Wang at Balenciaga – Anderson at Versus

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It is official, Alexander Wang is Balenciaga‘s new Creative Director and will replace Nicolas Ghesquière at the French fashion house, who officially leaves today, after 15 years at the helm.

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Rumors had been out quite awhile that the American designer  would be the perfect choice for the PPR-owned fashion house Balenciaga, because Wang knows how to make edgy and groovy commercial. Congrats, Alexander, well-deserved! (If you are interested to read an interview, I did with Alexander Wang two years ago, please click here!)

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Another one, editors were considering for the job, was Christopher Kane, who has just left his position at Versus to focus on his own line.

Gianni Versace Spa follows a new strategic repositioning of the Versus brand. Digital is the key word and under Donatella Versace’s creative leadership, there will be collaborations with young designers, stylists, and creatives from different walks of life, to develop capsule collections, co-branding projects, limited editions. Yesterday, the first designer to create a capsule collection for Versus has been announced: Jonathan Anderson, the designer behind the J.W. Anderson fashion label for men and women. The launch event is planned for March/April 2013 in New York.

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For the capsule collection, Jonathan Anderson was particularly inspired by an image from a campaign shot by Bruce Weber with Donatella in 1996. “For me,” said Jonathan, “this iconic image says it all, that’s how I see Versus. It’s all about the relationship between a boy and a girl, a girl and a girl, a boy and a boy. Purity.”

The New York Times is reporting rumours that Nicolas Ghesquière‘s next move might be his own label at LVMH. It seems like this time , the designer carrousel is one where everyone turns out to be a winner.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versus, Style, J.W. Anderson, © Wenn, © Sandra Bauknecht

Versace Store Opening in Soho

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Another blockbuster fashion event took place this week in NYC. One evening after the Maison Martin Margiela with H&M launch party, Donatella Versace hosted a cocktail party to celebrate the opening of her new Versace boutique in Soho on 160, Mercer Street followed by a dinner at the Waldorf Towers.

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A huge variety of celebrities chose to attend both events, with everyone from Gerard Butler and Kanye West to supermodel Linda Evangelista and close friend of the House Lady Gaga.

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Carrying both menswear and womenswear ready-to-wear collections in addition to accessories, the store will also house special collaborations.

Kicking off the shop’s opening, Donatella Versace tapped Christopher Kane, who also creates the Versus line, to design a capsule collection of tees and other items with iconic Versace images pulled from the archives, which will be sold exclusively at the Soho store. With printed T-shirts being so à la mode, be sure that those tops will activate another fashion hype!

Below, find a complete list of celebrities who chose to wear Versace:

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Donatella Versace entered the cocktail party at the boutique in a Fall 2012 black corset top with a Swarovski encrusted jewelled cross emblem on the front with a velvet pencil skirt (see photo below with Princess Charlene of Monaco).  She changed later for the dinner into another look from Fall 2012 (as you can see above with Lady Gaga) – she was perfect in a black Versace leather top with crescent-shaped neckline with Swarovski crystal details and Versace leather pants, completely embedded with Swarovski crystal details from the knee down.

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Princess Charlene of Monaco wore a chic black Versace cocktail dress paired with thigh-high leather Versace runway boots with a gold capped-toe. She finished her look with a black Versace cashmere waistcoat with leather inserts.

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Linda Evangelista wore a black velvet Versace coat from the Fall 2012 runway enriched by Swarovski crystal crosses.

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Doutzen Kroes wore a Versace Fall 2012 black coat with flared skirt covered entirely in Swarovski crystals.

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Bar Refaeli looked amazing in a fitted black leather cocktail dress with Swarovski crystals detailing with a matching leather jacket and black Versace booties.

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Coco Rocha wore a black dress with metallic detailing from Versace Fall 2012 paired with black Versace Fall pointed toe pumps.

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Alexa Chung here with Christopher Kane wore a look from the Versus Fall 2012 runway: a burgundy knit turtleneck top paired with a matching leather miniskirt.

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Karolina Kurkova wore a black leather bomber jacket with intricate floral detailing with a pencil skirt with a matching pattern, paired with black Versace pumps and a black Versace clutch.

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Leigh Lezark sporting a yellow cocktail dress with leather cutouts at the hem and on the side with a modern crescent shaped neckline. She completed her look with black Versace shoes.

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Tali Lennox, daughter of Annie Lennox, wore a full look from Versus Fall 2012 – she looked fabulous in a fuchsia top, miniskirt, and huge fur coat. She completed her outfit with blue booties with fuchsia inserts.

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Hunger Games star Alexander Ludwig chose a Fall 2012 look – he wore a blue floral printed suit with matching tie. He completed his look with Versace Fall boots with gold buckles and a black Versace belt with a medusa buckle.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versace

Versace F/W 2012 Ad Campaign

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I know it is not even summer yet, but in fashion you are always thinking ahead. The first pre-fall pieces have been arriving in stores and Versace is the first of the major ad campaigns for F/W 2012 to be revealed.

Shot by photographer duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in a studio in London, it features model Elza Luijendijk with the same blunt razored bangs and bleached eyebrows that were present at the runway show, very gothic and dark. The men’s campaign shows male models Philipp Schmidt, Dmitriy Tanner and Kacey Carrig.

“I’m really thrilled with our new campaign. The result is bold, strong, iconic and perfectly conveys the sexy rock vibe of our Fall/Winter collection.”

– Donatella Versace

LoL, Sandra

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Young Versace

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Here is your sneak preview of Versace’s S/S 2012 advertising campaign for Young Versace that features 10-year old Kaia Gerber, the daughter of Cindy Crawford, one of Gianni Versace’s supermodel muses.

Young Versace is a brand-new collection for boys and girls aged from 0-12 which offers the quintessential Versace style with a youthful rock ’n’ roll twist, including playful prints, vibrant colors, mixing of patterns and a reinterpretation of the house’s iconic Greek key motif and Medusa head logo. The collection is available at the Versace Young boutique in Milan and worldwide in select multi-brand stores specializing in childrenswear.

CindyBeautiful Family: Cindy Crawford with husband Rande Gerber, son Presley and daughter Kaia.

“Like her mother, Kaia has a very special gift. The camera really, really loves her,” said Donatella Versace, Creative Director of Versace. “Having Cindy on-set for the shoot took me back to all the amazing Avedon shoots we worked on together. It was such a special treat watching Kaia walk in her mother’s footsteps!”

“I’m so thrilled that Kaia was chosen to be part of the first Young Versace Campaign,” said Cindy Crawford. “I have so many fond memories of the times I spent with Gianni and Donatella. There is something so very special about the House of Versace. Being on-set with my daughter watching her in front of the camera was a fantastic experience. I am so proud of her.”

The campaign was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and art directed by Giovanni Bianco.
Doesn’t Kaia looks so much like her famous mother?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versace, © John Sciulli/Getty Images North America

My Look: Givenchy – Homage to Versace

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Donatella Versace called Givenchy’s F/W 2011 collection an homage to Versace and she is definitely not mistaken with her statement. I truly love the panther and floral prints reminiscent of Gianni’s early patterns.

My look: Flower print sheath dress by Givenchy, stretch-jersey thigh boots with hoop detail by Givenchy, “Nightingale” bag with black panther print by Givenchy and glitter sunglasses by Miu Miu.

LoL, Sandra

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A Little Chat with Donatella Versace

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Tomorrow, the Versace for H&M collection will officially hit 300 stores worldwide (in the US on November 19th), so ladies and gentlemen be prepared to line up in the morning.

Last week in NYC, I got the pleasure to meet Donatella Versace and H&M’s creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch who sat down for a chat with Tim Blanks, Style.com’s editor-at-large, at the top floor of the Dream Downtown hotel.

Find out a little bit more about the collection and which one is Donatella’s favourite look. Believe it or not…Donatella even revealed that she likes shopping at H&M.

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What does this collaboration mean to you?

D.V.: It was very emotional for me to go through the archives to explore all the looks that Gianni created. It is an amazing way to reach the younger crowd. I am working closely with Lady Gaga or Nicki Menaj. It is great to collaborate with such dedicated artists who have so many followers. Gianni would be so proud to see his clothes worn by younger kids. This is an homage to Gianni.
I was scared to take over the reins from him when he died. I had to gain the credibility from the rest of the world.

 

Looking at your own shows, you are reenergized creatively. You are working with the Fringe London, Lady Gaga? Calling this a Versace moment, why do you think this was all coming together now?

D.V.: For me it is a fantasic moment. I talk and follow young designers. I am very interested in them and they are very interested in me. A house like Versace has a lot of history they can profit from but I am learning a lot, too. I am open to different opinions. Fashion is every day an exam. After all those years of minimalism, Versace and its luxury are back!

 

Margareta, did you feel a Versace moment as well?

M.v.d.B.: Yes, definitely. This is a different collaboration from what we did before with all those colours and prints, leather and studs. The essence of the house Versace was truly there.

 

Donatella, were you surprised when you went through your archives even that you know them well?

D.V.: I was amazed to see how Gianni did everything – I am sorry to say – before everybody else. I see a lot of homage to Versace today as for example young designer Riccardo Tisci did for the Givenchy F/W 2011 collection (looking at me as I was wearing a dress from this collection). But this is enough now. It is my turn, this is my homage to Versace!

 

Didn’t you have to make a concession?

D.V.: This was the best thing to work with H&M, there was no concession. There are fantastic people in this company. They said yes to everything, I never got a no. It has been a fantastic liberating moment. Just the amount of sketches surprised the team. 
31 looks were asked and I created 43 looks for the runway, from the chokers and the bracelets with the Medusa, flowers from Miami, printed jeans and skirts, leather, the high heels, nothing is missing.

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Margareta, what are the criteria for a collaboration? Isn’t H&M and Versace at two comletely different ends? And how do you get started?

M.v.d.B.: It is very much a feeling that we discuss in-house. If we agree, we go for it. We had the first meeting and talked about the collection. We decided something little. When the second meeting took place with the teams around the products, like buyers, people for the packaging and many others, I expected some sketches but Donatella had everything ready. It was fantastic as we always have a lack of time.

 

Margareta, you said the time was right for Versace, what do you mean with that?

M.v.d.B.: Fashion should be something that makes you happy. This collaboration is about a dream, to give people the spirit of luxury. We try to make it as close to the brand as possible. Maximalism, colours, prints, everything is back. It is an optimistic upbeat collection even that you see all the bad news in Europe.

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And how about you, Donatella? What do you think?

D.V.: It is a dream of luxury, for example when you touch the studded leather coat from the Versace for H&M collaboration or the original from the archives, you don’t know which one is the real one.

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What is this collaboration about? Which impact will the collection have on H&M or Versace? Will it change your own work?

D.V.: I had that clear idea what to do, of the look that young people want. Fashion is freedom today. Technology plays a fantastic role and H&M uses it in an amazing way. It is interesting to see how young people put things together and that everything goes.

M.v.d.B.: Fashion is about expressing your individuality. This collaboration is about giving the customers something new and showing that you don’t need a huge budget to look good. We are very professional and have all the knowledge. We included for the first time homewear because it is part of the Versace look, as well as jewelry. I mean there is no Versace collection without jewelry. We have two different cushions, a blanket and many different jewelry pieces.

 

Which one is your favourite piece in the collection?

D.V.: I have 43 favourite babies.

M.v.d.B.: The studded leather dress and the rings.

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If I were you, I would definitely get a piece with the tropical print as this is a huge trend among the upcoming Cruise 2012 collections from the likes of Stella McCartney, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Givenchy.

And don’t forget to enter the contest to win the amazing purple one-of-a-kind Versace for H&M dress! Deadline is tonight! Good luck!

And rumours are out that the next collaboration might be with Tom Ford, OMG!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Versace for H&M Launch Party in NYC

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Talking in superlatives! OMG – what a night! Tuesday evening, I attended the fashion show and after party for the launch of Versace for H&M in New York City. The venue was decorated in true Versace style in a specially designed building on the Hudson River. I was entering the world of Versace from the moment I set foot on the red carpet and so were the famous guests such as Uma Thurman, Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Hudson and Selma Blair. Enjoy all my photos from this Versace for H&M extravaganza and see who performed live on stage! Stay also tuned for an interview with Donatella Versace to be posted soon.

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Famous guitarist and music producer Mark Ronson in the hot pink Versace for H&M suit.

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Sweet Jessica Alba in a studded Versace for H&M dress with me.

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Uma Thurman looked so stunning when she said: “I think it is so exciting for Versace to made available to everyone. The collection is cool, colourful, young and very hip. I can’t wait to see the show.”

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British model and TV presenter Jade Parfitt with me.

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The other way around: Renowned photographer Bruce Webber in front of the camera.

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Blogger love: Bryanboy and me

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As for me, the sexiest shoe designer on earth: Brian Atwood.

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American actress and niece of Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts in Versace for H&M florals.

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Another well-known face: Photographer Terry Richardson

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Girlfriends: Jade Parfitt having fun with German model Christina Kruse.

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Let the show begin: The catwalk was paved with gold, the perfect environment in which to preview the Versace for H&M collection. The iconic looks, including some unique special pieces created for this exclusive event, were worn on the catwalk by top models such as Abbey Lee, Daphne G, Natasha Poly, Sean O’pry and Lindsay Wixson. The collection that will hit the shelves in 300 stores worldwide on November 17th, 2011.
For a closer view on the amazing pieces, I recommend this previous post.

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When the show was finished, Donatella Versace appeared on the runway and two gigantic gates opened. She invited the fashionable crowd to follow her to the next hall where the after party took place.

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The first act was a live performance of rap and pop superstar Nicki Minaj, dressed head to toe in Versace for H&M.

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Watching Prince

Later on, Nicki Minaj joined famous host Donatella to enjoy the show of Prince which was truly unbeatable. He is such an artist and musician. The way he sings, dances and moves captivates you from the first moment. When he started the chords of Purple Rain, the audience went crazy.

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In case you think that Prince was the culmination of the night, you are mistaken. After he was finished, another gate opened, the one to shopping heaven. Behind those doors, a gigantic H&M pop-up store was located where the guests could buy the new Versace for H&M collection and all the celebrities joined in the fun. What a night!

This is probably my longest post ever, but this night is just unforgettable. Thank you H&M for letting me be part of it!

LoL, Sandra

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IMG_3216Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

At the Versace S/S 2012 Show

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It might not be for everyone, but if you like Versace, you are going to fall in love with this S/S 2012 collection. It was truly sexy. Short mini dresses and hot pants were all over the runway. If you were looking for pants, no chance! Pastel colours gave a very feminine approach and even made the studded materials look soft. Of course, there was leather and lots of beautiful embellished  evening gowns. The final look resumed the beginning having a sparkling coral on the belly. And with the help of the Neptune-like prints showing sea shells and corals, Donatella has whetted our appetite for the next summer already.

LoL, Sandra

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Versace for H&M

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Logo2VGood news: H&M has announced that its F/W 2011 designer collaboration will be with Versace.

Designed by its creative director Donatella Versace, the exclusive collection will look back to the vibrant heritage of the brand, full of leather, print, colour and exuberance in exclusive materials at fantastic H&M prices. The collection will include ranges for women, men and selected pieces for the home. It will be available from 17 November in around 300 stores worldwide, as well as on-line.

In addition, Donatella Versace has also designed a pre-spring collection for H&M which will be exclusively available in countries with H&M on-line sales from January 19, 2012.

VersaceforHM_1_1_lowresDonatella Versace was already wearing one of the dresses from the Versace for H&M collection at the Versace men’s fashion show in Milan June 20th, 2011.

“I am thrilled to be collaborating with H&M and to have the opportunity of reaching their wide audience. The collection will be quintessential Versace, perfect for H&M and Versace fans everywhere!” – Donatella Versace

Versace is a brand that is steeped in glamour to its very core. Founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace, his daring dresses and wild iconography revolutionized fashion, creating provocative styles from classical themes which were all cut with an impeccable design eye. Since 1997, Donatella Versace has continued Gianni Versace’s work as creative director, evolving the brand into a global fashion house at the forefront of what luxury means today. Famous worldwide for her signature wardrobe, Donatella Versace is the epitome of everything the Versace house stands for.

Here is your sneak preview at the collection:

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Versace is the latest house to collaborate with H&M on an exclusive designer collection, following the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Jimmy Choo and, most recently, Lanvin.

For H&M, Donatella Versace has looked back to the archives to reinterpret some classic Versace designs. The womenswear collection will be dominated by dresses that fit right in with the spirit of the season, featuring studded leather, silk and colorful print, with accessories including high heels and costume jewellery. The men’s collection will focus on sharp tailoring, including the perfect tuxedo, as well as belts and jewellery for men, too. For the first time in a designer collaboration at H&M the collection will consist of some homeware pieces, including cushions and a bedspread.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M, © Johan Sandberg

Kate – A New Grace Kelly

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Finally we definitely know who is the designer behind Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. It’s Sarah Burton, the McQueen designer. I was right with my speculation a few weeks ago.

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Kate, who is now Princess Catherine, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stunned the crowd in an English and French Chantilly lace gown worn with a 2.70m long train and a silk tulle veil. The ivory duchesse satin shoes were also handmade by the McQueen team.

The look reminded of Princess Grace’s wedding dress in 1956. Sarah Burton captured Kate’s style in the right way, very classy and kind of simple for the house of McQueen. Only the draping at the back side of the dress seemed like a reference to the late designer. The Cartier tiara was lent to the bride by the queen.

Kate carried a secret love message by including „sweet william“ flowers in her bridal bouquet.

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Here are some quotes of famous designers concerning the bridal look:

“She is very elegant,” Karl Lagerfeld said. “The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster decor. I love the modest veil with the Queen Mother’s Thirties scroll tiara and balanced volume of the whole gown. She’s radiant; She never was so beautiful.”

“Kate’s dress was beautiful,” Donatella Versace said. “She looked very regal.”

Designer Elie Saab added: “It was a very elegant dress, subtly refined and discreet, in keeping with her style. I would have liked it even more with a little extra volume and a longer train.”

Oh what a royal wedding – congrats to the newly wed couple!

LoL, Sandra