Meet One of My Favorite Authors: Joël Dicker

During the launch party of PIAGET‘s new POLO S watches in New York City, I had the pleasure to meet one of my favorite authors, award-winning Joël Dicker, as we have been both ambassadors for the brand.

Born in Geneva on June 16, 1985 to a bookseller and a French teacher; he is of both French and Russian descent and has literature in his blood thanks to his parents. Dicker spent his childhood in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. At the age of 19, he decided to move to Paris to take acting classes. A year later, he returned to his hometown to study law at the University of Geneva, obtaining a degree in 2010.

His early beginnings as a writer were not the easiest. However, they show that passion and persistence can overcome all odds. With his first work, the short novel «The Tiger», he participated in a youth literary contest in 2005. In this competition he was disqualified because the main judge presented doubts about his authorship. However, this didn’t stop Dicker and today, he sees it as a milestone in his career.

In 2009, Dicker completed his first novel called «The Final Days of our Fathers», based on the UK Secret Intelligence Service. After not raising interest in any publisher, in 2010 he decided to enroll her in the Prix ​​des Ecrivains Genevois for unpublished works. The writer was the winner of this important award, to finally achieve its publication a year later with Éditions de Fallois.

His style to structure and write a book is different and therefore addictive. Throughout his work, fates and different worlds will cross, and some stories will be parallel all along to meet at the end, as the reader finally will discover the outcome.

Dicker has a very special way to come up with an intoxicating plot mixing shady past and shifting present while spicing it up with suspense and crime. The outcome? Thrilling, delightfully twisted, continually shocking, literary and intelligent novels that all kept me eagerly turning the pages.

My first Dicker book was «The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair» (2012), the story of an American novelist with writer’s block who begins to investigate a murder of which his former university professor is accused. You could say that this thriller took the world by storm. In summer 2013, the title displaced Dan Brown’s Inferno from the top of bestseller lists all over Europe. It has been translated into more than 40 languages ​​and has sold more than 4.000.000 copies worldwide. In addition, the he won the Prix Goncourt des lycéens, the Prix de la Vocation and the Prix du roman from the French Academy. It has also subsequently been made into a 10-part television mini-series with Patrick Dempsey in the leading role.

Dicker’s third novel, «The Baltimore Boys», was released in 2015, followed by his fourth novel, «The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer» in 2018, which is another one of my favorites by Dicker, a captivating thriller with a killer twist.

In bed with «The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer».

After releasing his fifth novel «The Enigma of Room 622» in 2020, his fans were waiting impatiently for his new book … It’s now done! «L’Affaire Alaska Sanders» has been hitting the shelves… and I cannot wait to read it!

YOU CAN SHOP HIS BOOKS ONLINE HERE IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES.

LoL, Sandra


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

My Look: The Newbury Boston

The Newbury Boston is one of my favorite hotels worldwide, a historic landmark in Boston, Massachusetts, originally opened in 1927 as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel at that time. The property anchors fashionable Newbury Street and the picturesque Boston Public Garden, located in the heart of the Back Bay. It is also home to Contessa, Boston’s most sought after dining experience and definitely the most trending hot spot. After a complete refurbishment under the creative vision of renowned designers Ken Fulk, Jeffrey Beers, and Alexandra Champalimaud and being renamed The Newbury Boston, it opened its doors again in May 2021.

Its slogan «a well-crafted life» fits its service and the beautifully decorated rooms perfectly. Here you see me in my corner suite with its stunning views, reading the iconic Bostonian children’s book «Make Way for Ducklings» by Robert McCloskey.

My look: Glitter jumpsuit, pearl necklace and flap bag with top handle in iridescent grained calfskin and gradient lacquered metal, all by CHANEL, April silk-satin hair clip in pinkicon by Jennifer Behr, and Fira velvet-trimmed suede and flocked tulle pumps in black by Jimmy Choo.

LoL, Sandra

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

An Unprecedented Novel About Louis Vuitton

This fall, Louis Vuitton and Editions Gallimard publish an unprecedented novel about Louis Vuitton, marking the bicentennial of his birth.


At just 14 years old, in clogs and without a penny to his name, he left the family mill to get away from his stepmother. Armed only with determination – and a surname that means «stubborn» in the local Jura dialect – he began an initiatory trek that would lead him to Paris two years later. There, he found work at Maréchal, Faubourg Saint-Honoré’s most prestigious trunkmaker and packer. From then on Lady Luck would keep smiling on him. In her lively and entertaining style, Caroline Bongrand traces the ascent of this intrepid young man in a Paris transformed by Baron Haussmann. A virtuoso craftsman and a visionary, Vuitton was the favourite packer and long-standing friend of Eugénie de Montijo, who kept him by her side as she became Empress of France. In 1854 Vuitton set up his eponymous business, never ceasing to innovate. Buoyed by the splendours of the Second Empire, he designed trunks to protect the most extravagant outfits and survive the farthest-flung travels, turning his own life into the stuff of fiction.

Novelist Caroline Bongrand has written numerous books, including Ce que nous sommes, published by Denoël in 2020, and an essay about issues facing women. She also wrote the screenplay of the 2021 film Eiffel.

The novel is published by Éditions Gallimard in the Hors-série Littérature collection, in French and English. A beautiful gift idea for a fellow fashionista.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Masterclass with Dr. Nigma Talib

Last night, I had the pleasure to enjoy a talk hosted by Net-à-Porter’s Global Beauty Director Newby Hands, arguably one of the most qualified experts in the game, and Dr. Nigma Talib ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor based in Los Angeles, who is qualified to treat an array of health conditions such as allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, chronic fatigue and menopause. Furthermore, she is the author of the best selling book «Reverse the Signs of Ageing» and «Younger Skin Starts in the Gut».

To shop Dr. Nigma Talib’s books, click here please.

With over 15 years of experience in naturopathic practice, she is responsible for the radiant glow of some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz. Based on the link between digestive health and premature ageing, her products target common skin concerns that are a result of our diet. Her passion for creating quality and science based supplements and skin care has reached consumers internationally and started in Net-à-Porter being one of the first pioneers to introduce vitamin supplements to the fashion industry.

For Nigma, it’s all about maintaining the right balance of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria that populate the gut. She explained that we have 100 trillions bacterias, good, bad and ugly ones. 70-80% of our immune system is in the gut. If it is unbalanced, we experience problems, such as bloating, constant chronic diseases, skin problems, fatigue and much more. Newby, who suffered from migraines before, told us that Nigma changed her life in only 36 hours.

Nigma’s daily tips:

Eat slowly, never in front of a TV (try to chew a piece of bread very slowly and it will taste sweet because you break down the carbohydrates)
– Be 80% healthy and 20% you can cheat
Take a probiotic (it is very important that the probiotic you take can survive the acidity of your stomach), collagen, Vitamin C, E, zink, and selenium (women in their 30s with thyroid problems mostly lack selenium).
Stop eating salads at all, even for lunch. They are too hard to digest and don’t have a lot of nutrients. Opt for steamed vegetables, they are very good for your hormones, especially cauliflower, broccoli clean out your «dirty hormones».
– Especially in the cold season, your body needs warming food. Nigma even warms up her blueberries in the morning.

When you age, your stomach produces less acidity which can cause problems. Maintaining a healthy acidalkaline balance means, that your blood levels should be alkaline, but your stomach acidy.

Your hormones are messengers. If they send the wrong message, you gain weight, you are moody or age prematurely. If your hormones go crazy in your late 30s or 40s, first make sure that your gut gets going. It will solve a lot of your problems.

Nigma explains: «Supplements are so helpful. I tested them on more than 1000 patients over so many years. They looked five years younger when they changed their diet and took them regularly.»

Nigma’s Vitamin C cocktail seems to be a true miracle product. Both, Newby and Nigma, were sipping this kind-of-looking-like-a-fancy-Bellini drink while talking. The sachet includes 1000mg of Vitamin C of which 90% will be absorbed by your body. This encourages collagen production and helps to get rid of dry skin. It will also boost your iron and energy levels (a little tip from Newby: take one sachet before going out and you will be in great form). Nigma’s Vitamin C supplement is not giving you diarrhea.

Something extremely interesting Nigma was explaining to us is that if you don’t drink enough water, you might be carving for sweets as the dehydration causes your sugar levels to sink. Too much sugar can cause skin sagging. It decreases the immune system because sugar sticks to collagen or the white blood cells.

Nigma divides the problems in different kind of faces:

The Dairy Face
– darkness under the eyes
– eye puffiness
– adult acne
Eliminate animal milk, and opt for nut milks with no sugar!

The Sugar Face
– sagging skin
– spots, pimples, redness
Too much sugar messes up the hormonal cycle.

The Gluten Face
– puffiness all over
– inflammation, redness
Like bread rises, your face gets puffy.

In terms of a healthy diet, Nigma recommends an ayurvedic lifestyle. Himalaya salt will help with your insulin levels. Look around your farmer’s market to find fresh and locally produced food. This in combination with the right supplements will improve your well-being in a short amount of time.

TO SHOP DR. NIGMA TABIL ND AT NET-A-PORTER, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

icon
LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dr. Nigma Stabil ND, © Net-à-Porter and © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

My Look: Bookworm

I would consider myself a fashionable bookworm. In my house, I have my own little library, filled with all sorts of books. Reading is so much more my thing than watching TV. During quarantine I indulged in so many captivating books – psychological thrillers are my favorite genre. You can find my reading list on my Amazon x Sandra’s Closet book shop. Stay tuned, as I will upload a new section very soon. Don’t forget, fashion can be as imaginative as your favorite stories.

My look: Peggy paisley-print ramie midi dress by Zimmermann, Sundance 140 metallic vegan leather platform sandalsicon by Aquazzura, embossed leather shoulder bagicon by Fendi, orange gold-tone and resin clip earringsicon by Dolce & Gabbana, Pétales de Camélia ring in yellow gold with diamonds by CHANEL Fine Jewellery, Panthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm 18-karat rose gold and diamond watchicon by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

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

Welcome to My Amazon Book Shop

I love to read and I have always preferred books to television. Great news is that I have teamed up with Amazon and opened a Sandra’s Closet book shop online, where you can discover now my first reading list.

My favorite genre? You might not believe it, but it is psychological thrillers. Why is that? Those captivating stories keep your adrenaline flowing and activate a part of your brain that is in general not stimulated. We release strong emotions like hate and fear that are normally repressed, thereby experiencing a catharsis. No other genre can make you feel so absorbed and involved, in my opinion. We all love to play detectives and as the story moves along, guessing on clues, the twists and turns can be so rewarding. During quarantine I read so many amazing psychological thrillers, that I would like to share with you today for the perfect summer entertainment. I added the titles if available in both languages, English and German.

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney / Tot bist Du perfekt by JP Delaney
Rotkäppchen’s Traum by Max Bentow (only in German)
Dear Child by Romy Hausmann / Liebeskind by Romy Hausmann
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides / Die stumme Patientin by Alex Michaelides
Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas / Still Alive by Claire Douglas
Die Lieferung by Andreas Winkelmann (only in German)
Play Dead by Harlan Coben / Honeymoon by Harlan Coben
Auris by Vincent Kliesch & Sebastian Fitzek (only in German)
The Whisper Man by Alex North / Der Kinderflüsterer by Alex North
Forget My Name by J.S. Monroe / Vergiss nie – Ich weiss, wer Du wirklich bist by J.S. Monroe
Der Insasse by Sebastian Fitzek (only in German, soon available in English)

CLICK HERE TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE SANDRA’S CLOSET x AMAZON BOOK SHOP.

Reading relaxes me significantly and helps me to sleep better.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography and © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Unexpected Pucci

The Florentine fashion house reveals a new publication «Unexpected Pucci», edited by Laudomia Pucci and published by Rizzoli New York. A book narrating the world of Emilio Pucci beyond fashion by presenting key projects explored in the field of interior design and art from the 1960s to present.

The introduction is signed by Suzy Menkes, editor of Vogue International, followed by the valuable contributions of independent journalist Angelo Flaccavento, architect and designer Piero Lissoni and artists Francesco Vezzoli and Joana Vasconcelos.

«Unexpected Pucci defines the designer’s wider world, encompassing colorful rugs, modernist porcelain, furniture and interior design – all in the spirit of the early years of Milan’s Salone del Mobile. Perhaps the easiest artistic flow was in the rugs, where blocks, swirls and linear shapes were contained inside a geometric square – just like in the famous “Emilio” head scarves, as worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Capri set. Bringing things together—history and modernity, linear and rounded, pattern and plain – were all part of the artistry of Emilio Pucci. His prints stamped their place on the body or in the home». – Suzy Menkes

The brand’s artistic journey – from Mediterranean colours and silk scarves to ground-breaking
partnerships with international leaders of art and design – is told through chapters covering rugs,
porcelains, art and collaborations.

An archive treasure rediscovered. The Pucci rugs, first launched at the Museum of Decorative Arts,
Buenos Aires in 1970 have been reissued in the brand’s historic prints (Ovali, Occhi, Giardino,
Lamborghini, Menelik and Hawaii) available through a bespoke service at the Emilio Pucci Heritage Hub.

A dedicated chapter to chinaware, includes masterpieces made in collaboration with Rosenthal, where iconic prints (including the «unexpected» Pebble motif) adorn coffee and tea sets, vases and plates.

The final chapter of the book chronicles the brand’s collaborations and partnerships with leading brands of homeware and interior design. With Bisazza, Emilio Pucci turned prints into handmade decorative panels for interiors and swimming pools. Whereas unique seating solutions have been produced with Cappellini, including the Rive Droite armchair designed by Patrick Norguet, and the poolside collection by Piero Lissoni. With Kartell, the Florentine brand in 2014 launched the iconic Madame chair, designed by Philippe Starck. In 2016, the patterns from the Pucci’s project «Cities of The World» embellished the cups designed by Matteo Thun in 1991 for Illy.

To celebrate the launch of the book, an installation will be set up in Palazzo Pucci – also known as the Emilio Pucci Heritage Hub (via de’ Pucci 6, Florence), – where key elements from the book will be exhibited in a labyrinth inspired by the graphic and unexpected Torre print. Key highlights will include, chinaware, rugs and never-before exhibited artworks inspired by the founder Emilio Pucci.

«With this book, we want to narrate the versatility and the universe of our brand. These objects have overtime embellished key moments of our fashion house and I’m excited to share the creative richness of these deluxe collaborations, especially with the younger generation. » – Laudomia Pucci

Unexpected Pucci will be available September 2019 in all Emilio Pucci boutiques and online store as well as in the Rizzoli networks. Price 90 $| 90$ Euro.

I will be soon in Florence and cannot wait to discover this beautiful universe of one of my favorite brands. To read an interview that I did with Laudomia Pucci many years ago, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Emilio Pucci

New Louis Vuitton Travel Books: L.A. & Seoul

The LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK series is an invitation to real and virtual voyages, enriched by intellectual stimulation and poignant moments. In its pages, the illustrations of renowned artists and promising young talents tell the stories of the cities and countries they have visited.
The creative worlds on show are highly diverse: during their travels, these artists from various corners of the world were free to choose their mode of expression and communicated their views of other places through drawing, painting, collage, illustration, cartoons or manga.

This spring, I am very happy that two of my favorite cities will finally be featured:
LOS ANGELES and SEOUL.

LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK LOS ANGELES by JAVIER MARISCAL

Javier Mariscal, a graphic designer, illustrator, designer, filmmaker, painter, sculptor
and ceramist, is an artist who loves to challenge and who is fond of California. His love affair with Los Angeles began when he and his friend, film director Fernando Trueba, was nominated for the 2012 Oscars for «Chico and Rita», an animated feature film which won numerous international awards.

This is his fifth trip to Los Angeles. Unaffected and curious about everything, he makes friends, immediately getting their portraits down. He sketches figures and faithfully reproduces shapes and attitudes in seconds. Objects and landscapes get the same treatment, either with a sketch on his notebook, or a painting on the iPad.

Los Angeles reminds him of Valencia. The glaring white light that floods the clear blue sky is just the same as the sky above his native city. But what most excites him in L.A. are the neon lights, slogans, shop signs, billboards and logos that swamp the city. What Mariscal takes away from this is a wealth of astonishing typography. His visual universe is brought to life in the streets of Los Angeles — right before his eyes.

LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK SEOUL by ICINORI

Icinori is a studio of designers, visual artists, screen printers and publishers dealing in art books, prints, animated books and concertina books. But first and foremost, Icinori is a truly astonishing pair, one soul with two heads, four hands and twenty fingers, belonging to the French-Spanish-Japanese Mayumi Otero and French Raphaël Urwiller, two graduates from the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, which is where they met. They founded Icinori in 2007 when they were still students.

During their many trips to Seoul — they notched up no less than four long stays between 2014 and 2017 — the Icinori pair had the chance to observe the impressive alertness and brisk energy of its people, simple and determined, disciplined and hard-working, epicurean and creative. The two have cleverly succeeded in capturing the beating heart of the capital, immersing themselves in its customs and performing arts, its layers of history and chinks in everyday life. Icinori draws the many details that make up the life of the city: residents’ rhythms, the movement of the street, traders, shopping as religion in Myeong-dong, cosmetic surgery salons, street food — such as the enticing odeng, mandu, «tornado potatogimbap and hotteok cakes. Here we have people dancing to K-pop. In the early morning metro, the air is already heavy with the sour scent of kimchi.

«Seoul is an organic city, with astonishing creative energy and visually very elegant, as seen in the powerful design, the signage, the sophisticated signs and typologies of the shapes — circles, triangles and other geometric figures. Good taste is everywhere, sometimes a bit crazy, but universal. It’s a mix of the baroque and the modern. A miracle of the ephemeral and the elegant.»

In book stores from May 2, 2019 for €45.00 each.
160 pages / hardcover
ISBN: 978-2-36983-179-2 (Los Angeles)
ISBN: 978-2-36983-180-8 (Seoul)

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

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