My Look: Just Smile

Just smile – Easter weekend is calling and the sun is out. Blue jeans and a white tee are always a good idea and I love them in combination with my favorite spring cardigan, for which Stella McCartney asked artist and friend Jeff Koons to create the artwork for «K is for Kindness» in her #StellaAtoZ series, and the message is spread loud and clear on the back of this cardigan. The perfect remedy for gloomy days and a must-have for for eternal optimists, it’s knitted with cheerful intarsia of a natural landscape reminding you to smile.

My look: Kind intarsia wool and cotton-blend cardigan by Stella McCartney, white cotton cropped top (Look 44 Pre-collection Summer 2021), and AirPods Pro case in white, both by CHANEL, high rise straight jeans with embellishments by Dolce & Gabbana, iPhone cover in blue ostrich leather by The Collector, and Lady Bug 100 patent leather pumpsicon by Christian Louboutin.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
The photos were taken inside the fumoir at Gstaad Palace Hotel.
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La Prairie x Niki de Saint Phalle

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, La Prairie announces lead patronage of Niki de Saint Phalle‘s most substantial U.S. retrospective at MoMA PS1 in New York.

On view from March 11 to September 6, 2021, Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life will feature over 200 works created from the mid-1960s until the artis’s death, highlighting Saint Phalle’s interdisciplinary approach and engagement.

Niki de Saint Phalle. Californian Diary (Order and Chaos). 1994

La Prairie honours Niki de Saint Phalle’s audacious and visionary feminist spirit – her defiance of social norms and her willingness to break the codes both in her personal life and work. The work of Niki de Saint Phalle has a particular resonance for La Prairie as it was her striking use of cobalt blue that was the inspiration behind La Prairie’s iconic Skin Caviar Collection colour.

Niki de Saint Phalle. Flaçon de parfum. 1982

In 1982, Niki was developing her eponymous fragrance from her atelier in a shared design studio in
New York where La Prairie’s team would often engage in creative exchanges. When La Prairie
encountered Niki de Saint Phalle’s cobalt blue – her favourite colour that she describes «as the colour
of joy and luck» – the link became clear: only cobalt blue would do. A fortunate encounter that would
spark a bond with the House of La Prairie and seal it forever.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Collection

Just as Niki de Saint Phalle raised awareness on modernist, progressive views, La Prairie’s founder paved the way to pioneering discoveries. Dr. Paul Niehans was a dreamer, a seeker of beauty. Art was central to his science, central to his dream to hold time in his hand, central to his pioneering spirit. A spirit mirrored in Niki de Saint Phalle’s inner flame of audacity. She expressed a new femininity, one which stood in opposition to the conventional influences and values of society.

Niki de Saint Phalle working on the set for The Travelling Companion at her studio near Milly-la-Forêt. 1977.

Through her lifetime, Niki de Saint Phalle used her platform as an artist to bring attention to various issues advocating for women’s equality to provoke and trigger conversations – a legacy that today continues to inspire new generations of artists and women beyond. Niki de Saint Phalle also shaped art movements such as Nouveau Réalisme. As the only woman in the 1960s-founded group, she offered a unique perspective and proved her art was as innovative as her male counterparts.

Niki de Saint Phalle. La femme et L’oiseau fontaine. 1967–88

«Niki de Saint Phalle created artwork that explicitly rejected patriarchal values and artistic convention. Her Nanas confront Western standards of femininity and decorum: they are brash, ecstatic, and embrace sexuality. She created her Nanas at such a large scale specifically so that they could dominate – literally tower over – men. Saint Phalle was also an iconoclast in her personal style and way of life,» according to Ruba Katrib, Curator of the exhibition.

Last Night I had a dream, 1968-1988

This collaboration with the upcoming exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York is an opportunity for the Swiss luxury house to enable the world to experience Saint Phalle’s revolutionary work. It is also an expansion of La Prairie’s support of art and culture by creating new connections with the world of art and its various representatives, whether emerging or established artists or cultural institutions. A commitment that continues to flourish and to build on the House’s existing partnerships with art fairs Art Basel and West Bund Art & Design and the iconic Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland.

More information at moma.org/ps1. I would love to see this exhibition and truly hope that we will be able to travel to the U.S. soon again.

LoL, Sandra

Niki de Saint Phalle with La Fontaine Stravinsky

Photos: Courtesy of La Prairie, © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation
© Michiko Matsumoto, © Leonardo Bezzola Estate

My Look: Mirage Gstaad

One thing you should not have missed when visiting Gstaad, is the outdoor sculpture MIRAGE GSTAAD. Until this month, the mirror house designed by Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken stands on the hiking trail between Schönried and Gstaad and can only be reached on foot.

With every available surface clad in mirror, it both absorbs and reflects the landscape around in such ways that the exterior will seemingly disappear just as the interior draws the viewer into a never-ending kaleidoscope of light and reflection. With the help of my tripod, I shot this outfit post by myself – a comfortable look that is perfect for hiking around Gstaad.

My look: Lawrence space-dyed cashmere sweatericon, and Lauren fringed space-dyed cashmere wrapicon, both by Gabriela Hearst, skinny jeans «Kate» by Dolce & Gabbana, Biker II leather bootsicon by Jimmy Choo, Loulou heart-shaped acetate sunglasses by Saint Laurent, Clash de Cartier ring in 18K rose gold with amazonite by Cartierand waist belt by CHANEL.

LoL, Sandra

 Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.

HUBLOT CF Takashi Murakami All Black

When a watch becomes a work of art: The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black blurs the lines! For its first collaboration with a Japanese contemporary artist, Hublot has pushed at the boundaries of creation by developing a new dynamic on the theme of Murakami’s artistic emblem, the smiling flower.

Hublot loves Art! Before we know how to talk, we sing. Before we know how to write, we draw. We can barely stand up and we dance. Art is at the very foundation of human beings, a truth that has been embraced by the Hublot manufacture through its «The Art of Fusion» motto. The watchmaking manufacture regularly draws on great creative spirits. Their team of ambassadors is now joined for the first time by one of the most internationally renowned living artists and my personal favorite: Takashi Murakami. His visually very modern style offers a subtle reflection between Japanese tradition and pop culture. He masterfully achieves this result by combining leading-edge multimedia tools with traditional Japanese techniques such as gold leaf. A real rock star in the contemporary art world, he coined the name Superflat for the artistic movement he began.

Takashi Murakami visits the manufacture

An initial visit to the Hublot manufacture in February 2020 enabled Takashi Murakami to familiarise himself with the work of a watchmaker and timepiece design. This triggered a creative process that resulted in the very innovative Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami, inspired by Murakami’s icon, the smiling flower. Here, it is present both in and on the watch. Thanks to an ingenious ball-bearing system developed by Hublot’s engineers, its petals start turning. The center of the smiling flower is inserted onto the sapphire glass, creating a unique three-dimensional effect to go along with its wide prominent smile.

The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black takes up one of the most evocative Hublot signatures, the All Black! Invented by Hublot in 2006, it turns out that the «All Black» style is also one of Murakami’s artistic signatures. For an even more pronounced effect, the petals (456 brilliants) and face (107 brilliants) are here set with black diamonds.

The watchmakers in Nyon have installed their manufacture Unico calibre in the case with its Classic Fusion emblematic design, a movement offering a 72-hour power reserve. As the first collaboration between Hublot and a Japanese artist, the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black will quickly become a real collector’s item since it is limited to only 200 models.

LoL, Sandra

Takashi Murakami wearing the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black

Photos: © Hublot
#Hublot #ClassicFusionTakashiMurakami 

Dior Lady Art #5

For the fifth edition of Dior Lady Art, ten artists and collectives from around the world participate in a game of reinterpretation and metamorphosis, approaching the iconic Lady Dior like a unique work of art.

My favorite Dior Lady Art bags from this season are the ones by Judy Chicago…

From one horizon to another, from China to Madagascar, India to South Africa, and Russia to the United States, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Judy Chicago, Gisela Colon, Song Dong, Bharti Kher, Mai-Thu Perret, Recycle Group, Chris Soal, Claire Tabouret and Olga Titus have taken the bag to new heights, infusing its architecture and charms with their imagination and inspirations.

… which are available in three different sizes.

In an exceptional symbiosis that surpasses boundaries and mixes past, present and future, these artists’ captivating universes bridge nature and the cosmos, poetry and life’s mysteries.

There is even a little surprise when you turn the bag around.

Shaped by its extraordinary destiny, The Lady Dior becomes, more than ever, an object of art and desire, a virtuoso celebration of freedom and excellence. In selected Dior stores now, including the Zurich one where I took the photos.

The limited edition bags have all their own label.

Below you can read more about the different artists and the inspiration behind each bag:

JUDY CHICAGO

An emblematic founder of feminist art, Judy Chicago has made her work and her research a means of combatting patriarchal ideas. This multitalented personality has never ceased to develop a singular aesthetic questioning male domination and celebrating the success of women, often forgotten or relegated to the sidelines despite their important contributions. Instead of the clean, angular lines her contemporaries favored, she prefers generous, sensual, colorful and suggestive curves, where spirals and shells evoke symbols of feminine power, like the paintings she chose in revisiting the iconic Lady Dior.

Thanks to a dichroic treatment, a testament to the innovative savoir-faire in the ateliers, her three reinvented bags are adorned with fascinating pearly, metallic or iridescent effects. Hypnotic motifs reprising her paintings come to life through captivating and unexpected plays of light, in glittering reflections. Each of these exceptional pieces is signed with a caption representing the work depicted, the better to let their creative source shine; an ultimate ode to pluralistic femininity that extends the passionate and committed dialogue with Dior that began with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s S/S 2020 Haute Couture collection.

SONG DONG

«Windows»: Song Dong perceives and reinvents the Lady Dior as an object of desire on the edge of existence and redefines it; puts it on the outskirts of «inside» and «outside» the world and the spirit, and reconstructs the inseparable mutual «parasitic» relationship between users and it, as both a bridge and a reflection of their multiple facets. Driven by a yearning for infinite freedom, the artist wished to reveal the ephemeral nature of human behavior and explore concepts that are both complex and fascinating, such as idleness, uselessness and the absence of limits. His childhood in china, marked by a traditional education amidst the cultural revolution, instilled in him an even greater passion for painting that can be «freely expressed». At that time, he thought of painting as synonymous with escape and a space for «free breathing».

Later, the «painting» he was interested in was replaced by a broader «art life» and it became the true source and resource of his creative energy. Having grown up in the 1980s during china’s reform and opening up, «window» is a symbol of «freedom» and «openness» for him, where it is a philosophical object that drives thinking. He revisited the Lady Dior with refined graphics and colorful compositions mixed with a play of mirrors. This abstract reinterpretation is called “Windows Bag”, which gives the traditional concept of «bag» a «window» attribute. It seems to metamorphose according to light, shadows, places and faces. A dazzling icon, in perpetual movement, that calls for the (re)discovery of oneself. «the «windows bag» puts the world it is in outside of it and coexists with the world in the bag,» he said.

MAI-THU PERRET

From Bauhaus to dance, and tantric yoga to literary modernism, the Franco Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret explores the boundaries between disciplines. Her installations – mixing video, painting and sculpture – favor raw and handcrafted materials such as ceramics, embroidery or rattan. Her process represents a way of reconsidering, through techniques often judged as being merely decorative, the place of women in western art. Through her striking works, she explores the utopias of our civilization and the notion of community, notably through the prism of feminism. Fascinated by imaginary languages, she created a mysterious alphabet composed of abstract signs inspired by an educational method applied in 19th-century German kindergartens.

At the crossroads of cuneiform writing, painting and Mondrian’s aesthetic, these letters unfold in the form of a tapestry on the Lady Dior bag, and on miniature versions elevated by precious glass bead embroidery. The creations feature handles and enameled metal “Dior” charms, reproduced after ceramics hand-shaped by the artist, questioning the fashion lexicon and the symbolism of the logo. A virtuoso celebration of savoir-faire and the beauty of the gesture that are dear to both Mai-Thu Perret and the house of Dior.

BHARTI KHER

In the United Kingdom, where she grew up, and in India – her parents’ home country, where she now lives – Bharti Kher explores issues of identity and culture through captivating works. In reinterpreting strong symbols, her pieces weave links between the past and modernity, in the manner of the bindi, the common thread of her universe. This circular marking, which Indian women apply to their forehead, can be both a sophisticated fashion accessory and a symbol.

The artist transforms the bindi, diverting and transcending its social meaning. Fascinated by this «third eye,» the feminist artist has made it her signature; an emblem revisited through creations that mix painting, collage, photography and sculpture. On the Lady Dior, this singular motif appear as delicate snakes forms (looks a lot like sperm to me :-)), incarnations of a life force, transformation and healing. Enhanced by a warm chromatic palette, they blossom in hypnotic movements over Dior’s iconic handbag.

CHRIS SOAL

Influenced by the cultural identity of his native South Africa, where he is based, Chris Soal questions the close and complex relationships between urban life, intimate environments and ecology. A creative approach that incorporates salvaged materials reflects his sensitivity to textures, forms and light. The artist creates engaging sculptures composed entirely of everyday objects, the ephemeral and functional nature of which is transformed into a lasting work of art. For Dior, he plays on the striking contrast between these trivial elements, so many symbols of consumer society, and the Lady Dior, which is imbued with a powerful heritage and virtuoso savoir-faire.

In this way, he covers the iconic bag with folded bottle caps bearing the «Dior» signature, suggestive of cowrie shells, unfurling in enchanting colors. Like an ode to his artistic signature, the « charm in the Dior name takes the form of an elegant bottle opener. Meanwhile, a version is adorned with toothpicks, worked, painted and embroidered by hand, a unique expression of the ‘petites mains’ infinite skill. Illusory effects hover between imagination and reality, duality and symbiosis, offering a new perception of the world and of fashion.

GISELA COLON

Inspired by life forces, universal energies and the planetary system, Gisela Colón has developed a singular language, deploying a fascinating lexicon of geometric forms and organic figures. Minimalist and futuristic, her iconic monoliths and biomorphic cells – wall sculptures that seemingly mutate, like promises of the future – stand at the crossroads of art and science. Conceived using the latest technologies, her works feature innovative materials used in the aerospace industry, emitting holographic reflections that shift according to the light.

Bridging reality and fantasy, the earth and the galaxy, her surprising works reinterpret the shades and architectural lines of the Lady Dior, giving life to two unique creations. Baptized Stardust and Amazonia, they symbolize, through their hypnotic colors, interstellar magic and the world’s enchanting mysteries. In a last signature detail, the «Dior» charms are punctuated with a monolith, an emblem that for Gisela Colón represents equality, power and beauty. These «bags of the future», as the artist calls them, combine the enchanting spirit of the milky way and nature, paying tribute to Christian Dior’s passion for the divinatory arts and constellations.

CLAIRE TABOURET

Landscapes, bodies embracing or confronting one other, children in costumes, young debutantes, group portraits, migrants at sea… Highlighting the vulnerability of human relationships, Claire Tabouret’s subjects enchant for their sensitivity, singular perspective and disconcerting mystery. Illustrating herself in figurative art, the French painter adopts a unique color palette mixing natural hues with artificial, synthetic, almost acidic shades, bathing her paintings in an instantly recognizable atmosphere. Approaching the Lady Dior as a blank canvas offering her imagination free rein, she transposes her self-portrait, enlivened by bold, expressive brushstrokes, onto one of the bags, where she appears in the guise of a vampire with a blood-stained mouth, devouring the iconic bag’s charms.

At once surprising and romantic, this version of the bag is accentuated by a white lace collar, a subtle evocation of Dracula’s phantasmagorical costume. Her painting depicting a round of dancers gracefully unfolds on another version in faux fur, like an echo of the hypnotic, liberated discipline dear to Christian Dior and Maria Grazia Chiuri. An ode to the house’s virtuoso attention to detail, these creations are adorned with phosphorescent linings, glowing reflections of the artist’s chromatic signature.

RECYCLE GROUP

Having grown up together – both the children of artist parents – and collaborated years later on the exhibition Recycle, Andrey Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov – a creative duo positioned on the frontiers of reality – founded Recycle Group in 2008. Through subliminal messages, they question the paradoxical nature of the future and explore the concept of «virtual immortality» in order to highlight the powerful and complex relationship between man and machine.


Their obsessive and hypnotic works incorporate tangible materials, media and augmented reality, plunging art into a new, freestyle and daring dimension. For the Dior Lady Art project, their take on the iconic bag symbolizes a shifting vision of the world, shaped by the contemporary digital frenzy, with wave and vortex effects deconstructing and re-sculpting the legendary cannage motif. Resembling an immaterial object, the Lady Dior metamorphoses and opens itself up to multiple perceptions. Bridging the past and a digitalized future, these exceptional creations reflect dazzling realms from which emerges our own relationship to existence.


JOËL ANDRIANOMEARISOA

From Antananarivo to Paris, Joël Andrianomearisoa cultivates a fascination for the city, that mysterious entity, that «everything» where his prolific inspiration culminates from sounds, fragrances, textures, beings, and even architecture. His creative research is woven from the infinite diversity of emotions that he strives to materialize in the name of sweet melancholy, an inevitable absence that all understand yet cannot name. His elusive and magnetic works makes the fragility and intensity of desire an essential life force. «Take me to the end of all loves» chants the labyrinth of Lady Dior, like a testament to passions already sated, promises of new love stories.


On the surface, superimposed materials, like delicate millefeuilles, reproduce heartbeats, while inside, an immaculate lining symbolizes love’s whirlwinds. The story begins with the packaging, a showcase and a unique artwork in paper. In black embellished with leather or radzimir silk, both versions are adorned with embroidery and cut-outs, as well as words, whispers and caresses, like living works in perpetual motion. As a final poetic surprise, a small book accompanies them, spanning memoir, a journal of this project, and a diary of their future lives. An ode to sentiments, and a sensitive reading of the world.

OLGA TITUS

Each of Olga Titus’s plural, magnetic works is a celebration of the world and its infinitely rich customs. Inspired by the heritage of her grandparents, who were of Indian and Malaysian origin, as well as by her many travels, the swiss artist weaves precious links between civilizations through eclectic creations. Her territory of experimentation is an ‘elsewhere’, a cosmos, an encounter between self and other: an imaginary place where a new culture comes to life, in the image of the «third space» theorized by Homi K. Bhabha.

Open to multiple readings, her work hovers between material and digital realities, allowing the proliferation of individualities and singular expressions to blossom. Her sequin paintings, which extend the field of possibilities, are born of a will to go beyond digital realizations by making them tangible. Adorned with delicate kaleidoscopic beads, her reinterpretations of Lady Dior, which she sees as «a little cosmos», reveal thanks to their double-faceted finish, a hybrid ornament in perpetual movement that, to the touch, gives rise to two distinct universes. On the miniature version of the iconic bag, decorative masks embody Olga Titus’s unique signature and pay homage to the arts of the world, from Africa to Asia, an allegory for her own cabinet of curiosities that transcends everyday objects.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

Louis Vuitton x Urs Fischer

Louis Vuitton has teamed up with acclaimed Swiss contemporary artist Urs Fischer on a multifaceted collaboration that highlights his playfully audacious creative vision across a wide range of leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories.

Entitled «Louis Vuitton x Urs Fischer», Urs Fischer’s exuberant and textured reworking of Louis Vuitton’s signature Monogram is the starting point of this collection which features the Monogram’s flowers and LV initials in new hand-drawn versions that he calls «memory sketches». The resulting dream-like motifs have been meticulously adapted to suit each specific product across this comprehensive collection, changing in size, perspective, colour and application technique.

Available in two colourways, black and red and black and white, this new Monogram is the collaboration’s key decorative motif, and features throughout the collection’s designs. In addition to ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes, seven special-edition bagsa Keepall, Cabas, Onthego, two Neverfulls, Speedys, Pochettes Accessoires, and a charming, hard-sided beauty case – use the Urs Fischer Monogram to particularly impressive effect thanks to an exquisite tuffetage treatment that uses velvet-like material to create extra texture and tactile relief.

The collaboration also features a series of whimsical characters created by Urs Fischer. The enchanting animals and objects are united in a playful print that fills a colourful silk square.

«Louis Vuitton x Urs Fischer» is both a perfect, large-scale showcase for Urs Fischer’s creative world and the latest exciting chapter in Louis Vuitton’s longstanding commitment to the arts. The collection will launch in Louis Vuitton stores worldwide in January 2021. For more information, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton / Pierre-Ange Carlotti

Loewe x Ken Price

Fine art and high fashion collide very often at Loewe. This season, Jonathan Anderson turned the works of ceramicist Ken Price (1935 – 2012) into wearable art. Blue sky thinking: the American artist’s optimistic ceramics and vibrant, sunny landscapes are featured in this capsule collection of ready-to-wear and accessories by the Madrid-based label. Ken Price’s eclectic influences ranged from Mexican folk art to surf culture and defied categorization. He was committed to clay as a material, producing both abstract and biomorphic forms, as well as more functional objects.

Ken Price at work in his studio.

Explore the Loewe x Ken Price collection by motif. Choose between the artist’s La Palme, Easter Island and Happy Curios series.

Capturing L.A.’s quintessential ease, Price’s colourful drawings feature as prints on silk shirts, sweatshirts and cropped culottes, or as intarsia on cashmere cardigans and jumpers.

Loewe’s famous intarsia technique has been used to translate the brightly coloured motifs across signature shapes such as the Puzzle, Bamboo Bucket and Hammock bags.


Reflecting the spirit of Ken Price’s handcrafted aesthetic, the Fringes series of intensely crafted finely woven leather basket bags is launching alongside the capsule collection.

YOU CAN SHOP LOEWE x KEN PRICE HERE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Loewe
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: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise. 

Stella McCartney Artist Tees Drop

Dropping on 3rd of December at 14:00 GMT: Stella McCartney‘s first three exclusive artist tees, all individually numbered, limited-edition pieces featuring the artworks of George Condo, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman and supporting causes of their choosing. Inspired by the McCartney A to Z Manifesto, only 30 of each will be made globally.

Stella’s A to Z Manifesto originated during lockdown; a moment of pause that allowed the community to reflect and return to the world more mindful. A guiding alphabet, each of the 26 letters is a conversation about our values, brought to life through the visions of global artists – ranging from next-gen talents to friends of Stella like Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Sam Taylor-Johnson and more.

Blending fashion, art and sustainability, this is what Stella does best!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Stella McCartney

A Swiss Vision of Beauty

La Prairie, the luxury skincare house, has comissioned award-winning Swiss artist Douglas Mandry to produce a series of images of Swiss landscapes that highlight the beauty of Swiss nature and its inherent fragility.

«Capturing Swiss nature is a testimony of its sublime essence. Looking at a landscape, I start to simplify shapes. Once I have captured this piece of nature, I transform it. This is the starting point of my creations: merging my experience of nature with my cultural background

For the collaboration with La Prairie, Douglas Mandry traveled throughout Switzerland to capture the wild environment and impressive landscapes of his homeland.
«After hours of walking, sometimes I just happen to be at a place which strikes me. Capturing this nature is for me a testimony of its sublime essence. Afterwards, I try to re-appropriate this untouched and unspoiled environment and make it my own. So the whole process is about merging my experience of nature with my cultural background,” explained Mandry.

Experimenting with both traditional photographic techniques and pioneering new processes, Mandry uses the medium as a raw material, stretches it, reworks it to go beyond the qualities of the original photograph. By manipulating his photographs in this way and combining them with non-photographic elements, he creates a new typology of objects that rests somewhere between two- and three-dimensionality.

With this new venture, La Prairie proudly continues to collaborate with Swiss artists. Douglas Mandry’s inspiring tribute to Swiss nature speaks to La Prairie’s own tireless pursuit of timeless beauty. A pursuit that has become a purpose, for the luxury house who supports initiatives promoting culture and science through the prism of Switzerland as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

Left: The three unique works that will be auctioned off. Right: Mandry at work.

To that end, three unique works, the striking result of La Prairie’s collaboration with Douglas Mandry will be auctioned online on Artnet Auctions from November 4-18, 2020.
The proceeds of the sales will be donated as part of the brand’s ongoing support for ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) through its ETH Foundation. Their pioneering work in the field of climate studies, glaciology and environmental conservation is shared with La Prairie’s overarching commitment to protecting and preserving its land of origin.

Please enjoy this little interview with Douglas Mandry:

Tell us more about yourself an as artist. What is your background?
I was born in Switzerland and work in Zurich today as an artist and photographer, where my studio is based. I graduated in 2013 from Lausanne’s ECAL University for Design and Art with a specialisation in photography.

What are your main sources of inspiration?
I do read a lot. I am inspired basically by any possible thing. I try to cultivate a background in image paintings, philosophy, and a bit of technology too. My work is a response to society, to different aspects of the society I have grown up in and I live in. My own experience of life has become a tool for inspiration.

Please share some insight about your creative process. What is the idea behind «breaking/manipulating» reality?
The way we experience reality is so complex and has many layers to it. As a photographer, if you think of representing reality, you think of constructing a certain reality through photography. When I was studying and doing my own photographs, I realised that I was more interested in constructing my photographs than actually taking them. The whole process before I take the picture is, for me, as — if not more — interesting than taking the picture or enjoying the result. Photography has so many aspects to it: between the moment you create or you have an idea of creating an image, until the way you or someone else experiences it, it’s actually a lot of steps. It is a succession of steps and each one is equally important to create a result.

What is your definition of Swissness?
To me, Swissness has two sides to it. On one hand, a high respect for tradition, knowhow and craftsmanship. And on the other hand, an advanced interest for progress in technological precision and development. Two sides which work really well in one concept.

How was your collaboration with La Prairie? What does the brand evoke to you?
La Prairie evokes to me many Swiss qualities, such as a close connection to nature but also a certain very precise know-how and elevated craftsmanship. This is what I consider the essence of Switzerland to be.

Do you think that art and beauty are related? How?
I believe beauty is everywhere. Art can be used to question beauty or to establish beauty standards across time and different cultures. They are more than related, they flow with each other.

Tell us about your future projects.
I am currently developing a project focusing more specifically on the topic of Swiss glaciers, working both with archive photographs and experimental image-making tools.

Thank you, Douglas!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © La Prairie

Louis Vuitton Artycapucines Collection

After last year’s first collection of six Capucines bags created by contemporary artists, Louis Vuitton unveiled a new edition of its Artycapucines project.

Beatriz Milhazes, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Josh Smith, Henry Taylor, Liu Wei and Zhao Zhao have all created beautifully imagined and stunningly worked versions of the iconic Capucines bag.

From the 30th October, each bag in the Artycapucines collection will be released in a limited edition of 200 in selected stores worldwide. Price per bag: CHF 7900.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Beatriz Milhazes
Based upon a new work created by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes for the Artycapucines project, Milhazes’ bag is a technical and artisanal achievement. 18 different types of leather are worked to the same thickness and then inlaid onto the bag’s lambskin base using innovative and novel marquetry techniques. To complete the kaleidoscopic variety of the different textures and aspects, the bag also has two areas of gold leaf and an inlaid, injected silicone gel peace sign. The LV logo uses enamel marquetry and gel to match the exact colours of the design over which it is placed.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Jean-Michel Othoniel
Jean-Michel Othoniel’s Artycapucines is a graceful and joyous object. The bag’s main body is intricately hand-woven in raffia, while along the top edge of the bag is a hand-embroidered trim that uses a type of black satin silk more generally used in haute couture. The bag’s handle is made of large black resin beads that echo the French artist’s best-known large-scale works, such as his Le Kiosque des Noctambules Palais Royal Métro entrance in Paris. The bag is completed by a striking charm whose three resin beads act as an exclusive and portable Othoniel sculpture.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Josh Smith
New York-based artist Josh Smith’s design is based upon one of his signature «name» paintings. To recreate the work, the bag’s cotton canvas exterior is first embroidered with white-coloured stitches to replicate brushstrokes, creating a sensation of depth. The fabric and stitches are then painstakingly printed, before the letters of Smith’s name are embroidered across the entire bag. The LV signature is in metal inlaid with wood, while the handle is made of pure pear wood. Its silk inner lining is printed with Palm #3, another of Smith’s striking and brightly coloured paintings.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Henry Taylor
Henry Taylor’s Artycapucines brings together the Californian artist’s striking and expressive 2017 portrait A young master – a portrait of the late Noah Davis, the Black American artist and founder of LA’s Underground Museum – with the latest cutting-edge laser printing and traditional marquetry. Reproducing the painting on leather to replicate its original brushstrokes and varied textures required over 100 experiments to test different methods of 2D and 3D printing. The bag’s taupe Taurillon leather background was then used as a «blank canvas» into which this tactile portrait on leather was inserted using precise and demanding marquetry techniques. The result is a portrait that is also a remarkable sculptural bas-relief.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Liu Wei
Beijing-based artist Liu Wei is renowned for provocative, unclassifiable work that jumps between media. His Artycapucines is based upon Microworld, a large-scale sculptural installation shown at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Variously sized aluminium petals from this sculpture are recreated for the bag using five different types of silver-coloured leather that are meticulously thermo-moulded and inserted directly into the bag’s exterior or attached using Louis Vuitton-engraved rivets. The bag’s handle is made in black Plexiglas, which brings a retro-futuristic touch, and is held in place by rings covered in metal spheres, each individually attached and with a different finish to match those in the original artwork.

Louis Vuitton Capucines by Zhao Zhao
Chinese artist Zhao Zhao’s Artycapucines is based on his 2018 sculpture, In Extremis No.3. For his bag, the artwork’s metal components are transformed into 353 individual laser-cut patches made of 5 different types of leather, which are either hand-embroidered, machine-embroidered, printed – with seven different patterns – or worked into relief. They are then assembled and meticulously sewn together into a single panel that follows the precise design layout that Zhao created. The resulting pattern covers the entire surface of the finished bag to create the impression that the original work has been moulded to fit precisely around the Capucines.

Aren’t they all very special! I love when fashion meets art…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton