Test Drive: MASERATI Ghibli Hybrid

I absolutely love cars. Being German, I also adore driving fast. Due to the recent hail storm, my beloved car got pretty destroyed and therefore I am looking for a new one. What is important to me? I love luxury and racing – two things MASERATI is synonymous with. My focus is on power: the experience should be unforgettable on a daily basis, with driving pleasure and performance at the heart. However, thinking about the environment and future, electric power should also be considered.

Let’s get started. A drive is worth a thousand words so I was very curious to test drive the MASERATI Ghibli L4 MHEV 2WD in Grigio Maratea, a petrol mild-hybrid version, that is the very first MASERATI in history to include an electric power source of any kind.

My journey was a fascinating one and I will be given you a personal insight how I felt limitless among expansive landscapes at the wheel of the MASERATI. This car is designed to deliver an awe-inspiring driving experience. Sculpted forms and fluid volumes are connected by clean lines to form a unique style that is unmistakably for the Italian car manufacturer.

For starters, the MASERATI Ghibli was launched in 2013 and got a minor refresh for 2021, mostly on the inside, with a new centre dash. The Hybrid identifiers on the outside are restricted to a discreet, blue line on the badging and a revised front grille. The brakes are also painted blue.

That «small size» (compared to other MASERATIS) offers more nimble handling and easy parking in the streets of Switzerland.

Inside, the Ghibli gives you a wealth of premium features such as power-adjustable front seats that can be both heated and ventilated. Hand-stitched details, premium leather upholstery, and shiny inlays come together to give you a true sense of opulence, and the four-door setup offers comfortable seating for four when you want to bring a few friends along for the ride.

Sporty, sophisticated and dynamic. I truly enjoyed the driving experience and I will definitely consider this high-end Italian luxury sports car for my next set of wheels.

LoL, Sandra

iconPhotos: Courtesy of Maserati | Rian Davidson 
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored.
#Maserati #MaseratiGhibliHybrid #PerformanceCharged

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Iris Apfel x H&M

«Style is about self-expression and, above all, attitude

She is my muse, my idol – Iris Apfel is a true inspirational fashion icon and she just turned 100. Reason enough for H&M to collaborate with the birthday girl, who belongs to the world’s 50 best-dressed women. What better way to make a memorable celebration than creating a collection filled with eclectic garments and loud accessories?!

The upcoming collection, which will hit the shelves in the beginning of 2022, got a head start this week as the Swedish fashion giant celebrated and hosted her 100th birthday during New York Fashion Week 2021, cementing her status as a long-time fashion muse.

Imagine that you enter a room filled with eternal flair and a century’s worth of moments: you hear laughter, and chandeliers glitter; you see magnificent shapes and colors as if lifted from an artist’s palette — the smell of summer flowers and citrus fruits gives you goose bumps. That’s how I believe it feels entering Iris Apfel’s wardrobe.

A little preview of the upcoming Iris Apfel x H&M collection.

Iris was born in 1921 in the concrete jungle of New York. She studied art and fashion at prominent universities in the US, and her career is as inspirational as her style. She is a self-made businesswoman, style icon, fashion designer, and interior decorator. She has always succeeded on her different career paths with her oh-so-famous «why be boring?» attitude. If you happen to visit the Big Apple, you will quickly recognize «the Big Apfel.» Her esthetic of bright clothing, layers and layers of fun accessories, and thick, round, oversized glasses are just Iris dressing for herself and herself only. This has inspired people worldwide to create and celebrate their own style that they feel good in.

«Style is not about spending a lot of money. It’s not about what or who you wear, but how you feel when wearing something. Style is about self-expression and, above all, attitude,» says Iris Apfel.

Iris represents the notion that style and inspiration can come from anywhere and anyone, regardless of the price. «I think that H&M is a fabulous outfit worldwide and absolute pioneers in their field — which I love! I love doing high style at affordable prices, which H&M has mastered!» says Iris.

«With this collaboration, we are celebrating a unique and extraordinary woman and her creative and audacious style,» says Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M. «She shows that style is ageless and keeps encouraging people to show who they are with fashion — and to have fun at the same time.»

The Iris Apfel x H&M collection will include an assortment of clothing and accessories created with Iris’ bold sense of style, designed for all ages and sizes.

«The collection is playful, opulent and rich with vibrant colors, vivid prints and opulent fabric choices. The look is indulgent with a more-is-more attitude and crowned by over-the-top jewelry, which is very much a signum for Iris,» says an excited Ann-Sofie Johansson.

The collection launches at the beginning of 2022.
I hope that you will enjoy all of my favorite Iris Apfel quotes…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © H&M / Iris Apfel

Louis Vuitton – Horizon Light Up Speaker

With several high-end audio products already under its belt, Louis Vuitton now adds a portable speaker to its range of connected products. Seamlessly combining tradition and innovation, the Louis Vuitton Horizon Light Up speaker is an example of unique design and genuine craftsmanship.

Through superior sound quality and cutting-edge technology, it really comes into its own through the Maison’s unconventional approach to creating beauty in an everyday object. Not only does the speaker provide the ultimate audio-visual experience, it also represents the House’s skill in turning a utilitarian item into a work of art. With creativity running through every strand of Louis Vuitton, the Horizon Light Up speaker is no exception. Challenging perceptions of how objects should look and feel, as well as what is possible in terms of design, the speaker takes on a form that is unique in the audio market with inspiration coming from the Toupie (‘Spinning Top’) handbag, designed by the brand’s Artistic Director of Women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière. Just as the Toupie rewrote the rule book for evening bags, the Louis Vuitton Horizon Light Up speaker aims to reinvent the world of portable speakers.

Bound in noble leather and with metal components, the speaker boasts the House’s emblematic signatures. Only when the device is switched on does its purpose become obvious in an explosion of sound, light and movement. As the covered woofer vibrates like a heartbeat, a dynamic light show synchronises to the beat with a colourful digital interpretation of Louis Vuitton’s iconic Monogram flower. A top ring with LED backlighting provides three different animations in seven carefully selected, graduated colourways. A concave, steel middle band features the cut-out letters ‘L-O-U-I-S-V-U-I-T-T-O-N’ that glow in colours to match the dancing top ring.

Elegant and discreet, the speaker can be used inside and out, and is equally at home in the living room, office or garden, on a country retreat, a city break, or at a beach club party. The unconventional shape offers myriad acoustic benefits. When sitting on its dock, the sound is played at 360 degrees, but by placing the speaker on its side, music can be sent in a specific direction. At the top of the speaker, a leather strap is attached, a unique element that is as fashionable as it is freeing. Beautiful and compact enough to be carried as an accessory, either with or without its protective pouch, the speaker is truly portable, a perfect representation of Louis Vuitton’s Spirit of Travel.

The Louis Vuitton Horizon Light Up speaker weighs approximately 1kg and measures a mere 18cm in diameter – a remarkable feat of engineering that involved housing the highest quality acoustic components in a diminutive and complex case to deliver a unique audio experience.

With all the convenience of wireless connectivity through Bluetooth®, the speaker is also compatible with Apple AirPlay® 2, and Qplay via Wi-Fi. It can be charged via USB-C (through the speaker or dock), with a full charge providing up to 15 hours of playtime. Depending on the occasion, it can also be paired or grouped in larger numbers to accommodate bigger spaces and multiple rooms.

A dedicated Louis Vuitton Connect app controls all of the speaker’s functions including colour combinations, animation sequences and mono or multiroom set-up to be operated via a smartphone.

Living up to all of the House’s promises, the beautiful, practical and covetable Louis Vuitton Horizon Light Up speaker will be a welcome addition to any lifestyle occasion. Fated to be a future icon, it is sure to become the ultimate accessory for those who appreciate high-quality acoustics and ultimate craftsmanship, as well as for the contemporary traveller.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. AirPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

A Bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom with Hermès

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has co-created a magnificent Bespoke Phantom in a unique collaboration with Hermès. Designed and handcrafted by a combined team of Bespoke specialists at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, West Sussex, and Hermès in Paris, Phantom Oribe reflects the personality and passions of its owner, Japanese entrepreneur and art collector Yusaku Maezawa, who envisioned the car as a «land jet», bringing the serene exclusivity of private air travel to the road.

Yusaku Maezawa

The car’s striking two-tone exterior matches the characteristic green and cream glazes of antique Japanese Oribe ware, of which Maezawa-san is a prominent collector. The upper part is finished in Oribe Green, a fully Bespoke colour created exclusively for the client; in an unusual move, Rolls-Royce has made the paint available for use on the client’s private jet the Phantom will be paired with. Developed over many months by specialists in the Surface Finish Centre at Goodwood, it perfectly captures the lustrous, deep-green glaze that characterises these 16th century ceramics. The effect is beautifully completed by the cream-white lower section.

The Oribe ware-inspired colourway harmoniously continues through the interior, created and realised through a true meeting of minds between Hermès designers and craftspeople, and the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople. Together, they applied their shared expertise and ingenuity to ensure every individual component embodies the finest traditions of both houses.

The interior is finished predominantly in Hermès Enea Green leather, extending to details that include the immediate touch-points of the client; for example, the steering wheel, duchess handles, gear selector and the rotary controls for the motor car’s climate settings.

The Hermès leather flows around the upper instrument panel, interior pillars and parcel shelf. It also enrobes less visible surfaces including the glove compartment and luggage compartment lining, centre console, decanter stowage compartment and Champagne cooler. In a sign of the project’s truly collaborative nature, and the two makers’ mutual esteem, the glove compartment lid is embossed with the signature Habillé par Hermès Paris.

Delicate Hermès piping adorns the headrest cushions and calf supports of the rear seats, while soft Seashell White accents and matching lambswool floor mats create a sense of light and space throughout.

The interior is also replete with examples of Rolls-Royce Bespoke design and handcraftsmanship. Wooden speaker frets, for example, are formed by meticulously perforating the Open Pore Royal Walnut veneer applied to the doors, creating a seamless, textured aesthetic and delicate haptics. Open Pore Royal Walnut is additionally applied to the centre and rear consoles and picnic table backs; in another first for Rolls-Royce, the interior features Hermès «Toile H» canvas on the door armrests, centre and rear consoles and, most notably, the signature headliner.

Hermès brings its distinctive equestrian heritage and innovative craftsmanship know-how to the car, with the leather upholstery created using stitching and edge-painting techniques originally employed by master saddlers. For Phantom’s Gallery, a feature unique to Rolls-Royce, that runs the length of the motor car’s fascia, Hermès commissioned an artwork based on a design by the celebrated French artist and illustrator Pierre Péron (1905–1988) who created many of the House’s iconic scarves. The work, inspired by the famous Hermès horse motif, is hand-painted on Open Pore Royal Walnut and is presented as though staged in an art gallery, behind glass.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös added, «This majestic and tasteful Rolls-Royce Phantom demonstrates what is possible when talented people from two of the world’s great houses work closely together alongside a far-sighted, inspirational client like Maezawa-san. It is a meeting of minds, expertise, visions and skill that represents the very best of our respective craftspeople and capabilities

I am speechless. What a beauty! Bravo!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Rolls-Royce

Stylish Water Bottles

Designer water bottles are a thing now. Sustainable fashion is trending and designers have been getting a bit more creative by offering accessories that help to reduce and prevent plastic waste.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to say so long to single-use plastics and opt for a reusable water bottle. And while you’re at it, why not take it to the next level with one of these stainless-steel designer versions?

Don’t forget, hydration will never be out of style…

LoL, Sandra

Fredy cotton-canvas water bottle holder by Chloé

SIGG salamander-print metal water bottle by Loewe Paula’s Ibiza


iconLogo-print 750ml stainless-steel water bottle by Adidas by Stella McCartney

The Quench logo-print bottle holder by Kurt Geiger London


iconFF-logo suede water bottle holder by Fendi

Crystal-embellished water bottle by Rosantica

Bottle holder by Louis Vuitton

Vintage Check bottle holder by Burberry

iconSet of two More Joy-print aluminium water bottleicon by More Joy by Christopher Kane

Logo-embossed moiré holder and bottleicon by Marine Serre

1994 structured chain-link bottle holder by CHANEL Pre-Owned

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Effortless, Everywhere

Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the world’s pre-eminent super-luxury SUV, promises the intrepid owner an unrivalled blend of comfort and capability surmised as «Effortless, Everywhere». In addition to conveying its occupants to their destination in absolute serenity, off road or on road, Cullinan offers two unique Bespoke features to ensure that, on arrival, clients are equipped with everything required for their adventure.

The first is the Recreation Module, a motorised drawer cassette designed to fit securely and invisibly into the luggage compartment floor of Cullinan. At the touch of a button, the Recreation Module slides open to reveal equipment, accessories and paraphernalia personally selected by the motor car’s commissioning client, each item ensconced in its own individually tailored container. The Recreation Module can be trimmed to match or contrast with the car’s interior and exterior colourway according to the commissioning client’s preference.

THE LUXURY OF VERSATILITY
The Recreation Module provides 48 litres of space that can be configured precisely to accommodate the customer’s requirements. Furthermore, the entire assembly can be removed and stored separately, allowing customers to create Recreation Modules for specific hobbies and applications, from fly fishing, rock climbing, snowboarding or parascending to kite-boarding or base-jumping. For example, a Cullinan client could devise three individual Recreation Modules for shooting, skiing and photography equipment, then select and install the appropriate unit prior to departure.

While the Recreation Module adds enormously to Cullinan’s versatility and individuality, it does so without compromising the car’s spacious 2,245 mm loading length and boot capacity of up to 1,930 litres.

KING OF THE NIGHT
In late 2019, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commissioned photographer Mark Riccioni to create a series of innovative and subversive images featuring Black Badge Cullinan, under the cover of darkness, among the distinctive automotive subcultures of Greater Los Angeles. To support the project, the marque developed a personalised Urban Photography Recreation Module, incorporating specialist equipment including a DJI Mavic Mini drone, 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro and 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro for image capture and editing on location. The Bespoke Collective of Designers, Engineers and Craftspeople also found room for Riccioni’s Sennheiser PXC550 MkII noise-cancelling headphones, Persol PO3225-S sunglasses and outerwear from streetwear brand Supreme.

HOSTING SERVICE
To accommodate hosting in even the most rugged locations, the marque developed a permanent Bespoke feature for Cullinan named the Hosting Service. This remarkable marriage of design, craftsmanship and engineering offers a range of accoutrements to create the perfect beverage while enjoying the world’s most breathtaking vistas. Suited to hosting up to eight adults, the Hosting Service comes complete with glassware and the utensils for creating a fresh cocktail or a classic gin and tonic for passengers. Elegant highball glasses are adorned with discreet Rolls-Royce monograms whilst wooden chopping boards are made of the highest quality American walnut. Additionally, space is provisioned for a light snack service.

THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE
As well as the Recreation Module, the rear compartment can accommodate a second Bespoke feature, unique to Cullinan, that customers can specify to enhance their explorations. With the tailgate open, a touch of a button deploys the Viewing Suite – two rear-facing sociably arranged either side of a retractable cocktail table. The Viewing Suite provides the perfect place in which to relax and reflect on the day’s events. Truly the best seat in the house.

I love the Urban Photography Recreation Module, let’s see if I can convince my lovely fiancé to transform his car into a blogger vehicle, haha! A little dressing drawer would be nice too …

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Rolls-Royce

Prada and UNESCO Sea Beyond

Prada and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) present the last phase of the educational programme Sea Beyond, a tailor-made pilot conceived for secondary schools all around the world to raise awareness on ocean preservation and sustainability.

Sea Beyond sought to educate the new generations about adopting more responsible and mindful
behaviors towards the ocean and its resources, promoting sustainable consumption in line with the
United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the first phase of the project (October 2020 – January 2021), high school teachers in ten cities around the world (Berlin, Cape Town, Lisbon, London, Mexico City, Milan, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Venice) took part in webinars conducted by UNESCO-IOC experts, in which they received training on how to develop an educational module dedicated to the theme of ocean sustainability. Every school received a «Sea Beyond» toolkit made of recycled cardboard, containing educational as well as creative materials to enable students to play an active role in a global ocean sustainability movement.

During the project’s second phase, starting on the 25th January 2021, students, as true «sea ambassadors», have been tasked with developing awareness campaigns focused on ocean preservation as part of an international competition.

At a virtual event on the 26th March 2021, an international jury will announce the winning campaign. Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Vladimir RyabininExecutive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director General of UNESCO, will be joined by international personalities who have dedicated their talent and careers to saving our ocean.

Jury members include (from top left to bottom right): Italian writer Alessandro Baricco; aquanaut, oceanographic explorer and environmental advocate Fabien Cousteau; environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia; marine scientist and social entrepreneur Kerstin Forsberg; and Italian gold-medalist free diver Alessia Zecchini. The jury will help Prada and UNESCO selecting the most creative project. The event will be moderated by Brazilian marine activist and artist Patricia Furtado de Mendonça.

The winning campaign will be disseminated on Prada and UNESCO social channels as well as on
www.pradagroup.com and www.ioc.unesco.org, while the school of the selected project will be
honored with an award of € 5,000 to be invested in educational materials.

The whole event will be live-streamed on www.pradagroup.com, starting from 2.00 pm CET
on March 26th, 2021.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Prada

Happy Lunar Year 2021

Happy Lunar Year 2021! The Year of the Ox has officially started today and Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, and more luxury brands welcome it in great style with Chinese New Year-inspired fashion. These collections will hit the Western markets during the next weeks, and it is your chance to add a festive touch to your closet.

Louis Vuitton welcomes the Year of the Ox with a special selection of gift-ready leather goods, accessories and other precious tokens. From the recently released SINCE 1854 Monogram Jacquard to the most iconic leather goods, Louis Vuitton’s gift selection has something to suit every style and sensibility.

The Fendi Chinese New Year Capsule Collection, launched in Greater China already in January, will be available in the rest of the world from April 2021. It is a beautiful collection of ready-to-wear and limited edition bags, featuring red and pink colors, as well as blossoms and other floral designs signature to the lunar year.

Burberry presents the New Year with a forward-looking fashion collection featuring supermodel Liu Wen with Wang Xiangguo in their campaign lensed by Feng Li.

In honor of Lunar New Year, Dior unveils a celebratory capsule collection of accessories and footwear in rich red and gold hues for women. For men, Dior launches an exclusive men’s capsule reinterpreting the powerful creative dialogue between Kim Jones and Californian artist Shawn Stussy.

In honor of the Year of the Ox, meet Ozzie – a symbol of strength and reliability. Tory Burch celebrates Lunar New Year with a beautiful collection dedicated to  health, happiness and prosperity that is featuring something red for good luck.

Gucci’s ode to the upcoming Lunar New Year is definitely one of the more fun collections. Featuring «Doraemon», the famous blue Japanese manga and anime character – a cat-robot, this special collection for men and women, you’ll see Doraemon in his classic blue colour and also dressed up in a brown colour and puts on his horns as well.

Versace’s Lunar New Year 2021 capsule collection focuses on local traditions and sees vibrant and uplifting prints that showcase new interpretations of the brand’s Medusa motif to celebrate the ox.

For more gift ideas to celebrate Chinese New Year, have a look at this previous post here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht

Year of the Ox

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2021 is the Year of the Ox. The Chinese New Year will start on February 12th, and it will last until January 31st of 2022. Many designers are celebrating Lunar New Year of the Ox with special collections, such as Gucci is featuring the famous Manga character Doraemon, the cat-type robot sent from the XXII century, appearing on ready-to-wear and accessories, or Moschino is showing a cute ox with the slogan «in love we trust».

In the Chinese Zodiac, the Ox is very hardworking and methodical. The upcoming 2021 will be the year of the Metal Ox, and its message couldn’t be clearer: Success will come to those who work hard. Like really hard! 2021 is going to be a year when work will get rewarded. Cheers to that!

LoL, Sandra

Chinese New Year Ox-embroidered clutchicon by Olympia Le-Tan

Oversized embroidered printed organic cotton-jersey T-shirt by Chloé

New Year Ox charm keyring by MCM


iconYear of the Ox textured leather-trimmed printed coated-canvas tote by Gucci x Doraemon

 Year of the Ox limited edition fountain pen and roller pen by Caran d’Ache
Limited to 888 pieces.

Chinese New Year Ox tote bag by Anya Hindmarch

Perpetual Moon Year of the Ox by Arnold & Son 1764
CHF 49.900 – limited to 8 pieces

Bullchic horn-detailed Chinese New Year tote bag by Moschino

Chinese New Year logo-embroidered sweatshirt by Moschino

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.

The North Face x Gucci

This will be probably THE collaboration of 2021! A collaboration which connects two brands with similar history and values, The North Face x Gucci celebrates the spirit of exploration in select locations around the world. Both brands have rich archives, and favoured pushing innovation and breaking the rules. The resulting collection features pieces with unique and distinguishing details to be kept for a lifetime.

We all are dreaming of getting away. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic that has so many of us huddled close to home constantly, it’s an alluring collection, in which we could go camping and hiking in style. I mean who wouldn’t like to sleep in a The North Face x Gucci tent!

The launch has happened very exclusively with just a few clients having the opportunity to shop the collection starting on the 8th of January online. I was among those fashion victims (haha) that clicked on the «add to basket button» and was lucky to get the must-have logo bomber jacket that sold out in seconds.

The collection is also available in a Gucci Pin – pop-up shop in Berlin from the 9th of January and in a few other uniquely designed spaces around the globe. From the end of January, the collection will be available to the public.

Real world meets virtual world: The North Face x Gucci collection is also available for avatars in Pokémon GO. Do you like the ready-to-wear, soft accessories, luggage, and shoes, as well as unexpected items for your next adventure?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Gucci