Visiting Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Already in April this year, I had the the pleasure to visit one of the most beautiful exhibitions ever, a must for every fashion lover: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This retrospective celebrates the founding couturier’s avant-garde spirit and the international destiny of his House, shepherded, after his passing in 1957, by the talent of the Creative Directors who succeeded him.

You still have one week left to indulge in the universe of the French Maison as the exhibition has been extended to September 1st after it sold out within 19 days of its opening.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN DIOR

Christian Dior was born into a wealthy Normandie family in the French seaside town of Granville on January 21, 1905. As a child he shared his mother’s love of gardens. is early passions included architecture and designing fancy dress costumes for his friends. Sent by his parents to study political science in Paris, Dior gravitated towards a bohemian group of friends, including composer Henri Sauguet and artist Christian Bérard.

In 1928, he opened and art gallery, but the business foundered when the Dior family fortune collapsed following the 1929 financial crisis. Forced to find a new way to make a living, Dior took up fashion drawing, eventually working with top couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.

In 1946, Dior founded his own couture house with the backing of textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac. On 12 February 1947, the House of Dior launched its first collection. Dubbed the «New Look» by the press, the collection had an instant and unparalleled influence on fashion around the world. The House of Dior grew rapidly. By 1955 it accounted for over 50% of overseas exports of French haute couture.

In the prime of his career, Christian Dior died suddenly on 24 October 1957. His legacy has continued under the creative directors who have succeeded him at the head of the House of Dior: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

THE EXHIBITION

Based on the highly successful Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve (on view from 5 July 2017 to 7 January 2018), the show charts seven decades of the continuing importance, influence and creativity of the House of Dior in the fashion world, with an additional section showcasing the story of Dior in Britain.

The famous «Bar Suit» and hat, Haute Couture S/S 1947

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition presents over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. Unfolding across eleven themes, this unique event invites visitors to immerse themselves inside Christian Dior’s world, tracing the highlights of his life, from his childhood to the creation of his couture house at the end of 1946. A voyage through time that continues with the starring role played by such timeless icons as the eternal «Bar Suit», and legendary looks designed by the visionary tastemaker the couturier was.

Celebrating the Dior art of color, accessories, hats, bags, illustrations, miniature dresses, lipsticks and emblematic fragrances together form a spectrum of colors dear to Christian Dior and, in turn, enrich this exciting encounter with the House. The culmination of this immersive exploration, an exhibit called «Le Salon» showcases the splendor of society soirées, illustrated by spectacular dresses that testify to the virtuosity and savoir-faire of excellence of the Dior haute couture ateliers.

THE NEW LOOK

Christian Dior unveiled his first haute couture collection on 12 February 1947, amid excited anticipation within fashion circles. Offering a radical alternative to the boxy, masculine style of women’s fashion after the Second World War, Dior’s designs caused a sensation. Carmel Snow, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, declared: « It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian, your dresses have such a new look!» The Dior Line showcases ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957, Christian Dior’s own tenure at the House.

DIOR IN BRITAIN

Exactly to this day, 72 years before, on 26 August 1947, a small group of people stood together in London’s Claridge’s Hotel, hovering around a smartly dressed middle-aged man holding a trilby hat. The celebrated couturier Christian Dior, who just six months earlier had revolutionized fashion with its first «New Look» collection, was in the process of being ambushed by the press. One journalist grilled him as to how he was able to persuade a world short of fabric to embrace his audacious new fashions, to which Dior replied: «I am giving the women the dresses they want. They’re fed up with war restrictions… My full skirts are a release

«I adore the English, dressed not only in tweeds which suit them so well, but also in those flowing dresses, in subtle colours, which they have worn inimitably since the days of GainsboroughChristian Dior, 1957.

Christian Dior designed this couture dress in 1951 specially for the 2st birthday of Princess Margaret.

In his autobiography, Dior affirmed his love for all things English. He was particularly enamoured with the English aristocracy and he admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary, and Savile Row suits.

HISTORICISM

Christian Dior often cited historic periods in his designs – the sinus lines of Belle Époque dresses from the late 1800s and early 1900s: the tightly waisted mid-nineteenth-century styles worn by the French Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III’s wife. The sumptuous silks and dramatic silhouettes of the eighteenth century held a particular fascination. Dior’s premises at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris had a neo-classical façade, medaillon-backed chairs, and white and grey panelling like that of Petit Trianon at Versailles, a colour Dior is said to have revived.

«I thank heaven I lived in Paris in the last years of the Belle EpoqueChristian Dior, 1957

In front of one of my favorite Dior dresses, Look 24 from the F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection by John Galliano.

TRAVEL

Travels explore how travel and different countries and cultures have consistently inspired the various designers at the House of Dior. This section focuses on five of the countries that provided a source of reference for Christian Dior and his successors at the House of Dior: Mexico, India, Egypt, Japan and China.

THE GARDEN

Flowers are emblematic of the Maison and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints, but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show.
From horticulture to global travel and historicism, the show reveals the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic.

Look 47 from the F/W 2012 Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons for Dior. It was worn by actress Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior perfume.

DESIGNERS FOR DIOR

Designers for Dior spotlights the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since Christian Dior’s death in 1957.

Since 1957 the House of Dior has been led by:
Yves Saint Laurent 1958-60
Marc Bohan 1960-89
Gianfranco Ferré 1989-96
John Galliano 1996-2011 
Raf Simons 
2012-15
Maria Grazia Chiuri 2016 to present
Each creative director has brought a new perspective.

THE ATELIERS

The Ateliers showcases toiles from the Dior Ateliers in a stunning «cabinet of curiosity» style.

«Everything created by human hands expresses something – above all the personality of the creator. The same thing is true with a dress. But since so many people are working on it, the real job is to get all the hands that cut, sew, try on and embroider to express all I have feltChristian Dior, 1954

DIORAMA

Diorama examines the breadth of the House of Dior, from accessories including costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags, to illustrations, miniature dresses and archive lipstick and perfume, bottles, collected in a kaleidoscopic display. This section spotlights the key creative partners of the House from the past 70 years, including Roger Vivier Stephen Jones, René Gruau, Serge Lutens and Swarovski, Christian Dior’s first choice for crystals to embellish his creations.

How cool! My own outfit was part of the exhibition.

THE BALLROOM

Drawing on his love of costume, it was in his evening dresses and ball gowns that Dior could indulge his imagination and showcase the diverse skills of the haute couture ateliers. Until today, a Dior gown, synonymous with allure and opulence, demonstrates the formidable talents and techniques of Parisian haute couture. It is no wonder that such striking creations have graced numerous red carpets as the choice of film stars and prominent personalities over the past seven decades.

I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my tour through this beautiful exhibition.

LoL, Sandra

Photos taken of the exhibition: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Art Basel

Last week, Art Basel took place, that brings the international artworld together, with leading galleries  from all over showing the works of over 4,000 modern and contemporary artists. Creating an exciting, region-wide art week, Art Basel is one of three shows – others are taking place in Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. I went there for the First Choice Preview on Tuesday, that you can only visit by invitation only, wearing one of my favorite outfits of the season.

My look: Lace-trimmed printed silk-twill bustier topicon, printed stretch-jersey leggingsicon, and gold-tone and printed silk-twill earrings, all by Versaceblack oversized tuxedo jacket by Stella McCartney, classic Paris D’Orsay pumps with bow and metallic-trimmed leather clutch, both by Saint Laurent, Mitza ring by Dior Fine Jewellery, and Tonda 1950 Galaxy by Parmigiani Fleurier.

Inside the fair, there is also the Collectors Lounge, where the event’s main sponsors have their dedicated areas and which you can only visit by invitation. As guest of UBS, I enjoyed my time at the UBS Lounge that was decorated by Costa Rican artist Federico Herrero. Later, I went for a glass of champagne at the Ruinart Lounge that showed the artworks of Brazilian artist Vik Muniz. Luxury beauty brand La Prairie partnered with three up-and-coming Swiss female artists to interpret the beauty, the mystery and the enduring timelessness of the gaze, resulting in the creation of three photographic installations.

I got asked what my favorite artwork is and I replied: «I love fashion – for me that is wearing art on my body». But of course, there were many amazing pieces to be discovered. Enjoy!

A big thank you to my hosts Gabriel Cohen, UBS Wealth Management, and Natascha Lander, UBS Chief Investment Office, Wealth Management.

I hope you like my look and the little excursion into the art world…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

LVMH Watch Maisons Exhibition in Dubai

This is industry news that I don’t want you to miss. Stéphane Bianchi, President of the LVMH Watch Division, and Jean-Christophe Babin, President of the Bvlgari Group, are announcing the first LVMH Swiss Watch Manufactures Exhibition.

The event will take place at the Dubai Bvlgari Hotel in January 2020 and will include Bvlgari,
TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith. The four watch brands will introduce to the international medias and retail partners their watchmaking news 2020.

Dubai Bvlgari Hotel

«In between Geneva in January and Basel in March, we have had in the recent years two major product presentations in the first quarter. This early discovery of our strategies, news and novelties has allowed our media and retail partners to better plan the year ahead and as such we have decided on this set up for 2020 to balance the scheduling of the other events», declared Jean-Christophe Babin.

Watch news this month: TAG Heuer’s second of five limited-edition Monaco timepieces that mark the icon’s 50th anniversary. 

As previously announced, Bvlgari, TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith are also confirming in parallel their presence at Baselworld 2020, late April/early May.

«We remain very supportive and loyal to Baselworld and the Swiss watchmaking industry. However, it was not possible for us to go 13 months without a global presentation of our products and brands. This additional event further confirms the LVMH commitment to the strategic and profitable watch category», said Stéphane Bianchi.

Hublot – proud official timekeeper of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

Personally speaking, I find this idea very interesting. Let’s be frank, watch fairs are extremely expensive and not very flexible. In my post about SIHH 2019 from January, I told you already about several changes that are going to happen next year with many brands leaving Baselworld or the SIHH. Solutions were found though, with the Geneva- and the Basel-based shows uniting forces and coordinating their dates from 2020.

Zenith’s new Pilot Type 20 Adventure

Still, the situation isn’t ideal for everyone. I am curious to see LVMH’s own, private «Pre-Baselworld event» in Dubai, in January 2020. The location is an interesting choice as well… stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

An example of Bvlgari’s new watch creations for 2019

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

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

Met Gala 2019

Last night, my all-time favorite red carpet event took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: the Met Gala 2019. Personally speaking, this year’s exhibition theme: «Camp: Notes on Fashion», based on an essay from 1964 by the late Susan Sonntag, delivered a bout of wild, over-the-top fashion moments. It was like a playground to dress up for all fashion aficionados.

Even the hostess went gaga: Anna Wintour in an embroidered Chanel gown with feathery cape.

If you seem confused… in this case, camp is not to be mistaken as in sleeping bags and tents, but camp as in exaggerated fashion. Sonntag’s essay, that provides the framework for the exhibition, defines camp as «love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration» and examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion. The exhibition will be open to the public from May 9 – September 8, 2019.

This was her theme! Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell changed her outfit four times!

Co-hosted by two fashion-loving celebrities: Lady Gaga and Harry Styles and sponsored by Gucci. What do you want more?

The exhibition itself is featuring both men’s and womenswear, over 200 pieces of fashion, along with sculptures, paintings, and drawings from the 17th century through today. The works of versatile designers from Alexander McQueen to John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo to Mugler, Mary Katrantzou to Jeremy Scott, and more are featured. What I have seen so far, among the exhibited items are many pieces that also hang in my closet. I couldn’t be more proud of my collection…

Before the Hollywood royalty and fashionistas presented themselves on the red carpet in front of the Metropolitan Museum, they met in the nearby «The Mark». The hotel is the venue for Anna Wintour‘s «pre-party» of the glamorous event every year. Definitely the place to stay!

Below are my favorite looks of the night… enjoy!

LoL, Sandra

My favorite outfit! My favorite reveal! Thierry Mugler himself is back, now called Manfred, and envisioned Kim Kardashian as a California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping. This latex dress took 8 months to make and is for me a true innovation on the runway!

Reminiscent of the Gucci runway: Jared Leto with his beheaded doppelganger

OMG! To die for! Cardi B in Thom Browne

Looking sensational: Saoirse Ronan in Gucci

She looked like a young Linda Evangelista in the ’90s: Bella Hadid in Moschino.

Harry Styles in Gucci

In keeping with the evening’s theme of camp, Ezra Miller turned up with the most outstanding optical illusion. His attire? Custom Burberry by Riccardo Tisci.

All about hats: Janelle Monáe in Christian Siriano.

I love pink, I love Barbie and I love this: Multi Grammy Award-winner Kacey Musgraves channeled a true fashion icon, Barbie, in Moschino.

Colorful: Lupita Nyong’o in custom Versace and Bulgari jewelry.

Stunning Gemma Chan in and with Tom Ford. Best accessory: having the designer at your side.

Katy Perry in a chandelier dress by Moschino.

Céline Dion in Oscar de la Renta


What an entrance! Billy Porter wore a custom-made sun god outfit by New York City-based designer duo The Blonds.

Blue hair, don’t care: Lucy Boynton in Prada.

I loved this. What a Cinderella moment for Zendaya. Sporting a glowing, Disney-esque gown designed by Tommy Hilfiger, and accompanied by her stylist Law Roach who transformed with the wave of a wand Zendaya’s dress into a glowing ensemble. She even left a glass slipper.

Lily Collins opted for an ivory ruffled gown which featured a flowing train by Salvatore Ferragamo. Very ’60s – very sweetheart.

Fresh off the Couture Week runways, Hailee Steinfeld sparked in Viktor & Rolf slogan couture gown. It was a perfect match as Anna Wintour had forbidden cameras, iPhones inside the event…

This was by far my favorite Met Gala of all and I cannot wait to see the exhibition!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Vogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Getty Images

SIHH 2019

Personally speaking, SIHH in Geneva, the famous Swiss watch trade fair, is one of the most enjoyable events of my yearly must-dos. Nevertheless, a lot has changed during the past years. In 2020, the so-called Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie will take place in May right after Baselworld. It makes sense especially for all the visitors from abroad to come only once to Switzerland.

This year, Van Cleef & Arpels decided not to be exhibiting due to the little business the brand has with retailers and distributors. Two other luxury watch brands, Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet, are leaving next year for similar reasons. It seems that most of the prestigious watch companies are dealing more and more directly with their consumers.

Happy Sandra after seeing Audemars Piguet’s amazing high jewellery watch Sapphire Orbe (a detailed post to follow).

In the meantime others joined the exhibition for the first time, for example Bovet, known for their handmade watches with artistic finishes and highly complicated movements. In addition, Breitling and Bucherer recently became members of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), which manages SIHH. This might be the first step in replacing Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet for 2020.

Still trending: Colourful straps as seen at Piaget, Cartier and Audemars Piguet.

But most importantly what will we wear in 2019? Cuff watches, tourbillons, dial sets with miniature paintings, skeleton movements, shaped cases and still lots of celestial influences… Below are some of my favorite ladies’ watches revealed during the 29th Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie.

AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked
A watch that is brilliant in every way.
White “frosted gold”, 37mm, manual winding manufacture skeleton movement with a rainbow magic of its 32 baguette-cut sapphires (2.24 carats). MY FAVORITE!

RICHARD MILLE RM 37-01 Kiwi
Fancy a little watchmaking sweetness to help you through the winter?
Colored Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT, 34.400 x 52.30mm, self-winding mechanical movement, limited edition (30 pieces)

ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Shooting Star
The coolest booth for the fastest girls in the world.
Pink gold set with diamonds, 36mm, flying tourbillon, skeleton manual winding movement.

PIAGET Possession Cuff Watch
A booth filled with sand for a little time out at the beach – a perfect backdrop to show the expert application of gold-working, a skill for which the brand is historically famed.
Pink gold set with 162 diamonds, 29mm, gold Milanese mesh strap.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE Rendez-Vous Moon Jewellery
One the sky is the limited. Nature played an important role at Jaeger Le-Coultre.
White gold case with mother-of-pearl dial and polished rhodium-plated appliqués, diamonds ~168 (~3.43 carats), calibre : 925B/1.

CARTIER Baignoire Allongé
Women are in for a treat at Cartier. Part of the Maison since 1912, the Baignoire features an ellipsis-shaped dial and  earned its unusual name in the late 1950s thanks to its strong resemblance to a bathtub.
Extra-large model, pink gold, dial set with brilliant-cut diamonds (293 diamonds,~1.50 carats), dark alligator leather strap, manual movement 1917 MC.

During the next days, I will show you much more as the most distinguished models deserve their own post, don’t you think? Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Some Stills: Courtesy of the Brands

Galerie Gmurzynska On Fire

«An important part of my life designing installations, spaces and experiences is actually spent putting out fires! I thought it was time to celebrate that fire…and help put the Art World on fire too! So I chose to show only burnt art and art relating to fire from the fantastic Gmurzynska collection, and create for these an environment that is pop and thematic, inspired by the beautiful look of fire stations, as a boy dreaming of them, pop and joyful, yet modern, minimal and fairly neutral, to enhance the viewing of such important art. It is made of traditional industrial materials, lacquered diamond steel plates and fire extinguishers, but reinterpreted to serve their new purpose in a luxurious manner.» Alexandre de Betak

Having presented a Karl Lagerfeld designed booth in 2011 at FIAC, Galerie Gmurzynska – the leading international art gallery specializing in masterpieces of both classic modern and post-war art – is returning to the fair with a visionary installation by French designer, scenographer and creative director Alexandre de Betak, who is mostly known for his involvement in the production of Victoria’s Secret shows, which he has producing and choreographing for many years.

Sketch by Karl Lagerfeld, FIAC 2011, Galerie Gmurzynska’s booth design

2003 marked de Betak’s debut in design, when he created an acrylic glass bookshelf and a leather bench with French design house Domeau & Perez. Moreover, he is known for various collaborations with important museums, among others the MOCA in Los Angeles and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Preparatory rendering by Alexandre de Betak, FIAC 2018

Since its discovery, fire has been the propelling force of innovation, civilization and ultimately cultural advancement. Artists throughout the history of art have been drawn to its ethereal power to destroy, create, cleanse and illuminate.

Roberto Matta, Les Fumoïsses, 1973

The survey exhibition «On Fire» will include a diverse list of artists using or depicting fire in all forms throughout the 20th Century, from Joan Miró to Otto Piene, Yves Klein, Alberto Burri, Roberto Matta up to Tom Wesselmann and others. A booklet with an introduction by Germano Celant will be accompanying the exhibition.

Mathias Rastorfer at the booth with Alexandre de Betak

Isabelle Bscher at the opening party with Francesco Vezzoli

On Wednesday evening, the opening party of the gallery took place next to the Seine with a huge fire installation by Alexandre de Betak. The gallery owners Isabelle Bscher, Krystyna Gmurzynska and Mathias Rastorfer and star designer Alexandre de Betak welcomed actor Vincent Cassel, not only since his role as Vincent van Gogh in «Loving Vincent», an art fanatic, Parisian model and author Caroline de Maigret, star photographer Ellen von Unwerth, hotel guru André Balazs and actor and artist André Saraiva, the u.a. also designed for Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tiffany and Converse, the Italian concept artist and filmmaker («Multimedia Popartist»), Francesco Vezzoli and Michel Gaubert, the best sound designer in the fashion world with clients such as Gucci, Fendi, Jil Sander, Roberto Cavalli, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, and Chanel.

Galerie Gmurzynska @ FIAC: OCTOBER 18 – 21, 2018 Booth 0.C24
When the world of fashion meets the world of art, there is fire…

LoL, Sandra

André Balazs and André Saraiva

Ellen von Unwerth

Vincent Cassel

Photos: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzysnka

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

“There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking.”
Christian Dior

 In February 2019, the V&A will open the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior – the museum’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. Spanning 1947 to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him, to explore the enduring influence of the fashion house. 

Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

Based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the exhibition will be reimagined for the V&A. A brand-new section will, for the first time, explore the designer’s fascination with British culture. Dior admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary. He also had a preference for Savile Row suits. In 1947, he hosted his first UK fashion show at London’s Savoy Hotel, and in 1952 established Christian Dior London.

Princess Margaret (left), with the Duchess of Marlborough behind, presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross
© Popperphoto, Getty Images

This exhibition will investigate Dior’s creative collaborations with influential British manufacturers, and his most notable British clients, from author Nancy Mitford to ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, generously on loan from the Museum of London. It will also bring to life Dior’s spectacular fashion shows staged in the UK’s most luxurious stately homes, including Blenheim Palace in 1954. 

Left: Sketch by Christian Dior for model Londres, F/W 1950 Haute Couture collection.
Right: Sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, S/S 1947 Haute Couture collection.
© Christian Dior.

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition will also showcase highlights from the V&A’s world-class Couture collections, including the iconic Bar Suit, gifted to the museum by the House of Dior in 1960. The exhibition will present over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. 

Diorling perfume, 1963. Photo © Laziz Hamani

The exhibition will highlight Dior’s vision of femininity, encompassing garments, accessories and fragrances. Flowers are emblematic of the Couture House and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show. 

Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958.
© Popperfoto, Getty Images

From horticulture to global travel and 18th century decorative arts, the show will reveal the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic. From the daring designs of Yves Saint Laurent to the rational style of Marc Bohan, the flamboyance of Gianfranco Ferré, the exuberance of John Galliano, the minimalism of Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist vision of fashion, the exhibition will show how each successive artistic director has stayed true to Dior’s vision of Haute Couture, while bringing their own creative sensibilities to the House. 

Soirée de décembre evening dress, F/W 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Dame Margot Fonteyn.
Photo © Laziz Hamani

Tim Reeve, Deputy Director and COO of the V&A, said: “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams celebrates one of the most ingenious and iconic designers in fashion history. Reimagining this hugely popular exhibition from Paris – as the largest fashion exhibition the V&A has undertaken since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – will shed new light on Dior’s fascination with Britain. The V&A holds one of the largest and most important fashion collections in the world, and we are delighted to be able to reveal highlights from our outstanding collection alongside those from the remarkable archive of the House of Dior, for this spectacular exhibition.” 

Oriole Cullen, Fashion and Textiles Curator at the V&A, said: “In 1947, Christian Dior changed the face of fashion with his ‘New Look’, which redefined the female silhouette and reinvigorated the post-War Parisian fashion industry. The V&A recognised Dior’s important contribution to design history early-on in his career, acquiring his sketches and garments from the 1950s onwards. The influence of Christian Dior’s design was all-pervasive and helped to define an era. In their own individual ways, each of the House’s successive artistic directors have referenced and reinterpreted Dior’s own designs and continued the legacy of the founder, ensuring that the House of Christian Dior is at the forefront of fashion today. More than seventy years after its founding, the V&A’s exhibition will celebrate the enduring influence of the House of Dior and uncover Dior’s relationship with Britain.” 

Écarlate afternoon dress, F/W 1955 Haute Couture collection, Y line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Photo © Laziz Hamani

The exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from 2 February – 14 July 2019. Tickets will go on sale in Fall 2018 and will be available soon here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior

My Look: Art in the Park XVI

Last Sunday, I attended the private viewing of the 16th edition of ART IN THE PARK in Zurich, followed by an extremely delicious lunch created by Michelin Star chef Laurent Eperon. It is truly impressive what GIGI KRACHT has achieved over the past years, bringing the most prestigious artists to the garden of the iconic Baur au Lac hotel. Every time, I am there, I am amazed by the beauty of this oasis in the middle of the city. For the 2018 edition, Gigi invited one of New York’s ultimate ingenious artists, DONALD BAECHLER, a prominent figure in the Neo-Expressionist and Pop Art movements during the 1980s. He had especially flown in for the occasion to share with us a unique glimpse into the stages of his practice.

My look: Holzer lace-paneled fil coupé silk-voile maxi dress by Temperley London, leather T-strap sandals with pearls by Gucci, Monogram fringed shoulder bag by Saint Laurent, sunglasses from the Cruise 2018 «The Modernity of Antiquity» collection and bangles, both by Chanel, gold-plated multi-strand necklace by Etro, long necklace in white and gold by Roberto Cavalli, and Mitza ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

With the lovely hostess, Gigi Kracht, who made this exhibition happen all by herself!
Bravo, Gigi!

Eight sculptures of Donald Baechler will be on display in the Park until August 3, 2018.

Even the lunch was inspired by the work of the American artist and we could spot the different sculptures on our plates or the table decorations. Loved it!

During lunch we were able to ask Donald Baechler questions.

«I started as a painter. One of the sculptures in the exhibition was made in 2002, based on a drawing from 1986. The first sculptures were exercises how to make things as I had not been a sculptor before. I was interested in learning, to teach myself about structure, how to hold up something without it collapsing
Donald Baechler

Donald Baechler with me in the garden of the Baur au Lac.

«I’m interested in discreet and very mute objects, and I’ve never really been interested in narrative or psychology or these things which many people read into my paintings and probably into the sculptures,» Baechler remarked recently about his work.

Colour me impressed – don’t miss the exhibition!

LoL, Sandra

All Photos: © André Hengst – www.on-eyes-photography.ch – THANK YOU!
Photos of the food: © Sandra Bauknecht, me in front of the skull sculpture: Adam Sheffer

Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Last night, fashion’s most anticipated yearly event (yes, hotter than the Oscar’s), the MET GALA, offered a breathtaking red carpet that I will tell you all about today. It always takes place on the first Monday in May. But if you’re not an industry expert, you might be wondering why on earth there should be so much hype about it. First of all, Anna Wintour is hosting the night along some well-known co-hosts, which are all much-worshiped by the paparazzi: Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. But there is more… many stars, models and fashion designers attend the night in showstopping outfits worthy of unforgettable photos.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, right, designer Donatella Versace, left, and Vogue US Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour  in Rome last February.

It is a huge night for fashion fundraising as it is dedicated to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute – formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum’s gala since 1995. It also celebrates the opening of the newest exhibition of which its theme sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly. Personally speaking, I find this year’s motto extremely interesting, instead of being dedicated to the work of one designer, it is inspired by the dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art: «Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination».

In Anna’s recent «Letter of the Editor» in the May 2018 edition of US Vogue, she writes: «The exhibition itself has been years in the making, and it will be not only the largest Costume Institue show to date but the biggest show ever at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to not sound hyperbolic about it, but it is going to be an absolutely magnificent experience – spanning some 26 galleries and including work from the likes of Valentino, Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana along with more than 40 extraordinarily opulent liturgical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican.

For curator Andrew Bolton, it required endless hours of patience dealing with the Vatican, given the labyrinthine way that it operates.»

Central to the conversation will be the papal garb on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, even in the 1983 Met blockbuster, «The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art».

An enduring influence of religion on fashion: for F/W 2010, church elements played a huge role on the catwalks. Have a look at this previous post: The Nun’s Story.

The display of these extraordinary ecclesiastical pieces will highlight the enduring influence of religion and liturgical vestments on fashion. Among the 150 or so ensembles that will be on display are pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, and John Galliano, whose transgressive F/W 2000 Couture collection for Christian Dior opened with a mitred, incense-swinging pope-like figure who proceeded down the runway to a voice intoning: «Understand the concept of love.»

First look of Christian Dior Couture F/W 2000

Fashion is a way to express yourself and by placing clothes within the context of religion, you realize how much power the looks of Christianity have and that fashion has supported the way we feel the Catholic imagination.

Part of the exhibition
Left: Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, Byzantine, 500–550, with modern restoration, marble, and glass; right: Ensemble, Dolce & Gabbana, F/W 2013

Me in a Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013 look: A Byzantine Moment

«Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination» is on view May 10–October 8, 2018. A catalog with photographs by Katerina Jebb will accompany the exhibition.

Below you can enjoy some of my favorite looks of last night.

My personal winner: Blake Lively in Atelier Versace
She needed to arrive in a party bus to have enough space for her amazing gown!

Love this look as well: Jennifer Lopez in Balmain, Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch.

Rare moment: The host of the night, Anna Wintour, caught smiling in Chanel.

Angel of the night: Katy Perry in Versace.

Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier

Co-host perfection: Rihanna in custom Maison Margiela by John Galliano, Christian Louboutin shoes, Maria Tash jewelry, Cartier jewelry, and a custom Judith Leiber Couture clutch.


Always an eye-catcher: Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Fisher.

Heavenly: Anne Hathaway in a stunning red Valentino gown.

Icon: Lily Collins in Givenchy


Cara Delevingne in Dior Haute Couture

Simple and elegant, matching the theme:
Andreea Diaconu in Michael Kors Collection and Chopard jewelry

Beautiful print: Ariana Grande in Vera Wang.

Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto, both in Gucci

Curvy and beautiful: Kate Upton in Zac Posen

Rita Ora in Prada

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in custom Ralph Lauren Collection

So cute: Cardi B shows off her baby bump in Moschino next to designer Jeremy Scott.

Kate Bosworth recreated her bridal look in Oscar de la Renta and Tacori jewelry.

Beautiful in velvet: Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren.

Definitely not the most sexy look, but matching the theme well: Greta Gerwig in The Row.

Stella Maxwell in Moschino and David Yurman

Sexy interpretation: Taylor Hill in Diane von Furstenberg

Best dressed man of the night: Chadwick Boseman in Versace.

I personally didn’t like this look at all, not matching the theme (as a co-host you would expect better) and the cut is not pleasing her beautiful shape: Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Melanie Galea, (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane DickFund and Fletcher Fund, 1998; Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Dodge Fund, and Rogers Fund, 1999 (1998.69; 1999.99) / © Metropolitan Museum of Art; Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana / Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb, Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock