limited Edition version is the pure expression of today’s Christian Lacroix creative universe: flamboyant, Parisian, and with an ever young spirit. It comes in a set of two bottles: a pink and a blue one.

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The evian® x Lacroix collaboration is just like a wonderful dream come true and we had the chance to collaborate twice… which makes me a very lucky designer!Sacha Walckhoff.

Lacroix_fall2002_CoutureThe famous red bride at Christian Lacroix’s F/W 2002 Couture show.

Sacha Walckhoff, Creative Director for the House of Christian Lacroix, who succeeded the founder following the shuttering of the couture house and its transformation into a licensed business, revisited the iconic Paseo pattern that Lacroix used for the red wedding dress that capped his F/W 2002 couture show, and famously worn by Madonna in a Steven Klein shoot for W Magazine in 2003. Its skirt was based on a bullfighting cape with a pattern mixing swirling garlands, flowers and curlicues.

Lacroix_Madonna_steven_Klein2003 – Madonna photographed in Christian Lacroix by Steven Klein.

The evian® x Christian Lacroix bottles will be available in 75cl glass bottles and rolled-out in Prestige PET, and for the first time in facial spray. Available worldwide in selected hotels, cafes, restaurants and retailers from September 2016.

Drinking water has never been so stylish…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of evian®, © Christian Lacroix, © Antoine Tempe and © Steven Klein

Met Gala 2015

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The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute in New York City and marks the grand opening of its annual fashion exhibit. Celebrating this year’s theme “China, Through The Looking Glass”, it seems to be one of the most challenging yet. See below who honored China’s heritage and its present culture on the red carpet best.

This year’s award to best dressed of the night goes to:

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Rihanna wearing Chinese designer Guo Pei

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The butt girls:

Jay Z and Beyoncé
Jay Z and Beyoncé in Givenchy

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West in Roberto Cavalli

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Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez, both in Atelier Versace.

Best Chinese inspirations:

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Zendaya Coleman in Fausto Puglisi

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Karolina Kurkova in Tommy Hilfiger

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I am always looking forward to seeing Sarah Jessica Parker‘s outfit because she has never let us down in pulling off the best looks. And let’s just say the headpiece combined with her H&M dress is divine.

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Georgia May Jagger in Gucci and Alessandro Michele

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Chloë Sevigny in J.W. Anderson

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Very sophisticated: Tom Ford and Rita Ora in his design.

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Alexa Chung in Erdem

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George Clooney and Amal Clooney in Maison Margiela

Not so inspired by the Chinese theme… but great to watch:

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Jeremy Scott kissing Kate Perry‘s hand who is wearing Moschino.

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Also Madonna wore Moschino.

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Stella McCartney framed by Cara Delevingne, Sofia Richie, and Zhu Zhu, all dressed in her designs.

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Alexander Wang kissed by Lady Gaga in Balenciaga

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Miley Cyrus and Zoë Kravitz dressed in Alexander Wang.

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Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection

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Robert Pattinson and FKA twigs in Christopher Kane (definitely not my favorite gown of the night).

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Supermodel Joan Smalls arrived at the Met Gala in a black tulle and purple silk one-sleeved Roberto Cavalli gown with cutouts and sheer paneling. Her date was the newly appointed designer of the Italian fashion house Peter Dundas. Isn’t this gown to die for?!

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Anna Wintour in Chanel

LoL, Sandra

Photos via: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com, Moschino, Vogue and Style.com

57th Annual Grammy Awards Best Dressed

Grammy Awards 2015

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were held last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Rapper LL Cool J hosted the show for the fourth consecutive time. In all, 83 Grammy Awards were presented, one more than in 2014.

sam-smith-2-grammys-2015-billboard-650 Sam Smith accepts the Best New Artist award from singer Taylor Swift onstage

Sam Smith was the big winner at the 2015 Grammys, taking home four awards for best new artist, best pop vocal album, record of the year and song of the year. In an upset, Beck took home album of the year for Morning Phase, beating out Beyonce’s Beyonce.

But what interests us most are the best dressed winners and of course the worst as well. Enjoy, from a dreamy Giambattista Valli frock on Rihanna to Taylor Swift’s sexy Elie Saab gown, most of the celebs hit all the right notes on the music industry’s biggest night.

Rihanna GrammysRihanna in Giambattista Valli Couture

B9XUY1zCQAAOC-3Taylor Swift in Elie Saab

grammys-beyonceBeyoncé in Proenza Schouler

Nicki Menaj Tom FordNicki Menaj in Tom Ford

grat29Rita Ora in Prada

ariana-grande-2015-grammysAriana Grande in Atelier Versace (one of my favorite looks)

463022246-1423446789Awkward moment: Miley Cyrus in Alexandre Vauthier grabs Katy Perry’s boob who wore Zuhair Murad

257C456C00000578-2938468-image-a-129_1423445321875Weird boob situation: Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

257C7F8400000578-2938468-image-a-125_1423445145254Kiss of the night: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in Jean Paul Gaultier Couture

nicole kidman keith urban grammys ap 2015Also in love: Nicole Kidman in Thierry Mugler Pre-fall 2015 with her husband Keith Urban

c3a2c07dc375d5932fa91526636854a5eff512b1Ageless beauty: Jane Fonda in Balmain Pre-fall 2015

534935743MG00149_The_57th_ALooking cute: Charli XCX in Moschino

Moschino… but how cute is her doggy?!

main.original.585x0And last but not least: Queen M Madonna in Givenchy Couture

TEAMS_463010660… who still knows the best how to seek attention in the right moment.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images, Valerie Macon/Getty Images, Reuters, Wireimages

Met Gala 2013 – Chaos to Couture

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Each year, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the Met Gala, the fashion event of the season and the party of the year, to celebrate the newest the exhibition. This spring, it will be about PUNK: Chaos to Couture, on view from May 9 through August 14, 2013, will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today. “Since its origins, punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”

If you want to find out more about the exhibition, please click here.

Enjoy the best looks from the red carpet of the Costume Institute Benefit last Monday. On top, you can see Sarah Jessica Parker who took the night’s punk theme to heart, and went for this stunning Giles Deacon dress, combined with a Philip Treacy punk hat and plaid Christian Louboutin boots. Madonna understood the invitation well and showed up in Givenchy.

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Anne Hathaway had the most surprising look with her bleached blond hair which I loved. Of course, the vintage Valentino gown was the perfect match.

And here is an amazing opportunity, you can PRE-ORDER those extremely sexy couture red carpet looks (all F/W 2013) below directly now for seven days. How cool is that?! Just click on the highlighted text to be transferred directly.

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Emma Watson in a matte black crepe crossover tie strap gown with high sliticon by Prabal Gurung.

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Kate Bosworth in a short body-conscious dress with 3/4-length sleeves and diamond embroideries on pink lurex jacquard by Balmain Atelier.

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Anja Rubik in a lambskin and macrame dressicon by Anthony Vaccarello.

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Gisèle Bündchen in a bonded crepe and macrame one sleeve halter dress byicon Anthony Vaccarello.

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Taylor Swift in a black silk crepe gown with black lace inserts, black chiffon sunburst pleated back and silver-gold embroidered crystal necklineicon by J.Mendel.

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Kate Mara in a short dress with woolen crepe base, heart-shaped neckline and architectural modules by Delpozo.

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Christina Ricci in a turquoise silk taffeta McAndrew tartan corset gownicon by Vivienne Westwood Couture.

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And don’t miss Moda Operandi‘s amazing punk pop-up store iconwhere you can find all those  must-have pieces. Mmh, Hedi Slimane was obviously not so wrong with his F/W 2103 collection

LoL, Sandra

At the Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2013 Show

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Jean Paul Gaultier‘s S/S 2013 show was the last one taking place Saturday night. In case you were tired, you would have been definitely awake and in an extremely good mood after. Why? Because the show was more entertaining than it was probably setting a fashion statement. The audience cheered and clapped to the French designer’s homage to all the pop stars of the eighties who have influenced fashion and his fashion with their look”.

And who else could indulge in reminiscences better than the man who produced sculptured costumes for Madonna in her finest hour, starting with her famous cone bra for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. Personally speaking, I loved the show very much. It started with some beautiful Grace Jones-inspired looks followed by Hannelore Knuts as Annie Lennox in an iconic pinstriped Gaultier pantsuit to the sound of “Sweet Dreams”. Madonna, David Bowie, Boy George, Abba, Jane Birkin, Sade and others followed.

The last outfit was presented by ageless and famous disco legend Amanda Lear who brought this fun presentation to an uproarious close. “She’s got the look…alike”. With Gaultier’s mantra “be the star you wanna be”, your choice is manifold. Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust or Madonna’s Material Girl, the choices are manifold! I like!

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht_JPG_S:S2013A fashionable drink before the show, Coke Light dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Let the show get started and enjoy:

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JPG Annie Lennox

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JPG Culture Club

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JPG Michael Jackson

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JPG SADE

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david Bowie

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JPG Amanda Lear2

JPG-AMande Lear

JPG-Model-downDuring the catwalk finale, one model fell down in these hard-to-walk-in heels.

JPGaultierJean Paul Gaultier

JPGActressFront row: Arielle Dombasle

Carine Roitfeld-Sandra BauknechtAfter the show: Carine Roitfeld with me
All photos from the show: © Sandra Bauknecht

Interview with Stephen Webster

Cover Stephen Webster

Recently, I was invited to Stephen Webster‘s store opening in Geneva. I have been a fan of his jewelry creations since a very long time and was very excited to meet him in person. (For a previous post in which I am wearing one of his necklaces, please click here).
Stephen blends his love for traditional craftsmanship with passion for contemporary music, fashion and art to produce modern, unconventional yet beautiful jewelry. It’s a unique and edgy approach that has been over 30 years in the making and won a huge loyal global customer base, among them Christina Aguilera, Cameron Diaz, Elton John, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez.

Stephen’s enthusiasm, commitment and creativity have helped him to achieve numerous accolades including a three-­‐time win of “British Luxury Jeweler of the Year Award”, ‘Diamond Jeweler of the Year’ in 2004 and 2005, “Jewelery Designer of the Year” in 1997, 1998 and 2006’ and winner of the “UK Jewelery Brand of the Year” in 2008. Stephen also holds the honour of a Freeman of the City of London.

Stephen Webster has expanded globally with close to 300 points of sale worldwide and 7 Stephen Webster boutiques internationally; including the flagship store on London’s Mount Street and most recently on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. The new Geneva store, located at the 5-star Grand Hotel Kempinski, marks the opening of the fourth European boutique.
Stephen Webster, Quai du Mont-Blanc 19, 1201 Genève, Phone +41 (0) 22 900 19 19

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Stephen gave me a very interesting interview. Find out what his favourite hobby is, how he met Christina Aguilera and what has always inspired him. Enjoy!

Steven with me

Stephen, do you have a typical customer and can you tell me who is your best client? I know you work a lot with stars, but I read once that you also have a big fan in Boston.

Well it’s a funny thing because people always sort of assume that you have “a client”, right? So “this woman” – that could be you. It’s a very diverse group of people and talking about my client in Boston, the only thing I can tell you is that his wife has seventy-five pieces of my jewelry and that’s a lot of jewelry for one person.

Webster Earrings

She’s a lucky wife! Can you tell me a little more please…

And she’s very lovely, she’s very elegant. You wouldn’t look at her and think that she’s a heavy jewelry buyer. She has got four kids and her husband loves buying her jewelry. Every time there’s an occasion we always try and bring the family in, because I can’t any longer sell them anything off the shelf. It ‘s not about new collections anymore, it’s got to be made for them. I love that because I know them so well now. When it was my 50th birthday, they flew over to London. They’ve become more than just a client.

How do you do bespoke pieces?

Let’s take the client from Boston. This guy called me before her 50th birthday and ask what we could do. So, I started thinking around and threw in some ideas. I created a wonderful bracelet for her, sort of a tree of her life. On all the “branches”, it’s got all the important dates, like the children’s birthdays for example. I carved it like someone would put their initials into the bark of a tree. It’s got diamonds and her birth stone, sapphires. To design such a bespoke piece, you have to know much about someone. Our “relationship” started fifteen years ago. And, with them, it sort of spread, because their friends would go:“ I love Sandy’s jewelry!“ So it’s right, Boston is a good spot.

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You are the Creative Director for Garrard and you have your own brand, which are both quite different from a design point of view. Do you have a huge team working for you? How can you handle both?

No I don’t. I’ve got it at my side but not with Garrard. Rewinding a bit to the time when really nobody would buy my jewelry in England, because the buyers would find it too „progressive“. Garrard at that time was what you would call the establishment. It was like the jeweler, it was this massive place where the industry would look at. Personally speaking, I just think it was the most amazing store – so I used to go along on my motorbike once every couple of months and show them my jewelry. The managing director, who became a very good friend of mine, loved my hand-made creations. He took me out for lunch – this was after about a year of showing him my creations – and gave me a one-man-show! I had the complete middle part of this jewelry shop and I’ve never had anything like that before. That was a completely amazing thing to happen – and it was in 1995! So since that time, Garrard has been through lots and lots of changes – most of them not for better I have to say – but I knew it from before and I have worked with them now for seventeen years.

I’d always had a respect for what Garrard was all about. I don’t try to make Garrard Stephen Webster, that would be crazy. So I try to see it as a heritage brand. This has been very interesting for me, because with Stephen Webster it’s me, it’s my “what I want it to be kind of thing”!

Webster SinsThe Seven Deadly Sins collection is limited edition of only 7 pieces each.
Those cocktail rings are the epitome of haute couture.Sevendealysins

Concerning your own collection, what does influence you, what does inspire you?

I try to connect everything we make to something that comes from my experiences, from my travels, from things that I enjoy in life. Like for example, I have a house by the shore and this place inspires me! Or sometimes it’s a story, like the Seven Deadly Sins among others. It’s about having a bit of fun by turning a legend into jewelry. In fact, I’m doing a collection at the moment inspired by architecture called the American Story. I travel all the time through the United States and it’ll be my idea of what I see when I’m there.

Lopez Webster

Many celebrities are wearing your designs, like Madonna or Jennifer Lopez. But let’s take Christina Aquilera for example, who was also the face of your advertising campaign. How have you approached her?

Well at first, we were approached by a stylist, who – it’s funny actually –  just did „The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“. When we met her with Christina in 1998, who was eighteen at that time, she was working on a video „Lady Marmelade“ which had these four girls in it – Pink, Christina, Lil‘ Kim and Mya. She said that she wanted them to wear my jewelry. My wife flew over to California without me and she had a lot of fun with the project. After that, Pink and Christina, both started to buy our jewelry and both became friends. Christina got a little bit more serious. Whenever I saw her, she was wearing Stephen Webster. So at that point, I said to her, why don’t you become the face of our brand, because you pretty much are.

Five years ago we did a proper photo shoot with her, a proper campaign and stayed with her for three years. That was absolutely great, because it is very unusual that a small brand like us works with such a famous person. It gave us a huge push and at that time we were really growing in the Russian speaking market. We were lucky that we got the right person at the right time.

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How is your wife involved in the business?

She’s totally involved. (Smiles.) She’s amazing actually, she’s involved in all sorts of things but not in the jewelry’s side – apart from wearing it! She’s very good with people and she’s good at running our shops and doing all those things.

WebstersStephen and Assia Webster at their London store opening in June 2009

How long have you been together?

Seventeen years!

Do you have kids? How old are they?

I’ve got two, one daughter from a previous marriage who is 21 and a daughter with my wife Assia who’s thirteen.

Do you make bespoke pieces for your wife? 
Have you done that for all the women in your life?

My first wife was a jeweler actually as well and yes, I made her jewelry. That’s one of the perks I suppose of being with a jeweler. With Assia, I think she’d never really thought about jewelry before she met me and gradually got into it. And now she loooves it, you know looves it (laughs). She gets fantastic jewelry and lots of admiration.

What is she wearing today?

Today, Assia is wearing a lobster ring that I made. It’s a lobster but it’s still a rich piece of jewelry that you can even bend your finger with. It’s quite surreal and very popular, I sold a lot of lobsters.

Lobster Ring

What would your own mother say about you?

My mother? She’s dead now but she’d still be telling me to be careful (laughs) and watch what I’m doing.

At what age have you started your career?

The first time I worked for myself, I was about 21, the minute I‘d finished my training, I thought I know everything.

Did you study gemology? How did your career develop?

I loved fashion and was determined to go to art school to become a fashion designer. When I got there for an interview, I was in shock because I didn’t expect all those sewing machines and women. I looked and knew, I can’t do this. I just was too young at 16. Coincidentally there was a really good jewelry course at this art school and so I just went on to that. I loved it from the minute I started. Later on in my life, when I had finished all my training, I started my own business, which was a bit of a disaster. I was offered a job in Canada, very strange in Banff, Alberta which was like being stuck up in bloody Crans Montana, right?
I was 21, completely a Londoner and this guy I worked for knew nothing other than gems. He would go and deal with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to buy tourmalines and aquamarines Then he would travel to Africa and buy garnets and tanzanites. That is when I became a gem-adventurer. He would just give me all these stones and I had to do something with them. And so I learned very quickly. My process is always more about working with the material directly rather than to sit and draw designs all day long.

Crystal HazeCrystal Haze – the concept developed by Stephen Webster combines faceted quartz crystal set over a layer of natural precious stone to create a holographic-like “haze” of colour.Crystal Haze Exp

What is your signature look? What creation are you most proud of?

In these days, when I started to find my style and got work with all those gems, I played around with cutting the stones and honestly, I wasn’t very good at it. But while experimenting, I created this layered look which was really not there before. I did something completely new, a sort of illusion. Once people noticed, it it became my thing, my signature look. I called it Crystal Haze and those first pieces are my classics today and probably the most important to me.

crab ring

What is your bestseller?

The crab ring is my most succesful piece.

What are your future plans?

I always have new ideas. Recently, I opened a gallery above my store where I have this space that used to be three offices, now it is the Stephen Webster curated space. So we opened it a year and a half ago and over the time, I’ve had art work, photography, a market restaurant, British young musicians and many more up there. What’s exciting about it, it only works because of my jewelry – I can keep bringing people into my world and sort of sharing with them what I’m excited about. And I am excited about everything I do up there.

If you could think of one designer to compliment your jewelry, who would that be? Do you have a favourite fashion designer yourself?

Alexander McQueen. Someone else, I’ve got complete respect for and I’ve bought clothes from since I was a punk, is Vivienne Westwood! She was a rebellious woman and pretty amazing. She’s broken all the rules and now everyone sights her for influence. She has a retrospective at the Victorian Albert Museum – she’s like the queen and in 1976 you would have been arrested.

Shark teeth

So were you really a real punk for a long time?

Oh yeah totally! I’ve been completely in the first rounds, because when I went to art school, I was rebellious. That was in 1976 and during that time, punk suddenly came along.

Talking about the Queen. This year, it is her Diamond Jubilee. Have you done a special edition for this occasion?

I dit it for Garrard. It’s actually a very touchy one, because Garrard was the crown jeweler for 160 years and I still have a royal warrant. The way a royal warrant works is that it goes to the company like Burberry for example. Garrad has a royal warrant, but it needs to go to a person. Therefore I have it, I’m the custodian of this royal warrant. I’m very respectful of it and I felt obliged to do something to celebrate. I wanted to design a piece that felt a bit regal – it’s definitely a keepsake but not crazy.
I made a long pendant, that’s like a crown with a big star that looks like a diamond but it’s not. It’s a piece of white topaz, cut like a diamond. I personalized it by putting people’s birthstones around and the collection is limited to 12 pieces.

Steven 20

How about Asia? Is it a big market for you?

Yes, we’ve just come back! We were there for a show in Hongkong, which went pretty well! Personally speaking, I think between the two brands, Garrard has got the easiest route in, because the Asians are very much craving for heritage labels. Speaking of Stephen Webster, we see quite a lot of Chinese coming to the shop in London – so I think it has a good chance.

Your favourite hobby?

I have a 1959 Thunderbird, that I restored completey, and once a year I go on a trip with my friend, just me and him and don’t let anybody else come. It’s so brilliant, a bit of an adventure, we love it!

Thank you, Stephen, for sharing all your adventures with us!
You can also shop a great selection of Stephen Webster jewelry at LUISAVIAROMA.COM

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Steven Webster, Sunday Mail and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Golden Globe Awards 2012

Golden Globe Awards 2012-2

The 69th Annual Golden Globes awards took place in Beverley Hills last night and for us it is a pleasure to see who wore which designer. Unfortunately, Madonna (in Reem Acra), Kelly Osbourne (in Zac Posen) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (in Monique Lhuillier) are NOT on my best dressed list. Please see who is below!

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Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Elle MacPherson

Elle MacPherson in a stunning gown by Zac Posen

Nicole Kidman Golden Globes

Nicole Kidman in Versace

Zooey Deschanel Prada Custom

Zooey Deschanel in Custom Prada

Kate Beckinsale Roberto Cavalli

Kate Beckinsale in Roberto Cavalli

Kate Roberto

Charlize Theron Dior

Charlize Theron in Dior Couture

Natalie Portman Lanvin

Natalie Portman in Lanvin

Gucci Wood

Evan Rachel Wood in a stunning Gucci Première gown.

evan-rachel-wood-gucci

Dog

The award for cuteness goes definitely to the dog from theThe Artist”. The movie that won BEST PICTURE. He was the top dog and certainly stole the show…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Getty Images, © WireImages, @ AP

The Met Gala for 2011: Savage Beauty

Met

Starting from today, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, is on view until July 31, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum’s second-floor Cantor Galleries.

So if you just can’t get enough after having seen Kate Middleton’s bridal dress, that was made by Sarah Burton for the house of McQueen, you might consider a trip to NYC. The designer’s costume institute retrospective features approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories from the late designer’s prolific 19-year carreer with some outstanding pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris, custom-made items from the closet of Isabella Blow and even his graduate collection at Central St.Martins among others.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit took place Monday night with high-profile guests in high-profile fashion. The Met gala has anyway become over the years the fashion community’s biggest red carpet night. It was no wonder to spot some McQueen tributes to the mix.

Gisele-Bundchen-Alexander-McQueen-red-gown-Tom-Brady-met-gala-2011

My favourite two looks by Alexander McQueen were Gisèle Bündchen who looked so radiant in her red gown next to her husband Tom Brady

met-gala-2011-annadellarusso

… and Anna Dello Russo, known for her eclectic style, showed up in a pant suit from the S/S 2011 collection, divine!

446ead6f77902765_Stella-McCartney

As for me, the ultimate highlights were the „Stella Girls“ with Stella McCartney herself making an appearance in a black and white tuxedo gown of her own design. It was a modern, probably experimental but uncoventional look. The British designer is also a Co-Chair for the fundraising event.

met-gala-madonna

The Stella McCartney parade was led by Madonna in a silky blue gown with a beautiful embroidered train. With her 50’s hair and make-up, she looked very Hollywood. Wow!

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Very pregnant Kate Hudson glowed in her champagne-coloured Stella gown and long tousled hair.

met-gala_gwyneth

This is my favourite. Gwyneth Paltrow chose to go with long sleeves which was a popular trend at the gala. So simple and absolutely stunning. The actress is good friends with the British designer.

Rihanna-Stella-McCartney-Dress

Rihanna in a one-shoulder black lace gown, an iconic Stella look!

Eva-Mendes-Stella-McCartney-Spring-2011-Gown-META-gala-2011

Adding some colour drama, Eva Mendes enhanced her complexion by wearing a cobalt blue plissé dress by Stella McCartney. So beautiful!

What a night!

LoL, Sandra