My Life Is a Play

Ferragamo_My_life_is_a_Play_Launch_Signorina_Misteriosa

In the magnificent setting of the famous Forte Belvedere in Florence with stunning views over the Tuscan city, Salvatore Ferragamo launched their newest fragrance. A creation dedicated to women who like to play with their different characters. “My life is a play” is their credo.

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When I arrived in my hotel, a game waited for me: a little bag filled with wooden letters. I was asked to come up with the possible name of the new fragrance that would be presented in the evening. As I love playing scrabble, I did a pretty good job and wrote the actual name «Misteriosa» which I didn’t know at that time yet. I took a photo on instagram as proof.

Misteriosa RevealLuciano Bertinelli, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums, unveils the new scent.

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Setting

My life is a play” was also the theme of the exclusive cocktail party and gala dinner. We were welcomed above the city of Florence with stunning installations by Patricia Urquiola. The perfect backdrop for the newest addition to the Signorina family, «Misteriosa». The new oriental fruity scent offers an innovative olfactive interpretation of black shades with a strong gourmand core.

Pyramid Olfactory Ferragamo

Top notes: Wild Blackberry and Neroli
Middle notes: Orange Blossom and Tuberose
Base notes: Black Vanilla Mousse and Patchouli

Zhanna Bianca, Massimiliano Giornetti, Grace Hartzel, Sandra BauknechtPhotographer Zhanna Bianca, Massimiliano Giornetti, Grace Hartzel and my humble self.

Dinner Misteriosa

A dance performance, a gourmet menu and many more surprises waited for me. I had the honor to be seated next to Massimiliano Giornetti, Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo, and the special guest star on scene: top model Grace Hartzel, the new face of Signorina, with whom I had a lovely conversation.

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What does it mean to you to be the face of this new fragrance?
It makes me feel so wonderful! It has always been my dream to be the testimonial of a luxury fragrance brand. Working with the Salvatore Ferramamo team was so amazing, they are all fantastic and we had so much fun.

What was your immediate thought/emotion when you smelled Signorina Misteriosa for the first time?
I could feel the unpredictable, daring and mysterious belladonna phantom and become her.

You like Mangas, you cut a bang yourself which gave you a lot of success, you seem to do everything your very own way. Today, you were the star on the dance floor. Are you a Signorina Misteriosa? And if you feel like it, please tell me why.
Yes I do feel like a big part of me is her, because I love to be independent and do things my own way.

What do you like most about Mangas?
I love how it’s such a different world. It’s so fantasy. The characters are very inspiring, and the artwork is beautiful.

What would be the best advice you would give to a young upcoming model friend?
To express your own style and personality. Have inner strength and be kind.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What would be your biggest dream to come true?
I want to pursue music and acting.

Graze in 3 words.
Joy , groovy, cosmic.

Grace_On_StageOn stage: Luciano Bertinelli, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums, with Grace Hartzel.

What a great night. Later, Grace and I went on the dance floor. That is the beauty of life. We can choose every day which one of our facets we are going to interpret. Let the play start, but always remain the same person!

Signorina Ferragamo Bottles

Signorina Misteriosa is available now as Eau de Parfum 30ml (CHF 69.00), 50ml (CHF 99.00) and 100ml (CHF 129.00), as Duschgel 200ml (CHF 40.00) and as Bodylotion 200ml (CHF 45.00).

LoL, Sandra

Signorina by Zhanna BiancaPhoto: © Zhanna Bianca
The perfect backdrop for Misteriosa: Florence

IMG_5384One of my favorite dishes in Florence: the traditional pappa al pomodoro – bread and tomato soup.

Misteriosa PerformanceBeautiful dance performance with spectacular views of the Duomo in Florence.

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The new ad campaign and below the video:

Photos: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Zhanna Bianca, @ Grammio
A huge thank you to my fellow Marionnaud blogger and friend Katrin Roth for taking all the photos of me! Love traveling with you!

Tea Time at Elton John’s Home

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One beautiful sunny day last fall, I flew to London to follow Lalique‘s very exclusive invitation to have tea time at Elton John’s gorgeous home. The reason for this once in a lifetime experience was the launch of the ELTON JOHN MUSIC IS LOVE FOR LALIQUE collection that includes four exceptional crystal sculptures. As you can imagine, the estate is breathtaking and Sir Elton John is absolutely lovely to talk to.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique_Sandra_BauknechtInside Sir Elton John’s beautiful home

«The ultimate goal of this project is to raise money to support urgently needed projects that address the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic across the globe. In doing so, we also want to create beautiful and meaningful pieces for people to purchase that speak to the high standards of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Lalique. Through purchasing one of these crystal pieces, people are also learning something about EJAF’s work and helping to make a real difference in the lives of people in need.»
– Sir Elton John

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-3Inside the house’s art gallery where Sir Elton John and David Furnish officially tied the knot in 2014.

IMG_1084David Furnish and Lalique designer Marc Larminaux listen to Sir Elton John’s speech.

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Four Special Editions (the unique Angel Cire Perdue, the Heart in platinum enamelled red crystal, the Heart in gold enamelled clear crystal and the Angel in gold-stamped clear crystal) each signed by Sir Elton John, will be auctioned during this weekend’s 2016 Academy Awards, in partnership with Paddle8, to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

IMG_1181The unique Angel Cire Perdue.

«I don’t think that I have ever seen a more beautiful piece of glass than the big Angel. It is breathtaking!»
– Sir Elton John

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The standing Angel in clear crystal and the Heart in clear or red crystal are available at Lalique boutiques and their select retailers. Lalique will contribute 10% of sales to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-12The socle of the statue engraved by Sir Elton John.

Sir Elton John, the theme of the pieces is ‘Music is Love’. Why do you think music and love have always been so intricately entwined?

Love is one of the primary forces that can unite us and bring us together despite our differences. Indeed, love shows us that the differences dividing us from each other are ultimately very superficial, that we have so much more in common than not. Music is a powerful medium for expressing all the many faces of love, and it is a participatory medium. Music draws us together. It is a universal language. We come together to make music, to listen to music, to share music. This is why I believe that music and love are synonymous, that music IS love.

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Music is your passion and your most widely-known medium of expression. How have you found working in sculpture, particularly in crystal?

The process of artistic creation – whether for music or dance or visual art – arises from the same impetus, the same need to express thoughts, feelings, ideas. I found the entire design process for this project – from theorising, to working and revising with drawings, to realising the concept as a three-dimensional object – to be absolutely exhilarating. Working in crystal is fascinating, and Lalique crystal has an amazing way of constantly changing with light and shadow, the time of day… Such a beautiful, magical medium!
The finished piece is even more exciting and beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I’m completely thrilled with it and really looking forward to the auction in February 2016.

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You’re a collector of glass and crystal, and have a number of Lalique pieces in your collection. What is it that you appreciate about crystal and Lalique in particular?

For me, Lalique stands for craftsmanship, luxury and a strong tradition of devotion to the art of producing the highest quality, most beautiful objects using these materials. Lalique sets a standard of craftsmanship that is simply unparalleled in the world. I think glass is a much underappreciated art form. That is why I collect it and I love it very much and Lalique to me represents the Rolls-Royce of glass.
As an oral artist who makes music, the visual arts of glass inspire me when I write a song or when I play the piano, because every day I get up and I am surrounded by glass and a lot of Lalique. Subconsciously, it inspires me to do better things, I think.

heart-red-white-crystal--elton-john-music-is-love-for-laliqueMUSIC IS LOVE Heart Red Crystal (limited edition of 499 pieces) and Heart Clear Crystal (limited edition of 999 pieces).

«The heart is a universal symbol of love.»
– Sir Elton John

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You have also been working with the Lalique design team to create three other sculptures – a smaller angel and two heart sculptures, with part of the proceeds going to the Foundation. What do these symbolise for you?

The heart is a universal symbol of love, as well as the Angel. Love is ultimately what guides and inspires the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and love is what we need to end this epidemic. Science has made amazing advances in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. But unless we love each other enough to make sure that everyone – no matter who they love, what they do, how they look or what they believe – has the resources to stay healthy and prevent further transmission of the disease, then all the science in the world will be for naught. LOVE is the ultimate solution to AIDS.

Thank you, Sir Elton John, for this amazing invitation!

To visit the Lalique website where you can shop the limited edition pieces or bid for the collector’s items, click HERE please.

LoL, Sandra

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-2The beautiful library.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-8The estate is truly breathtaking.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-23Sir Elton John in front of the three other sculptures that are available in stores.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-32Sir Elton John is a dedicated art collector.

elton john_music_is_love_Lalique-33Art plays a very important role in the life of the famous singer.

IMG_1034I loved this statue inside the guest bathroom.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Silvio_DenzWith Lalique owner Silvio Denz in front of the unique Angel Cire Perdue.

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Being at Sir Elton John’s home was a truly special experience that I will treasure forever. I am wishing Lalique and him good luck this weekend to achieve the best result possible in the auction.

Stay tuned for more coming up from Los Angeles where I will be from Thursday on…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of Lalique

Poison Girl

Poison girlPOISON_EMPIRE

The House of Dior has written history. It was 1985, I was a little girl and absolutely fascinated by that gorgeous green box and the curvy aubergine bottle: POISON. Either you have loved it or you have hated it.

I wanted it so badly but I was obviously too young. My time would come. 1998, HYPNOTIC POISON was launched. A rebel on the perfume market. The first so to say aphrodisiac scent. A vanilla oriental, tempting and with so much sex appeal, lush and beautiful.

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2016 marks a new chapter in the Poison story: POISON GIRL. A bitter sweet floral, scandalously delicious. Camilla Rowe is the face, a young femme fatale. She is a party girl full of power. She is a pop-feminist who seduces and fulfills her dreams. Enjoy this short interview with Dior’s newest face:

Did you know the mythical Poison perfume universe?

I’m too young to have experienced the Poison “phenomenon,” but entering a house as legendary as Dior already means so much!

Do you like the Poison Girl scent?

Yes, I really like sensual, assertive perfumes. I really like the idea of noble raw materials. You need to know how to strike a balance with this type of perfume, but I adore its instant personality.

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Your favourite music?

Difficult!! I have so many. At the moment I’m listening to Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra’s album again and again.

The Stones or the Beatles?

Oh I hate that question! But I do have an answer. In fact, I love all the Stones’ albums but I don’t love all the Beatles’ albums. But, in my opinion, the Beatles’ music that I do I like beats everything else!

Dior poison girl

A director you like?

I like Jim Jarmusch for the way he derides her characters. They are very funny, without being in a comical register. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen “Down By Law”!

An unforgettable journey?

Definitely Iceland. I went there one day on a sudden impulse. Since then I’ve been back several times. I adore the country and I adore the Icelanders. They are incredible and genuine. Today they are still steeped in their magical folklore. They don’t have any problem talking to you about trolls! I love that capacity for imagination, and for keeping a fresh open mind.

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Any particular diet?

I eat everything in moderation, but I don’t follow any particular diet. I avoid fast food because I don’t like it, but I allow myself everything else.

Any particular sport?

I do Yasa Yoga every morning in New York. I also go surfing in Montauk and Rockaway near New York.And a close friend and I have got into the habit of going “speed” walking, and we cross the Williamsburg bridge together. Generally I like to stay active.

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Best Shopping?

I like really comfortable clothes. I love Jane Birkin’s style: jeans and a shopping basket. I have a pretty impressive collection of jeans and t-shirts.

Best Make-up?

When I go out, just a beautiful red lipstick. And Diorskin Star foundation by Dior, which I love. I really like their concealer too.

Skincare?

In the plane before a shoot I hydrate my skin enormously as it is hyper-sensitive and reacts to everything. In fact I have adopted Dior’s “Hydralife” line which I love.

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Regarding your online life (you have thousands of followers), do you think it would be so intense if you weren’t a top model?

My Instagram is mostly personal. The fact that my name doesn’t appear proves it – I use my pseudonym, “Fingermonkey.” I’ve never wanted to use my real name, even when Victoria’s Secret asked me to so that I would have even more followers.

I hardly ever post anything work-related unless it’s something I really care about. All the content is very personal – I’m not looking for the perfect photo. I don’t think my followers are the same ones that follow other models. My Instagram is coherent with who I am, and that also enables me professionally to attract houses that appreciate who I really am.

Why the name “Fingermonkey” for your Instagram account?

Matt Jones, a photographer with whom I work a lot, has always called me “Monkey” because I’m very… boisterous!

One day, on set with him, I had just discovered this new app – it was in the early days of Instagram. I wanted to create my account immediately with the nickname “monkey” but it was already taken, so we came up with “Fingermonkey”! So this weird name began as a joke, but today there are lots of people who only know me through my “Fingermonkey” account!

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POISON GIRL will hit the shelves in Switzerland on January 27, 2016.

Eau de Parfum 100ml (CHF 187.00), 50ml (CHF 133.00) and 30ml (CHF 85.00).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior

Merry Perry

Merry Perry Cover Final

It is a Monday evening and I am at home when my phone rings. It is Katy Perry from Rio de Janeiro where she is currently on her Prismatic World Tour 2015. A lovely chat about fashion, style and her collaboration with H&M for Christmas!

Katy Perry is one of the highest paid celebrities in the world and was the first artist to surpass 75 million digital downloads, and the only female singer to have five Billboards no1s from the same album (California Gurls, Teenage Dream, Firework, E.T. and Last Friday Night). The 31-year-old has the most Twitter followers as a single person with over 78 million and 33 million Instagram fans. This holiday season, the pop sensation, who writes most of her songs herself, has teamed up with H&M for a collection that offers all you can dream of for the Christmas season.

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How were you involved in the creative process of the collaboration with H&M?
Cozy and cool are the key words. H&M approached me to be the face and represent the holidays for them. I wasn’t involved in the design process but I put the actual looks together.
For me it was an easy decision as I am so into all of the fall holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

It felt also very authentic to me because at the age of 13/14/15 I was starting my own style and I was always mixing H&M with my vintage clothes.

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What is your favourite piece of the collection and why?
I actually have three. First I love the «elfie selfie» sweater, it is a funny, great piece with lots of embellishments and shows the outline of an elf.
Then there is a beautiful well-fitted black suit jacket that has sleeves like a kimono and the red dress that I wore for one of the shots with black dangling earrings. I have this latin flair in the photo which I like.

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You are definitely no wallflower when it comes to fashion and trends. It seems like you truly enjoy dressing up. You are always catching eyes. Was your style always that eccentric? How did it evolve?
For me it is either dressing all the way up or a black and white tracksuit. It is never inbetween. It is a hundred percent or zero percent. In my teenage years or even in my twenties, I had always been very colourful and looked like in a cartoon. I never wore black as this is very boring to me. Lately, I started to wear a little black like black leather pants.

How do you dress when you are at home?
At home, I like being casual. I wear a tracksuit or my Calvin Klein top and bottom. But I always wear a lot of different stuff when I go out. I take a lot of chances not to be nominated for the best dressed lists but I like to have fun.

Katy Perry HM Shoes

What does fashion mean to you?
It is just another way to express my creativity and how I feel about myself. So many times, I am out in public to do something but I don’t get to meet people. I don’t get to shake everybody’s hand, but fashion is a way to present myself. What I wear gives everyone a feeling of how I feel that day. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is flirty but ninety percent of the time my outfit has a sense of humour.

What is favourite piece of clothing in your closet and why?
Not a favourite piece but I find that really nice jewellery never goes out of style. I have a big wardrobe and I go through it maybe twice a year and pull out all the stuff that doesn’t make sense to me anymore but I my jewellery tends to stand the test of time.

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Three pieces of clothes or accessories every woman should own?
A nice pair of diamond earrings and they don’t have to be real. A little sparkle close to your face always highlights your face. A nice corset underwear. One of those pieces with a bra and undies that shapes your waist and a timeless black jacket that can go on for ten years.

Do you have a style icon? Somebody whom you admire for her or his looks? If yes, who and why.
Yes, I do. Two people come to my mind. I like Chloë Sevigny, the American actress, she can go in between, very chic and very hipster. Grunge, a little bit of 70s, she tries a lot of different things.
And my friend Rihanna. It is so fun to see her walk out of her hotel room in something that you never thought it could be wearable and she pulls it of so well without trying too hard.

Katy Perry H&M

You have changed your hair colour so many times. How do you keep your hair looking healthy despite all the colour treatments?
Whenever I die it, I will take a long time to get to the new colour. I would never go overnight! I play with a lot of a wigs that make it look like I am dying my hair all the time. I also trim my hair a lot along the way and luckily I am able to work a lot with super professionals.

Do you have a personal stylist? If yes, how do you work together. If not, how do you choose and get your looks?
I work with a couple different stylists for different themes. For the H&M campaign for example together with B. Åkerlund, Jonas Åkerlund’s wife, who shot the commercial. They are a team. She helped style it and was extremely creative. She is very costumy and knows how to put an outfit together. She is larger than life and works with the likes of Beyoncé and Madonna.

Katy Perry

How would you describe your personal style?
It is all about having fun and expressing myself, not about playing a political fashion game. I don’t play by the rules, I don’t care if I make it to the best dressed list. If I feel my best, that is the list I want to make!

Thank you, Katy, for this very refreshing interview!

I still cannot believe that Katy Perry called me at home on a Monday night… this is just too cool!
The Katy Perry x H&M Christmas collection is in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M
This interview is now also available in German and French in the recent L’Officiel Switzerland issues!

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour

BOBBI BROWN LUXE LIPS

Bobbi Brown‘s boldest, most vibrant lip color ever: LUXE LIP. This sumptuous formula dramatically boosts moisture levels while intensely rejuvenating lips, keeping them comfortable and conditioned—even after it’s removed. Now in 30 shades, with a sleek gold tube. It’s luxury, redefined. I am obsessed.

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Kate Upton is the face of the campaign. You can watch the video at the end of this post but before I would like to invite you to enjoy Bobbi Brown’s insider tips on the right lip make-up.

What makes this new lip color formula so special?

BB: Luxe Lip is our most luxurious lipstick yet. It glides on effortlessly and gives lips rich, vibrant color with an ultra- luxurious finish. The nourishing formula is packed with moisturizers and peptides that work behind the scenes to make lips look softer and smoother—even after it’s taken off.

What does luxury mean to you?

BB: It’s all about the simple pleasures – a book you can’t put down, really good espresso, a hot bath after a long day. When it comes to beauty, luxury is defined by things that are timeless and made with the very best ingredients.

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 Can you describe the process of how you name lip colors?

BB: Inspiration for shades comes from everything I see in my daily life – from fabrics to countries to food. In this collection you’ll find names like Red Velvet, Sunset Orange, and Raspberry Pink. It’s also important that each name help women understand what the color actually looks like—makeup shouldn’t be complicated. Russian Doll is inspired by the color of cheeks and lips after being outside in the cold—rosy red. It’s a subtle, yet statement-making lip color. Parisian Red is inspired by French style. French women are known for their sexy, effortless brand of cool so this is the color that you can wear without any other makeup and still look pulled together. It is true red that instantly brightens up the complexion. And the shade Your Majesty is inspired by London—one of my favorite places in the world. When I’m in London, I’m constantly on-the-go—visiting my favorite sights, restaurants and meeting with friends. Your Majesty delivers just the right amount of depth – it’s sophisticated and royal – making it the perfect lip color to wear from day to night and on any occasion.

Any tips to finding the perfect everyday lip color?

BB: To find the most flattering nude lipstick, use the natural coloring of lips as a guide. The best shade will either match or be one or two shades brighter or darker than lips.

What is a beauty must when wearing bolder lip colors?

BB: Make sure lips are smooth and conditioned before applying lipstick; bright color can accentuate uneven lip texture. And for the most precise look, use a Lip Brush to apply lipstick; keep color within the natural lines of lips. Also, make sure to keep the makeup balanced—bright and bold lips look most modern with simple eye makeup.

When Luxe Lip meets the Lust List: super-talented Australian artist, Sally Spratt, created 15 hand-drawn mood boards featuring the gorgeous new shades and the countries that inspired them.
For the full list, click here please.

12119168_10153621877245539_2511724057596730362_nFor girls who love fast cars, you’ll love Retro Coral.

1458481_10153621877365539_6987699484916210991_nFor the woman who’s the epitome of modern glamour, meet the gorgeous Hot Rose shade.

12118819_10153621877170539_4354138128154048061_nThe brilliant Great Barrier Reef inspired this beauty in Atomic Orange.
The new lipstick collection is in stores now for CHF 47.00 each.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bobbi Brown

Interview with Olivier Rousteing

Interview_Olivier_Rousteing

At the age of 30, Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of Balmain, is H&M‘s latest designer collaborator. Since five years , he has been at the helmet of the French fashion house and is one of the youngest creative directors in the world. He has shot to fame in the succeeding thanks to his glamorous designs and also his groundbreaking sense for social media. His vision is to combine pop culture, music and fashion.

         Together with Ann‑Sofie Johansson, the creative advisor at H&M, he answered some questions regarding his upcoming collaboration with H&M that will hit the stores worldwide tomorrow, November 5, 2015.

H&M-BalmainOlivier Rousteing and Ann-Sofie Johansson

            Olivier, how did you feel when H&M called you and asked you to be their newest collaborator?

       OR: It was just something amazing like «Oh, my God, it’s happening to me..». It was a dream come true because I’m H&M generation boy. For me being part of the H&M story, it’s an honor, it’s a privilege, it’s something that celebrates a vision and aesthetic.

            10 years ago I was part of the Cavalli collaboration. I was an assistant and now 10 years later I’m with Balmain, the creative director, and am building that amazing story. When H&M calls to ask for your aesthetic and vision, it’s a big achievement for a designer. I’m very proud to be part of it.

         Ann-Sofie, why did H&M want to work with Balmain and Olivier?

            ASJOlivier is a fantastic designer, of course. He achieved so many great things at Balmain. WE at H&M have a wish list of designers we would like to collaborate with. Olivier was on it. We also get a lot of questions from our customers, demands really, who to collaborate with next. Olivier was also one of the top names there.

            We were super happy when Olivier and Balmain said yes. It’s also fun to have a collaboration that is opposite to what we did last year with Wang, that was really sporty and streety. This time, it is opulent, glamorous and sexy. 

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            Olivier, we all know about the #BalmainArmy. The hashtag for this collaboration is #HMBalmaination. It is like a message of unity, something that is very important to you. Talk a little bit please about why is that so integral to Balmain and H&M.

            OR: I think I love fashion for two reasons. Because I love to do clothes and to deliver a vision of diversity and unity the same time. With H&M it was literally expressing the diversity.

            Also, why ‘nation’? In this nation I could have so many different people. First because obviously this line is more affordable than my own line. Building the Balmain Army means creating a nation that believes in my universe, the DNA of Balmain. With this collaboration, I can reach more people, different ages, also different continents because Balmain has not so many stores as H&M.

Kylie Jenner wearing H&M x Balmain

 Olivier, can you explain please why you decided to remake and sort of revise some of the greatest hits from your past four years?

OR: Because I still remember around 10 years ago when I was in the line to actually get the pieces from different collaborations for myself. I loved watching the runway shows and thought so many times, I wished I could afford this jacket or those pants. I remember my feeling of frustration.

            So now I can see with my Instagram, my followers, dreaming of some pearls, some different craftsmanship. Once in my life I want to make it up. Thanks to H&M, we can make it happen.

         Ann‑Sofie, like you said, this collection is very different than last year’s, which was Alexander Wang, really sporty. What was the process like for H&M? It obviously has a lot of lux detailing. Was that a new experience for everyone?

            ASJ: It was a challenge. Of course, there are different challenges with different collaborations. This time, it was the handcrafted details. We were I have to say a little bit scared if we were able to pull it off or not and now we’re super happy with the result. I know that Olivier is, as well. We work with really skilled suppliers that we’ve been working with for many, many years. They are also super proud of being part of this collaboration.

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  Was there a specific piece that was the most challenging?

            ASJ: All the pieces, but definitely the black and white dress, which is fully beaded. 250,000 pearls are on that dress.

          Olivier, how about you, how did you experience the collaboration?

OR: Drama (laughter). Working with H&M, it’s a big achievement because as a designer you push yourself so much more. You know the price range and it’s obvious that you can’t use some techniques, but you want to make sure it looks the best. I wanted to bring affordable couture and that’s why I’m really, really proud of the result.

Balmain HM Shop

            To see the collection on the racks over there, there is a mix of embellished pieces, but you put some simpler things, like the sweater that Ann‑Sofie is wearing.

            OR: I think it’s important. When H&M contacted me, I asked myself: what is the Balmain DNA, what do we want to bring to the store? I said there are two pillars, the couture, but also the tailoring. Even for the simplest pieces, the fit is amazing, the fabric is good. I think we managed to find a real good balance for this collection. You can get a dress to party all night long and be really glamourous or you can opt for a jacket with buttons which you can wear during daytime.

         That’s why I talked about diversity. I think it was important to reach different kind of women.

_73A9065Olivier’s three muses: Jourdan Dunn, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner

            You are an Instagram star with 1.6 million followers now. I don’t think many other designers come close. Obviously your fans get a lot from you through social media. They learn about you and your life. What do you get as a designer and also what does Balmain and H&M get as brands from Instagram?

            OR: I think the most important part is that you get feedback from the people that love you and also from the ones that hate you. Social media today is a really nice way of advertising and showing who you are, what is your vision, what is your aesthetic.
 What is amazing with Instagram, if you want to know it, you can follow me. If you don’t want to, you can unfollow me. I think it’s a more honest way to actually share with people. You’re not really advertising, you’re just being yourself, taking selfies in the morning after showing what’s happening in your studio, showing the clothes, showing also how it could be hard work to make it up. I think people love to see the process.

  Personally speaking, it’s also a way to keep my feet on the ground because I find a way to keep contact with reality. I can read some comments, I can see how hard life can be for some people. It’s a good balance for my glamorous life.

     Let’s talk about the menswear, too as there’s a big selection. Did you approach that the same way with the idea of keeping the tailoring central but also the embellishments and embroideries?

            ORThis men’s collection is like an access to my closet. I love my double‑breasted jacket, I love my coats, my leather pants, my T‑shirts, my embroidered jackets. It’s like my personal wardrobe. Reminiscent of Instagram where I like to share, I wanted to give the exact same clothes to those who can’t afford what I’m doing. I’m really, really proud.

          Moreover, I am so happy that this menswear collection is something that a lot of women like and could actually wear. Balmain DNA is when a woman can also get the menswear jacket and everything. This is really interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of women are going to go for the menswear line also.

          Androgyny is very of much in the current vogue. People are talking about it a lot in fashion. Considering that Balmain’s DNA is so opulent and glamorous, it seems like it perhaps doesn’t really fit with this new trend. Like you say, it actually does.

            OR: Completely. I think Balmain is not only flamboyant and rich, because it has 200,000 beads on a dress. It’s because you can wear a menswear jacket and feel really strong, confident, not  afraid. That’s what I’m building with my Balmain Army, the H&M Balmain Nation. You know who you are with a menswear jacket, with a really short beaded dress. It’s about confidence and about believing in yourself.

What will this collaboration do for Balmain as a brand?

            OR: I think as a brand, is going to open the doors to our stores because Balmain is not known in some countries. It’s a great access to understand the Balmain world better, that it’s not only about the embroidery dress, but more about the tailoring. And it’s a great way to give younger people an access to Balmain.

Alessandra Ambrosia wearing the must-have jacket on the runway.

       Speaking about the clothes, do you both have favorites, any predictions on what you think will be the top sellers?

            OR: Yes, I have my favorite, it’s the double‑breasted jacket with the pearls and velvet that Kendall was wearing at the Billboards when we announced the collaboration. I love the pearls because it’s part of my first season. It’s kind of emotional for me, but I’m really proud that this jacket is going to be in stores.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Jacket_HM_BalmainMe wearing the black jacket with gold buttons.

What are a the key pieces of this collection that you can recommend that you can start a great closet with?

            OR: The black jacket with gold buttons is a perfect start. You can wear it as a dress if you want to or you can wear it as a jacket. Thanks to Ann‑Sofie who made it slightly longer.

            This jacket in particular is really iconic for me because it’s really Balmain. It’s black, simple with six gold buttons. Wear it like a tuxedo jacket with pants, or as a dress with the high boots that we also sell. It’s a real statement jacket.

Thank you, Olivier and Ann-Sofie for this lovely interview!

Don’t forget tomorrow the Balmain x H&M collection will hit the shelves…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M, Balmain and © Sandra Bauknecht

Interview with Viktor & Rolf

Viktor&Rolf Portrait ∏ HyungsikKim

THE INSEPARABLES
MEET FASHION’S BOMBASTIC DUO

Ten years ago, Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren wished upon a star. Their wish was to create a fragrance that would make the world a better place. Their wish came true and with Flowerbomb another success story of the avant-garde Dutch fashion house was born.

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The sun is shining in Paris. It is the morning after the 10-year anniversary party of Viktor & Rolf’s highly succesful fragrance «Flowerbomb» and the day after their latest Haute Couture fashion show. Even I feel a little tired because of all the great impressions from yesterday. Yet, I am full of energy and excited to meet the designer duo in person.

I wear a silk top and skirt with bow embellishments from one of their previous collections (for the outfit post, click here please) and when I enter the suite at the Peninsula hotel, they recognize it in a second and I am greeted with two big smiles.

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«REALITY IS BORING. WHAT IF WE MAKE IT UP?»

My first impression? As trivial as it sounds, I like them immediately. Fashion and fragrances, both are about fantasy and the designer duo knows exactly how to cater to that. In an intellectual, yet theatrical way, I am immeditaley transported into their world.

But who are those two Dutch men that would like to make the world a better place with their creations? Their vita reads like a bedtime story, like twins who were seperated by birth and found themselves at a later stage in life. Both were born in 1969 not far away from each other. They met during their studies at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design and began working together upon graduation. In 1993, they won a talent contest and launched their namesake label.

d9b18c5e736113cbcac8109253affb4aViktor & Rolf x H&M (2006)

First, their creations were presented in art galleries until they showed their first Haute Couture show in 1998, followed by their ready-to-wear collections in 2000. In 2006, H&M worked with the avant-garde pair for the at that point only third of the mass-retailers designer collaborations. Many more were about to follow, such as a luggage range for Samsonite, a reinterpretation of the Piper-Heidsieck champagne bottle (they turned it upside down and labeled it pink) and a line of false couture lashes for Shu Uemura. Just to name a few.

1Viktor & Rolf x Piper-Heidsieck (2007)

In 2008 Italian clothing magnate Renzo Rosso, President of OTB Group, the holding group of Maison Martin Margiela,, Marni and Diesel, bought a controlling interest in the company which gave Horsting & Snoeren the possibilty to create pre-collections and catwalk shows that kept the label on everyone’s lips.

Viktor&Rolf FW15 Haute CoutureViktor & Rolf Haute Couture F/W 2015

This fall, Viktor & Rolf will take a break from the ready-to wear schedule after their F/W 2015 presentation to focus on their couture line which is every season a creative atomic bomb.

«WE SEE OURSELVES AS FASHION ARTISTS»

The day before the interview, they had presented their so-called «Wearable Art» F/W 2015 Haute Couture collection at the mezzanine space of Palais de Tokyo. During the show, the designer duo interacted on stage by taking broken picture frames filled with fabric of a wall and transforming them into gowns that they draped over the models.

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Ten years ago, another artistic runway presentation had taken place. With three whispering words at the mid-point of the S/S 2015 ready-to-wear show featuring a collection rendered in black and dark tones – «Flowerbomb, Flowerbomb, Flowerbomb» – the stage revolved, revealing a completely transformed tableau vivant of models in a palette of pinks, roses and creams. It was a defining moment for Viktor & Rolf to launch their first female fragrance and intricately linking it to their powerful fashion collections – both a symbol of transformation and empowerment.

«WE FEEL A STRONG NEED TO REFOCUS ON OUR ARTISTIC ROOTS.»

F/W 2015 will be your last ready-to-wear collection because you would like to concentrate on couture. Why is that?

V&R: It was an artistic decision. We started to show couture in the beginning of our career and we returned to it for our twentieth anniversary two and a half years ago. This is what we really love so we want to focus on it. The great thing about couture is that you can take it to the extreme. It is like poetry for ideas. It gives us more freedom as the fashion system can be very demanding.

Will couture influence your fragrance line? It seems rather obvious that you would enter the world of Haute Perfumery as a next step.

V&R(Both smile): Kind of the next project. It is too early now to speak about it.

How did the «Flowerbomb» project get started? Were you approached by L’Oréal or vice versa?

V&R: L’Oréal came to us. They recognized the storyteller in us. We dreamt of a fragrance that had the power to spread a positive message.

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«Flowerbomb», that is very innovative in its gourmand approach, was created by Oliver Polge, Carlos Benaim and Domitille Bertier. How were you involved in the process of making your first fragrance?

V&R: Well, it started with the word «Flowerbomb». That was our idea because we are very drawn to flowers. It becomes easily just pretty. The name is about opposites that attract. Opposites that create something new when put together in an unexpected way. A perfumer is an artist in its own. When we smelled it first, we knew that is it.

In 1996, we already had done an art project in a gallery. At that time, we didn’t have a career yet just big dreams so we visualized our ambitions in small installations with dolls. There was for instance a doll in a photo studio or a shop.

A fake perfume was also part of the exhibition because we thought it would be great to have our own scent. It was made in a limited edition of 250 and you couldn’t open the bottle. It was sealed so that its smell stayed a mystery. Everything showed our desire and ambition to be a designer.

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What does perfume mean to you?

V&R: It’s a very direct and tangible way to express an emotion. And that is the challenge to create a perfume, to do it in a good way. To be clear. You have a name, an image, a bottle, a fragrance, a message you sent. So you have to get all those factors right in the beginning.

When you smell a woman wearing «Flowerbomb», how is that for you?

Viktor: Sometimes it is weird when you see somebody in the street wearing «Flowerbomb» or «Spicebomb», our male fragrance. It almost feels like borderline and inappropriate as if you know something about this person you shouldn’t know.

Rolf: I always want to see who wears it when I smell it.

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The ad campaign was created together with your friends, the famous photographer duo Inez van Lambsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. It hasn’t been changed for a decade. Couldn’t you imagine a famous face for «Flowerbomb» as most of the fragrance houses do?

Not so easily. What we like about the ad is that it is a mystery. It is about the story of «Flowerbomb», the emotion, the feeling and not about one woman. It is about an idea, not about a celebrity and wanting to be that celebrity. It is aspirational in a different way.

Tori-Amos-3-600x399Tori Amos on stage at the 10-year anniversary party of Flowerbomb.

Do you have a woman in mind you would love to dress?

Rolf: Yesterday, hearing Tori Amos sing «Wishing Upon a Star» in our couture cape from the Zen collection a few years ago was a dream come true. She is a real «Flowerbomb».

Would you agree, Viktor?

Viktor: I would agree, we dressed many celebrities. But with Tori a personal relationship has evolved over the years and that adds a meaning to the dressing.

How can I imagine your creative process?

It is a constant discussion. We whats up from the moment we wake up. It is very continious, one thing informs the other. Right from the start already, we felt that our work flow went really well. We had a conversation 23 years ago and it is still ongoing. Literally we start with words, then come up with ideas. We have to make it very clear and visualize it before actually getting started.

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You always seem to be in line. Do you ever fight or argue?

V&R (Both laugh): Not so much. It is very easy. If we disagree in work, we talk about it and it means to us it is not finished.

What do you admire about each other?

Rolf: He is my best friend. I cannot really decribe it and I don’t want to because he means everything to me.

Viktor: That is very sweet. Thank you! It would be diminishing to put it into words but Rolf you are a genius. That is it for starters.

If you are in a relationship. How do your partners cope with the strong bond you are having?

V&R: If there is a partner, it is a given. They know from the beginning how close we are.

IMG_8082Viktor & Rolf’s Paris store is located at 370 rue Saint-Honoré.

You seem to wear similiar outfits a lot of times. Do you whats up each other in the morning what you are going to wear?

V&R (Both laugh): It used to be but not so much anymore. It is more about the same style.

Do you wear other designers?

V&R: Not really other designers. Mainly our own things or things that we don’t make like a Nike sneakers.

Which scent are you both wearing?

V&R: Spicebomb in the extreme version.

How do you get creative?

V&R: We talk a lot, it doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes you have to force yourself to sit down. just work and pull it out of yourself. Getting a deadline helps a lot though.

IMG_8092Viktor & Rolf sweets during the interview.

In our times, being in business for 10 years is an amazing success for a scent. Do you see your fragrance line in collaboration with L’Oréal as a marketing tool?

V&R: Oh yes, in our times, when everything is so disposable, it is amazing to have something that has a meaning. Especially considering the fact that when we started making it, we weren’t thinking of other people. We wanted something that we are prone to, that is important to us. That it became such a success, is just amazing.

What do you think about social media and its fastness?

We are very ambivalent. Thinking of how we grew up in the Netherlands, there was not a lot of fashion. It is great how up-to-date and connected the kids of today are. At the same time it looses mystery, and it becomes so disposible, but we use for example Instagram. For our last couture show we tried to make images that didn’t exist before.

Do you manage your own instagram account?

We have an assistant with whom we do it together but we look at it as well.

viktor_and_rolf_caw15_0069Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture F/W 2015

What are you most proud of in terms of your career?

Our friendship.

Is there a collection that you are most proud of?

V&R: Several ones, but the last couture show was for us an achievement, as we tried to get to the essence of our work, who we really are.

Viktor & Rolf. The brand in 3 words.

Viktor(smiles): Can it be six?

Provocative couture. Unexpected elegance. Conceptual glamour.
These are the creative pillars that define the avant-garde house of Viktor & Rolf.

Thank you, Viktor & Rolf for this amazing interview!

A lovely surprise waited for me upon my arrival in my hotel room: the Mini Bombette bag. 

Viktor & Rolf surely cannot be pigeonholed. They are like the magicians of fashion for me and I am very curious to see their future projects and collections now that they can concentrate on their artistic skills. «Flowerbomb» is still growing a stronger audience and for the designer duo a good base to make most out of their business. Trust your heart, and success will come to you. In case of Viktor & Rolf, it absolutely seems to be true.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf, © Sandra Bauknecht
Illustrations: Franáois Berthoud

Are You an Addict?

Dior_Addict_Lipstick_Launch_Sandra_Bauknecht

Spring time at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the perfect backdrop for Dior to present their upcoming launch, the first lipstick created by their new Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup Peter Philips who gave me a very exclusive and rare interview (available in German and French in the new October issue of L’Officiel Switzerland – at newsstands nationwide this Thursday).

Since its launch in 2001, the «Dior Addict Lipstick» has been on everyone’s lips. The first lipstick created as a fashion accessory has been reinvented this fall in a futuristic version, defying the limits of shine to ensure easy-to-wear, lively and vibrant colour in one movement with no mirror needed. Thanks to its hydra-gel core, that is composed of 40% of the three of the shiniest oils used in cosmetics, it is the first lipstick with an integrated top coat. With each application, this original gel coat delicately melts over the lips, providing them with a sensual moisturizing glossy film and a spectacular volumizing effect. No lip balm needed anymore.

DIOR-cover2Basic Instinct: Jennifer Lawrence in the new campaign.

The 35 shades are divided in three different light effect families, from glittery to flashy to glowy. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is the face of the new campaign that is very reminiscent of the famous «Basic Instinct» movie scene in which Sharon Stone is crossing and uncrossing her legs. The only difference? The cigarette is a lipstick. The slogan? «Shine, don’t be shy!» – the perfect reflection of who she is in real life. A modern woman who takes control without taking herself too seriously. About her collaboration with Peter Philips she raves: «He is very sweet, incredibly creative and brilliant. I love how he does makeup. He understands a woman’s face and knows how to make it dramatic with makeup, but also make it seem very natural.»

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Time to meet this icon of the beauty industry. Born in Antwerp in Belgium, Peter Philips is the former Creative Director of Chanel Makeup. After having left in 2013, he spent the subsequent year as a freelancer before joining the House of Dior. Working along with his fellow countryman and longtime friend Raf Simons, Creative Director Dior, the two share the same aesthetics and vision. The perfect match!

Dior Addict Lipsticks

The lipstick as a fashion accessory – what does that mean to you?

I talk about the origin of the object, the way it is shaped is different from any other lipstick. It is pretty to put in your handbag, just like a fashion accessory.

«I am guided by beauty.»

When you create makeup looks, do you take it from a fashion and trend angle or you think more about the wearabilty of the products?

As a makeup designer my first motivation is beauty. That is my main reason. Once you start talking trends in makeup, it becomes fashionable but this is just a niche. Clearly all women want to be beautiful. Not everyone wants a trendy shade, but everyone wants a pretty shade. So first, I am guided by beauty and then I use fashion to make it more interesting, to tease and link it to couture, to editorials and shows.

BoatsTour DiorGetting spoilt. Lunch on the boat for the launch event of Dior Addict Lipstick.

How do you work together with Raf Simons?

Our creative process is about looks, not about collections, not about products.

Practically, we have a different timing. Raf works now on couture and the show will take place in one and a half month. I am working one and a half year in advance to design new makeup products. Therefore it is so important for me to be guided by beauty as I can always integrate the fashion part later. When I work with Raf, I create a look for his show and use my products as a service to enhance Raf’s vision and to deliver his message.

Jennifer Lawrence Dior

The ad campaign reminds me so much of that famous scene in Basic Instinct. Is this on purpose?

Yes, it comes with these cinematographic references and it is just a flash. With Jennifer Lawrence, we have got an actress and she loved the movie. It is visually a nice teaser. It shows a strong woman and is a nice «clin d’oeil» to another Dior icon, Sharon Stone.

Be Dior

Can you give us some tips how to apply Dior Addict Lipstick?

It is such an easy product. Most important is to find the right shade or shades according to your mood. «Be Dior» for example suits a lot of women. You can even only apply it in the middle as it is sheer and you can build it up as you like. It gives a lot of moisture and comfort. You don’t need to use a primer, a liner or a balm. All the tricks are in this one lipstick.

FireworksFireworks at night to celebrate the new Dior Addict Lipsticks

How do we find the right shade?

This is hard to say. It is the same for every beauty product, for eye shadows, foundation, nail polishes, you have to try it because there is no manual for it. I recommend going to a counter and feel it. Therefore I don’t believe in buying over the internet for the first time.

And do not forget to look at the colours in different lights. For example, the new Dior Addict Lipstick shades shine in the sun like fireworks.

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How can we make lipstick long-lasting?

For shoots and in general, I like to scrub the lips to get rid of the dead skin, I moisturize the lips preferably with Lip Maximiser but it can be any lip balm to nourish them. Very important is it to take the greasiness away and to dab off the excess before getting started with applying the colour.

For a classic lip, I recommend a liner, maybe fill in the whole lip and apply the lipstick afterwards.

If you would like to have a lip stain, just pinch it in with the fingers so that it will last. The new Dior Addict Lipstick comes already with an integrated top coat that seals in the colour and makes the pigments stay longer.

«An eyelash curler is a must for every woman.» 

What are the beauty products every woman should own?

Each woman should find the right foundation if she needs it. If you have great skin, do not even bother to get it, just maintain it. A foundation should give the illusion of a youthful skin. If you have it, do not change it. Actually I am wearing «Star Foundation» right now because I got a huge sunburn.

An eyelash curler is a must for every woman. Even if you do not wear makeup, curl your lashes as it will open your eyes immediately. But never apply it when you have mascara on as the lashes might break.

Eden RocBest location to host a launch event: The beautiful Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

What is your signature?

As I said before, I am guided by beauty. I like to create products that are really useful and surprise with interesting elements, such as new textures or different shades. I don’t want to dictate. The women who wear my makeup should discover the products themselves and have fun with them.

When I work for a fashion show, my signature is that I am very loyal to the designer, to support him and not to make it my show. Therefore they like working with me. I like to stay low profile but if they want something spectacular, I can deliver it.

Why did you take the job at Dior?

After I left Chanel, I worked for one year as a freelancer and I realized that I missed creating the products. I know Raf for 20 years and kept doing his menswear shows. One day, he came to me and said: «You stopped so that you can do my shows now?» He booked me and so from one thing came another. I got to meet Claude Martinez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parfums Christian Dior. Funnily enough, I was not sure if I wanted to be linked again to one brand and stay in Paris. (Laughs) Probably it was midlife crisis but after one year, I truly missed doing collections and creating new products, the innovation. It was bizarre going to a store and buy products again that I needed for my work. I had a very critical eye and simultaneously Raf came in. Now, I am happy to be part of this amazing House that has a different DNA than the one I worked before at.

Dior Addict Flowers

What are you working on now?

We already shot the campaigns for S/S 2016. Autumn and Christmas is almost done and I will be shooting those ads for F/W 2016 during the next weeks.

What is your favourite part about your job?

To make a living by doing makeup. The big variety of my job. Doing shows, products, shoots and working with the labs, even that technical part interests me. I don’t see myself as an artist, but I can be very creative. I like to watch women wearing my shades and products. Working also with a movie star who wants to put me in her bag and travel around with me makes the whole package just great.

Thank you, Peter!

Sandra_Bauknecht_New_Dior_Addict_Lipstick

As a journalist you get to meet a lot of people but it is always a pleasure to talk to someone who has such a passion for his job like Peter Philips. After having tried the new «Dior Addict Lipsticks», I can understand his excitement and I have a confession to make. I have become an addict and I cannot get enough. And you will surely, too!

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4 It-shades: Be Dior (Jennifer Lawrence wears it in the campaign), Smile, Tribale and Wonderful are also available as Dior Gel Coats.

The collection is in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

Interview with Jessica Chastain

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During the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, I had the chance to interview one of my favorite actresses, Jessica Chastain, who is the new face of Piaget. The beautiful «redhead» has established herself as one of the finest film actresses of her generation, earning numerous award nominations. In 2012, Time magazine featured her as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World“.

zerodarkthirty1Jessica Chastain is superb as the agent Maya in «Zero Dark 30».

Trained at the Julliard School in New York City, she made her feature film debut in Dan Ireland‘s «Jolene» in 2008. Since then, she has earned critical acclaim for her leading roles in many major movies including among many others Kathryn Bigelow‘s «Zero Dark 30», for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and received her 2nd Academy Award nomination.

AMostViolentYearJessica Chastain in «A Most Violent Year».

Her most recent box office success came from her role in JC Chandor‘s «A Most Violent Year», for which she was honored with a Golden Globe nomination. She will next be seen in Guillermo Del Toro’ latest movie «Crimson Peak» and Ridley Scott’s «The Martian», both set for release Fall 2015.

«I am not so interested in being like everyone else.»

 

Sandra_Bauknecht_Jessica_CHastainJessica Chastain with me at the amfAR gala in 2013.

Two years ago, I met you at the amfAR gala at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes and was impressed by your kindness and great aura. What helps you to be that grounded?
Tough thing to answer. I feel so grateful, my whole life I wanted to be an actor and to be part of the magic of what making movies are and I get to do it. There is not one day that I forget how special that is.

Which character would you love to play that you haven’t played yet?
I can tell you for theatre. I would love to play Roselynne in «As You Like It» because it is my favourite Shakespeare character but for film, I don’t know because maybe the role isn’t written yet. When I look back on films that I love from the 30s and 40s, the amazing performances, like Rita Hayworth, it’s I wouldn’t want to make a remake of those roles because it kind of looses what was so special about the original. I am gonna answer perhaps it is not written yet.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Jessica_CHastainDuring our photo shoot for the new Possession campaign for Piaget in Paris recently.

You have the most beautiful hair. Do you think that being a «redhead» has influenced you, your career? How was it in your childhood? Blessing or curse?
If there is something about you that is unique and different, you have to celebrate it. That is what you have to love and this is what you makes you special as you get older. I am not so interested in being like everyone else. I like to meet people that are different, that are strange, that have different point of views and challenge my own way of thinking. When you are in a group, it is so much more interesting when there is so much individuality that becomes the group. So that’s what I think about the red hair.

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You have been also the ambassador of the YSL fragrance, «Manifesto», and now you are the face of Piaget. How do you choose the right brands to collaborate with?
The reason why I love Piaget is first of all their engagement towards the Independent Film Spirit Awards. They have been the main sponsors for eight years. I love independent cinema, this is where my heart lies. Independent cinema celebrates diversity and creativity and for a brand like Piaget to sponsor it, means that it goes along with their believes, with their designs, the artwork is truly important to me, so working with Piaget was a no-brainer.

TT054Her first official appearance as the new ambassador for Piaget: Jessica Chasten with Piaget jewelry at the Globen Globes.

What is your first memory of Piaget?
I think the watches are so incredible. Think about Jackie Kennedy with her most exquisite watch. I have worn Piaget for the first time at the Golden Globes, an amazing bracelet that was all diamonds but is was actually a watch. I have never seen such precision, beauty and art. This is the strongest memory I have of wearing their jewelry.

What was your first piece of jewelry? And can you tell us the story how you got it?
Probably a piece of jewelry that I got from my grandmother. It is not something you could wear. I don’t even know how to call it. It is covered in jewels and you can pull out one section for perfume and in the other section you can put your lipstick in. It is so special and beautiful. It means so much to me because it is from my grandmother that is very close to me.

Would you buy a piece of high jewelry yourself? Or does it always have to be a gift?
Of course, I like jewelry as a gift, jewelry is very sentimental, very emotional. But I have bought jewelry for myself. It makes me feel very independent, very powerful to be able to buy my own jewlery. I don’t require that it is always bought for me.

Jessica Chastain-Sandra BauknechtJessica and my humble self at the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica last February.

What is your favourite piece of jewelry? And why?
I wear earrings right now that I am obsessed with but I don’t own them. For daily life, I have a pair of diamond rose earrings from Piaget which are my favourites at the moment.

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Do you like roses, flowers? What do they mean to you?
Flowers are so beautiful to me. Look at the connection between flowers and art. The sensuality what a flower is. A flower is life. It is life and art together and romance. That is probably why I love the earrings so much.

What is the most beautiful jewelry a woman can wear?
Her smile.

A secret about you that we don’t know yet.
(Laughs). I have a lot of secrets but I cannot think of any that I want to tell to the world.

Jessica Chastain in three words.
I have to give you more than three. I am loyal, very very loyal. I am a hard worker, I work so much and I am passionate.

Thank you, Jessica!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Steve Granitz/WireImage, Courtesy of Piaget and © Sandra Bauknecht
This interview was also featured in L’Officiel Switzerland.

Meet Gal Gadot, the Face for Gucci Bamboo

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Meet the face of GUCCI‘s newest fragrance BAMBOO: GAL GADOT. In 2004, the Israeli actress and model won the Miss Israel title and is known for her role as Gisele in The Fast and the Furious film series. She also stars as Wonder Woman in the upcoming movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice along with Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons.

Gadot seems to be the epitome of a Wonder Woman as she is a wife, a mother of a 4-year-old girl and a successful businesswoman. She served for two years as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. Strong and beautiful, the same duality that Gucci Bamboo reflects. I met her in NYC for the launch of the new campaign.

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Were you involved in the creative process of creating the fragrance? Or was it already finished?
I came to this beautiful result. It was already done. But before we shot the commercial, I really wanted to know what am I shooting. The moment I smelt it, I was so happy because it is just so good. It has all the right elements, it’s sexy and floral, but not too heavy. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and it’s fresh! I love it.

What is a bamboo for you? A strong wood or a weak plant?
It is both. It’s adjustable.

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You seem to be a Wonder Woman. Model, actress, wife and mother in one. How do you accommodate all those tasks?
I just do it. I don’t sleep much.

How do you look so gorgeous when you don’t sleep a lot?
(Laughs) Two hours of hair and makeup. And I try to stay healthy. I work out a lot and eat good things. I keep my skin always clean before I go to bed. I try to wear light makeup and I drink a lot of water. And the most important I stay happy and positive.

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You were in the Israeli army. How was that?
It’s mandatory in Israel. We all have to go, men do three years and women two. It was a good experience for me, I learnt a lot. It is not about you, it is about giving back to community which I find a beautiful thing. The discipline taught me a lot. You need to get up at 6 am, you run, you are on your legs constantly.

Did you learn how to use a weapon? Did this help you with your role as Wonder Woman?
Yes, of course, I learnt how to use a weapon. But it didn’t help me for Wonder Woman as she only uses a sword, a lasso and a shield.

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In the commercial for Gucci Bamboo you are a multifaceted woman. In one scene, you are even fencing. Please tell us a little more about shooting the campaign.
Unfortunately, that is the only scene I couldn’t do myself due to my busy schedule. Art Director Fabien Baron came up with this beautiful vision how we wanted to promote this fragrance on the big screen and make people experience this perfume visually. It is basically a woman how is strong and powerful but at the same time she is feminine, sexy and elegant.

What is your first memory of a perfume?
I remember the first time I ever used a perfume. I sneaked in my mother’s bathroom and I just bathed myself in different scents. I was around 8 or 9 years old.

Do you ever worry about aging?
Not yet. I just had a discussion with my husband about the fact that women don’t age as good as men. And I was asking myself why. We try so hard to stay young, use all those facial creams and treatments. So I came to the fact that it is just nature. Once we cannot reproduce anymore, we start aging. But on the other side, there are so many older women today that are relevant, so strong and symbolize so many good things. I have four grey hairs already and I feel good about them. I don’t tear them out, I feel I earned them.

What makes you the most happy?
My family.

Do you have a role in mind you would like to play in the future?
I actually do, but it is kind of depressing. I would like to do a movie that deals with the Holocaust.

By whom do you get inspired?
By people who are optimistic, who are grateful for life, who are original and think outside of the box.

Israeli women have a special aura. Why is that?
We say what we think, there is no filter. Stylewise it is just affected by the weather. It is so hot we dress less.

Gal Gadot in three words.
Mother, wife and actress. Heart, smile and fruit.

Thank you, Gal, for this lovely interview!

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To find out more about GUCCI BAMBOO, please click HERE for the previous post.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci and © Sandra Bauknecht