Latest News from Jean Paul Gaultier

In January 2020, all eyes were on Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute Couture S/S 2020 show in Paris because it was his 50th anniversary show and, as he announced on Twitter, his last. Today, I received the press release that the French Maison will continue with a new concept. Each season, Jean Paul Gaultier will invite a designer to interpret the codes of the House and give the vision of Haute Couture.

Chitose Abe from SACAI will be the first designer to participate in the project and she will present the next Haute Couture collection in July 2020.

Jean Paul Gaultier about this new concept:

« The idea of different designers interpreting one Haute Couture brand came to me in the nineties for a Parisian Haute Couture House who found itself without a designer. I am pleased that this concept will become reality now with Chitose Abe of Sacai as the first guest designer. I admire her work, we have many things in common creatively and share a similar vision of fashion. I am glad to give her the complete freedom. »

Chitose Abe thought on this project:

« I have a long held admiration for Jean Paul’s unique vision of subversive femininity and his originality, both of which I’ve strived towards in my work since the beginning. It’s a true honor to be given the opportunity to be custodian of his house as the first designer of this project. »

With Jean Paul Gaultier at his Haute Couture S/S 2016 after party in Paris.

An interesting concept – I am curious to see the next show. If you have ever had the chance to experience a Jean Paul Gaultier show live, you will know what I am talking about. There are not many runway presentations that leave you that energized and happy – there is always a joyful mood, great music and amazing designs.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Jean Paul Gaultier and © Sandra Bauknecht

Strong Statements at the 2020 Oscars

Last night, the awards season officially closed with the 2020 Oscars. The biggest ceremony of the year, now in its 92nd year, was once again being held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Renée Zellweger in Armani Privé

Some of our favorite A-list nominees were all in attendance, in the hopes of taking home one of the industry’s highest honors: that iconic golden trophy. Renée Zellweger (Judy) in Armani Privé and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) in the Stella McCartney suit he’s been wearing all season long, won the best actor categories this year.

Joaquin Phoenix in Stella McCartney

Phoenix was not alone showing his environmentalism. The entertainment industry’s push for a more sustainable awards season has made its way to the Oscars red carpetVintage dresses made an appearance, following past award show mandates this month, such as the BAFTAs, that have enforced a more eco-conscious dress code.

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci

Saoirse Ronan recycled part of her BAFTA’s Gucci dress for the 92nd Academy Awards red carpet.

Elizabeth Banks in Badgley Mischka

Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks wore the same fire-red dress by Badgley Mischka that she had worn at the 2004 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. She just had removed the jewelry straps in the back.

Kaitlyn Dever in Louis Vuitton

Kaitlyn Dever supported the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative in a custom red Louis Vuitton gown made with ethically sourced and sustainable materials.

Jane Fonda in Elie Saab

Jane Fonda repeated her Cannes Film Festival 2014 outfit at the Oscars 2020 and she has a solid reason to do so. Dressed in an Elie Saab F/W 2013 Haute Couture gown, Jane, ethereal as ever, presented the Best Picture Oscar on stage at the Dolby Theatre. She also carried a red coat that has a deeper meaning behind. In 2019, Fonda, who had been a lifelong activist, had been arrested five times in Washington, D.C. for civil disobedience during her climate action campaign. While addressing the crowd, Jane had said that she will refrain from buying new clothes henceforth. This is why she repeated not just her Cannes outfit at the Oscars but the coat as well. «You see this coat? I needed something red and I went out and found this coat on sale. This is the last article of clothing that I will ever buy,» Jane had said on November 1.

And there was another strong message, Jane Fonda sent down the aisle this award season. When the 82-year old stepped onstage, there was something different about her: Instead of the Hollywood legend’s natural brunette, or the sandy blonde hair colour, her new pixie cut was a beautiful shade of silver. Fair or not, gray hair is not considered an option in La La Land. Going against certain beauty norms in regard to aging in Hollywood, this move is fitting considering the actress is as radical as ever.

Natalie Portman in Dior

Natalie Portman made another important statement about the state of Hollywood, that was stitched into her beautiful cloak. The actress stepped onto the red carpet in a Maria Grazia Chiuri designed embroidered Dior gown and matching cape that paid tribute to cinema’s female creators who weren’t nominated, such as Lorene Scafaria, Greta Gerwig, and Lulu Wang.

The craftsmanship of Portman’s Haute Couture gown is breathtaking. Have a look at the behind the scene photos below… investing in a beautiful piece of clothing and keeping it is a message I have tried to convey since ever. Sustainability was the one theme that ran throughout the Oscars while there was no shortage of glamour.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior, via Vogue/Getty

Hôtel Plaza Athénée – A Couture Experience

Chic, stylish and fashion-loving, Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris has enjoyed a long love affair with Haute Couture. Favoured by fashionistas, the spirit of couture lives on throughout the hotel in every personalised, hand-tailored detail. The location itself couldn’t be more appropriate, located on the famous Avenue Montaigne, where a century of designers and artists have pursued boldness and passion. On the doorstep you’ll find all the big-name boutiques including Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada.

The House of Dior has a very special connection with the hotel. Back in 1946, Christian Dior opened his first boutique on Avenue Montaigne, inspired by the idea of attracting elegant customers. In homage to his love of the hotel, his collections included creations called Plaza and Athénée. The legendary Dior Bar suit was even inspired by the chic women who frequented the hotel’s bar. Continuing this long relationship, the spa is a Dior Institut decorated with fashion sketches by Christian Dior and photos of his fashion shoots at the hotel.

«Women, with their intuitive instinct, understood that I dreamed not only of making them more beautiful, but happier too.» – Christian Dior

All of the hotel’s beautifully crafted rooms and suites are amazing but if you are a true fashionista and would like to experience something very special, I recommend a stay at the Haute Couture Suite that is entirely dedicated to Dior, something that’s reflected in its signature grey and pink tones. Subtle details like a mannequin, Dior books and a chocolate treat in a fashionable form, all add to the unique appeal.

The history of Haute Couture speaks of its passions in the charming design of this silken suite. A classical French palace ambience fills the living room, bedroom, dressing and bathroom with a sense of splendour, elaborate moldings and silver-leaf detail.

Paris Fashion Week is undoubtedly among the highlights of the year and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée a great spot to stay. In any case, if if it is designer fashion shopping you’re after, well you know all the best boutiques are just a few steps away.

And very importantly if you travel to Paris, don’t forget to buy one of the must-have luxe travel pieces from the collaboration between Dior and Rimowa. This luggage is to-die-for and just hitting the shelves…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hôtel Plaza Athénée 

New Chanel Ambassador: Lily-Rose Depp

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Lily-Rose Depp becomes the new CHANEL ambassador. For her first collaboration with the House, Karl Lagerfeld has chosen the 16 year-old to be the face of the Pearl eyewear collection where the young actress plays a baby-doll in a world imbued with sweetness and femininity.

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The daughter of Johnny Depp and his former partner Vanessa Paradis perfectly embodies the youth, modernity and daring that characterise the House. “Lily-Rose is stunning, she’s a young girl from a new generation with all the qualities of a star,” announced Karl Lagerfeld.

celebrities-at-chanel-paris-salzburg-201415-mtiers-dart-presentation_21Vanessa Paradis, Karl Lagerfeld and Lily-Rose Depp

Lily-Rose Depp is treading in the footsteps of her mother, herself a friend of Karl Lagerfeld, ambassador of the House since 1990, the year of her first campaign for the perfume COCO, and the face of the Girl CHANEL handbag. Both were part of the CHANEL F/W 2015 Haute Couture show that took place at the Grand Palais on July 7th, 2015.

Stay tuned for the Pearl eyewear collection advertising campaign photographed by Karl Lagerfeld in September 2015.

LoL, Sandra

c952e4e0-24bd-11e5-bb82-012ac40b874f_Lily-Rose-DeppLily-Rose Depp hits the roulette table at Chanel’s Haute Couture show.
Photos: Courtesy of Chanel and © Getty Images

Get the Second Issue of L’Officiel Switzerland

L'Officiel Switzerland Second Edition

Oh Wow! The second issue of L’Officiel Switzerland is out and I couldn’t be any prouder. Dedicated to jewelry, we have some fun stories, great designers and the season’s must-have pieces for you. Here is a sneak preview of your weekend read:

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Be sure to read all about designer Suzanne Syz and her amazing jewelry pieces Made in Switzerland!

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I love this editorial we shot in Miami with photographer Marco Trunz and stylist Hannah Godde.

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Ready to dream? Enjoy this stunning Haute Couture fashion spread that features the most luxurious gowns.

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Lanvin celebrates 125 years of style, elegance and glamour. We give you an interesting insight.

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page for some behind the scene pictures and sneak previews. Share it! Dive into it! Have fun with it! In the meantime, we are finishing issue the third issue…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via L’Officiel Switzerland, © Sandra Bauknecht

Swarovski & Maison Margiela: Crystalactite

Maison Margiela Swarovski Crystalactite

STALACTITE-SHAPED CRYSTAL
A futuristic fantasy from Maison Martin Margiela

A striking new crystal cut has made a stunning début: Swarovski has teamed up with high-end, haute couture collective, Maison Martin Margiela, to launch a new type of crystal technology—the groundbreaking Crystalactite.

Maison MM Swarovski Crystal Cut

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In the beginning of July during the Haute Couture week in Paris, in the chic Espace Yves Toudic, five as-yet-unseen, state-of-the-art crystal jewelry and accessories pieces, each featuring the new Crystalactite fusion technology, took center-stage at Maison Martin Margiela’s eagerly awaited Couture Show, entitled ‘Artisanal’.

MMM Swarovski Clip

What makes the Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Swarovski totally unique is the fact that it is made using the pioneering Crystal Fusion technique, by which crystal is merged with matt white resin before it is cut, making gluing unnecessary. This is unprecedented, and the result is startlingly futuristic—an avant-garde and asymmetric beauty, inspired by the shape and structure of stalactites. Maison Martin Margiela showed how the five Crystalactite Haute Couture jewelry pieces can be turned into amazingly versatile accessories. A specially integrated clip mechanism enables them to be worn on the hair, clothing, or footwear, giving an eclectic, cutting-edge look that is way ahead of its time.

Please enjoy some of the amazing show pieces along with some exclusive backstage photos:

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Backstage 01

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Backstage 02

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Backstage 03

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Backstage 04

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I have been so thrilled to discover that there is to be a Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Atelier Swarovski collection based on the Haute Couture pieces. It will consist of a stunning pendant, ring, and bracelet, each displaying Maison Martin Margiela’s signature clean-lined asymmetry, lit up with Swarovski’s famous sparkle. Even better, it will be available for Christmas 2013.

LoL, Sandra

Private Viewing 05

Product and backstage photos: Courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela Crystalactite for Swarovski
Show photos: Courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela

Couture Précieuse by Piaget

Piaget Couture Précieuse

For its second participation in the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the House of Piaget completely developed and crafted in-house, the new Couture Précieuse collection that pays homage to feminine beauty. It was such a pleasure, a true feast for the eyes, to see those magnificent high jewelry creations.

I absolutely loved the decor of the booth. David Downton, famous fashion illustrator and confidant of the world of Haute Couture, created eight sketches immortalising some of the models presented by Piaget. His work that is involving the use of gouache, acrylic paint and Indian ink, created splendid showcases for the jewelry sets.

Couture Précieuse Piaget

The Couture Précieuse collection was inspired by three different motifs:

Radiant Laces:
The jewelry sets borrow from the field of corsets and ribbons and celebrate the beauty of feminine curves.

Diamond Embroidery:
Piaget dresses the skin with diamonds, as light and vaporous as a breath of air. Like sumptuous lace or stunning guipure dresses, the creations reveal the smoothness of a glimpse of skin beneath golden fabric and stones.

Magnificent adornments:
In these elegant and refined models, Piaget draws its inspiration from men’s dress suits, with the precious “brandebourg” motifs.

Embroidery Necklace

The quintessence of seduction is embodied in a sumptuous necklace embroidered with gold filaments and diamonds. Its entirely openwork, articulated structure makes it look like lace. This centrepiece of the collection is made in the same way as a Haute Couture dress, on the bias and finished with a smooth cut. It took more than 800 hours of work to create.

Gorgeous Embroidery Necklace (Ref.  G37LJ938)
White gold with 1513 brilliant-cut diamonds (44.19 ct), 133 baguette-cut diamonds (16.77 ct), 11 rose-cut diamonds (5.96 ct) and 4 pear-shaped diamonds (7.55 ct).

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Fan Temptation Necklace

And the absolute star of the show is the necklace inspired by a traditional fan which merely hints at what its wearer wishes to reveal. The contrast between a delicate central rubellite motif and the finely fashioned net motif on the fan creates a transparent play on light and shade. Each of the fan sections was separately crafted being assembled, and which looks as if it is ready to open and close with the next passing breeze.

Fan Temptation Necklace (Ref.G37LJ240)
White gold with 728 brilliant-cut diamonds (47.13 ct), 5 pear-shaped rubellites (10.95 ct) and 1 cushion-cut rubellite (20.95 ct).

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Gold Chain Cuff Watch-Piaget

A re-edition of a vintage 1970s model, the cuff-watch is inspired by knit dresses. Its bracelet highlights the historical expertise of the chainmaker-jewelers of the House of Piaget. Gold is hand twisted, knit and formed into a mesh entirely by hand, much like the work of a fashion couturier. This provides an opportunity to emphasise the know-how of the Piaget artisans who, after patiently fitting each gold link on very tiny pins, give rise to these wonderfully supple and unique gold fabrics. It is a real nod to Piaget’s of the 1970s.

Gold Chain Cuff Watch (Ref. G0A38211)
White gold (189.5 g), Calibre 56P, Piaget Quartz movement
400 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.9 ct), diamond-paved dial and white gold bracelet

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Personally speaking, my three favourite pieces are the ones below. I have especially fallen for the Lace Mystery Necklace. Its shape enhances the feminine curves of the body and draws all eyes to its dazzling brilliance. It is such a sensual piece of jewelry that could transform every evening gown in seconds to show-stopping appearance.

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Lace Mystery Necklace (Ref. G37LM942)
White gold, 303 brilliant-cut diamonds (24.43 ct), 1 pear-shaped diamond (0.53 ct), 30 pear-shaped rubellites (7.34 ct), 29 round rubellites (6.03 ct), 50 round pink sapphires (4.17 ct) and 1 pear-shaped rubellite (10.61 ct).

Piaget Biennale 3

Sublime Embroidery Earrings (Ref. G38LK800)
White gold with 378 brilliant-cut diamonds (4.44 ct).

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Splendid Embroidery Necklace
White and pink gold  with 2395 brilliant-cut diamonds (24.54 ct), 10 square-cut diamonds (2.03 ct), 5 marquise-cut diamonds (2.21 ct), 1 triangle-cut diamond (0.09 ct), 1 pear-shaped diamond (1.50 ct), 1 cabochon pink sapphire (0.86 ct), 146 round pink sapphires (14.21 ct) and 3 pear-shaped pink sapphires (8.19 ct).

Seeing all the craftsmanship that has gone into those outstanding creations, it makes you appreciate the work even more. Stay tuned for more beautiful pictures from the Biennale des Antiquaires 2012.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Making of Photos: Courtesy of Piaget

The Rise of a Cat: Meet Choupette Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld & Choupette“She has an attitude like a princess.”Karl Lagerfeld
And Kaiser Karl treats her like a princess!

Meet Choupette, his beloved kitten and fashion’s favourite feline. In a video promoting the second arrival of Karl by Karl Lagerfeld on Net-à-Portericon in which the famous beauty finally speaks, is a must-see. In the end, the designer shows emotions when he kisses his princess with a purring sound.

Chanel New Vintage Choupette bag

For Chanel’s Haute Couture F/W 2012 Show “New Vintage”, Karl Lagerfeld presented the Choupette bag that does not have an official name but its soft material reminds Karl Lagerfeld of the texture of the coat of his cat, Choupette. Unfortunately, this bag will not be available in the Chanel boutiques but exclusively made to order, as it is the case for all the Haute Couture collections.
(And ladies, if you like the two-tone nail design, click here to get the instructions.)

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Karl Lagerfeld, © Chanel and Video: © net-à-porter

Blue Illusion de Chanel

Blue Illusion

This month, CHANEL‘s S/S 2012 Haute Couture makeup collection BLUE ILLUSION will hit the stores.
As free as the air itself, blue has always been an invitation to travel, from inky nights and clear lagoons. In a design-forward fashion show setting recreating a long-haul flight in midair, Karl Lagerfeld‘s designs were presented with the clouds and moon floating above the audience last January. In a halo of light and strong lines around the eye, blue eyeshadows caressed the eyelids to echo jewel dresses, accompany tomboy postures and soften rebellious hairstyles with a new chic look.

Chanel Blue

Peter Philips, Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup, borrows the intangible hues of summer blue. Like a cloud-strewn sky, eyes take up shimmering reflections that change with the light.

The juvenile grace of an almost nude face showcases eyes with marine depths, mellowed by the radiance of blue tones.

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On eyelids, ILLUSION D’OMBRE takes on a scintillating and satiny effect that makes eye makeup glow with each bat of the lashes. Two airy shades of grey blue, one pale, DESTINATION, and the other more intense, APPARITION, adapt to all faces. Eyeshadows are applied according to inspiration: in sheer washes or deep colour blocks, in mono­chrome or gradations.

Chanel Blue

Mascara-laden lashes accentuate the graphic tracing of the eye contour with a sophisti­cated note. LE CRAYON YEUX BLEU AÉRIEN borders the eyelids with an intense stroke, like a horizon line over the ocean. The effect can be optimized with LE CRAYON KHÔL and LE STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF, chosen in the MARINE shade, perfect to intensify the depth of the eyes or create evening makeup.

Rose Ecrin

The natural complexion is simply dressed in a tender pink blush with JOUES CONTRASTE ROSE ÉCRIN.

SuperstLE CRAYON LÈVRES NATURAL becomes one with a subtle shade of ROUGE COCO SUPERSTITION, a golden beige, the favorite colour of Mademoiselle.

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For the final step of this chromatic journey, LE VERNIS SKY LINE sweeps nails with a delicate shade of pearly blue that captures and softens the light in its pearly reflections.

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Don’t miss those limited edition must-haves:

Illusion d’Ombre (Apparition/Destination) – CHF 47.-
Le Vernis (Skyline) – CHF 38.-
Le Crayon Yeux (Bleu Aérien) – CHF 33.-

Available this month in Chanel stores worldwide and at Jemoli in Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Chanel

The Return of Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli screen

The Elsa Schiaparelli brand, co-star of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new Costume Institute exhibition, is set to be relaunched by its current owner, Diego Della Valle, who purchased Schiaparelli’s trademarks and archives  in 2006, is on the hunt for a head designer which is said to be announced in October this year. Moreover, he has hired French model and actress Farida Khelfa as Schiaparelli’s spokeswoman.

FaridaFarida Khelfa

In July there will be the opening of the Maison Schiaparelli on Place Vendôme. The residence where the designer dominated the scene during the thirties and forties, her historical address revisited in a contemporaneous view maintaining the ateliers’ allure, where the new collection will be showcased. Starting March 2013, the first collection pieces will be presented. The new Schiaparelli universe, made up of very special collections representing her style well, with strong focus on accessories, for which Schiaparelli was the creator and protagonist. High quality fragrances and cosmetics, today, will exemplify her myth.

THE STORY OF ELSA SCHIAPARELLI (1890-1973)

Schiaparelli

When everything is forgotten this is what survives! In the theatre that is fashion, Elsa Schiaparelli plays a leading role. Absent from the fashion scene for over 60 years, Schiaparelli continues to inspire designers and by the very fact, many of her clever creations are still familiar to us: the seamstress stockman-shaped perfume bottle, her press clipping prints, signature exotic butterflies that flutter on hundreds of her models, also on hats, buttons, necklaces … And Shocking Pink that no longer shocks since it has been copied by so many others!

Shocking 1 by Christophe Roué

Mostly due to her shoe-shaped hat, with its heel pointed towards the sky, posterity associates Schiaparelli with the Surrealists. Yet this is foregoing a little quickly that, in her case, this influence is closely intertwined with a baroque culture: brought up in Rome where her family lived in the Corsini palazzo, Schiaparelli is the heiress of these Italian artists whose fantasy she imposed in France. Indeed her destiny awaited her in Paris. A destiny she encountered almost by happenstance having accompanied a friend visiting Paul Poiret, the famous couturier encouraged her and decided of her future. In 1927, Schiaparelli presented her first line of knits that announced sportswear, but it was not until 1930 that her style evolved towards a conquering and evanescent femininity that were to become her signature brand image.

E.Schiaparelli and Dali (DR)Schiaparelli and Dali

In the 30’s, Haute Couture invented itself. Considered until then as suppliers, couturiers escaped and became the gods of an Olympus of clothing with evanescent shores. Not only did Schiaparelli quickly make a name for herself in this Olympus, she was given a nickname: Schiap!

To the tomboy running out of steam, she opposed a poetic and amusing elegance. A woman of fantasy that never ran out of ideas: hand- painted lobsters on chiffon muslin, the first zipper to be used as a fashion accessory, telescopic, spiral or ice cream cone hats, a feather hat simulating a sleeping chicken, bird cage hats…looking more attentively at Schiaparelli’s models, their line is fluid, naturally flowing over a woman’s body that it respects… The waist is in the right place, the bosom beautifully defined and the length of the skirts precisely as it should be.

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With her infallible flair, Chanel immediately pinpointed her rival. She loathed Schiaparelli and the feeling was mutual. Indeed, Mademoiselle was quite annoyed that a foreigner might be trampling her turf. And, as if that wasn’t enough, just around the corner from her territory, in the shadow of the Vendôme column where Schiaparelli first set up shop in 1934 and took Paris by storm. Schiaparelli signed her most impressive collections between 1935 and 1940. Real fireworks. A suite of improvisations on a theme that she showcases and pushes to its ultimate limits: the circus theme, Commedia dell’ arte, butterflies, astrology, a beetle line, a pagan collection, inspired by Botticelli and the Birth of Venus.

It’s always easy to analyze a situation in the light of the final result, but how can one not make the correlation between the stormy electricity that preceded war and the sputtering of Schiaparelli’s genius at the same time?

SCHIAPARELLI - by Teddy Piaz (DR) - bdElsa Schiaparelli

It should be pointed out in passing that she was never more at ease than during the bustle that occurs before the presentation of a collection. She revels in creating under the gun, to come up with last minute solutions, to resolve insurmountable problems with one snip of her scissors featuring the same untamable and free audacity that is the very quintessence of Haute Couture.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Schiaparelli