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: Happy Birthday Girl

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes. Knowing that I have friends who appreciate and love me, it’s the best feeling. I truly got spoiled last weekend and everyone in my inner circle knows how much I love having birthday. So many beautiful surprises and gifts have become a keepsake that will forever remind me of happy times.

I am very proud of myself once more. I took all of those photos by myself and hope that you will enjoy my outfit. The dress was a present from a dear friend who obviously knows me very well.

My look: Velvet-trimmed checked wool-blend midi dressicon by Alessandra Rich, Vero Dodat leather and PVC clutchicon, and Kate 100 suede pumpsicon by Christian Louboutin, and pearl and tulle necklace by Lanvin.

LoL, Sandra

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

My Look: Oversized Cool


The Attico knows how to make oversized look cool. Giving tailoring a vibrant update with this cobalt-blue hue, this amazing head-to-toe look looks best when styled with some daring details.

My look: Oversized cotton-blend gabardine blazer, cotton-blend gabardine tapered pantsicon, and Mara crystal-embellished satin slingback pumpsicon, all by The Atticocross-back halterneck cashmere-blend bodysuiticon, and wood and intrecciato leather clutch, both by Bottega Venetaicon, gold-tone tortoiseshell sunglasses chainicon, FF acetate earringsicon, and FF-print round acetate sunglasses, all by Fendi, Panthère de Cartier Manchette 22mm 18-karat rose gold and diamond watchicon and LOVE bracelets, all by Cartier, and Cool gold-tone ring by Lanvin.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Beach Towels

Vacation plans may be on pause, but sunshine is not. Make the most of the warmer weather closer to home with the most beautiful beach towels that will make you feel like being in a 5-star hotel in your own garden or during sundowners on the balcony.

LoL, Sandra

From left to right:
Floral-print cotton-terry beach towel
icon by Dolce & Gabbana
Majolica-print beach towelicon by Dolce & Gabbana
Zebra and plant-print beach towelicon by Dolce & Gabbana
Rose print beach towelicon by Dolce & Gabbana

Crete de Fleur beach towel by Versace

Vivara-print cotton-terry beach towelicon by Emilio Pucci (available in 4 colours)

Monogram Print Cotton Towelicon by Burberry

Babar print beach towelicon by Lanvin

Top left and right, below:
Beach towels
by Hermès 

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of the Brands
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

The Pencil Chat – A Jewel Bag

Here comes a new must-have for all fashion and art lovers. A Lanvin master piece, the Pencil bag reinterprets Lanvin’s heritage by highlighting difference. Its sculptural handle, shaped as a cat, is inspired by Jeanne Lanvin’s cat andirons, imagined by the artist Armand Rateau in 1920. So beautiful – an object of desire.

TO SHOP LANVIN ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE – to pre-order the new must-have bags, click HERE please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Lanvinicon

Chinese New Year 2019

Chinese New Year officially begins today on February 5th, 2019, and ends on February 19th. Also known as the «Spring Festival» in modern Mainland China, it is the country’s most important traditional festival and beginning of a new Chinese animal zodiac cycle: the year of the Pig.

Those born during the Chinese zodiac year of the pig are pleasant, polite and have good taste. They are perfectionists that appreciate the most beautiful things, they help others and are great companions as long as you don’t cross them, so be careful! They are smart, always on the search for knowledge and exclusivity. Unfortunately, pig years are also believed to be the most unlucky for people born in previous years of the Pig.

Prada presents Prada Wonderland, a new and exclusive pop-up installation at the prestigious Galaxy Macau, open until 10 March 2019 on the occasion of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

 Luxury brands are all on board for Lunar New Year. The festivities rank high in China – a market where consumers still pay full price for expensive wares. According to a report by Bain & Company, China represents «32% of the global luxury consumption

Here are the best limited edition collections by the big names of the luxury industry to celebrate Chinese New Year:


DODO
This new limited edition piglet charm is just too cute. For a limited time only, you can shop the pig-shaped pendant in 18kt yellow gold and red enamel with black cord included.

DIESEL
To celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, Diesel introduces a 9-piece premium limited edition capsule collection that is sold globally.

MOSCHINO
Porky Pig and Petunia Pig are the stars of a fun and glamorous limited edition, created especially for one of the most important traditional Chinese festivities.

LANVIN
For the S/S 2019 Pre-Collection, Lanvin is paying tribute to the Lunar New Year with an exclusive capsule collection. Lanvin is celebrating the year of the pig, a cute and curvaceous mascot, with a selection of lucky charm accessories adorned with «pig» embroidery studded with dazzling jewels, perfect for gifting and collecting alike.

GUCCI
The Italian fashion house celebrates the Year of the Pig with a special collection of ready-to-wear and accessories featuring three playful designs including a print of Walt Disney’s cartoon characters, the ‘Three Little Pigs’. Shot by Frank Lebon, a special editorial shoot features tiny piglets with their human friends captured inside richly decorated apartments and walking the streets of New York City.

LOUIS VUITTON
Inspired by the Chinese zodiac, the Superstition square features these twelve symbols playfully illustrated with iconic House motifs. The center is decorated with a large LV Circle, layered over Monogram Flowers and surrounded by the creatures.

MARNI
The small piglet, symbol of the new Marni Capsule Collection, comes from an imaginary universe dedicated to the Chinese New Year: a range of accessories for her and a new original version of Big Foot sneakers pay homage to the twelfth protagonist of the Chinese horoscope, as well as the sign’s cheerful and dreamy character.

PANERAI
For the Chinese Year of the Pig, Panerai presents an 88-piece limited edition Luminor Sealand. The cover is hand-decorated by master engravers using the sparsello technique.

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
For its Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac – Year of the Pig Watch in 18K Pink Gold, the Swiss watchmaker uses enameling, gems-setting and other artistic aspects of watchmaking.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

My Look: The Great Gatsby Party

Last Saturday, I was invited by a dear friend from Munich to a very special celebration, the Great Gatsby party, held at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jan-Cap-Ferrat, France. The decoration and the ambiance were divine. It is definitely one of the most beautiful villas on the Côte d’Azur, located between Nice and Monaco. The villa of Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild is also a museum, a pleasant daytrip destination, that houses a rich fine and decorative arts collection in a Belle Époque Italian-style palazzo.

My look: Vintage nude silk dress with plissé by Ralph Lauren Black Collection, feather stole, satin evening bag with fake fur trim, choker and earrings, all by Dior, long pearl and feather necklace by Lanvin, t-bar spectator shoes by Yves Saint Laurent (S/S 2004), feather-embellished velvet headband by Prada, brooch (worn in my hair) by Matthew Williamson andicon diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Perfect Black Cape

For F/W 2018, it is one of my favorite trends: the comeback of the cape, so versatile and easy to put over even the biggest sleeves (click here for my look in the picture).

While being in London with my dear girlfriends, we had a heated discussion about finding the perfect black cape that is not overloaded with embellishments and I promised I would make a great selection which I am happily sharing with you today. Thank you, ladies, for your inspiration!

Here are the best pieces available at the moment (I also looked for the best deals…):

My favorite with its sophisticated black on black embroidery:
Baroque embroidered cape by Versace 

Classy and beautiful:
Mid-length cape with tassel detailicon by Lanvin

A great and unusual cut:
Asymmetric cape coaticon by Givenchy (30% off)

Like a queen:
Embellished cape coat by Versace

The subtle embellished piece:
Serena bead-embellished wool-blend cape by Altuzarra (50% off)icon

Military inspiration:
Embroidered cape
 by RED Valentino (30% 0ff)
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Always stylish – the cropped version:
Cashmere cape by Chloé (50% off)
(Also available at Net-à-Porter but there it is not marked down yet.)

Love this one – too cute:
Studded scalloped wool and cashmere-blend cape by Valentino

Also available in a long version:
Wool and cashmere cape by Valentino

For the ultimate WOW-effect:
Cape-style blazericon by Saint Laurent
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The evening piece:
Satin-trimmed velvet cape by Saint Laurent

I hope that you have enjoyed this selection. Happy Friday to everyone!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands and © David Biedert Photography
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Merry Christmas 2017

«Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.» – Karl Lagerfeld

I love Christmas trees and my favorite one (besides my own) can be found at London’s Claridge’s Hotel where in the eighth consecutive year a creative visionary has been invited to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style. This December, it is Karl Lagerfeld, one of the fashion world’s most influential creative forces, who created the stunning festive installation, a sixteen foot high inverted tree with silver gilded roots topped with a multi-faceted mirrored star which reflects rays of magical light across the art deco lobby. Reminiscent of a silver stalactite, the tree is hung with traditional silver lametta decorations, silver butter leather feathers and snowflakes handmade by craftsmen in Germany with tree candles giving a warm, inviting glow. Under the centerpiece sit hand sewn white Icelandic sheepskin rugs to reflect a recent snowfall.The famous designer was inspired by his own childhood memories of Christmas.

The Claridge’s Christmas Tree has long been a festive Mayfair landmark, drawing visitors and Londoners alike to marvel at its magnificent and ever-changing design. Scroll down to explore Claridge’s Christmas Tree designs through the years.

2016: SIR JONY IVE AND MARC NEWSON

2015: CHRISTOPHER BAILEY FOR BURBERRY

2014: DOLCE & GABBANA

2013: DOLCE & GABBANA

2012: KALLY ELLIS OF MCQUEENS

2011: ALBER ELBAZ FOR LANVIN

2010: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

2009: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

Merry Christmas to all of you – may you all sparkle as these beautiful trees with joy, love and laughter.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s

Lone Star – The Single Earring Trend

The runways have made a strong return with the single statement earringseen at houses like DiorRosie Assoulin, Tibi, and Louis Vuitton over the past seasons.

In order not to look like a pirate, choose a piece that veers on the glamorous, feminine side. At once edgy and easy to pull off, a lone earring has the ability to make anyone look – in a word – cool. Wear yours with attitude without looking like you are missing something…
Here are my favorites available at the moment:

1 Spiral-shaped earringicon by Maison Marginal
icon2 Feather-embellished swan single earring by Lanvin
icon3 Diamond & rose-gold Star earring by Diane Kordas
icon4 X earringicon by Balenciaga
5 Crystal-embellished pearl-effect earring by Gucci
icon6 BB clip-on earringicon by Balenciaga
7 Wooden-drop single earringicon by Roksanda
Flower gold-plated hoop earring by Simone Rocha
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue US, Courtesy of the Brands