A May Day Tradition – Lily of the Valley

Oh, how wonderful spring is! With its bees, flowers, sun and now finally rain, it is my favorite season. One tradition I truly adore is the gifting of lilies of the valley on the first of May as a symbol of springtime and to wish happiness which is very popular in France. In many countries, the first of May is also National Labor Day. As a result, it is a public holiday that we get to enjoy.

My first of May outfit: Lily of the valley-print pussy-bow silk blouse and Lily of the Valley-print pleated silk skirt, both by Valentino


iconLegend has it that the custom began on May 1, 1561 when King Charles IX received a sprig of the tiny flower as a token of good luck from knight Louis Girard. It is said that whoever finds a lily of the valley with 13 small bells will be particularly lucky.

The king liked the idea so much that he decided to start a tradition and presented a bouquet of lilies of the valley to each of the ladies of his court each year on the same day. And thus began the Fête du Muguet as it is called in France, or May Day.

Christian Dior dedicated his whole Spring 1954 collection to his favorite flower.

The lily of the valley was also Christian Dior’s favorite flower and one of his lucky charms. Faithful to tradition, he offered it each May 1st to all his petites mains and clients. Christian Dior so cherished this spring flower that his florist, Madame Dedeban, grew it for him year-round in a specially heated greenhouse!

The Dior Hommes Fall 2014 collections full of lily of the valley details.

Thus, summer or winter, he was never without a sprig of it in his buttonhole. He also kept some in a finely-wrought box in his pocket. During preparations for his fashion shows, he would ask his petites mains to sew some sprigs of lily of the valley into the hem of a sleeve or a dress. Being the talisman it was, he was also prone to pinning it to the underside of the lapel of the suits worn by his models.

The original Diorissimo bottle of 1956

His beloved flower was also present in his collections each season. He devoted an entire line to it for spring 1954, and, two years later, with Edmond Roudnitska, the couturier realized his dream of capturing its green and floral fragrance. And so, 1956 saw the launch of his third opus, Diorissimo, a triumph of olfactory prowess.

Dior Haute Couture S/S 2016

Lily of the valley has inspired the House’s perfumes and designs ever since, as it did the S/S 2016 haute couture collection. Sprigs of lily of the valley, traced out in beads and sequins, bloomed across a white Bar jacket, the result of over three hundred hours of embroidery.

Kirsten Dunst at the 69th Festival de Cannes in 2016

Later in 2016, at the 69th Festival de Cannes, Kirsten Dunst ascended the famous steps in a white silk gazar Dior haute couture dress embroidered with 300 lily of the valley flowers.

The famous dress Muguet from 1957 was on display at the amazing V&A exhibition «Christian Dior Designer of Dreams»

This special creation was inspired by the dress Muguet, designed by Christian Dior for his S/S 1957 collection in which the flower also blossomed on a dress named Mois de Mai.

Surprise for my daughter today: The beautiful Lucky scent engraved with her name and sign.

In 2018, the Maison launched Lucky as part of their Maison Christian Dior Collection – another fragrance that features lily of the valley, in combination with white flowers and ozonic notes. The nose behind is Francois Demachy, Parfumeur-Créateur Dior, who says:. “Christian Dior was very superstitious and would stitch a stem of lily of the valley into the seam of his dresses for good luck. I wanted to represent the perfume of this hidden lily of the valley, sewn into metres of silk, with a profusion of white flowers and freshness. The scent of his favourite flower gradually reveals itself. Lucky is a good luck charm and the perfume to wear whenever you want to cross your fingers.”

Dior’s new Lily of the Valley china is so beautiful, click here for more infos. 

And last but not least, a very sweet fairytale tells of the affection between the lily of the valley and a nightingale. Once upon a time, every night, the nightingale would come to the garden to sing. However, the lily of the valley was shy and hid herself from the bird. The nightingale was lonely and said he would no longer sing unless the lily of the valley revealed herself, and promised to bloom every May for all to see. And so she does.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior, Giambattista Valli, Vogue and © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

J. Lo’s Jungle Fever

Twenty years ago, a green jungle print gown by Versace broke the internet, and Google Images was born. It was February 2000 when Jennifer Lopez wore the iconic dress, designed by Donatella Versace, to the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony.

The sheer fabric was printed with a tropical leaf and bamboo pattern, and cut with a very low neckline that extended well past Lopez’s navel, while the waist of the dress was studded with citrines. Seemingly overnight it became a fashion legend, as well as the most popular search query Google had seen at the time. It was often described as a turning point in designer Donatella Versace’s career after the death of her brother, Gianni Versace.

But back in 2000, search results were still just a list of blue links. When the search team realized they weren’t able to directly surface the results that people wanted – a picture of the American recording artist and actress in the dress – they were inspired to create Google Images.

Left: Crystal-embellished printed silk-chiffon gown by Versace (available now)
Right: J. Lo wearing the original design in 2000 to the Grammys

Before it became famous on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards, the dress was presented on the catwalk by model Amber Valletta, and was also featured in Versace’s main advertising campaign that year; Steven Meisel also photographed it on Valletta.

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Left: Cutout embellished printed silk-chiffon gown by Versace (available now)
Right: J. Lo with Donatella Versace on the S/S 2020 runway last fall
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Two decades later, Donatella Versace showed off a new, revamped green gown in the print for her S/S 2020 collection, and a magic moment in fashion history took place when J. Lo modeled it as the final look of the runway presentation last fall. And is it only me? But I think that J. Lo looks even better than 20 years ago! Just wow!!!

Great news is that you can make these pieces of fashion history your own as both versions are available this season. TO SHOP BOTH VERSACE GOWNS, CLICK HERE PLEASEicon.

Can you guess which one I went for? I hope this quarantine will be over soon and I get to wear it to a special occasion…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Versace, Net-à-Porter and Google
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at V&A

Another fashion blockbuster to add to your diary – the V&A is going off-brand after the must-see exhibitions about Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Mary Quant and has dedicated an entire show to the ultimate symbol of Japan: the KIMONO, the traditional garment worn by men, women and children.

Fashionable brocade patterns of the Imperial Palace, woodblock print, made by Utagawa Kunisada, 1847-1852, Japan. Museum no. Circ.636 to Circ. 638– 1962. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In kimono it is the pattern on the surface, rather than the cut of the garment, that is significant. Indications of social status, personal identity and cultural sensitivity are expressed through colour and decoration. The kimono worn by women, particularly the young, were the most richly decorated and it is generally these that survive in collections like that of the V&A.

The exhibition entitled ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’ traces the traditional Japanese garment’s universal appeal, rich history and ever-evolving style. It is the first major exhibition in Europe with such a focus and reaches from 17th-century rarities to 21st-century streetwear.
Tracing its influence across the work of couturiers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Star Wars costume designers, this demonstrates kimono’s evolving story as well as its rich history.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
29 February – 21 June 2020
Gallery 39 and the North Court

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of V&A

Obsessed with Cartier Bracelets

Since my teenage years, I had been dreaming about receiving a LOVE bracelet by CARTIER one day. Of course, I could have bought it myself but to be gifted with one and its love message behind is so much more meaningful. Now, I was blessed twice and got a rose gold one with diamonds from my love and a small white gold one from my girlfriends for my birthday.

What makes CARTIER bracelets so special? As some of the most recognizable luxury jewelry items, often stacked up the wrists and sparkling on our favorite celebrities, this is what has made it a luxury staple over the past few years. The LOVE bracelet for example has been apart of the Cartier DNA as one of the brand’s heritage designs for around four decades.

LOVE BRACELET in rose gold with four diamonds

Created in 1969 by Italian jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo in the New York workshops of the French luxury jewelry house, the iconic jewelry piece was modeled after medieval chastity belts, so-to-say «locked into love» and can only be opened or closed with a screwdriver that comes with the bracelet. For the first time, a fine jewelry piece was meant to be worn day and night. At the time of the original release, CARTIER started a kind of influencer marketing and gifted bracelets to a curated list of some of the defining It-couples of the century to publicize the romantic symbolism. Among them were for example Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen. Only in 2017, CARTIER launched the smaller sizes so that it has become easier for the wearer to create the stacked look everybody wants today.

LOVE BRACELET SM in white gold

Aldo Cipullo wearing his iconic creations, the LOVE and JUSTE UN CLOU bracelets.

While the LOVE bracelet was Cipullo’s first design, he went on to design another equally popularized design – JUSTE UN CLOU (just a nail) – only three years later in 1971. Encircling the wrist in a thick nailhead, this creation is actually my favorite, not only because it is easier to remove. By the way, the diamond encrusted versions of the LOVE bracelets come with a clip closure and don’t need to be closed with a screwdriver. Can you imagine that today, most hospital emergency rooms are equipped with the latter to be able to remove the jewelry piece in case of any medical crisis…

CARTIER flagship store at Fifth Avenue in NYC

JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet in rose gold with diamond pavé

In 2012, to commemorate CARTIER’s 165th anniversary, the brand opened an exhibit at the CARTIER Maison on Fifth Avenue to celebrate Cipullo’s work in the 1970s and released an entire collection of earrings, necklaces, rings based on the JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet.

CLASH DE CARTIER SM bracelet in rose gold

Last year, a completely new collection was launched with the name CLASH DE CARTIER, that’s all about duality, and contradictions, celebrating the modern woman. For the previous post, click here please. I feel blessed to wear all three lines at my wrist that make me happy every day…

JUSTE UN CLOU bracelet in rose gold with diamonds, LOVE bracelet SM in white gold, LOVE bracelet in rose gold with 4 diamonds, and CLASH DE CARTIER bracelet SM in rose gold, all by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Cartier and © Sandra Bauknecht; Courtesy of Toteone

Breaking News: Raf Simons Joins Prada

Today, I received the breaking news that Raf Simons will join Prada starting April 2, 2020. Rumors had been out since quite some time and now it is official. The Belgium designer will join the Italian fashion house as co-creative director alongside Miuccia Prada with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making. Their first runway presentation together will be for S/S 2021 in September 2020. «It’s a new wind,» said Miuccia Prada and I have to admit that I agree with Tim Blanks who wrote: «I cannot think of anything like this in the history of fashion

In 1978, Miuccia Prada inherited the label that was known for luggage making and transformed it into a global fashion brand with her creative designs. Prada has been a true trendsetter for decades, sometimes too fast thinking for the fashion world, she is often a few steps ahead of the game. Her iconic black nylon backpack launched in 1985 caused a real fashion frenzy and has been popular since then. In 1989 she added ready-to-wear to the offerings. Simons, who will continue to design his namesake menswear label, is the first designer from outside the Prada family to join the house since its inception.

Trendsetting: Prada S/S 2012 ad campaign photographed by Steven Meisel

Today at the Prada press conference, Simons announced: “Prada is a brand that I have been interested in my whole life. I cannot wait to express to all of you the dialogue I will have with Mrs Prada and her team. To be really honest, Mr Bertelli approached me right after my exit from Calvin Klein. Miuccia and I had a conversation about creativity in today’s fashion system. And it brought me to open dialogue with many designers, not just Mrs Prada. We have to re-look at how creativity can evolve in today’s fashion system.»

Power couple: Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada

Simons, who had worked with Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli before, when he was hired as creative director of Jil Sander in 2005. Prada had bought the German label and was looking for someone to fill the shoes of the namesake designer at that time. Simons’ seven-year tenure at the brand was an absolute success, and the Prada Group sold it to a London private equity firm in 2006.
Simons later worked at Dior and his latest venture was at Calvin Klein, where he was chief creative officer, and abruptly excited in December 2018.

Presented in Milan last Thursday: Miuccia Prada’s last single show for F/W 2020

Miuccia Prada has still a very strong view on fashion. Yet, it seems hard for her at the moment to translate this into sales. Rumors had been that the family is planning to sell to one of the big conglomerates. With the appointment of Simons, it seems that the Prada family will keep it a family business that also owns Miu Miu and Church’s.

Good luck, Raf!

They will have all my support – I have been collecting Prada pieces since a very young age and have always been very fond of the brand. Good luck to Raf, I am really excited to see what the two creative masterminds will come up with…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Prada and © Sandra Bauknecht

Miu Miu Denim Icons

I am sorry but there is one more post dedicated to Miu Miu today and actually I am not so sorry because the Miu Miu Denim Icons are just gorgeous – a capsule collection of six different denim trouser shapes, each inspired by and named after the decade during which they were first created and the spirited, stylish and ultra-confident woman best known for wearing them.

Few garments are more evocative of an era than a great pair of jeans, after all. By now a universal symbol of democracy in wardrobe, each person – and indeed generation – wears them in their own, entirely individual way.

Cut in heavy, dark blue denim, 40’s Lauren has the traditional raw work wear feel that characterised the then still largely functional garment way back when. By the Fifties jeans had become more of a fashion statement: 50’s Brigitte features a high waist, is cut in dark denim again and cropped at the ankle, referencing the feminine silhouette of Capri pants. 60’s Françoise is a straight legged, high-waisted white denim design: by then jeans were ubiquitous, signifying youth and emancipation; as their popularity grew so the colour palette, weight and washes of denim proliferated.

70’s Jane sits low on the hip, is in pale washed denim and flared: flower power was at its height, as were bellbottom trousers, and jeans were feeling groovy. The 80’s Brooke is a unisex design, in the dark denim widely favoured throughout that decade but now whiskered to ensure a contemporary feel. Finally 90’s Kate is a mid-blue, eased, borrowed from your boyfriend pair of jeans, as effortlessly stylish and minimal as denim throughout that decade decreed.

Miu Miu Denim Icons capsule collection is available in selected Miu Miu stores worldwide from the beginning of February.
TO SHOP MIU MIU ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

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

Alber Elbaz Teams Up with Richemont

Great news for the fashion world: luxury conglomerate Richemont is teaming up with former Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz for a new venture at a time when luxury goods groups are vying to make star hires.

«I am very happy to partner with Richemont and to establish my ‘dream factory,’ which will focus on developing solutions for women of our times,» Elbaz said in a statement.

Me with Alber Elbaz in 2015

Elbaz was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1961 to a Moroccan Jewish family. He immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of ten and grew up in Holon. After his studies at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, he had jobs at Geoffrey Beene, Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent where he designed the Rive Gauche collection under Saint Laurent himself, and Krizia.

Lanvin F/W 2012 campaign

He then began designing for Lanvin, France’s oldest fashion house, in 2001 and transformed the Maison from a small label with only 15 wholesale accounts to a global fashion house known for feminine, comfortable and clever ready-to-wear that earned the approval of celebrities, critics and customers alike. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, has been lauded by the fashion press. Suzy Menkes wrote: «Elbaz is every woman’s darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names.» In 2010, Elbaz launched for Lanvin a mass-market collection with H&M, and proved to be one of the retailer’s most popular annual runway collaboration series. In 2013, he created a much anticipated make-up collection for Lancôme.

Therefore the shock was huge when the announcement came that Elbaz had been let go from the fashion house due to major disagreements on strategy and targeted investment in 2015 with major shareholder Taiwanese businesswoman Shaw-Lan Wang. The house has since changed hands and failed to find its footing.

Shaw-Lan Wang and Alber Elbaz in happier times. Photo: BFA / The Cut

After Elbaz was abruptly fired from Lanvin, the industry has wondered when and how he might return to design full-time. Between then and now, he has turned his hand to designing accessories for LeSportsac, collaborated on a fragrance with luxury perfumer Frédéric Malle, and mentored at prestigious design schools. Recently, the star designer had his comeback For Elbaz, after having skipped several years of shows, watching the fashion industry shift from the sidelines. He designed a capsule collection of bags and shoes for luxury Italian brand Tod’s, called «Happy Moments.» Known for his charming and emotional personality, it couldn’t be a better match.

Alber Elbaz lives it up at Tod’s Happy Moments launch. Photo: Tod’s / Getty

«I like fashion, I like fashion people. But after Lanvin, I did not like fashion,» he told Elle Magazine in September 2019, «I needed to fall in love with fashion again.» To fall back in love with fashion took a lot of time. «Because you have to take a few years distance,» Elbaz continues earnestly.

A shoe from Tod’s Happy Moments collection created by Elbaz.

Now Elbaz has a partner for his next chapter. Today, Richemont  announced an agreement to form a joint venture with the designer, calling it AZfashion, which the Swiss luxury conglomerate described as «an innovative and dynamic start-up, meant to turn dreams into reality

As much as the fashion industry has anticipated Elbaz’s return, he and Richemont have their work cut out for them. The announcement about the new brand indicates a completely different approach in this new brand, which the designer told the New York Times will be project-based.

Feminine and dreamy designs: Lanvin F/W 2011 by Alber Elbaz

«Upon hearing Alber Elbaz describe his vision for fashion and the projects it inspires in him, I was again struck by his creativity and insight,» Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement. «His talent and inventiveness, with his sensitivity towards women and their wellbeing, will be of great value to our group and its maisons.»

We will all be watching how Elbaz’ vision will transform… I am sure he will let us dream again… something that is desperately needed in today’s fashion world. Fashion should be fun and Elbaz will teach us!

LoL, Sandra

Me in a Lanvin by Alber Elbaz dress, click here for the post.

 Photo: © David Biedert Photography
Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, or otherwise mentioned

My Look: Pulp Fiction

Last weekend, I was invited to a birthday party in Fribourg with the dress code «Choose a Quentin Tarantino Movie Character». The possibilities are versatile but one that I truly liked and that looks great in daily life is the style of Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction. The 1994 movie is known for its many twists, but most poignant of all is her dance with Vincent Vega (John Travolta). It’s in that scene that Mia sports the outfit that has inspired one of the most popular Halloween costumes of the last two decades, with a white button down shirt as the quintessential piece combined with black cropped pants.

My look: Bandage flared pantsicon by Hervé Léger, cotton-poplin shirt, sequined gun shoulder bag, and Janis suede platform pumps, all by Saint Laurent, Petit Jardin embroidered stretch-tulle underwired bra by La Perlaicon, and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

You’ll never watch that scene the same way again when I tell you what else made it so iconic for a fashion lover. It was the nail polish on Mia’s fingers. First debuted at the F/W 1994 CHANEL show, Le Vernis Rouge Noir made its screen debut in Pulp Fiction 25 years ago. Until today, the hue is still one of the most coveted—and questionably duped—color in both fashion and beauty history.

I really like this hair style (the wig is from atop.ch). What do you think? Time to get a new hair cut?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht 

The Prada Bowling Bag

Revised for the Resort 2020 collection, the Prada Bowling Bag is a 21st century classic.
An archive style originally presented as part of S/S 2000 «Sincere Chic» Collection, in turn, it is an echo of the mid-twentieth century Accessories: A memory of memories.

Prada S/S 2000 runway (isn’t the quality of the photos hilarious)

I remember buying it during my first year as an editor at Marie Claire magazine (I cannot believe this was almost 20 years ago) and of course it is still in my closet soon to be worn again.

Reminiscent of the aesthetics of modern design in its straightforward contours, automobile chassis in their reliefs contrast similar materials in vibrant colors to evoke the visual vocabulary of fashion and a broader design vocabulary. Miuccia Prada always combines architecture, art and fashion in perfection.

Prada Resort 2020

It was represented on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the debut of this then iconic and today archetypal model in New York on May 2, 2019 as part of the Prada Resort Runway Show.

The reinterpreted bowling bag is a symbolic Prada silhouette made of fine, soft calf leather offered in four hyperclassic color combinations: white with black, cinnamon with white, white with red and black with white (what a pity the pink and white one is not produced). The Prada Bowling Bag is available from on November in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Thank God, I still have it in my closet, like this I am ahead of the game… therefore you should always keep your pieces until their time has come again.

LoL, Sandra

My Prada bowling bag and lip print skirt, both from the S/S 2000 runway collection.
I love the perforated leather detail….

Photos: © Prada, © Sandra Bauknecht

Rest in Peace Peter Lindbergh

Yesterday, another big name in the world of fashion left us. Esteemed fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh died at the age of 74, as announced in a post on his official Instagram account Wednesday with the above picture.

«It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lindbergh on September 3rd 2019, at the age of 74,» the post on his Instagram read. «He is survived by his wife Petra, his first wife Astrid, his four sons Benjamin, Jérémy, Simon, Joseph and seven grandchildren. He leaves a big void

Born in Poland in 1944, Lindbergh grew up in Duisburg, Germany, where he made his first steps as a photographer before moving to Paris in 1978 to pursue his career. I was lucky to work with Peter Lindbergh at an early stage in my career. Being a young editor at German MARIE CLAIRE magazine, he shot a lot for us under the creative helmet of our fashion director Florentine Pabst. Thanks to her, I was able to meet and observe the work of such amazing talented people, like him or Karl Lagerfeld.

This cover shoot for British VOGUE in January 1990 was one the reasons why I wanted to become a fashion editor. I was 14 at that time and was dreaming to pursue this career that thankfully became true. Thank you, Peter!

Renowned for his cinematic, elegant style, his iconic January 1990 cover shoot for British Vogue, featuring Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, Lindbergh is considered to have launched the phenomenon of the supermodel. The creative photographer was also known for his firm stance against re-touching, something that is hard to imagine in today’s world of filters and photoshop.

Peter Lindbergh, IWC Schaffhausen campaign, 2011

Other high-profile works of his include the three Pirelli calendars, in 1996, 2002 and 2017, the advertising campaigns for IWC Schaffhausen and the portraits of actresses such as Lupita Nyong’o, Helen Mirren and Uma Thurman.

British Vogue’s September 2019 issue shares «Forces for Change» covers by Peter Lindbergh.

Before working on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s guest-edited edition of British Vogue, he photographed her for the cover of Vanity Fair in 2017. Earlier this year, he shot musician Rosalía for the cover of Vogue España, as well as model Gigi Hadid for Vogue Arabia.

In the introduction to his 2018 photography book «Shadows on the Wall,» he wrote, «It should be a duty for every photographer working today to use his creativity and influence to free women and everyone from the terror of youth and perfection.» Amen to that!

Rest in peace, Peter! You will be missed…

LoL, Sandra

Peter Lindbergh, Vogue 1991

Peter Lindbergh, Vogue, August 1988

Iconic: Anna Winter’s first VOGUE cover photographed by Peter Lindbergh, November, 1988

One of my favorite photos: Nadja Auermann photographed by Peter Lindbergh for German MARIE CLAIRE, June 1996

Devon Aoki photographed by Peter Lindbergh for German MARIE CLAIRE, April 2001

Meghan Markte photographed by Peter Lindbergh for Vanity Fair, October 2017

Photos: Peter Lindbergh / Courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris / Gagosian Gallery
Via VOGUE, © Sandra Bauknecht