Gucci Garden Archetypes

On the 100th anniversary of the founding of Gucci, comes to Florence Gucci Garden Archetypes, an immersive multimedia experience that explores and celebrates the House’s creative vision.

An archetype is the original form from which all copies are made, never able to be recreated in itself, and every Gucci campaign speaks of a unique and unrepeatable moment – expressing the spirit of each collection, while reflecting the inclusive philosophy, liberated and audacious of Creative Director Alessandro Michele.

From Tokyo to Los Angeles, and from Northern Soul to May 68, the exhibition features mythical ark-builders, intergalactic explorers, horses, dancers, angels, and aliens all making appearances in this expansive exploration of Alessandro Michele’s kaleidoscopic vision. Gucci Garden Archetypes delves into the multifarious inspirations from the music, art, travel and pop culture spheres that resonate through Gucci’s campaigns.

«I thought it was interesting to accompany people in these first six years of adventure, inviting them to cross the imaginary, the narrative, the unexpected, the glitter. So, I created a playground of emotions that are the same as in the campaigns, because they are the most explicit journey into my imagery,» says Alessandro Michele, curator of the exhibition.

Cutting-edge technology, elaborate hand-crafting and innovative interior design create a sequence of distinct, immersive worlds, designed by Archivio Personale, the design studio that has transformed Alessandro Michele’s vision into narrative spaces reflecting and enhancing the uniqueness of his aesthetics. Accessed via what appears to be a behind-the-scenes operations center, visitors first get a split-screen live view of the exhibition they are about to enter. Inside, a network of themed spaces and corridors bring the intricate world-building of 15 Gucci campaigns to life.

Gucci Beauty’s lipstick campaign for the ‘bold, bright and beautiful’ is transformed into a multi-screen extravaganza, in which we are dazzled from multiple angles by the now-famous smile belonging to punk singer Dani Miller that has overthrown beauty conventions in the cosmetic industry.

Viewers also enter the scented floral paradise of Gucci Bloom, a hidden imaginary garden becomes a place of freedom for the three stars of the campaign – actress Dakota Johnson, feminist artist and photographer Petra Collins, and actress, model and trans woman Hari Nef. Charismatic and unconventional, this trio collectively ushered in Alessandro Michele’s new, inclusive vision of modern femininity.

In one room, a circular projection creates the immersive sensation of being out ‘on the floor’ with the exuberant dancers of Pre-Fall 2017, with its pioneering casting of an all-black ensemble, in what Michele described as a ‘homage to the elegance of black culture’, by putting it in the foreground. This campaign responded to the need for a better representation of the Black community in the fashion industry.

Pre-Fall 2018’s homage to the Parisian youth of ‘May 68’ on the 50th anniversary is evoked by a graffitied stairway that connects the two floors of the space. For S/S 2018, interdisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal created in almost 900 hours of painstaking work, a giant hand-painted mural that covers the walls and ceiling. Elsewhere, 150,000 shimmering sequins blanket the walls in a dazzling reimagining of F/W 2016 campaign, a trip through Tokyo, while a museum-style diorama provides a guide to the creatures, aliens and explorers of the F/W 2017 campaign’s trip to outer space.

The obsessive collections of F/W 2018 campaign fill one space from floor to ceiling, as visitors are surrounded with shelves stacked with thousands of cased butterflies, as well as hundreds of cuckoo clocks, colorful wigs and sneakers. Guests can also find themselves in the 80s nightclub bathroom of the Berlin-set S/S 2016 campaign, and behind the scenes in the sprawling modernist villa that hosted the Cruise 2020 campaign ‘party of the century’.

Visitors can even enter a mirrored labyrinth to go inside a stately home like the one at the heart of the Cruise 2016 campaign, take a trip through the breathtakingly world of Cruise 2019’s epic community of ark-builders, and ride on an LA subway carriage like the one that made an appearance back in the F/W 2015 campaign, the first by Alessandro Michele.

The Gucci Garden Archetypes catalog will be the continuation of this journey into the imagination of Alessandro Michele – a true inventory of the creativity on display and a collection of images and surprises, complemented by original texts by personalities of the cultural scene including art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, artist and researcher Anna Franceschini, curator Antwaun Sargent, and sustainability and culture advisor Shaway Yeh.

Coherently with Gucci’s explorations of the digital realms, a virtual tour will also be available online, giving the possibility to visit the exhibition. Stepping further down this path, envisioning dialogues melding physical and virtual environments, the House has once again partnered with the global online platform Roblox – bringing in their metaverse a captivating Gucci Garden shared experience that will open its doors on May 17, for two weeks only. As visitors explore this virtual gallery freely inspired by the Gucci campaigns exhibited, the digital avatars transform into mannequins absorbing elements of the exhibition, turning themselves into unique digital artworks.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Gucci

My Look: May Weather

This spring has been crazy so far. Snow, rain, sun, we have experienced everything to the extreme so far. Right now, Switzerland is pretty cold, and I feel blessed to be escaping to Barcelona today.

This look has become my all-time favorite travel look. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear, while still looking chic.

My look: Tweed-style cashmere cardigan (Look 10 Pre-collection Summer 2021), green cotton top, and black wide drawstring pants, (Look 33 Pre-collection Summer 2021), green flap pocket bag with colorful strap (Look 5 Pre-collection Summer 2021), round sunglasses (Look 8 Pre-collection Summer 20121) and pearl necklace, all by CHANEL, and New Ace leather-trimmed printed coated-canvas sneakers by Gucciicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
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Discover Your Inner Child

These quirky-cute, child-like accessories (which are definitely a nostalgic nod to the ’90s) add an extra dose of fun to your outfits. Be the cool kid on the block and delve into a world of playful proportions. With Demna Gvasalia at the helm, Balenciaga retains its unique and innovative approach to fashion and plays a leading role in this trend that is suddenly everywhere.

LoL, Sandra

Embroidered poplin-trimmed shirred floral-print cotton mini dressicon by Gucci

Toy silver-tone beaded choker and Toy silver-tone beaded braceleticon, both by Balenciaga

Dummy drop earrings by Balenciaga

Sailor-collar lambswool bodysuiticon by Miu Miu

Toy logo coin purse by Etro

Toys print shoulder bag by Etro

Hello Kitty XXS embellished printed leather tote by Balenciaga

Oversized distressed printed cotton-jersey topicon by Balenciaga

Bear-motif jumper by Moschino

Gummy Bear hoop earringsicon by Balenciaga

Photo: © David Biedert Photography – Stills: Courtesy of the Brands
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Purr-fection

Today, I would love to show you the perfect gift idea for every cat-loving fashionista. From Alessandro Michele‘s cat prints for Gucci, to Miucci Prada‘s Miu Miu collection, the runways are replete with feline fantasies.

LoL, Sandra


Cat-print cotton-jersey T-shirticon by The Vampire’s Wife

Guardians printed tie-dyed cotton-jersey T-shirticon by Miu Miu

Check fil-à-fil cat-print shirt by Miu Miu

Cat-print tulle-trim T-shirt by MSGM

Cat-print appliqué wool sweater by Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

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Appliquéd organic printed cotton-jersey T-shirticon and embroidered-cat floral-print satin cushion, both by Gucci
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Oversized distressed printed cotton-jersey hoodie and oversized printed cotton-jersey T-shirticon, both by Balenciaga

Cat-print pillow by Fornasetti

Chiavari cat-print chair by Gucci

Photo: © David Biedert Photography – Stills: Courtesy of the Brands
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Tribute to Alber Elbaz and AZ Factory

I am still so in shock. One of my favorite designers, especially because of his amazing character, Alber Elbaz, died Saturday in Paris from Covid-19. He was such a warm-hearted person, always thinking about his employees. Instantly recognisable for his broad smile and distinctive personal uniform of bow ties and thick-rimmed glasses, he was best known for his star turn leading couture house Lanvin. At their peak, sales were as high as €235 million. He definitely died too young, in June he would have turned 60.

Born in Morocco and educated in Israel, Elbaz climbed the ranks of the fashion industry from a small dressmaker’s shop in New York City to serve at the helm of Guy Laroche. Then appointed by Pierre Bergé, Elbaz next worked as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent from 1998 until he was fired after three seasons when Gucci bought the company and put Tom Ford in charge.

Designer Alber Elbaz walks down the runway at the S/S 2004 Lanvin show in Paris.

Elbaz began designing for Lanvin in 2001. He also held a minority stake in the company of nearly 18 percent. During his 14-year tenure, he was credited with the house’s renewed appeal thanks to Elbaz’s «classic with a twist» takes on silk cocktail dresses and other feminine designs, often playing with color or other unusual variations on hallmark elegance.

Alber’s sketches for Lanvin

His humorous sketches of everything from lollipops to his own face became a brand signature, also remember the amazing collaboration he did with Lancôme. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, was lauded by the fashion press. In 2005 Suzy Menkes wrote: «Elbaz is every woman’s darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names

In October 2015, Elbaz announced that he had been let go from Lanvin after disagreements with the company’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. He then took some time off until he launched a new label together with Swiss luxury group Richemont, AZ Factory, in January.

A tribute to Alber today on the AZ Factory homepage.

The following text has been written months ago but sometimes time flies and I always postponed to post it. It feels so bizarre to show it to you now post mortem. However, it is a tribute to Alber, to his latest venture in fashion, that hopefully will also have a great input how the world consumes fashion. It is all about inclusivity and diversity. I invite you to get your last piece designed by Alber…

In a Zoom call with Alber in January…

So let me introduce you to AZ Factory, the eagerly awaited fashion concept from Alber Elbaz. Launched at Paris Haute Couture Week in January, it had not only marked the comeback of Elbaz but also Richemont’s first foray into launching a fashion label from scratch, a €25 million investment, that is focusing on online distribution.

Described as Elbaz’ «dream factory» and created with «women of our times» in mind, the label is an expansion of the playful, confident pieces that have become his calling card through the years. This is a marvellous fashion moment! Neither a revolution nor an evolution but a refreshing reset! AZ Factory might change the face of luxury fashion as long as we’ve known it and Alber Elbaz might have become the new «Hervé Leger». Over the next few months a six part capsule collection will be launching.

Alber wanted to design for «All Women».

And one of the most exciting elements surrounding this new brand is the diversity in its sizing, with an emphasis placed on the fact that this entire six capsule series is inclusive for «All Women placing importance on body positivity and inclusivity. Sizing ranges from XXS-4XL or FR34 – FR48.

MyBody ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and MyBody paneled stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody
The essence of the MyBody capsule is bodycon styles made from a technical weave fabric that sculpt the female form. The AnatoKnit technology provides hugging tension that shapes your natural curves. The boning at the back supports your posture and the ergonomic design features allow for movement and breathability. The idea behind this is functional fashion that has been made for «women on the move» and Alber wanted to encourage us to wear these with their sneakers. I think they’d look perfectly splendid with heels too.

Your Body color-block ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and Your Body striped stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody 2.0
The sporty edition of MY BODY. This additional story features colourblock designs paired with matching leggings. It’s the next level of athleisure.

Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill shirticon and Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill wide-leg pantsicon

Switchwear Pyjamas
Uplifting printed silk pyjamas are equally suited for sleep or for styling your look day or night. Made in collaboration with several artists and designers, which Alber found on Instagram due to the pandemic, these touching visuals reflect the emotions of our times and the wish to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness.

Switchwear recycled duchesse-satin maxi skirt
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Switchwear
From bed, Zoom, to yoga, to the supermarket, to couch, to date night – Switchwear takes you from cozy to couture (and back!) in under 60 seconds. Upgrade your supremely soft Switchwear Prime-layers with the iridescent, satin-like Switchwear Duchesse Add Ons.

Neoprene and mesh sneakers
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Pointy Sneakers
Hybrid footwear that combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoes. Performance sneaker construction so you don’t have to trade off all-day comfort and stability.

In light of this, I was invited by Alber Elbaz and NET-A-PORTER to a live launch celebration for AZ Factory in the end of January. I also received a spectacle in a box to open during the event that included sweets, a puzzle, ….

Alber is such a sweet human being. He told us that he started his new venture by thinking: «How can I hug women? Who’s my customer? Is she an architect, who’s her mother, does she have kids?» He went on: «I wanted to create something for all of them. I never had one muse. I have never understood how to design for only one woman. It is the variety that counts. The world doesn’t exist of one song, one book or just one woman. Life is not black and white. I wanted to find something in the middle without being mediocre. I thought due to my own body shape that you have to hide who you are if you are a plus size. And the tiny women are sent to the children’s department. I wanted to change that. I also created the long zip opener so that women are not dependent on a man to open their dress. My sneakers are hybrid footwear, pointed like pumps to elongate the legs with all-day comfort. SwitchWear plays a key role for me. For example you wear leggings for travel and once you arrive, you just put a skirt over it. It’s modular dressing and also includes pyjamas. It is comfort, technology and a couture dream in one

Creativity? «The moment I feel and don’t be asked…» Az Lazy, Az Crazy

Thank you, Alber, for your creativity, your positivity and for making us dream… you will never be forgotten!

TO SHOP AZ FACTORY, CLICK HERE PLEASEicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © AZ Factory, Net-à-Porter, © Sandra Bauknecht
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My Look: Paisley

After my master detox program at Clinique La Prairie I feel so full of energy which translates into my choice of fashion. Vibrant, colorful, full of life, for Gucci‘s «Epilogue» collection Alessandro Michele takes inspiration from the bohemian styles of the ’60s and ’70s. «Epilogue» was conceived as a vibrant rejection of fashion’s more «traditional» guidelines. It reveals all of the elements that have guided the Gucci aesthetic over the last six years. This brightly coloured paisley print ensemble speaks to the narrative used throughout the collection. It’s cut for a figure-skimming fit from breathable cotton and linen-blend canvas printed with a rainbow of swirling paisleys.

My look: Paisley-print canvas crop topicon, and matching paisley-print cotton-blend canvas maxi skirticon, Angel leather platform sandals, all by Gucci, oversized gold-tone, crystal and faux pearl clip earrings by Dolce & Gabbana, Gilda super mini crystal-embellished lamé toteicon by Amina Muaddi, and Royal Oak 37mm 18-karat frosted rose gold watch by Audemars Piguet.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
The photos were taken on the terrace of my suite at Clinique La Prairie.
DISCLOSURE:
We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.

My Look: Ken Scott x Gucci

Today’s look is all about enhancing the timeless, retro-influenced mood that is trending at the moment. Reinvigorate your wardrobe with the bold and vibrant designs everyone has their sights on. My striped outfit is from the Ken Scott x Gucci collection that I absolutely adore.

Ken Scott was an American designer who resided in Milan in the 60s and 70s. He was known as the «fashion gardener» for his colourful, oversized botanical prints and vibrant colors. Alessandro Michele worked with Scott’s archive to incorporate his prints on signature House designs: «Ken Scott was a really great creator of fabrics, he mapped out flowers with romanticism and flowers into pop culture. He treated flowers like shop signs, he multiplied them, turned them into something that stood out. I like his work because I am obsessed with floral prints.»

I went for the less obvious print, instead of flowers I feel in love with those rainbow stripes. The perfect outfit for enjoying the change of the season, as I did on this beautiful day at Gstaad Palace hotel in the end of February.

My look: Rainbow-print linen topicon, matching rainbow-print linen trousers, gold-tone crystal belticon, and 1955 Horsebit leather-trimmed crocheted shoulder bag, all by Gucci, lace-up leather-trimmed mesh pumpsicon by Bottega Venetawide brim straw hat by BalmainClash de Cartier ring in 18K rose gold with amazonite by Cartier, and Royal Oak 37mm 18-karat frosted rose gold watch by Audemars Piguet.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise. 

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

Show Love This Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day will be different this year: with limited options for spontaneous getaways or romantic nights out, it is time to rethink the ways in which we can show appreciation for those who are dear to us. But when expectations are out the window, opportunities for new traditions arise. Let’s get creative! From small handwritten gestures to a beautiful gift. Treat your partner (or yourself!) with a Valentine’s Day surprise. Looking for inspiration? Have a look at my suggestions below:

Ruffled organza-trimmed printed silk crepe de chine dress by Rodarte
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Bracelet As de Coeur by Hermès

Cherries T-Shirt by Miu Miu

GG and heart crystal-embellished choker by Gucci


iconCrystal-heart drop clip earrings by Alessandra Rich

Happy Hearts 18-karat rose gold diamond ring by Chopard

Valentine’s Day plate set by Louis Vuitton

Valentine cotton-jersey hooded sweatshirt by Balenciaga
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Nike Air Force 1 Valentines Day 2021 for Women by Nike
I LOVE that they feature cute heart-shaped air holes on the top of the sneaker rather than the usual circle holes.

Nike Air Force 1 Valentine’s Day for Men by Nike
For the madly in love couples that love to match, there is also a sneaker for men.

Personalized chocolate by Toblerone

Besides all those fabulous gift ideas, there’s nothing quite like a handwritten Valentine’s Day card. Beautifully handcrafted, they’re ready to be filled with your love notes.

Love Valentine’s Day card by Smythson

Have a lovely Valentine’s weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Stills: Courtesy of the Brands

My Look: Pink Is My Color

Truth is, I love everything pink. It is such a powerful color. Pink comprises pop culture and fashion, playfulness and girlhood. It can be innocent and not so innocent, luxurious and tacky. This weekend, I am feeling like floating on a pink cloud because it is my birthday. Therefore I have prepared this post as I will indulge in my special day and take some time off.

My look: La Veste Esterel jacket, matching Valerie cutout woven midi skirticon, Le Haut Pampelonne bralette, and Riviera frayed cotton pumpsicon, all by Jacquemus, small flap bag with top handle by CHANEL, Horsebit blue topaz diamond white gold ringicon by Gucci Fine Jewellery, and Pasha C chronograph in steel (2000) by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.