Daniel Lee To Leave Bottega Veneta

OMG! The latest breaking news in the world of fashion… according to BOF, designer Daniel Lee is set to leave Bottega Veneta. A surprise move the group described as a «joint decision», especially as according to Bain, sales rose 2.2 % to nearly €1.2 billion in 2019 under Lee who managed to keep the company growing slightly even during the pandemic in 2020.

Bottega Veneta has set a new standard for luxury since its birth in Vicenza in 1966. Inspired by Italian culture with a global outlook, the House is defined by a distinctly refined attitude. Bottega Veneta uses noble materials to create considered pieces that become part of their owner’s lives. The House embraces a core philosophy of style, innovation and luxury, applied to a full offer for women, men and home.

Daniel Lee was appointed Creative Director in 2018. Born in Bradford in the North of England, Daniel studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and graduated in 2011. Having worked for fashion Houses in London, New York and Paris throughout his career (for example in the studio of Phoebe Philo’s Celine and at Donna Karan), Lee bought a distinct understanding of modern luxury to Bottega Veneta.

He is the brainchild behind the new must-have color green. During his three-year tenure, he played with the texture and proportion of the house’s key intrecciato leather to create must-have bags, such as The Pouch or The Point, and shoes that fashionistas around the world drooled over. His designs have been copied not only by the high street labels but also from other luxury houses.

The must-have Lagoon bubble-insole leather sandals in green.

«My time at Bottega Veneta has been an incredible experience,» Lee said in a statement. «I am grateful to have worked with an exceptional and talented team and I am forever thankful to everyone who was part of creating our vision.»

One of Lee’s best designs for Bottega: The Pouch large gathered intrecciato leather clutch.

Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault thanked Lee for a «singular vision» that «made the House’s heritage relevant for today and put it back to the center of the fashion scene.»

Bottega Veneta Salon 01 S/S 2021

A new creative organisation for the brand will be announced soon, Kering said. Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Bottega Veneta and by Streetstyleshooters / Getty Images
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My Look: Feels Like Prada

Feels Like Prada – I have been collecting Prada from the early beginning (thank you, Mama, for spoiling me at an early age). Miuccia Prada’s first creation was the now-classic Prada backpack called the Vela, which made its debut in 1984. In 1988, she showed her first ready-to-wear collection for F/W, that was focused on clean lines and timeless silhouettes. Since then, she has influenced how we think about fashion, without you knowing about it probably. Personally speaking, she is the real trendsetter in the industry, sometimes even a little ahead of time.

For me, it is fascinating to see how the young generations crave now for Prada. The recent launch of the re-edition nylon bags caused a true fashion frenzy. Needless to say, I feel blessed that I have kept everything in my closet. I love to mix and match from different seasons as you can see in this look, shot during Milan Fashion Week.

My look: Cropped organic denim jacket, denim bralette (both F/W 2021), synthetic reflective silver track pants (F/W 2017), frame comic-print leather bag (S/S 2018), light green pumps (S/S 2012), spiked bead collar necklace (S/S 2003), and wide blue head band (F/W 2020), all by Prada.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht / Nadia Krawiecka
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DIESEL Reproduces World’s Oldest Jeans

DIESEL honors Genoa, the birthplace of jeans, and celebrates Made in Italy by presenting a reproduction of the oldest jeans fabric ever documented in history.

Dating back to 1760-80, local townspeople and laborers in Genoa were first seen (and depicted) wearing jeans as part of their daily wardrobes. Colors ranged from standard indigo to brown to white. A nativity figurine by Pasquale Navone (1746-1791), shows a man with denim trousers (woven diagonally, 2 to 1, in a blue cotton weft and white linen warp) that appear remarkably similar to iterations from the modern era. This sculpture represents the oldest historical instances of jeans; it may be viewed at Museo Giannettino Loxoro, which is situated in Genoa.

DIESEL has replicated the original fabric and garment as they existed three hundred years ago. It was done by using handmade Italian textiles and workmanship. The re-creation was exhibited this week at Genova Jeans fair in Genoa, where DIESEL was invited to celebrate the heritage of Made in Italy jeans. As to the accuracy of the denim’s reproduction and integrity, the fabric and garment are certified and verified by the art, textile and costume historian Marzia Cataldi Gallo.

The inaugural edition of the fair brings to life the history, evolution and innovation of jeans-making in a multifaceted showcase that, additionally, emphasizes sustainability; a series of immersive, informational experiences were on display. This includes a multi-part exhibition from DIESEL that centers on the heritage of its jeans, its journey towards a more sustainable denim product and practice, and how the company has utilized jeans to help transform the world of advertising.

Ultimately, this initiative serves as another spoke in DIESEL’s For Responsible Living strategy, which is a company-wide mandate to continuously shift its culture, business practices and footprint into a more sustainable arena. By participating in Genova Jeans, DIESEL further demonstrates its commitment to promoting and pushing for increased sustainability in the world of jeans.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Diesel

Hermès Kelly Danse

In the 1930s, Robert Dumas, son-in-law of Émile Hermès, whom he succeeded at the head of Hermès (1951-1978), created the women’s bag with straps. He designed a trapezoid shape with two triangular gussets, a cutout flap, a handle and two side straps, and with it he brought the house into the era of boldness and modernism.


In the late 1950s, legend has it that Grace Kelly, a Hollywood star turned princess of Monaco, was photographed holding the bag over her stomach to conceal the early signs of her pregnancy.
The bag shot to international fame and was renamed the Kelly.

The Kelly bag comes in different sizes and styles (like the Kelly Pochette or Kelly Ado for example), offering different aesthetics. There is no «right» size or shape. Although right now smaller bags are the rage, the size for you is the size you choose.

Recently, I have added a Kelly Danse to my Hermès collection. Originally released in 2007 by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who was at the helmet of Hermès at that time, Kelly Danse is a more casual and multi-functional version of the iconic Hermès Kelly. Without the top handle, and with a long strap, you can wear it seven different ways: around the waist, as a crossbody bag, a shoulder bag at two different lengths, as a wristlet, a clutch and even as a backpack!

Danse means dance in French. The idea behind its creation was to attract a younger audience: young ladies who like to dance while having their hands free. Kelly Danse was a revolutionary design for the brand. However, it was discontinued in 2013 because the shape was too «advanced» and fashion-forward. Comfortable cross-body bags were not so trendy at that time.

However, as it often happens, after the bag has been discontinued, the bag has quickly turned into a rare collector’s item and was re-introduced in 2019. Known today as the Kelly Danse II, the bag is around 22 cm in length and 17 cm in height. In terms of dimensions, the Kelly Danse II is very similar to its predecessor.

I chose my Kelly Danse II in Verso Blush/Rose Jaipur Evercolor leather (a leather that is very resilient to wear and tear) with silver hardware and love it, as it is without a doubt, the most versatile of all Hermès bags.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: AP, Courtesy of Hermès, © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored. I own and love this bag!

Tribute to Alber Elbaz and AZ Factory

I am still so in shock. One of my favorite designers, especially because of his amazing character, Alber Elbaz, died Saturday in Paris from Covid-19. He was such a warm-hearted person, always thinking about his employees. Instantly recognisable for his broad smile and distinctive personal uniform of bow ties and thick-rimmed glasses, he was best known for his star turn leading couture house Lanvin. At their peak, sales were as high as €235 million. He definitely died too young, in June he would have turned 60.

Born in Morocco and educated in Israel, Elbaz climbed the ranks of the fashion industry from a small dressmaker’s shop in New York City to serve at the helm of Guy Laroche. Then appointed by Pierre Bergé, Elbaz next worked as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent from 1998 until he was fired after three seasons when Gucci bought the company and put Tom Ford in charge.

Designer Alber Elbaz walks down the runway at the S/S 2004 Lanvin show in Paris.

Elbaz began designing for Lanvin in 2001. He also held a minority stake in the company of nearly 18 percent. During his 14-year tenure, he was credited with the house’s renewed appeal thanks to Elbaz’s «classic with a twist» takes on silk cocktail dresses and other feminine designs, often playing with color or other unusual variations on hallmark elegance.

Alber’s sketches for Lanvin

His humorous sketches of everything from lollipops to his own face became a brand signature, also remember the amazing collaboration he did with Lancôme. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, was lauded by the fashion press. In 2005 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 October 2015, Elbaz announced that he had been let go from Lanvin after disagreements with the company’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. He then took some time off until he launched a new label together with Swiss luxury group Richemont, AZ Factory, in January.

A tribute to Alber today on the AZ Factory homepage.

The following text has been written months ago but sometimes time flies and I always postponed to post it. It feels so bizarre to show it to you now post mortem. However, it is a tribute to Alber, to his latest venture in fashion, that hopefully will also have a great input how the world consumes fashion. It is all about inclusivity and diversity. I invite you to get your last piece designed by Alber…

In a Zoom call with Alber in January…

So let me introduce you to AZ Factory, the eagerly awaited fashion concept from Alber Elbaz. Launched at Paris Haute Couture Week in January, it had not only marked the comeback of Elbaz but also Richemont’s first foray into launching a fashion label from scratch, a €25 million investment, that is focusing on online distribution.

Described as Elbaz’ «dream factory» and created with «women of our times» in mind, the label is an expansion of the playful, confident pieces that have become his calling card through the years. This is a marvellous fashion moment! Neither a revolution nor an evolution but a refreshing reset! AZ Factory might change the face of luxury fashion as long as we’ve known it and Alber Elbaz might have become the new «Hervé Leger». Over the next few months a six part capsule collection will be launching.

Alber wanted to design for «All Women».

And one of the most exciting elements surrounding this new brand is the diversity in its sizing, with an emphasis placed on the fact that this entire six capsule series is inclusive for «All Women placing importance on body positivity and inclusivity. Sizing ranges from XXS-4XL or FR34 – FR48.

MyBody ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and MyBody paneled stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody
The essence of the MyBody capsule is bodycon styles made from a technical weave fabric that sculpt the female form. The AnatoKnit technology provides hugging tension that shapes your natural curves. The boning at the back supports your posture and the ergonomic design features allow for movement and breathability. The idea behind this is functional fashion that has been made for «women on the move» and Alber wanted to encourage us to wear these with their sneakers. I think they’d look perfectly splendid with heels too.

Your Body color-block ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and Your Body striped stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody 2.0
The sporty edition of MY BODY. This additional story features colourblock designs paired with matching leggings. It’s the next level of athleisure.

Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill shirticon and Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill wide-leg pantsicon

Switchwear Pyjamas
Uplifting printed silk pyjamas are equally suited for sleep or for styling your look day or night. Made in collaboration with several artists and designers, which Alber found on Instagram due to the pandemic, these touching visuals reflect the emotions of our times and the wish to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness.

Switchwear recycled duchesse-satin maxi skirt
icon

Switchwear
From bed, Zoom, to yoga, to the supermarket, to couch, to date night – Switchwear takes you from cozy to couture (and back!) in under 60 seconds. Upgrade your supremely soft Switchwear Prime-layers with the iridescent, satin-like Switchwear Duchesse Add Ons.

Neoprene and mesh sneakers
icon

Pointy Sneakers
Hybrid footwear that combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoes. Performance sneaker construction so you don’t have to trade off all-day comfort and stability.

In light of this, I was invited by Alber Elbaz and NET-A-PORTER to a live launch celebration for AZ Factory in the end of January. I also received a spectacle in a box to open during the event that included sweets, a puzzle, ….

Alber is such a sweet human being. He told us that he started his new venture by thinking: «How can I hug women? Who’s my customer? Is she an architect, who’s her mother, does she have kids?» He went on: «I wanted to create something for all of them. I never had one muse. I have never understood how to design for only one woman. It is the variety that counts. The world doesn’t exist of one song, one book or just one woman. Life is not black and white. I wanted to find something in the middle without being mediocre. I thought due to my own body shape that you have to hide who you are if you are a plus size. And the tiny women are sent to the children’s department. I wanted to change that. I also created the long zip opener so that women are not dependent on a man to open their dress. My sneakers are hybrid footwear, pointed like pumps to elongate the legs with all-day comfort. SwitchWear plays a key role for me. For example you wear leggings for travel and once you arrive, you just put a skirt over it. It’s modular dressing and also includes pyjamas. It is comfort, technology and a couture dream in one

Creativity? «The moment I feel and don’t be asked…» Az Lazy, Az Crazy

Thank you, Alber, for your creativity, your positivity and for making us dream… you will never be forgotten!

TO SHOP AZ FACTORY, CLICK HERE PLEASEicon.

LoL, Sandra

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

My Look: Lesage

«Embroidery is to Haute Couture what fireworks are to Bastille Day.» – François Lesage

I love CHANEL‘s Métiers d’Art collections, that are always a visual treat for the senses, showcasing the craftsmanship for which the luxury house is revered. Those runway shows take place each year outside the traditional fashion schedule.

The name itself reveals it: Métiers d’Art means «art professions». They are considered demi-couture, right between ready-to-wear and haute couture; although the designs are not bespoke, their ornamentation and craftsmanship rely on couture techniques. The collections and their elaborate themes are brought to life by the small specialist workshops that CHANEL began buying in 1984, in order to preserve the expertise and craftsmanship associated with French luxury, among them the buttons and accessory maker (Desrues), costume jewelers (Goossens), embroiderers (Lesage and Montex), feather and flower makers (Lemarié), milliners (Maison Michel), shoemakers (Massaro) and so on. Today these ateliers have become essential to the everyday running of the fashion house, providing CHANEL with everything from lace to embroidered buttons.

For the Métiers d’Art collection 2020, named Paris – 31 Rue Cambon, Virginie Viard, who was with CHANEL’s haute couture department for more than 30 years before taking the helm as the Maison’s creative director in 2019, brought the show back to the legendary designer’s apartment, creating the magnificent set-up that placed emphasis on Coco Chanel’s famous mirrored staircase.

Her favorite look of the collection was number 34, and it was also mine. It is a piece of art, created using the intricate trompe-l’œil embroidery done specifically at the ateliers of Lesage, and the attention to detail is undeniable.

The story began in 1858, when Charles Frederick Worth opened his haute couture fashion house, and started making use of the prodigious talent of the embroiderer Albert Michonet, whose studio was purchased by Albert and Marie-Louise Lesage in 1924. This was the beginning of a period of fruitful and close collaboration with the best-known names of the time. They introduced tambour embroidery to the studio using the Lunéville technique, which could respond to the voracious demand for beaded and sequinned gowns during Les Années Folles.

In 1949, on the death of his father, François Lesage (1929 – 2011) took over management of the company at the tender age of 20. For 50 years, he has cleverly combined the skills of a traditional craft with meeting the pioneering requirements of the new generation of fashion designers. In 2002, the company became part of the CHANEL family.

Coming back to Look 34, that I am wearing in this outfit post. It features the Lunéville technique that involves using a crochet hook to chain stitch small decorations (black and gold beads) to the underside of the fabric. In this case, over 25,000 gold beads and 35,000 black tube beads are used to form the embroidered braids, before the seamstresses at the tailleur atelier carefully place them along the edges and cuffs of the wool tweed jacket and trousers. The classic handbag was created to complement the look, crafted in the same red-and-black wool tweed and finished with the embroidered braid detailing all around the edges.

Why am I explaining all of this to you? Those pieces are one-off creations that continually push the boundaries to showcase the fine arts that are only alive and well today because of CHANEL’s continued patronage. If you love fashion, you will appreciate the craftsmanship of those eternal items. This look is very dear to my heart.

My look: Tweed jacket with embroidery, matching tweed pants, and classic handbag, layered pearl necklace with bows, and two-tone slingback shoes, all by CHANEL (Look 34 Métiers d’Art 2020 Paris – 31 Rue Cambon),  velvet and Leavers lace-trimmed stretch-tulle halterneck bodysuiticon, and gold-tone, enamel and faux pearl clip earrings, both by Saint Laurent, and Carretto-print face mask, by Dolce & Gabbana.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
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Celebrating 100 Years of CHANEL N°5

I am N°5, an abstract perfume by Gabrielle Chanel, which she created in 1921 with Ernest Beaux, perfumer to the tsars.

This year, the best-known perfume in the world of the world CHANEL N°5 celebrates its 100th anniversary. Its name is universally renowned. Its wake, a revolution. Its bottle, an unmatched masterpiece.

I am the avant-garde, emerging at the same time as cubism, dadaism, and surrealism. I am their olfactory counterpart, and like them, I break the codes; like them, I write a new language and invent a collage of scents. I am the first abstract perfume.

Created in 1921, N°5 threw habits and conventions to the wind from the start. At the beginning of the 1920s, Gabrielle Chanel had already changed people’s views on fashion by suggesting a new allure. Her first perfume is consistent with her pioneering designs, simple yet well thought through.
Revolutionary in its composition, N°5 is also the first perfume imagined by a woman for women.

I am a manifesto, that of modernity, a dazzling bouquet. Mademoiselle boosted the jasmine, the ylang-ylang, and the rose, yet no single identifiable note is left in my wake. Thanks to the magical alchemy of the aldehydes, I throw people off the scent, not evoking any one flower, to become «a woman’s fragrance with the woman scent».

Whether it be Marilyn Monroe turning it into a myth by confessing she only wore a few drops in
bed, or Andy Warhol screen printing it as a pop art icon, over time N°5 has acquired the status
of a global cultural phenomenon.

I am a magic number, the 5, her favorite number which had brought her luck ever since childhood. Mademoiselle is said to have chosen N°5 because it was the scent in the fifth sample, the one she preferred.

First perfume to be advertised on TV, it has inspired some of the greatest image masters — Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Ridley Scott, Jean-Paul Goude or Baz Luhrmann to name a few — and become a visual symbol that has never lost touch with the contemporary creative scene.

I am the perfume of perfumes, embodied by the greatest celebrities.

Because the world’s most popular perfume of all time needs adequate representation, it has chosen muses who, throughout the world, embody elegance and seduction without undermining their own personality: Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman or currently Marion Cotillard are among the ambassadresses who, by their spirit and modernity, lift N°5 into the eternal feminine pantheon for posterity.

I am a symbol, which the G.I.s took back to America at the end of World War II as a souvenir of Paris and the taste of liberty, the badge of French chic, and the very essence of the CHANEL style.

Mythological status has never consigned N°5 to museum shelves, even though it has been part
of the permanent collections in the MoMA, New York, since 1954. Through its history, its image
and its very essence N°5 remains the backdrop to countless stories, even the most intimate. N°5
is made for those who, like Mademoiselle Chanel, choose who they want to be, and become it.
It is a perfume which, like a coat of invisible armor, gives the strength to face life. Backed with its
100 years of celebrity, N°5 will always be one step ahead.

I am a legend, timeless, continually reinventing myself, as in Verlaine’s «Familiar Dream»: I am «neither quite the same, nor altogether the other». From L’Extrait to L’Eau and from L’Eau to Parfum.

On the cusp of 2021, which is fully dedicated to N°5, the House of CHANEL presented me with this unparalleled coffret. Created in collaboration with the CHANEL Métiers d’Art and Baccarat, this restricted edition is reserved for friends of the Maison and contains five numbered objects. Four of CHANEL’s artisan partners have reinterpreted one of the emblematic aspects of N°5 in their own unique way. I am sure that you can imagine my excitement when I received this beautiful box.

1 The Medaillon Keychain by Desrues
Made of gold-plated brass, this medaillon keychain created by costume jeweler and accessory maker Desrues, is adorned with a black disc embossed with number 5. The inside of the number, the rim of the medaillon and the ring are all trimmed with a twisted braid.

2 The Paperweight by Baccarat
Designed and made in Baccarat‘s famous glass-making studio, this paperweight recalls the faceted edges of the N°5 bottle stopper, which was inspired by the Place Vendôme in Paris.

I am an emblem, a simple bottle in laboratory with sharp angles and crystalline transparency, and a stopper cut like a diamond evoking the Place Vendôme. The ultimate, universal reference in the history of scent bottles. The imprimatur of CHANEL’s triumph.

3 The 5 Patch by Lesage
The number 5 takes the form of a black and gold silk-spangled patch in this piece by the Maison Lesage. Woven in the same style as the iconic CHANEL tweeds and embroidered in sequins and lacquered bugle beads, it can be ironed on to clothing thanks to its heat-activated adhesive backing.

4 The Camellia by Lemarié
Inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite flower, this camellia brooch was designed and crafted by the Maison Lemarié using the N°5 packaging. One by one, each petal is cut out using a special punch. The flower is then assembled by hand, a product of the feather and floral designer’s unique know-how.

I am an allegory of modernity, French elegance, and eternal femininity.

5 N°5 Eau de Parfum 100ml
While composing the Eau de Parfums in 1986, Jacques Polge declared that «N°5 challenges the ephemeral nature of things.» By adapting the characteristics of N°5 to the new concentrations used in modern perfumery, he successfully demonstrated the extent to which it is and always will be relevant. A work of style that never strayed from the aesthetics of the original Parfum, the Eau de Parfum became a worldwide success that was represented for nearly 10 years by the unforgettable Carole Bouquet.

The best is yet to come as an exceptional piece has found its way into Sandra’s Closet. A beautiful clutch bag reminiscent of the CHANEL N°5 packaging. A must-have that will always remind me of 100 years of the iconic fragrance. I cannot wait to finally sport it when everything is open again. Stay tuned for something very special coming up…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL and © Sandra Bauknecht
#N5 #CHANELFRAGRANCE #100YEARSOFCELEBRITY #CHANELOFFICIAL #INSIDECHANEL @chanelofficial

Rest in Peace Elsa Peretti

Yesterday, Elsa Peretti’s family office in Zurich announced that the jewelry designer, who was famous for her creations for the US jeweler Tiffany & Co., died Thursday at the age of 80 in a village near Barcelona, ​​Spain peacefully in her sleep.

Just last October, Tiffany & Co. had tapped Peretti to design nine one-of-a-kind pieces, based on archival designs from her personal library, in celebration of 50 years since the introduction of her widely recognized bone-cuff bracelet – and 45 years since she began designing for the company.

Tiffany’s Instagram post.

A pioneering designer

Elsa Peretti was born in Florence and trained in Switzerland and Rome, where she later returned to for a degree in interior design. In the late ’60s, she had established herself as a model in New York City and Barcelona, and she also began to design her own jewelry. A small silver bottle worn as a necklace became her first successful creation. She found the inspiration for this design in Portofino, where women used to wear fragile gardenia flowers as a fashion accessory: the small silver vase necklace made the flowers last longer. Throughout her career, she would always try to combine beauty with practicability.

Elsa Peretti’s bottle pendants for Tiffany & Co.

The American fashion designer Giorgio di Sant’Angelo used some of her pieces in a fashion show, where they immediately became a huge success. The very next day she was a star in New York. During this time she met the legendary US fashion designer and seventies icon Halston, with whom she had a lifelong friendship and with whom she worked frequently. The US jeweler Tiffany & Co. became aware of the young designer and in 1974, she started an exclusive collaboration that would last through her entire career.

Elsa Peretti with Halston in 1977

She often seeked inspiration from everyday objectsa bean, a bone or an apple could be turned into cufflinks, bracelets, vases or lighters, scorpions and snakes were turned into attractive necklaces and rings, often in silver as one of their preferred materials. She herself said: «There is no new design, because good lines and shapes are timeless» and in fact her pieces are as modern and wearable today as ever.

Elsa Peretti’s famous bone cuffs.

Elsa Peretti’s designs are in the permanent collections of the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. In recognition of her remarkable work, Tiffany established the Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the first endowed professorship in the history of FIT. In addition to other honors, the designer was awarded an honorary doctorate from the FIT in 2001. She also received the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for Jewelry in 1971 and the Rhode Island School of Design President’s Fellow Award in 1981. In 1996, she was named Accessory Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Elsa Peretti photographed by Duane Michals, Vogue, December 1974

Philanthropic work

Elsa Peretti was also known for her charm, and friendliness towards others. She had a profoundly humanitarian vocation, supporting cultural, scientific and educational initiatives and advocating the defense of human rights. In 2000, she founded a charity in honor of her father, which was renamed the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation in 2015, that focuses on the protection of the environment and wildlife. Furthermore, it also aims to fight poverty. Over time, the foundation’s work has expanded to support a wide range of projects promoting human and civil rights, with a particular focus on the right to education, the rights of children, and the rights and dignity of women.

Sant Martí Vell, her Catalan hideaway

The Italian designer had been living a reclusive life in the tiny village of Sant Martí Vell in Catalonia, Spain, where she has lived permanently since the ’80s in a mustard-yellow home she purchased in 1968. She had restored it over years and the little village became her preferred place of residence. As a result, she restored entire sections of the village, acquired and preserved other buildings, including the church, and supported the excavation of Roman ruins and the archiving of the history of the village. She also founded a winery that has been selling exclusive wines under the Eccocivi label since 2008.

She promoted the visual arts and worked to consolidate, protect and disseminate the historical, artistic, cultural, architectural and craft heritage of Catalonia. In 2013 Elsa Peretti became the first non-Catalan person to be awarded the National Culture Prize of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CoNCA).

Rest in Peace, Elsa!

A truly creative mind and great should has left this planet. Thank you, Elsa, for leaving us such a lovely legacy. You will never be forgotten. Fortunately, also much photographic evidence remains of her, such as Helmut Newton’s 1975 shot of her leaning languidly on a terrace in Halston’s take on a Playboy Bunny costume. «Helmut and I were having an affair. He was a Scorpio. There is something between Scorpio and Taurus,» she said in an interview with Vanity Fair, taking on a suggestive tone. «One morning, he said, ‘I want to do a picture of you.’ I didn’t know what to wear. I went to my closet and came out wearing this costume I’d worn to a party with Halston. Helmut was flabbergasted. He took me on the terrace and took the photo. It was 11 A.M.»… what a beautiful life!

LoL, Sandra

Matthias Schneider, Studio Director and Head of Design at REPOSSI, paid homage to Elsa Peretti on Instagram.

Photos: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co. / Elsa Peretti

Rest in Peace Pierre Cardin

French couturier Pierre Cardin died at the age of 98 on December 29, 2020 in Paris. He became famous for his 1960s-era avant-garde and Space Age looks, pioneering fashion ready-to-wear and the fashion licensing system. He sold everything from cars, perfume to food with his name and maintained that he built his business empire without ever asking a bank for a loan. This made him rich but also diminished his brand’s reputation at the same time.

In 1995, quotes from WWD included «Pierre Cardin—he has sold his name for toilet paper. At what point do you lose your identity?». However, the Cardin name was still very profitable, although the indiscriminate licensing approach was considered a failure. All these things that we know today, Armani hotels, Cartier chocolate, Dior Vespas, Gucci sunglasses is based on the imagination of Cardin. He was a marketing genius and saw this endless merchandising potential at a very early stage.

A scandal: He presented his first ready-to-wear collection for women in 1959 at Printemps departments store in Paris.

Spanning a 60-year career, Cardin was the first designer to sell clothes collections in department stores in the late 1950s. «It’s all the same to me whether I am doing sleeves for dresses or table legs,» a telling quote on his website once read. His competitors criticized him for destroying the notion of luxury which didn’t affect Cardin at all.

Dior’s famous New Look success created by Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin.

Born Pietro Cardin on July 2, 1922 near Venice to French parents of Italian descent, he was educated in the not-so-glamorous French city of Saint Etienne. From an early age, he was interested in dressmaking, starting work at age 14 as an apprentice even though his father wanted him to become an architect. He moved to Paris in 1945, where he studied architecture and worked with the fashion houses of Paquin and Elsa Schiaparelli. A year later, he joined the then-unknown Christian Dior who rose to fame with his 1947 New Look collection.

The famous bubble dress in 1954.

In 1950, he founded his own fashion house and only four years later, he introduced the iconic «bubble dress», a short-skirted, bubble-shaped dress made by bias-cutting over a stiffened base. He was the first couturier to turn to Japan as a high fashion market when he travelled there in 1957. That same year, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris to do as such, but was soon reinstated. In 1966, he resigned himself and began showing his collections in his own venue, the «Espace Cardin» (opened 1971) in Paris, formerly the «Théâtre des Ambassadeurs».

Pierre Cardin in 1970 in front of the Espace Cardin.

He also blazed a trail outside France long before other fashion multinationals in search of new markets. In 1979, he went to China to presented a collection when it was still largely closed to the outside world. And only two years after the Berlin Wall came down, in 1991, he staged a fashion show in Red Square in Moscow before 200,000 people, a first in Russian history.

In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. His furniture designs were highly inspired by his fashion designs. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for the most creative collection of the season.

In 1974 he became the first couturier to be on the Time magazine’s cover. He was 52 at that time.

In 1975, Cardin opened his first furniture boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. His furniture designs were highly inspired by his fashion designs. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the Cartier Golden Thimble by French haute couture for the most creative collection of the season.

Maxim’s restaurants are part of Cardin’s portfolio.

In 1981 Cardin bought Maxim’s restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing. A chain of Maxim’s Hotels (Palm Springs, California, 1986) were included in the assets. He also licensed a wide range of food products under that name.

Palais des Bulles

Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes, the so-called Palais des Bulles, woven into the cliffs on one of the most exclusive strips of the French riviera.

Pierre Cardin and Pierre Courtial in February 2020

For his latest venture in February this year he teamed up with Pierre Courtial, 27, who unveiled a collection at Cardin’s studio on Paris’s chic Rue Saint-Honore, with pieces that echoed some of the veteran designer’s geometrical aesthetics.

Pierre Cardin in 1950

«I’ve always tried to be different, to be myself,» Cardin told Reuters. «Whether people like it or not, that’s not what matters.» He also defended his zeal for licensing in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: «I don’t want to end up like Balenciaga and die without a nickel – then, 20 years after I’m dead, see others make a fortune from my name.»

Rest in Peace Pierre Cardin!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Pierre Cardin

Gabriela Hearst Is Chloé’s New Designer

Today, the House of Chloé has already announced its new designer after Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s exit was announced last week. It is no other than Uruguay-born, New York–based designer Gabriela Hearst, whose eponymous extremely successful label turned five this year.

Gabriela Hearst’s famous It-bags have been successful from the beginning.

While Ramsay-Levi’s designs were much appreciated by industry insiders, the brand’s heat with consumers, especially in terms of It-bags, cooled under her reign. That might be one of the reasons why Gabriela Hearst has been chosen. She is bringing a track record of success with handbags. Her iconic «Nina» style has been a huge hit from the beginning, followed by models such as «Patsy», «Diana» and «Demi». These bags are all highly sought after and trying to get them is almost impossible with extremely high waiting lists.

A true rancher by heart: Gabriela Hearst  

Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s 17,000-acre ranch, Santa Isabel in Paysandu, Uruguay, surrounded by horses, cattle and sheep, where the notion of luxury meant things were beautifully crafted and made to last. Her approach to «slow and conscious luxury», which is defined in her craft-forward aesthetic and focus on sustainability might be the other reason for being Chloé’s lead candidate.

Chloé’s new CEO Riccardo Bellini

CEO Riccardo Bellini, who joined from Martin Margiela in late 2019, who welcomed Hearst in a statement this morning. had already indicated in an interview with WWD last month, that Chloé was seeking B Corporation certification for its social and environmental performance and was creating an advisory board to hold the company accountable.

Hearst’s first runway show for F/W 2017 was produced to have as low as an environmental impact as possible, and from there her commitment to the issue has only grown. Now, she opts for eco-friendly fabrics and chooses to use recycled yarns whenever she can.

Power couple: Gabriela and Austin Hearst

Hearst’s lead investor is her husband, publishing heir Austin Hearst, whom she married in 2013. She opened her first store in New York in 2018, followed by another in London the following year, and made her Paris Fashion Week debut in September. In 2019, LVMH Luxury Ventures, an investment arm of LVMH, took a minority stake in Gabriela Hearst, making it the only American brand other than Marc Jacobs in which the global luxury conglomerate is invested.

My two favorite looks from the Gabriela Hearst F/W 2020 runway.

I am loving her cashmere knitted pieces. Incredibly soft and each piece has a tag where you can explore its garment journey. Stay tuned for many outfit posts coming up! Honestly speaking, I am truly looking forward to seeing her at the helmet although I liked Natacha’s designs a lot.

TO SHOP GABRIELA HEARST ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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Gabriela’s first collection for Chloé will be presented next March. All the best, I am sure it will be different and fabulous!

LoL Sandra

Wearing Gabriela Hearst dress and Nina bag

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and © Gabriela Hearst
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