With Ferragamo in Florence

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In the beginning of the week, I flew to Florence for two amazing days with Salvatore Ferragamo. To celebrate the Italian house’s Signorina fragrance collection, an installation designed by designer Patricia Urquiola welcomed us in the Orto Botanico Giardino Dei Semplici Firenze on the occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo.

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The exhibition, a real garden of wonders, recreates a bucolic and romantic situation through three performances of SignorinaEau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Signorina Eleganza –, which refresh visitors with delicate sprays of water reminiscent of the beautiful sensation of a perfume.

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The cutest details are the endings on the metal rods, that are inspired by the Vara bow, a Ferragamo icon. I felt like a little Tuscany princess wondering around.

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Il Giardino dei Semplici is Europe’s third oldest garden and was established by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo de ‘Medici in 1545, who wanted an academic garden with the prime interest in medicinal plants. Today, the botanical garden is a sanctuary for rare plants, symbolic for the world of fragrances.

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Being Ferragamo’s guest, I was spoilt to a very yummy lunch on the lawn. Italian delicacies were served among a flower decoration that was outstanding, peonies, roses and many more, that can also be found in the Signorina fragrances. The ingredients were shown in the most romantic way.

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SIGNORINA Eau de Parfum
FLORAL FRUITY
Top notes: Red currant and pink pepper
Middle notes: Jasmine, rose and peony
Base notes: Patchouli, panna cotta and musk

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SIGNORINA Eau de Toilette
FLORAL FRUITY
Top notes: Grapefruit and litchi
Middle notes: Rose and rice
Base notes: Cashmeran and milk mousse

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SIGNORINA ELEGANZA Eau de Parfum
CHYPRE FLORAL
Top notes: Pear and grapefruit
Middle notes: Osmanthus absolute and almond
Base notes: Patchouli and white leather accord

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With my lovely blogger colleague Tamu McPherson at the lunch.
Stay tuned for more photos of my look coming up soon…

Happy Weekend to all of you!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Luisa Via Roma – Firenze4Ever Backstage

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LUISAVIAROMA‘s Firenze4Ever was once again an outstanding experience. The sun was shining, blue sky over Florence and I enjoyed every single minute of it. Below are some backstage impressions and a little teaser of my photo shoot with Tommaso Fontanella.

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A goody bag filled with amazing products from the likes of MCM and Sisley (my favourite mascara) among others waited for me.

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LUISAVIAROMA goes punk!

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Being interviewed by the lovely Kelly for Glamour and Vogue Italia.

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My F/W 2013 selection: Fausto Puglisi, Emanuel Ungaro and Givenchy

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Tommaso showing me the first pics.

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Very happy with the result of the shoot: Tom, Anna and me.
Stay tuned for the style labs coming up soon! Missing Florence already…

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: At the Gucci Museo in Florence

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Last Wednesday, I attended the opening night of the new solo exhibition at the Gucci Museo in Florence. The museum presents four significant works from the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (open to the public until December 15, 2103). Red Independent Heart #1 and Psycho, both from the Pinault Collection, plus Lavoisier and the video work Hand-made will be exhibited in Italy for the first time.

My look, a mix of coral and fuchsia: Ruffled printed silk-gazar mini dresspink patent-leather ankle-cuff sandalscoral patent-leather envelope clutchnecklace with coral flowers motif iconand earrings with fuchsia pendants, all by Gucci.

For more information on the Gucci museo, I invite you to have a look at this previous post.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Firenze4Ever Closing Night

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The closing night of LUISAVIAROMA‘s Firenze4Ever took place at the stunning Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli), a park behind the Pitti Palace in Florence, that is home to a collection of sculptures dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, with some Roman antiquities. It is amazing how LUISAVIAROMA always surprises us with another outstanding location.

Seated around the fountain in the Island Bassin (Vasca dell’Isola), we enjoyed a wonderful Tuscan dinner, a dance show, the amazing scenery followed by the after party with a private rock concert. The motto of the night was “Grunge Glam” and I went through my closet to find the most “punk-style” pieces that were in there.

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My look: Cut-out knit dress, matching leggings and leather glove clutch, all by Alexander McQueen, choker by Louis Vuitton, bracelets by Miu Miu and Hermès, strappy sandals by Gucci and statement rings by Roberto Cavalli. All pieces are from previous seasons.

Below you can enjoy all my impressions of the night.

LoL, Sandra

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Familiar faces: Sung-Joo Kim (looking a little different than at the MCM Grand Opening in Zurich last month) and the MCM team came to present their newest collaboration: they teamed up with illustrators, Craig & Karl, for a limited edition collection of summer accessories.

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Adrian J. Margelist, Chief Creative Officer MCM, with me

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Off to Florence

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Today, I flew to Florence for the 7th edition of Firenze4Ever with LUISAVIAROMAicon. I love travelling in comfortable clothes that still look stylish. Here you can see me at the Zurich airport before heading off to Bella Italia.

My look: Black leather biker jacket iconby Saint Laurent, floral ptint topicon, oversized silk tapered pants iconand matching clutch bagicon, all by 3.1 Phillip Lim, flats with pale pink bow by Prada, ring by Roberto Cavalli and necklace with movable teddy bear by Dior.

If you are interested in live updates from Firenze4Ever, follow me on twitter or instagram (@sandrascloset).

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Firenze4Ever 7th Edition On Stage

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Today, I have more amazing news! I am so excited and cannot wait for the weekend to come. This Saturday, I will be off to Florence to attend LUISAVIAROMAicon‘s amazing FIRENZE4EVER ON STAGE event. Those of you who have been following me since quite a while know how much fun it will be as I am back for the fourth time. At the end of this post you can find the highlights of the previous editions.

What is FIRENZE4EVER all about?
The cultural heritage of Florence, the most important Italian fashion destination online, the world’s most influential fashion icons, trendsetters and bloggers, an exclusive location and a fantastic live event… these are the ingredients that will spice up the three-day event hosted by LUISAVIAROMAicon.

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This time, it is inspired by the era of rock, punk, grunge… one of the biggest F/W 2013 trends. FIRENZE4EVER ON STAGE is a salute to the music that defined an attitude and the attitude that continues to inspire fashion.

FrancescoMeleFrancesco Mele with his fiancé Bianca Balti for Vogue Brasil August 2012 – She Rocks! by Fernando Lombardi

But it is not only about celebrating fashion, above all, it is an hommage to Florence and investing in its most precious resource: its culture. In fact, this season, it will contribute to the restoration of the fountain in the Vasca dell’Isola (Island Basin) in the Boboli Gardens, where the private Dinner Party closing the event will take place. On the evening of 17th June, the most cutting edge names of the international underground rock scene will be “ON STAGE,” including Francis and the Cats (with the celebrated Francesco Mele) and Goose, the Belgian alternative-electro band described by The Guardian as the link that joins rock, electronic and DJ-set.

An extraordinary edition where art, music and fashion meet between the virtual and the physical, thanks to the support of LUISAVIAROMAicon.

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Some of the highlights of previous FIRENZE4EVER editions that I attended (January 2011, June 2011, January 2012) were for the example the Mulberry tea party book launch, my interview with Laudomia Pucci, the amazing dinner at the church, Pug Dogs for Happy Kids auction and of course all those fun style labs.

Here are my favorites. If you click on the photo, you will be transfered to the previous post.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Luisaviaroma, style.com, Vogue Brasil, © Sandra Bauknecht

Lorenzo Villoresi: Mare Nostrum Aura Maris

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Lorenzo Villoresi presented his latest fragrance MARE NOSTRUM AURA MARIS during Pitti Fragranze in Florence.

Mare Nostrum is the ancient name of the Mediterranean sea, a theme that the Florentine perfumer has always loved, rich of cultural, historical, mythological, environmental suggestions. Such a variety of different worlds and precious visions cannot be contained in only one fragrance.

This is why he is launching today the first fragrance of the Mare Nostrum collection, Aura Maris, the sea breeze. This fresh and gentle scent will be followed by other creations inspired by the many visions and sensations of the Mare Nostrum concept.

Aura Maris

MARE NOSTRUM
Crossed by sweet currents, caressed by the breath of soft breezes and countless changing perfumes. Mighty, generous sea, the scene of exciting visions that cannot be told, salvation and danger alike for men and for heroes. There, skimming the crest of the waves, Poseidon rides his chariot drawn by golden-maned horses. In the deepest seas fair Nereides live, their long locks wafting in the foamy waters, to the sound of the salty surf.

AURA MARIS
The sea breeze gently brushing the ocean waves, bearing happy tidings of the summer sun, with the aromas from the Mediterranean shrubs. The tingling fragrance of the salty foam, the sunlit reflections of citrus fruits the lightest touch of meadow flowers and the golden rays of the sun on a glimmering sea.

Top notes: Fresh, green, citrus with Bergamot notes, Mandarin and soft floral fruity touches.
Middle notes: Fresh, floral with aromatic woods nuances, Narcissus, Patchouli, Jasmine.
Base notes: Fresh citrus floral, with soft ambery, musky and woody touches.

For a previous post on Lorenzo Villoresi, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Roberto Cavalli – Luxury on the Rocks

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For the fashion-conscious vodka-lovers out there, here is your new fashionable drink: ROBERTO CAVALLI VODKA.

Roberto Cavalli says about the tasty addition to his universe on his blog“In life it takes imagination! I believe I have it!
 I do not remember if I told you what it was that prompted me to create the ROBERTO CAVALLI VODKA. I go clubbing… I notice that vodka is the most popular drink… smooth… or with some juice… the most fashionable vodka is French… French…? Why not Italian…? I design the Cavalli style bottle and my son Tommaso selects the best distillery… that’s how the first Italian Vodka is born!”

A few days ago, I created a special cocktail… I can say I am not fond of high volume alcohol drinks… but I really like my cocktail… maybe too much! I get into a nasty habit of making one before bed… l put the glass near the bed and I enjoy it ‘til the last delicious drop! It helps me fall asleep… gently! Try it and let me know how you like it…”

Here is the recipe:

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If you are in Florence, I recommend a visit to Caffè Giacosa, one of the city’s most famous cafés. After a painstaking restoration faithful to the original structures, Roberto Cavalli, a born Florentine bound to tradition, reopened this lovely spot. There you can enjoy and shop chocolate, pastries, wines and spirits, all embellished with the iconic Cavalli logo and animal prints.

LoL, Sandra

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IMG_0917Photos: Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli and © Sandra Bauknecht

Visiting the Gucci Manufacture

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Welcome to Tuscany, where the Gucci headquarters are based in a little town called Casellina, at the gates of Florence. Here Frida Giannini’s beautiful designs come also to life.

Please follow me on an exclusive tour through the bag manufacture:

Titel 1aGucci Fabrics

The first stop is the leather department where the research of fabrics is taking place. When the doors opened, I thought that I had arrived in paradise. Two tables full of the most luxurious materials, from matte crocodile to suede ostrich and colourful python leather. Gucci only uses exotic skins that have a certification to make sure all the guidelines are met.

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Crocodile and alligator skins

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Matte, rubberized crocodile leather

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One of my favourites: The matte suede-effect ostrich leather to the left.

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Among the beautiful python samples,…

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…I spotted the emerald-coloured one used for my 1973 bag.

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The famous interlocking GG started 10-15 years ago with Frida Giannini. Before that time the signature fabric was the one to the right. Frida lives and works in Rome.

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One of the most expensive fabrics is still handmade on a wooden loom in a procedure dating back to the 18th century.
It takes the Gucci’s craftsmen one hour to create a maximum of 15cm.

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It is truly impressive to see how much work, time and dedication is going into the creation of the right fabrics for a Gucci bag. And all made in Italy!

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Cutting Room

Next stop is the cutting department where all the important skin materials, such as anaconda, python and lizard, are cut. The artisans have to spend many years working with standard leathers before being allowed to cut noble skins.

The reason is clear: You need lots of skins for an excotic leather bag as the craftsmen have to match the colour and pattern of the skin to achieve maximum beauty. And when it comes to these fine materials, you want to limit the wastage to a minimum.

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Prototype Room

Third stop: The prototype room. We were not allowed to take photos in there as the Gucci team works one year ahead. My eyes spotted prototypes for 2013 (how exciting!). But I am very sorry, my lips have to be sealed!

90% of the work is done manually in this department. Everything starts with a design. From the paper pattern, the artisans develop a product which after the designer’s, in this case Frida Giannini, final approval will become a sample.

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In the prototype room, we were also introduced to the amazing travel trunk which is exclusively done here. Two craftsmen work one entire month on this piece. Design by Tom Ford.

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In 2011, ten pieces were done. Among the lucky owners are  John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez.
The price for the travel trunk in fabric as seen here is € 30.000 (special order).

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Here are the photos of the crocodile version made out of 23 skins for € 240.000. Divine!

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Paulo (in front), who has been with Gucci for 38 years, and Marco are the two artisans producing the travel trunks.

Bamboo

Final stop: The room where the iconic Bamboo handles and accessories are produced.

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Gucci uses exclusively Chinese bamboo because of its quality. There is still a lot of wastage as it is very important that the bamboos have a fairly regular diameter and that distance between the noses is equal.
Please enjoy the procedure:

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1. Choose the right bamboo and smooth it.

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2. Bend it with heat.

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3. Give it the burnished colour.

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4. Cut and finish it.

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5. Apply the sealing wax by hand.

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6. The protection will help to maintain its shape.

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7. Prepare the wholes for the metal parts to be attached.

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Once you see all the work going into a bag, you appreciate it even more. The Gucci people are truly dedicated to their work and you can feel their passion for the product which comes with a very high level of perfection.

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No, I didn’t need a doctor even that I went into raptures over the Gucci manufacture. Similiar to a science lab: Some of the workers wear white coats embroidered with the Gucci logo.

Thank you, Gucci, for letting me be part of this amazing experience!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Dinner at J.K. Place in Florence

Dinner at J.K.place

Finally, I went through over 800 photos that I took during my trip with Gucci in Italy last week. During the next days, I will share all those amazing experiences with you. So please stay tuned for my visit to the manufacture in Casellina and much more.

After the Gucci F/W 2012 show in Milan, we went straight to Florence. Those of you, who have been following me for  some time now, know, that my favourite hotel in Florence is the J.K.Place. So you might imagine how happy I was to be back so soon for the Gucci experience.

We had a lovely dinner at the hotel, very “La Dolce Gucci” and went all to bed quite early as the next day promised to be full of adventure.

Dinner

This was my look, needless to say, head to toe Gucci: Emerald-coloured velvet jacket, velvet pants, silk shirt with ruffles, fur stole, gold horsebit necklace, python pumps and Gucci’s “cult” 1973 bag ( see detailed photos below).

The next day, when I saw with my own eyes at the manufacture how such a luxurious piece is made, what makes a Gucci bag a Gucci bag”, I was very impressed.

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We had so much fun together: Misha from Tokyo (Tokyo Fashion Diaries), Emily (Fashion Foie Gras) and Ella (La Petite Anglaise), both from London with me.

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Yummy food, Italian wine, good conversation, what a great night!

LoL, Sandra

Night at FlorencePhotos: © Sandra Bauknecht