Davis Factor: Los Angeles

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Davis Factor, the renowned fashion and celebrity photographer, is the grandson of Hollywood makeup legend Max Factor. Together with his brother Dean, he founded Smashbox Studios in 1990, followed by their own make-up line six years later that is dedicated to work best in the tough studio environment (Smashbox products are exclusively available at Marionnaud in Switzerland). Davis lives in the third generation in Beverly Hills which is his favourite place on earth. Below you can enjoy his tips for the City of Angels.

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Your favourite city?
LOS ANGELES – This is my home, where my family roots are. I am a surfer, I love the weather and the waves. It is spread out but peaceful. I love the mixture between the nature and the city.

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Your favourite hotel?
BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL – I have spend my whole life there. They have a great pool, great atmosphere. The restaurants cater and they love me as I eat there 3-4 times per week. But  I have never stayed there as I live too close.
9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, +1 310 276 2251

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Your favourite restaurant?
MR.CHOW – I love Chinese food a lot and I am great friends with Michael Chow’s daughter China. It’s the place for the who is who.
344 N Camden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, +1 310 278 9911

Your favourite dish there?
I love their Shrimp and Oyster sauce.

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Your favourite bar or nightclub?
HYDE LOUNGE – Best on Fridays. A friend of mine owns it and I feel comfortable in there, it’s not like a big club, it’s not too loud, more lounge style with great food.
8029 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, 90046, + 1 323 655 8000

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Your favourite sightseeing spot?
SUNSET IN MALIBU – Very Californian! My brother has a fabulous house in Malibu where I like to watch it.

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Your favourite beach?
MALIBU BEACH – The sand is fantastic.
MANHATTAN BEACH – I surf there a lot, great community, classic beach with a family atmosphere.

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Your favourite shop?
MAXFIELD – I buy for myself in there. Great selection of designer clothes and I love their Hermès vintage collections.
8825 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069, +1 310 274 8800

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Your must-have accessory in Los Angeles?
A CAR – I drive a Mercedes-Benz. I have such a great experience with their service.

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The best book to read while being on vacation there?
WONDERLAND AVENUE by Danny Sugerman.
It’s about his life as a troubled Beverly Hills kid who ended up being Jim Morrison’s best buddy. He hang out with all the rockstars of the ’80s and it all happens in the area where I grew up. It reminds me so much of Los Angeles and his brother is my doctor.

Sandra Bauknecht and Davis Factor 101

Thank you, Davis, for sharing your insider scoop on Los Angeles with us.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Locations and Smashbox Studios

My Look, Rodeo Drive, Jewelry and Art

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On my last day in Los Angeles, I had a little time to walk down Rodeo Drive and to meet with my Beverly Hills girlfriends at the Beverly Wilshire for a drink before heading to the airport.

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Bonnie Star (to the left) is a famous American jewelry designer, who made the wonderful cuff that I am wearing on the photo, modeled after nineteenth-century French lace.
(For a previous post on Bonnie, please click here).
Claudia Deutsch (to the right) is the owner of the Artspace Warehouse gallery in Los Angeles that offers high quality original artworks from established and emerging international artists at affordable prices for every budget. She brought this new concept also to Zurich, check out the Kunstwarenhaus.

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My look: Striped glossed rayure-effect blazer and iconflat tote bag, both by Saint Laurentclassic white tee iconby Burberry Londonstretch leggings iconby Stoulslong tank top iconby Rick Owensskull silk scarf iconby Alexander McQueen, boots by Balmaingold lace cuff by Bonnie Star and 4810 hoop earrings in pink gold with diamonds by Montblanc.

LoL, Sandra

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Balmain_BootsPhotos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Los Angeles – My Love

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My love for Los Angeles started a long time ago when I went to a summer college there. The sunshine, the easy lifestyle, the friendly people, have fascinated me from the early start. The prejudices concerning the Californian city are multifarious, of course you have many people working in “the industry” and the plastic surgeries are higher per capita there than anywhere else. Yes, and the traffic is horrendous and I am scared of earthquakes.

However, there’s so much more to this metropolis that people don’t understand unless they immerse themselves in it. In summer 2010, I rented a house in Beverly Hills and spent two months there, long-time readers of Sandras’ Closet might remember. When the day came to fly back to Europe, I didn’t want to leave. Los Angeles has a mix of people, trends, fashion, nationalities, and industries that you can’t find anywhere else.

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Therefore I was so happy when Montblanc invited me to come to Los Angeles to live the Oscar experience and to attend their “Signature for Good” 2013 charity brunch. When I landed at LAX, my heart started already jumping for joy. But enough of my love letter. So, what follows is my list of a few of my favorite things to do and see in Los Angeles.

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Me in front of the Montblanc boutique on the famous Rodeo Drive.

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At Opening Ceremony, one of my favourite shops.

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Fred Segal‘s perfume store is gigantic.

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Shopping like the locals on Robertson Boulevard. (For a detailed Los Angeles shopping guide, please click here).

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Also home to my favourite restaurant for lunch: The well-known Ivy, a hot spot to see many celebrities.

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Have an Ivy Sunday, so yummy!

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Great for dinner: Cecconi’s

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Girls just wanna have fun: Tea time at American Girl Place.

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A must-see: Disneyland

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The famous star handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre have to be on your sightseeing list…

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… along with Hollywood’s iconic Walk of Fame.

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At Venice Beach, you can enjoy the lively boardwalk with a crazy and colorful crowd. From rollerscaters, artists, palm readers and street dancers, to performers and vendors of any sort. It is also home to the iconic “Muscle Club” – an outdoor gym where bodybuilders shape their bodies under the sun. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to go there.

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My list could go on and on… my favourite hotel is by the way the Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.

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If I had a wish granted from the fairy…? I would love to live in such a fabulous Beverly Hills mansion. It doesn’t hurt to dream.

Thank you, Montblanc, for having me brought back to this fab city!
Bye-bye L.A., I will surely be back soon…

LoL, Sandra

Los_Angeles_SkylinePhotos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Be a Star

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Bonnie Star with her friend fashion designer Randolphe Duke

Bonnie Star with her friend fashion designer Randolphe Duke


At a ladies luncheon in Beverly Hills, I sat next to Bonnie Star who turned out to be not only a very interesting woman, but also a fantastic jewelry designer. She invited me to her beautiful house the next day and showed me all of her fantastic work. Being a former artist, Bonnie has a total eye for shapes, fabrics and colours. She uses sterling, crystals, ornate stones like turquoise and agate along with a mix of vintage pendants and toggle clasps to create her unique pieces. Most of her designs can be worn in different ways as she loves multi-functional jewelry.

My personal favourites are her romantic tulle necklaces.

Me wearing one of her tulle necklaces








Bonnie leads a fashionable life being the sister of Darren Star, the mastermind behind our beloved television series like Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Cashmere Mafia or Sex and the City. She was looking for the perfect jewelry to go with her outfits for all the special events she has to attend. What started as something just for herself, ended in a sparkling business. Her line ranges from $180.- to $380.-. Enjoy some photos of her creations below.

Bonnie Star Jewelry is currently sold at Fred Segal in Los Angeles or contact: info@ bonniestarjewelry.com, phone +1 310-993-7292. Worldwide shipping is available on request.

Be a star!

LoL, Sandra

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