Dolce & Gabbana’s Swarovski Tiara

Making childhood dreams come true. In February next year, I will be attending the Vienna Opera Ball and I couldn’t be any happier about it especially because one of my favorite designer duos, DOLCE & GABBANAicon, has collaborated with SWAROVSKI to create a richly detailed and precious tiara to be worn by the debutantes at this prestigious event.

Dolce & Gabbana

It took 702 Swarovski crystals to create this richly detailed headpiece that is inspired from Mozart’s opera «Le nozze di Figaro», in particular, the words sung in the eighth scene of the first act: «Giovani lieti – fiori spargete!» («Happy maids, scatter flowers!»).

This image has been poetically reflected in the floral design of the tiara, where delicate blossoms meet organic curved leaves.

Each year, Swarovski works with a different international designer to impart the debutantes’ tiaras with extraordinary brilliance. In 2017, it was for example Karl Lagerfeld who created a dream-like piece (for the previous post click here please).

Swarovski’s collaboration has existed since the 1950s. Organized by the Vienna State Opera, the event is the cultural highlight of the Viennese ball season and I cannot wait to experience it myself.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Swarovski / Dolce Gabbana

Women of Impact

Last Sunday, I had a very interesting afternoon as guest of SWAROVSKI that made its debut with the «WOMEN OF IMPACT» discussion featuring Hollywood star Glenn Close, who had come to Switzerland that day to promote her new movie «THE WIFE» (in which the protagonist liberates herself from her husband) and to be honored with the Golden Icon Award at the 13th Zurich Film Festival.

Women of impact from left to right: Nadja Swarovski, Carolina Müller-Möhl, Glenn Close, Annie Starke and Nadja Schildknecht.

The famous actress joined her daughter Annie Starke (who also plays in the movie «THE WIFE»), Astrid von Stockar, and Member of the Swarovski Executive Board Nadja Swarovski for the «WOMEN OF IMPACT» talk, organized by the Müller-Möhl Foundation and Spoundation Motion Picture, that focused on the role of women in business and society, and women’s opportunities to create positive impact.

Glenn Close with me on Sunday after the talk at the Zurich Film Festival Summit Dinner at Terrasse.

Regarded as one of the most famous actresses of her generation, the Grand Dame of Hollywood has spent a successful 40 years working in the film business. Her roles in «FATAL ATTRACTION», «DANGEROUS LIAISONS» and, more recently, «ALBERT NOBBS» are unforgettable. But the multitalented Close is also a celebrated and successful screenwriter and producer with a total of highly respectable six Academy Award nominations to her name. Younger audiences will know Close for her award-winning portrayal in the TV series «DAMAGES».

Nadja Swarovski

The conversation started with a one to one discussion Nadja Swarovski, for whom «this exciting event provides a fantastic platform to showcase our passion for culture and the performing arts, alongside our wider commitment to supporting women’s empowerment issues across society

Swarovski strives to empower women across its value chain, from those who craft its products to those who wear them. The Swarovski Foundation partners with global charities to support programs that work with women on the ground, promoting their economic, social and political empowerment. Swarovski is also a signatory of the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

How can you have impact as a woman?

Nadja Swarovski: Knowledge is power. Nobody can strip you from that knowledge, wether this is through your education or experience. If you have that tool, you can have that positive impact in the world.

Do you have a female quota at Swarovski?

Nadja Swarovski: It is amazing how the company has changed over the last 30 years. At this moment now we are 70% female workers in the factories and the offices. But our customer base is 90% women in terms of sales purchasing or gift giving. It helps Swarovski that we have so many female workers as they can identify themselves with the consumer in the end of the day and know what they would like to wear. This has all an impact on the product design, the marketing and more.

You are the only female board member. Do you have a different style?

Nadja Swarovski: I definitely have a different style. I am also half American which gives me another style. I am more outspoken than the Tyrolean girl. Moreover, I was also very blessed to be raised by a very kind father and grandfather. This shapes your attitude towards men differently in a more embracing way. In general, I am convinced that intelligent men do not feel threatened by women. They enjoy the collaboration.

Do you have advantages?

Nadja Swarovski: One advantage is certainly motherhood, that female point of you which a man can or cannot rely to.

Why do you think Europe is still so far behind equality in the business field between men and women?

Nadja Swarovski: I think American women consider themselves more equal to men. They have a deeper understanding of the human condition. My theory is that this is because Europe was suffering so much during World War II. The men were at war, the women were home. I think those roles between the fighter and the mother were so much more distinguished. We almost just growing out of it now.

Glenn Close coming on stage with her daughter Annie Starke

How did you experience your role in «The Wife»?

Glenn Close: It was a fascinating challenge to play a woman pre-feminism. My daughter Annie plays her in the ’50s. It basically is a movie for me about this complex relationship as marriage. It resonated with me. I think I never like to go over the same emotional territory just to keep myself interested and to stretch as an artist. So this was definitely new territory for me.

Do you think that women of your generation have a different approach towards men?

Glenn Close: I cannot speak for all women of my generation but I can speak personally. I think my first instinct, and I wasn’t disabused of it by my mother, was to confront a man with: «Who do you like me to be? I can be that!» And then all of a sudden you find yourself saying: «But I am not that person.» Either you have to do something about not being in a relationship anymore or if you are lucky, you have a relationship that can evolve with you.

Women in the ’50s like my mother were expected to support their husbands. My dad was a brilliant doctor. My mother never went to college. They got married very young at the age of 18. She started to raise the children and never complaint. In the end of her life, she said that she feels like she never has accomplished anything. And we would always say: «But you raised us.» For me that was sad. She was an incredible women, had a library but my father never really supported her interests. Therefore I like the movie as it has great messages for both, men and women.

Is it true that behind every great man, there is always a greater woman?

Glenn Close: Yes, I think probably men do better when they have a great support by a woman.

Do you think that being with somebody in your industry makes a relationship easier?

Glenn Close: I dated both, and it didn’t work out. I dated civilians as I call them and actors. I think it is the personality, you cannot generalize. I see wonderful relationships within my industry that have lasted a long time and I am very envious. It can happen and it is wonderful when it happens. I look at my wonderful daughter and my future son-in-law who works in the financial business and who is extremely supportive to her.

What would be your advice for a young actress?

Glenn Close: You have this crazy belief that you will be able to live this dream. You have that engine that keeps you going and you have to get up and up and up.

My theory is that it is not about how many times you fall down, it is how many times you get up!

You have many choices to take. My advice is to be very subjective about what you think is good and be as true to that as you possibly can. I have always trusted that if I thought something was worth putting the time and energy in, that other people would feel the same way. It is deeply gratifying for me to achieve this award because it means that people agreed that the stories I have chosen to tell have been worth telling.

It can be hard to get great roles at a certain age but you seem to be the opposite, why?

Glenn Close: I think maybe because I am always open to anything and I don’t have to have a certain paycheck to do something. After a while you hope of course for a good paycheck especially when your daughter is getting married (laughs).

Thank you for having me! Let’s all become women of impact! Let’s start in our daily life with our children, family members and friends… if we make an impact in our close circle, we will already create a much better world. Give a smile to the people you meet on the street, already this makes a positive impact on others.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Remy Steiner/Getty Images for Swarovski, via ZFF
© Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: High Strung

While you are reading this, I am on my way to the Cannes Film Festival. I always have a great time there and have so many wonderful memories such as the dinner I attended with the lovely film crew of «High Strung» and Swarovski. As I am a ballerina myself, I absolutely adore this movie.

Dancing with the main actors: Jane Seymour, Nicholas Galitzine and Keenan Kampa.

The plot is about a hip hop violinist is busking in the New York subway. When he encounters a classical dancer on scholarship at the Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts, sparks fly. With the help of a hip hop dance crew they must find a common ground while preparing for a competition that could change their lives forever.

My look that night: Black embellished cocktail dress andiconicon cutout leather platform pumps, both by Saint Laurent, embellished clutch by Balmain, Limelight Gala watch
icon by Piaget, leather bracelet by Hermèsdiamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Karl Lagerfeld’s Swarovski Tiara

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On February 23, 2017, the famous Vienna Opera Ball, one of the most exclusive highlights of the Viennese social calendar, celebrates its 150th anniversary. It is an event steeped in tradition and timeless glamour, where debutantes and their partners dance the opening waltz and dazzle wearing fairytale tiaras as they are introduced into society. This year marks a very special collaboration as the tiara is designed by an emperor. No other than «Kaiser Karl», KARL LAGERFELD, teamed up with SWAROVSKI to design the sparkling tiara that will crown the heads of the debutantes.

Swarovski Tiara 2017 - Mood 1 (c) Thomas Schrott_Swarovski

Embellished with 394 clear and saphire blue Swarovski crystals along with five Swarovski crystal pearls, the Swarovski Tiara is named “LE BEAU DANUBE BLEU” (The Blue Danube) which is the common title of a famous waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Thomas Schrott/Swarovski, © Karl Lagerfeld and © Reuters

At Design Miami/ Basel with Swarovski

Design Miamai Basel 2014

Yesterday, I was invited by Swarovski to attend the private opening of the global design forum Design Miami/ Basel 2014 followed by an exclusive dinner party. When I arrived, I was blown away by the amazing large-scale installation ‘Prologue’ created by Fredrikson Stallard.

Art
The latest collaborative work between Swarovski and the acclaimed London-based designers is a monumental circular sculpture holding over 8,000 golden Swarovski crystal droplets within a patinated steel frame suspended from a beam.
‘Prologue’s’ luminous ring mimics the iconography of the sun and it shimmers as it constantly reflects and refracts light as it gently moves. It is a powerful representation of new beginnings and also a more abstract symbol of life and rebirth.

Sandra Bauknecht in Gucci Design Miami

For over a decade, Swarovski’s creative collaborations have been a great opportunity for the world’s leading artists, architects and designers to experiment and share their most radical ideas using the medium of crystal.

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Here I am with Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, in front of the art work who commented: “Fredrikson Stallard are amongst the most talented designers working today and their installations are always highly impactful and very beautiful. ‘Prologue’ is a glowing symbol of life, and its power lies in its scale. Its compelling presence draws the viewer closer, allowing us to feel a primeval connection with the sun.

Swarovski Design Miami-Sandra Bauknecht

The artists Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard with me yesterday.

About the Fredrikson Stallard
Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard formed their design partnership in 1995 and have become internationally recognized as leading exponents of British avant-garde design. They have the ability to translate their vision into simple yet emotionally engaging furniture and product designs.
‘Prologue’ by Fredrikson Stallard was first shown at Art Basel in Hong Kong in May 2014. It is the second time Fredrikson Stallard have shown a dramatic large-scale installation for Swarovski at Design Miami/ Basel. The ‘Iris Collection’ was presented in 2011.

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If you get the chance, I highly recommend a visit to Design Miami/ Basel (open until June 22, 2014). It is absolutely worth it.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Savage Beauty Comes to London

A mcQueen Savage Beauty comes to London

“London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.” Alexander McQueen, January 2000

The amazing Alexander McQueenicon: Savage Beauty exhibition is coming to London – and great news is that you can buy a ticket from 10am tomorrow morning (Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person at the V&A; online; or by calling 020 7420 9736 (booking fee applies)). After endless rumours that it would, the V&A announced that it will host the exhibition from March 14 to July 19, 2015 in partnership with Swarovski and supported by American Express.

McQueen Exhibition

The original version of Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2011 was organised by the Costume Institute and became one of the Museum’s top 10 most visited exhibitions. Now, this outstanding large retrospective of the late designer’s work is to be presented in Europe for the first time,  showcasing McQueen’s visionary body of work. Spanning his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, McQueen’s designs will be presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows.

For me, a must-see again!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Swarovski & Maison Margiela: Crystalactite

Maison Margiela Swarovski Crystalactite

STALACTITE-SHAPED CRYSTAL
A futuristic fantasy from Maison Martin Margiela

A striking new crystal cut has made a stunning début: Swarovski has teamed up with high-end, haute couture collective, Maison Martin Margiela, to launch a new type of crystal technology—the groundbreaking Crystalactite.

Maison MM Swarovski Crystal Cut

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In the beginning of July during the Haute Couture week in Paris, in the chic Espace Yves Toudic, five as-yet-unseen, state-of-the-art crystal jewelry and accessories pieces, each featuring the new Crystalactite fusion technology, took center-stage at Maison Martin Margiela’s eagerly awaited Couture Show, entitled ‘Artisanal’.

MMM Swarovski Clip

What makes the Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Swarovski totally unique is the fact that it is made using the pioneering Crystal Fusion technique, by which crystal is merged with matt white resin before it is cut, making gluing unnecessary. This is unprecedented, and the result is startlingly futuristic—an avant-garde and asymmetric beauty, inspired by the shape and structure of stalactites. Maison Martin Margiela showed how the five Crystalactite Haute Couture jewelry pieces can be turned into amazingly versatile accessories. A specially integrated clip mechanism enables them to be worn on the hair, clothing, or footwear, giving an eclectic, cutting-edge look that is way ahead of its time.

Please enjoy some of the amazing show pieces along with some exclusive backstage photos:

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Backstage 01

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Backstage 02

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Backstage 03

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Backstage 04

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I have been so thrilled to discover that there is to be a Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Atelier Swarovski collection based on the Haute Couture pieces. It will consist of a stunning pendant, ring, and bracelet, each displaying Maison Martin Margiela’s signature clean-lined asymmetry, lit up with Swarovski’s famous sparkle. Even better, it will be available for Christmas 2013.

LoL, Sandra

Private Viewing 05

Product and backstage photos: Courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Swarovski
Show photos: Courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela

Plenty of Sparkle

Swarovski_2013_Campaign_Nick_Knight“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” could be easily changed to “Swarovskis are a girl’s best friend”. Those crystals sparkle, glitter and reflect the light just beautifully. This can be seen in perfection in the Austrian house’s new advertising campaign, created by Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, and photographed by award-winning British photographer Nick Knight.

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It features Supermodel Candice Swanepoel in a variety of poses as an action woman – sleek, confident and accessorized with dazzling sporting gear made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS including a motorcycle helmet, dumb bells and skiing goggles. The radiance of Swanepoel’s beauty and her exquisitely crafted fantasy props is juxtaposed with Knight‘s stunning still lifes of lush freshly-cut garden roses, sprinkled with dewdrops of crystal stones.

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Check out these cut behind the scenes shots of Swarovski’s global media campaign, that can be seen exclusively here on Sandra’s Closet. I am dying for this helmet.

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If you want to get your hands on some Swarovski sparkle, check out the newest summer collection TROPICAL PARADISE that will take you on an exotic journey.
Destination? Latin America!

Tropical_Paradise-Swarovski_Summer2013Creative Director Nathalie Colin explained, “I was strongly influenced by my travels in Brazil and Mexico, where I discovered intense creative energy and joie de vivre.” Signature Swarovski techniques such as Pointiage®, faceting, and the pavé setting, are evident throughout the collection along with an array of vibrant colors that conveys the festive spirit of Tropical Paradise. Turquoise tones symbolize the clear waters of the seas of Acapulco, beetles appear beside dragonflies and pink flamingos, all inspired by the diversity and exuberance of South America.

Texture_Big_Shape_NecklaceMy favourite piece: Texture Big Shape Necklace
Wouldn’t that be just the perfect statement necklace? It could be worn in a casual way over a grey sweatshirt or would be complementing an evening gown perfectly.

Swarovski_ShowroomDuring Paris Fashion week, I was able to browse through this beautiful collection at the stunning showroom, located at an inner courtyard on the famous Rue Sant Honoré. Enjoy those extraordinary pieces!

LoL, Sandra

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Swarovski_Tropical_Paradise-1Photos: Courtesy of Swarovski and © Sandra Bauknecht
Campaign Photos: Swarovski 2013 Ad Campaign ©Nick Knight

Skyfall – Dressed to Kill

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Last weekend, I went to the preview of the new James Bond movie SKYFALL (directed by Sam Mendes) in Zurich, in which Bond’s (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the sacrifice.

Personally speaking, Skyfall is one of the best Bonds in its 50-year history. I truly enjoyed its outstanding dose of Bond-esque humour and Javier Bardem is excellent as crazy bad-guy Silva. Of course, there has to be a female temptation for 007 and Bérénice Marlohe showed off why she’s the new Bond Girl on the red carpet for the royal premiere in London this week.

The beautiful actress, who plays the character of Sévérine, worked her curves in a sizzling red draped couture gown by dame Vivienne Westwood. The show stopping frock featured designer’s iconic corset and was accessorized with Stephen Webster fine jewelry pieces from his F/W 2012 collections ‘Forget me Knot’ and ‘Deco Haze’ set in 18ct white gold with hematite and white diamonds. That is what I would call “dressed to kill”.

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Inspired by the new Bond film, Skyfall, Stephen Webster has created four exclusive designs for Swarovski which encapsulate all the movie magic of 007’s latest adventure. On screen, French actress Bérénice Marlohe is wearing select jewelry pieces from the collection. As Stephen Webster stated: “Without question, collaborating with Swarovski on the jewelry for Skyfall has been exciting from the word go. The themes in the film seem to fit perfectly with the design aesthetic of the jewelry I create, and the many creative meetings at Pinewood Studios between Swarovski, ourselves and the Bond team have only added to our enthusiasm for the project. We can’t wait to see the jewels, shaken not stirred within the movie.” The beautiful collection is available in Swarovski stores worldwide.

If you are interested to find out more about Stephen Webster, I recommend this previous interview I did with him this summer.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Swarovski, Stephen Webster, IMDb and © Getty Images

Swarovski Edition

Swarovski Edition model Instit inter

Sparkling fashion label Swarovski launches a new scent for women, so-called SWAROVSKI EDITION. After the huge success of last year’s launch AURA, the brand presents its new delightful limited edition fragrance that will hit stores this month. The design of the bottle is reminiscent of the house’s clutch evening purses.

Swarovski Edition Bottle

A fruity-floral fragrance created by perfumer Sonia Constant.

Top notes: Clementine and red currant jam
Middle notes: Wild rose and gardenia
Base notes: Cedar and musk

Available now as a limited edition Eau de Toilette 50ml (CHF 71.-).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Swarovski