Ljuba Manz: Russian Soul – Viennese Heart

We all have this girlfriend that inspires us constantly and that we admire. Mine is Ljuba Manz.

A life full of stories. Her mother’s family lost their hotel and country estate during the revolution in Russia. The father, an Austrian, fled from the Nazis to Kharkov in Ukraine, where Ljuba Manz-Lurje was born in the middle of World War II. She experiences occupied Vienna and the hardships of the previous years of war – and wants only one thing: to leave this poverty behind her.

Today, Ljuba Manz-Lurje is the most famous hotel entrepreneur in Switzerland and leads in third generation othe Manz Privacy Hotels, which also include the «Hotel St. Gotthard» in Zurich.

Ljuba signing her book at the cocktail reception.

This month, her multifaceted biography hit the shelves and we celebrated it with a cocktail reception two weeks ago. It is a good and inspiring read reflecting on her life in all its details, a great gift for a dear friend for Christmas. You can order the book, published by Stämpfli Verlag, by clicking  here.

With Ljuba at the ASW Winter Weekend in 2016.

It shows a woman who first stands on her own feet as a vedette dancer, then becomes a businesswoman in a male-dominated world, marries the Zurich hotelier Caspar E. Manz and fulfills a legacy after his death: to retain and increase the family-owned hotels. Social splendor and human abysses tend to be close together. The great conductor Paul Sacher brings musicians from all over the world to the «Hotel St. Gotthard». At the same time a plot is hatched against the landlord – she is reported to the authorities as a presumably Russian spy.

Pure joie de vivre: Ljuba on stage at the book presentation with her husband since 2014 Marco Conte and presenter Silvia Affolter.

I am proud of my friend, a strong woman full of energy and joie de vivre, who always did it her way. An entrepreneur and a mother of twin brothers who knew how to combine work and private life during times when the term «work-life balance» was still a foreign word. A woman, we can all learn from. Thank you, Ljuba, for being my friend!

LoL, Sandra

So proud to be in her book! What an honour!

Fashion cannot be missing: An Emilio Pucci outfit on display that she once wore to a gala.

What an experience! I was Ljuba’s guest at the famous Vienna Opera Ball this year.

Many famous people came to celebrate Ljuba, here you see her with Alt Bundesrat Merz of the Swiss Federal Council.

With Raquel Marquard at the book premiere.

On display many memories from Ljuba’s past.

Sabine Hirsch-Avram also joined this wonderful occasion.

Proof that Ljuba counts many fashionable ladies among her friends: those Gucci, Dior and Marco de Vincenzo shoes had to be photographed.

Photos: Courtesy of Ljuba Manz, © Zuza Speckert, © David Biedert, © Sabine Hirsch-Avram and Sandra Bauknecht

Louis Vuitton Catwalk

LOUIS VUITTON CATWALKThe Complete Fashion Collections is the first comprehensive overview of Louis Vuitton’s collections, from their debut in 1998 to today, presented through original runway images.

Louis Vuitton S/S 2003 – Marc Jacobs (Bags in collaboration with Takashi Murakami)

Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton launched its first fashion collection in 1998. Unprecedented global fame ensued, as did pioneering high-profile collaborations with artists such as Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Stephen Sprouse. Louis Vuitton Catwalk records the hugely influential collections designed by artistic directors Marc Jacobs (1998–2013) and Nicolas Ghesquière, who helms the House today. Every ready-to-wear collection is represented from the arrival of Ghesquière onwards.

Louis Vuitton S/S 2012 – Marc Jacobs

Louis Vuitton Catwalk is completed with an introduction by Jo Ellison and designer profiles and collection texts by Louise Rytter.

Louis Vuitton S/S 2013 – Marc Jacobs

With over 1,350 images, this treasure trove of inspiration will be the musthave reference for all fashion professionals and Louis Vuitton fans.

Launch in store, worldwide, in July 2018.

LoL, Sandra

Louis Vuitton Resort 2017 in Rio de Janeiro – Nicolas Ghesquière

Louis Vuitton Resort 2018 in Japan – Nicolas Ghesquière

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Raf Simons & Christiane F.

Growing up in Germany, «Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo» (1978) was a must-read. This non-fiction book portrays the drug scene in West Berlin in the 1970s. It is about 13-year-old Christiane Felscherinow who lives in a multi-story, concrete social-housing building in a dull neighbourhood in the outskirts of West Berlin. She’s sick of living there and has a passion for rockstar David Bowie. After meeting the wrong people, Christiane starts taking LSD in addition to abusing pills, and later heroin.

After her 14th birthday, she even stops going home and spends more and more time at Bahnhof Zoo, a large train and subway station notorious for the drug trafficking that takes place in its underpasses and back alleys. Christiane also starts to prostitute herself. Eventually she recovered and is still alive today, but most of her cohorts either died or are still addicts.

In 1981, the film inspired by the book and directed by Uli Edel immediately acquired cult status (which it still retains today). It features David Bowie as both himself and the soundtrack composer, which gave the film a commercial boost.

Now, Raf Simons, previous designer at Dior and now Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein besides his own line, seeked inspiration from this sad story and will launch its collaboration with the story «Christiane F. – wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo». These exclusive pieces will be available at shop.rafsimons.com and in selected stores worldwide. With this project the designer will support organisations that help those in recovery from addiction.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Raf Simons

Prêt-à-Portea

This week, I was in London for Fashion Week and treated myself to the legendary Prêt-à-Portea designer afternoon tea experience at the Berkeley Hotel which is inspired by the world of fashion. I had already done it once 6 years ago (for the previous post click here please) and was curious to see the Collins Room after it had undergone renovations.

You might be wondering what is Prèt-à-Portea exactly? It is a menu of couture cakes especially designed for the respective season gets a makeover every six months to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. For F/W 2017-18, Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat has sent out a brand new collection of exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. It takes inspiration from an array of distinguished fashion and accessory designers, and the latest creations shown on the international fashion runways.

YOUR FASHIONISTA’S TEA INCLUDES
A delicate collection of cakes and fancies inspired by the world’s finest designers:

Gucci’s kimono, complete with a charming parasol, transformed into a pomegranate and grenadine bavarois, with cassis and apple compote topped with a crystallised edible flower and a chocolate parasol.

Balenciaga’s effortlessly luxe black-and-white flouncy dress reimagined as a moist chocolate cake, layered with white chocolate Grand Marnier mousse, crunchy ganache and a sexy orange leg.

Gianvito Rossi’s red-heeled boots, recreated as a fennel seed biscuit iced with burgundy red royal icing.

Bottega Veneta’s daring mustard-coloured suit, gracing the cakewalk as an iced speculoos chocolate biscuit.

Anya Hindmarch’s orange leather clutch as a dulce and ginger cake sandwiched within foxy orange chocolate.

Burberry’s sleek white feathered cape, recreated as a tonka bean cheesecake with cinnamon crumble base, covered with glossy white glaze and finished with a curvy white chocolate feather.

Miu Miu’s luxuriously warm coat transformed into a bûche of pistachio crémeux set on hazelnut sable and topped with waved meringue.

Christopher Kane’s ‘LBD’ taken to another level with stunning flowers and transformed into a chocolate moelleux cake with lacte café and Bailey’s cream, finished with sugar flowers.

Dolce & Gabbana’s stand-out dress, now an almond génoise complete with a mango & passion fruit insert and a cocktail caraibe mousse, topped with a rainbow of chocolate disks.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose from a large selection of loose leaf teas (I personally recommend the Ceylon & Rose tea) from the hotel’s extensive collection and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly like I did. Raise a toast in style!

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £52.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £62.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £70.00 per person.
A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your bill.

Bookings
Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866

THE PRET-A-PORTEA BOOK
There is also a great coffee table (I meant tea table book :-)) that I can recommend: «Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Bakes and Biscuits» was published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley’s iconic afternoon tea with 20 recipes and baking techniques from the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. To buy the book, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Runway Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
Photos Cover: Courtesy of the Berkeley Hotel

Louis Vuitton City Guides 2018

With an established catalogue of 29 cities, in both print and digital versions, the LOUIS VUITTON City Guide has established itself as the indispensable companion to the discerning traveller.

Since 1998, Louis Vuitton has instilled its nomadic nature into its City Guides and proposed a selection that is as specialized as it is individual. Completely updated, Paris is enriched this year with new addresses, following in the wake of London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin, Milan and Sydney.

Each city is thus revealed by independent journalists and guests from all horizons. This year, architect Dominique Perrault invites us to discover his Paris, artist Camille Walala accompanies us throughout London, curator Nancy Spector shares her New York, and Takeshi Kitano pursues a personalized exploration of Tokyo.

Publication date: October 19, 2017 – the digital versions of the Paris and New York City Guides will be available for free on the App Store as of October 19, 2017.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

My Look: Casual Friday

Just a casual Friday chilling and relaxing at the beautiful Villa Stéphanie in Baden-Baden.

My look: Printed cotton tunic and matching printed reversible triangle bikini, both by Emilio Pucciicon (also available at Eden Being), leopard printed Beatrice shopper by Dolce & Gabbanametallic fabric sandals by Guccifloral sunglasses by Chanel, and beaded necklace by Etro.

The perfect way to relax for me is to indulge in a book. My favorite author at the moment is Berlin based Sebastian Fitzek. His thrillers are so captivating, you won’t be able to put them down.

Here I am standing in the garden of the Villa Stéphanie next to the statue «Gold Candy» by Laurence Jekell that is available for purchase through the Eden Being boutique located on the ground floor of the Brenner’s Park Hotel for around € 40.000.

I am wishing all of you a happy and relaxing weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Olympia Le-Tan Goes Hitchcock

In fact, Olympia Le-Tan‘s F/W 2017 collection is a lot of Hitchcock things. All of it is delightfully twisted and retro, those functional versions of vintage styles inspired by Hitchcock leading ladies are absolutely too die for, especially the beautiful iconic book clutches.

The designer was inspired by the director’s work while watching Vertigo on a plane. Her F/W 2017 mood board has been pinned with images of Alfred Hitchcock’s heroines – “his beautiful, powerful, strict and cold yet touching women were my starting point for this collection,” she explains.

Below you can see some of my favorite accessories of this collection – Happy Sunday!
And stay tuned – tomorrow I will show you another amazing collection by Olympia Le-Tan for the House of Lancôme…

LoL, Sandra

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Psycho appliquéd cotton-faille clutch
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To Catch A Thief appliquéd cotton-faille clutch

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Meine Lieblingsmorde appliquéd cotton-faille clutch

Hitchcock’s Frenzy book clutch


Rebecca book clutch
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Photos: Courtesy of Olympia Le-Tan
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Gaston-Louis Vuitton – Cabinet of Wonders

Cabinet of Wonders
The Gaston-Louis Vuitton Collection

Edited by Patrick Mauriès With texts by John Banville, Stephen Bayley, Alberto Manguel, Delphine Saurat, Pierre Senges

Such a wonderful coffee table book – a perfect gift for somebody who likes traveling and vintage collector’s items. Over his lifetime, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, grandson of the founder of the House, collected trunks and every kind of article related to travel, invention, craftsmanship and bibliophilia. With more than one thousand objects and documents, this volume pays homage to an ‘unrepentant collector’, his wide interests and voracious curiosity.

In Louis Vuitton stores worldwide July 2017
In bookstores September 2017

Below you can enjoy some of the different sections of the new tome to get an idea of what the book is about. Enjoy and happy weekend! I am off to London…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Impressions from Rio de Janeiro

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As promised yesterday, here are the most amazing photos taken during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The experiences I had were unbelievable and a huge thank you goes to Omega Watches for this amazing trip.

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I witnessed history when Usain Bolt ending his Olympic career after his victory in the 4x100m relay which secured his ninth gold medal. That was the only moment it was raining, the rest of the time it was sunny and beautiful. I saw so many amazing winners, enjoyed the beach volleyball finals at night, went to a samba school, did sightseeing and had the best time ever. As pictures sometimes speak more than words, I would like to invite you to indulge in my diary below…

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After all these impressions, I am sure you would enjoy this great coffee table book: In The Spirit Of Rio by Bruno Astuto.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Omega Watches and © Sandra Bauknecht

The First Ever Designer Colouring Book

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The first ever designer colouring book, perfect for fashion and colouring fans alike. From inspiration to reality, Matthew has selected from his collection of iconic prints and shares the inspiration, research sketches, and behind-the-scenes creation. Follow the journey of his idea, and then colour and create your own version with exclusive versions of Matthew Williamson prints for you to colour yourself.b7014358-fc45-4a7e-a02a-26e41a4ceb9e

Prints include the Butterfly Wheel, Peacock Heart and Pineapple Paisley. Matthew is signing the first 100 copies of the book for customers of our online boutique.

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If you get a chance, check out also Matthew’s first range of gift cards, notebooks and journals using prints from the brand’s 20-year history. To shop, click here please.

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Such beautiful notebooks.

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I love the wrapping papers. Pictured here the Peacock Heart print.

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With Matthew Williamson in his London shop that has the most beautiful interior design.

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You can shop the brand’s wallpapers that transform every room into something magical.

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From wallpapers to dresses – discover the new fashion collections from Matthew Williamson by clicking HEREicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Matthew Williamson and © Sandra Bauknecht