A Moroccan Palace


The colours are breathtaking, the air is beguiling, and the hubbub in the streets is as exhilarating as it is inviting. Arabian nights, Mediterranean scents, spices and flavors, oasis, couscous, beautiful mosques, men in gabar, sandy dunes – Marrakesh continues to rank among the world’s top travel favourites for good reason. The beautiful fourth largest city in the country is an impressive combination of imperial history with palaces dating back to the 16th century and a contemporary urban lifestyle that offers stylish restaurants, trendy concept stores, and modern hotel resorts.

Me visiting the Schlatters in Marrakesh (for the outfit post, click here please).

In this oasis between the ocean and the Atlas Mountains, Swiss couple Rabia and Daniel Schlatter made a dream come true and built an enchanting palace in one of the most prestigious areas of the metropole along with a gigantic guest house. Last November, my friends spoilt me at their beautiful home and I am so happy to share this interior design heaven with you.

Daniel and Rabia Schlatter in the garden of their Marrakesh home.

The palace itself, that was finished in 2012, measures 3800 m2, set in 30.000 mof land with stunning gardens and a 5-star-hotel-worthy pool surrounding it. Two years ago, the construction of the guest mansion started – another paradise, peacefully situated next to the main house, that offers 2800 mliving space on a 15.000 m2 lot, and that is now finished and also available for rent.

Amazing fabrics – every guest room looks different.

Rabia, who was born and raised in Casablanca, oversaw the creative process herself together with her husband Daniel, who as a young man did an apprenticeship as an architectural draftsman. In Marrakech, where opulence and luxury reign, there is no shortage of beautiful ateliers and home interior stores. But you have to be a local like her to know where to shop.

Love is in the detail –  every corner is beautifully decorated.

Over the years, she had collected magazines and created mood boards for the ateliers she worked with to come up with the most beautiful results possible. Her interior design studies helped her as well. Everything was produced in Morocco, only the fabrics for the curtains are from France and the UK. The brocade is from Syriah. The bedsheets and towels are from local suppliers. For the bathrooms, Rabia used Italian marble.

The seating area in the living room

Her distinguished taste can also be seen in the huge living room with its breathtaking vaulted ceiling and the fireplace as the focal point. An open layout lets you see right into the spacious dining room and seating area.

The stunning pool

Arched doorways allowing the afternoon light to pass beautifully and a gorgeous long pool mirroring the surrounding date palm trees makes entering the garden a «1,001 Nights» experience. But step inside the guest bedrooms to be amazed – king-sized beds, romantic fireplaces, gigantic bathtubs and private gardens are all standard features! A well-equipped gym and a hammam are also there for your pleasure.

The hammam

Built like a sultan’s palace, it’s understandable if guests don’t want to leave the Schlatters. For the wellbeing around 16 people are permanently employed only for the main house, from gardeners to housekeepers, a cook and Bouchra, the gouvernante who is handling everything to 2 guys at the gate and a driver.

Playground for boys

Speaking about cars, the best is yet to come. Daniel Schlatter has an outstanding passion for cars and built his own «Healey» museum on 800m2 in the basement with a bar, a seating area and a gazillion of details that make you feel as if Healey just had left his garage.

Enjoy more photos below… – I will be back soon and cannot wait!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Reto Gundli

My Look: Marrakesh

Last week, I got back from Marrakesh where I spent some amazing days among dear friends. The so-called «Jewel of the South» is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco and absolutely worth the visit with its beautiful colors, the vibrant streets and bazaars that spill over with artistry, whether it be in architecture, cuisine, crafts or fine art.

If you are interested, have a look at those great travel tips for the city that I have gotten from Aerin Lauder and Tory Burch, who designed the dress I am wearing in this post.

My look: Rosemary printed silk crepe de chine and jacquard dressicon by Tory Burch, leather platform pumps by Gucci, Monogram fringed shoulder bag by Saint Laurent, earrings by Chanelgold-plated multi-strand necklace and cocktail ring, both by Etro.
My scent: Tangier Vanille by Aerin, that is inspired by Marrakesh.

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Party Time in Marrakesh

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Personally speaking, I am crazy for Hedi Slimane‘s designs for Saint Laurent. His cult rock-chic aesthetic creates strong silhouettes that are sexy and cool in one, perfect for a night out in Marrakesh. During my recent 40hours in the Moroccan city, I partied at Palais Jad Mahal, a place I can highly recommend. This colorful location combines a restaurant, a bar and a night club with great live music.

My look: Asymmetric sequined crepe mini dressJanis leather platform pumps with chains and Betty chain red leather shoulder bag, all by Saint Laurent, earrings by Chanel, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond ring, both by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

Party Time in Marrakesh-Sandra Bauknecht

Sandra Bauknecht in Marrkesh in sequined Saint laurent dress

Betty Bag in red by Saint laurent

Sandals with chains in red by Saint Laurent

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: One Thousand and One Nights

Sandra Bauknecht in Marrakesh Cover

One week ago in Marrakesh, my friend Mel’s big birthday celebration took place on Saturday evening accompanied by the renewal of her wedding vows with her husband Dan. It was a very romantic evening and she look stunning in her Zuhair Murad dress. It truly felt like One Thousand and One Nights and I am so grateful for all these different highlights that we experienced, among them a live performance by Paul Potts, the British tenor, who had won the first series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007. With all my heart, thank you, Mel and Dan, for your friendship and this magical trip!

My look: Leather-trimmed jersey gown with cutoutsicon by Givenchy, set of 5 gold-tone cuffs iconby Alexander McQueen, earrings by Chanel, ring by Etro, animal print clutch, tribal sandals and necklace, both by Louis Vuitton, small Amulette necklace by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Marrakesh Party Saturday

Sandra Bauknecht with Paul pottsPaul Potts with me

Mel Holzmann-40 hours

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Sandra Bauknecht Dancing in Givenchy in Marrakesh

40 Hours Show Nightclub

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

40 Hours in Marrakesh

Sandra Bauknecht in Marrakesh for 40 Hours

Last weekend, I was invited to a very special birthday celebration, a trip and memories that I will treasure forever. My readers who have followed me since the beginning, might remember the amazing 40 hours in Venice for my friend Dan’s 40th birthday in 2011. Now it was time to get together for his wife Mel’s big day.

When I arrived at the airport, none of the guests had any idea where we would fly to. The boarding pass said to Dummy City and when we entered the amazing private jet, everyone was speculating where it would take us. After a fun 3.5 hours flight, we landed in a fairy tale of one and one thousands nights in Marrakesh. The magic red city, where the legends of the Orient still feel alive. And my outfit couldn’t have been a better match…

My look: Dotted silk cardigan and matching top, both by Dolce & Gabbanatransparent black plissée harem pantsicon by Gucci, Boy bag with chains and metallic patent phone holder, both by Chanel, Alice leather sandals with pearls by Saint Laurent, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond ring by Piaget, Hapi leather bracelet by Hermès.

Stay tuned for more from this weekend coming up soon…

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht 40 hours

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Chanel Bag with Chains

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Chanel cellphone bag

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Total Styling Lab – Marrakesh Moment

Marrakech Moment

For my first look of the LuisaViaRoma Total Styling Lab, I took inspiration from the Marakkesh trend for summer. The Moroccan style head wrap and crochet dress was very appealing to me and cohesive with this trend. A breeze of the `70s finished off the look perfectly.

Crochet Dress: EMILIO PUCCI – Scarf: MARUCELLI – Strappy sandals: GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI – Bangles: DALIA – Bag: ROBERTO CAVALLI

Exclusively through Sandra’s Closet you get a LUISAVIAROMA.COM – FREE SHIPPING to the United States, Canada, and Europe when you place your order. Just click on the link. All items are available there.
Happy Shopping!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Baerbel Reinhard, Sabine Gasplmayer

Photos: Baerbel Reinhard, Sabine Gasplmayer

My Top Twenty for S/S 2011

My Top Twenty for S/S 2011

Today, I would like to give you a preview of my Top 20 runway shows for S/S 2011 that I consider the key collections for the next season.

The overall spirit was light-hearted and positive sweeping away the last bit of sobriety. The designers’ colouring box was bright and vibrant with lots of neon shades, vibrant stripes and bold tones.  Many tributes to YSL as well as the 70s were spotted, along with biker and punk themes, floral prints and embroideries, Marrakesh and Shanghai references and pure clean white. Enjoy!

Louis Vuitton S/S 2011

LOUIS VUITTON: Marc JacobsS/S 2011 show for the French fashion house was a hell of a lot of fun, brazen in decadence. A colourful free-spirited collection for the camped-up China girl that loves high-voltage chic. Inspirations from 1930 Shanghai’s Art Deco style to a 70’s New York disco atmosphere were seen in the Cheongsam dresses and bold tiger stripes
As for me one of my favourites this season.

Prada S/S 2011

PRADA: Miuccia Prada’s message was crystal-clear: „It’s time to be bold“. Her ecclectic humours take on her S/S 2011 collection was visionary. Fake baroque paintings (Who would have ever imagined that baroque can be minimal?!), fluorescent stripes, Josephine Baker banana designs and Mexican sombreros lead to that iconic Prada-twist that likes to surprise us.
I am loving it!!!!

Jil Sander S/S 2011

JIL SANDER: An implicit change to the Jil Sander woman, that was this collection about. Minimalism inversed into a modern maximalism that led to couture. Raf Simons surprised the fashion crowd with this exceptional S/S 2011 show.
Simple white tees dominated long, full skirts joined with YSL’s rich associations of colours. The shapes were reminiscent of Cristobal Balenciaga’s proportions. The apostel for minimalism, Raf Simons, showed us another optimistic side of the Sander woman without betraying the spirit of the label. Wow! And by the way, the fuchsia lips are gorgeous…

Christopher Kane S/S 2011

CHRISTOPHER KANE: „Princess Margaret on acid“, this is how Tammy described her brother’s S/S 2011 collection. It was an interesting vision of the future, brilliant and different, like the designer and his place in English fashion. Fluoresent colours and print motifs inspired by yakuza tattoos lightened up the classic and kind of formal pieces.
Watch out for Christopher, this guy is provoking trends!

Marc Jacobs S/S 2011

MARC JACOBS: There were many YSL references on the catwalks and Marc Jacobs was one of the first ones showing them in New York. By taking on the energy of the Studio 54 years and the ’70s, the brilliant American designer came up with one of his best collections, fresh, charming with a modern new spin, an ode to Missoni’s zigzag knits.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the peasant blouses and full skirts. My summer must-haves.

Gucci S/S 2011

GUCCI: Yves Saint Laurent’s Marrakech years were in the air and a breeze of the ’70s omnipresent at Frida Giannini’s collection  for Gucci. Alternating between electric glamour, safari chic and ethnic touches, the Italian powerhouse continued to celebrate the female silhouette and its seductiveness. You cannot go wrong with this!

Emilio Pucci S/S 2011

EMILIO PUCCI: A beautiful Greek Mediterranean vibe highlighted the collection that was seventies-inflected and mostly long. Peter Dundas knows his craft and the jetset girls will love his luxe hippie dresses worn with laced boots. Nonchalant, elegant, seductive details of which some were a little reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent will make Pucci a bestseller this summer.

Yves Saint Laurent S/S 2011

YVES SAINT LAURENT: The seventies are everywhere this summer and so is YSL. Thanks to the retrospective that was held this year in Paris, many designers were influenced by the epic Saint Laurent. But none could stake a more legitimate claim to the Master’s inspirations than Stefano Pilati’s work.
He revisited the codes of the fashion house one by one, „le smoking“, the famous palette of orange and pink, French blue, black and beige, abundant bows and the sophisticated tailleurs. I am so on for a trip down memory lane, and you?

Chanel S/S 2011

CHANEL: This time, Karl Lagerfeld took his inspiration from the early sixties movie Last Year at Marienbad and created a breathtakingly surreal setting. More than 80 models paraded through the ornamental garden with fountains, water features and gravel paths. The collection was so rich, full of couture details with dégradé chiffon florals, tweed patchwork, feathered edges and more. Just beautiful!

Mary Katrantzou S/S 2011

MARY KATRANTZOU: It was her first stand-alone show with which she won the Swiss Textiles Award 2010 in November. Mary Katrantzou is one of the hottest fashion newscomer with her groundbreaking creations. The designer of Greek origin worked in three dimensions and was inspired by the decors and backgrounds of the most beautiful of Guy Bourdin’s and Helmut Newton’s photos.
There was an almost hallucinatory depth to her digital printed clothes. The real revolution was how Mary modeled the shape to go with the graphics of interior designs. Are you up for wearing “room” this summer?

Alexander McQueen S/S 2011

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Sarah Burton who had worked beside McQueen for 15 years, took over the cepter after the designer’s death last February. The S/S 2011 show, her first solo one, grabbed hold of his legacy and defined the same fantasia McQueen was so famous for. This time a hymn to nature, superb in its construction.
One of the biggest differences was that Burton softened the staging, a concept that was always so  vital to a McQueen show. It was a pleasure to see that there is a more feminine vision for the house but with the same theatrical love for detail.

Hermès S/S 2011

HERMES: Time to say good-bye for Jean-Paul Gaultier and he couldn’t have done it better. His last collection for the traditional French house boasted of master tailoring, sensuous glamour and leather at its finest. “Zorro in Andalusia” celebrates Hermès’ equestrian elegance heritage could have been the headline. Good luck to Lacoste defector Christophe Lemaire! Taking these luxurious reins seems to be quite difficult…

Céline S/S 2011

CELINE: The collection was once more strong in its remarkable simplicity even that Phoebe Philo laid her hands on artisanal effects like hand-woven silks, fringes and vibrant colours. Her motto „less is forever chic“ has determined the codes of her hugely influential designs.

Chloé S/S 2011

CHLOE: Minimalism at its best. Classic, timeless pieces that women can make their own and customise at will. The tutu-like skirts, reminiscent of the world of ballet, were among my favourites. Congrats, Hannah MacGibbon, for this lovely collection!

Erdem S/S 2011

ERDEM: Erdem Moralioglu, the upcoming designer of Turkish origin, took his audience to Russia for his S/S 2011 presentation in a London park. He had been involved this summer with Victoria & Albert Museum’s Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1920 exhibition.
The experience had been so inspiring that it shaped the substance of his collection where delicate dresses that clearly reflected the structure and flou of ballet costumes dominated the look. Once again floral motifs sprinkled the collection and were complemented by Nicholas Kirkwood’s gorgeous shoes tied up the calf like ballet slippers. I am sure that we will see much more of Erdem in the future.

Stella McCartney S/S 2011

STELLA MCCARTNEY: Even that I have to admit that I prefered Stella’s cruise 2011 collection, I am always in love with her practical, easy chic. The mother of four knows what she is talking about. Her key pieces are ideal companions to feel good in, even her long skirts split up the thighs swing comfortably with class. First bananas at Prada, now grapefruits and lemons at Stella that put us in a good mood. Her suits in pastel colours were strong on the runway and denim made a boxy shape debut. Thumbs up!

Haider Ackermann S/S 2011

HAIDER ACKERMANN: One thing is for sure, the days that Haider Ackermann was only a fashion insider’s favourite secret are definitely over. His S/S 2011 collection was outstanding in its beauty. Origami folds, kimono jackets and obi belts were among the Asian references. Dramatic effects and strong colours for a glamorous red carpet moment.

Dior S/S 2011

DIOR: Betty Page, the model from the 50s that invented the pin-up look, goes on vacation to Hawaii – this South Pacific-style fantasy dominated John Galliano’s collection for Dior. The colours and floral prints on exquisite chiffons, the ankles tied with satin, this island extravaganza put you immediately in the holiday mood. Very cute.

Balenciaga S/S 2011

BALENCIAGA: This was probably the most futuristic, unexpected and innovating collection of all. Nicolas Ghesquière defied the fashion codes and came up with new ones. His teddy boy-meets-punk masculinity was the reaction to a certain kind of sexiness. For him it was all about individuality. The talented fashion troublemaker used plasticized textures and couture techniques that were modernized with laser machine precision cuts.
It might take a while to adapt to the look but once you get it, you will be all over it!

Balmain S/S 2011

BALMAIN: Honestly, the time of Balmain might come to an end as there are always the same sharp-tailored rock allure pieces on the runway but I still love them so much.
This time, Christophe Decarnin shortened the shorts and minis as much as he could and looked for punk rebellion for inspiration. Studded and safety pinned biker jackets, bleached jeans and holey T-shirts were among his favourites. Let’s hope that the Balmainia is still strong enough to convince the fashionistas to pay so much for this DIY-look…

Stay tuned as I will go much more into detail during the next weeks about the trends and must-haves for S/S 2011.
If you are interested which collections were my Top 20 for F/W 2010, please click here.

To a very promising and cheerful looking summer!

LoL, Sandra