Rest in Peace Karl Lagerfeld

Today is a very sad day for the world of fashion and also for myself. Karl Lagerfeld died in Paris at the age of 85. When I heard the news a few hours ago, I literally cried my eyes out.

«Trendy is the last stage before tacky.» – Karl Lagerfeld

For me Lagerfeld was a genius, without him the world of fashion would not be the same. He created collections simultaneously for CHANEL and FENDI (since 1965!), in addition to his signature label, at a pace without rival in the luxury industry. When I started looking at fashion magazines in the middle of the ’80s, he had just begun designing for CHANEL. Before that he had worked at BALMAIN, JEAN PATOU and CHLOÉ where he became successful with his feminine flowing party dresses, the latter he returned to once more in the ’90s before handing the reigns to Stella McCartney.

With Karl Lagerfeld in December 2014 in Salzburg.

When I turned 18, I wished for nothing else than a CHANEL costume. Whenever I met him or interviewed him, he impressed me by his intelligence, wittiness (I attached some of my favorite quotes in this post) and his way of working, which actually was very German. Just get the job done!

I asked him once how he seeks inspiration, he looked at me and said: «Forget inspiration, you sit down every day at your desk and work, half of the outcome is for the trash bin but the other half will work.» Another time, I wanted to know when he goes on holidays and he answered: «Holidays are only for employees.»

«If you are cheap. Nothing helps.» – Karl Lagerfeld

A shoot we did during my time at Marie Claire magazine with Barbara and Boris Becker photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, March 1999.

But my favorite story happened almost 20 years ago when I started my first job at Marie Claire magazine in Germany. My fashion director Florentine Pabst at that time was very close to Karl (and by the way also Jim Morrison‘s last girlfriend) It was probably my first week at the office and she explained to me that during her meeting her phone calls would be transferred to my phone. And most importantly if Karl called, I should let him know, that she will get back to him. I said: «Karl, who? The Karl?!» She smiled and replied: «Of course.»

«Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.» – Karl Lagerfeld

I didn’t leave my desk waiting eagerly for him to call. When he did, I gave him the message. The conversation was probably not longer than 30 seconds but I sat down at my desk with the biggest smile. My boss came back and asked me what happened. I grinned and said: «I am the happiest girl in the world. I just spoke to Karl Lagerfeld.» She laughed.

After half an hour, my phone rang again. It was my fashion director telling me somebody wanted to talk to me. It was no other than Karl Lagerfeld telling me: «I heard you enjoyed talking to me so much, so I thought I give you another call.» And this is how my love story started…

Another epic moment with Karl Lagerfeld in St Moritz in February 2013 at the opening of Fire Etchings at Galerie Gmurzynska.

«I think tattoos are horrible – it’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time.» – Karl Lagerfeld

 There is so much you could talk when you think of Karl Lagerfeld. He discovered Claudia Schiffer, was such a talented photographer himself and his ultimate success with CHANEL made the house one of the most important and prolific today. Thanks to Lagerfeld, the company also acquired many specialized French craft ateliers, like Lesage for embroidery, Lemarié for feathers and artificial flowers, Maison Michel for millinery, and Causse for glove making. This craftsmanship  was celebrated with lavish Métiers d’Art fashion shows as Paris – Bombay or Paris – Salzburg for example. The famous cruise collections took place in far destinations such as Dubai or Havana, Cuba, showing Lagerfeld’s way to making CHANEL even more prominent and desirable around the world.

Eric Pfrunder, Virginie Viard and Karl Lagerfeld

This January, Lagerfeld didn’t come to his Haute Couture presentation in Paris which was already a sign that the designer was not feeling well. Instead of him, Virginie Viard, the creative studio director, took the applause. It is more than likely that she will succeed Lagerfeld as CHANEL’s designer, supported by Eric Pfrunder, the house’s director of image.

«I am very much down to earth, just not this earth.» – Karl Lagerfeld

I could go on and on and will surely share with you more about my most magical moments I had with him. Rest in Peace Karl Lagerfeld –  your legend will live on, and not only in my closet!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld and © Sandra Bauknecht

Best Collection: Mary Katrantzou F/W 2012

Mary Katrantzou F:W 2012 Covrer

Personally speaking, I am hopelessly devoted to Mary Katrantzou‘s designs and her F/W 2012 collection is my favourite for the next season. During Paris Fashion Week, I went to the London Showrooms to explore her amazing creations. I love Mary. She is so crazily successful but still completely down to earth and took all the photos of me in her to-die-for dresses. We went for lunch and played dress-up afterwards. I have fallen in love with every single piece.

“A pencil, a spoon, a hanger, a chess piece, a hedge, a typewriter: For F/W 2012 Mary Katrantzou discovers the beauty in the everyday, elevating the mundane to the sublime in a collection where product placement becomes placement print.”

For the first time, Mary decides to match: To match everything. The collection is divided into seven distinct sections, each featuring prints composed from objects associated with a single colour in shades of white, blue, green, ivory, yellow, red and black, Models are saturated in a statement hue, from head to toe, working through a colour spectrum as graphic and striking as a Crayola crayon box.

Finally the wait is over! The new-season is here! Prepare to get lost in dizzying detail and sumptuous colour of the princess of print, with luxe embroideries and outstanding cuts that are all highly collectables at the end. Available from today at net-à-porter.com and matchesfashion.com.

Please enjoy all the photos below of my must-haves and see Mary’s love for detail!

LoL, Sandra

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WHITE & IVORY

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Gleam Coat

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Ivory Dress with many layers of chiffon and painted leather sleeves

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Powdy Dress with long sleeves, Powdy Biker Jacket and Powdy Scarf

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YELLOW

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Powder Gun Dress

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The most breathtaking dress of the collection: Sprinter Fritz Dress
It came straight from the Ritz for me where Anna Dello Russo had tried it earlier that day. Those bendable pencils are absolutely divine! This dress is a piece of art!

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Sweet Mary brought it to perfection on me!

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RED

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Typo Dress – Let me be your secretary!

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Roseterrier Dress, printed leather with pleated skirt – amazing!

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BLUE

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GREEN

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Expandit Dress with bolsters and embroideries by the famous French Haute Couture Embroidery House Lesage who collaborated for the first time with a London designer

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BLACK

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IMG_1165Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Backstage at Chanel F/W 2012: The Makeup

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For the first time, there was a credit that no one has seen at a runway show before: One of Chanel’s famous Parisian ateliers, the legendary couture embroidery house Lesage, lend their skills to Peter Philips, Creative Director for Chanel Makeup, by creating the most stunning embroidered eyebrow pads for the models.

Lesage (embroidery) is along with 7 other ateliers part of Chanel’s subsidary dedicated to “Métiers d’ art”, Paraffection. These include Montex (embroidery), Desrues (costume jewelry), Lemarié (feather-maker), Maison Michel (hat-maker), Massaro (boot-maker), Goossens (goldsmith) and Guillet (fabric flowers-maker).

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The emphasis of the runway makeup look is on the eyebrows by using those amazing Lesage pads which won’t be for sale unfortunately. The rest of the face is kept nude and simple.

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But there are two new products that will be available in the fall that will make our hearts leap with joy. “Ombre Contraste” is a compact powder in a lavender-taupe shade, called “Notorious” specially created for this show that Peter Philips used for all the shading and sculpting of the face.

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For the nails, the new It- shade will be “Frenzy”, a light taupe, which is totally colour coordinated with “Notorious”.

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Here is your shopping list:
(the highlighted ones will be available this fall, the rest is in stores already):

Chanel F/W 2012 Ready-to-Wear Show
Makeup by Peter Philips

Skin prepared with HYDRA BEAUTY SERUM

The Complexion
MAT LUMIERE
POUDRE UNIVERSELLE LIBRE
ECLAT LUMIERE
CORRECTEUR PERFECTION

The Eyes
LE CRAYON KHOL « Clair » (N°69)
RECOURBE CILS DE CHANEL
Embroideries made by Maison Lesage specially for the show

The Eyes and the Cheeks
OMBRE CONTRASTE “Notorious” – Exclusive Creation available in specific point of sales in September 2012

The Lips
ROUGE COCO BAUME – Spring 2012 Collection

The Nails
LE VERNIS « Frenzy » (N°559)  – Fall 2012 Collection

Cannot wait to have “Frenzy” on my nails!

LoL, Sandra

2012-13 FW RTW_02Photos: © Chanel 2012, Vincent Lappartient

Chanel Paris – Bombay Runway Show

Paris - Bombay Chanel

As promised, here are the photos that I took during the Chanel Paris – Bombay Pre-fall 2012 Métiers d’Art show in Paris last week. My eyes could not get enough of this opulent perfection, I truly loved the show and had to capture every single moment which meant over 200 photos.

Every year since 2002, Chanel has taken the Métiers d’Art show as an opportunity to showcase master craftsmanship. The artisanal crafts of embroidery, leather work, featherwork, boot‐making, millinery, and gold and silversmithery are represented by Lesage, Montex, Desrues, Lemarié, Massaro, Michel and Goossens, each striving to honour its unique heritage. Karl Lagerfeld spotlighted their skill last week at the Grand Palais in Paris, whose Galerie Courbe had been transformed for the day into a luxurious Maharaja’s palace. We were seated at an almost surreal banquet, transported by gentle jasmine aromas as they feasted their eyes on the Paris‐Bombay collection. For more photos of the decor, please have a look at the previous post by clicking here.

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The show whisked me away to a Bombay dripping with opulence. “It’s a concept of India. More Chanel than India. The Parisian version of an India that doesn’t exist,” elaborated Karl Lagerfeld. He could not have described it better. It was a very modern extraordinary take on the India without being a masquerade. The designer played with the details and made me crave for every single look. But see for yourself:

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Under the glow of chandeliers and ceiling lights, the Paris ‐ Bombay collection evoked a new femininity. The charm of India, the pomp and splendour of fabrics and the magic of gemstones intermingled with the Chanel aesthetic of cascading pearls, contrasting black and white, and braided tweed jackets.

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One of my favourite looks was this hot pink dream!

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The probably most Indian-inspired looks presented a new stunning silhouette of the sari in a modern masculine‐feminine concept, inspired by Maharajah style, glorified in splendid draped fabric, and ultra‐feminine in a dainty jacket with diamante epaulettes. Inspired by the achkan, the brocade jacket with Nehru collar was manifested here in a series of alter‐egos: a gold‐embroidered darted jacket with pearl braiding, a white plastron jacket with mirror‐embroidered pockets, a darted half‐belt jacket with baroque‐pearl‐studded collar, a riding jacket and crested blazers with tailored shoulders.

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Needless to say, the jewelry was divine. You would like to own every single piece!

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The “bride” appeared on the runway in an embroidered ivory silk crepe dress draped over the body and head. Cue the sensuous rustle of saris exiting the Maharajah’s palace to decorate cities everywhere.

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THE ACCESSORIES:

Chanel Boy bags

Karl Lagerfeld reinterpreted the already iconic Chanel Boy Bag in many different versions. The bi-coloured one below with the embellished strap can be only described as absolutely divine!

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All shoes were flat with thigh‐boot flats stamped with arabesque motifs that marvellously set off the most luxuriant materials. Get yourselves on the wait lists now!

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HAIR & MAKE UP:

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Jewel‐buttons, jewelled bindis were adorning the forehead. The hair was done in a Rasta style. The focus of the make up was laying on the eyes with a heavy kohl embellishing the smokey eyes. Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Make up, came up with a graphic, mysterious interpretation of an iconic Indian beauty.

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On the nails: The new Le Vernis Diwali that Peter Philips had specially created for the Chanel Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art show! This new light golden shade which will hit the shelves around June 2012 will be a must next summer.

THE MUSE:

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No Chanel show without Karl Lagerfeld’s muse: Baptiste Giabiconi.

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And last but not least some hard facts about the stunning Paris-Bombay decor:

– 50 meter long buffet table
– Flowers: roses; jasmin or lotus flowers
– Small train which distributes beverages (100 meter rail) around the buffet
– Bell jars, danishes, fruits baskets, glass ornement chandeliers….
– Floor: sequined sand, roses petals

I am definitely not exaggerating by saying that this was the most amazing show I have ever been to! Thank you, Karl!

LoL, Sandra

PBKarl2Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Chanel Pre-Fall 2011: Paris-Byzance


Just when you finished off your wardrobe for this winter and have started thinking about next summer, I am challenging you once more with something very beautiful for next year’s fall.
Who said following fashion was an easy task?!

This Tuesday was a very snowy day in Paris but the guests who enjoyed the atmosphere in the Chanel Haute Couture salons were transported to another era, time and place. Karl Lagerfeld was inspired for his pre-fall 2011 collection by Byzantium, one of Coco Chanel’s major inspirations when she was the first to launch a line of costume jewelry in the 1920s.


The Paris–Byzance Métiers d’art show broadcasted Chanel’s specialist craftsmen that the French house has gathered under its umbrella: Desrues the costume jeweler, Lemarié the feather specialist, Lesage the embroiderer, Massaro the shoe-maker, Michel the milliner, Goossens the goldsmith and Guillet the floral accessory specialist.


In a decor reminding of an Ottomanesque chill-out room with 400 metres of squined fabric covering the walls, Lagerfeld revisited the bold colors and antique golds. Byzance and its splendor embellished every look from belts adorned with square glass beads to gold running through burn-out tweed and embroidered silks.

The make-up was kept in the same color family with one star product: The cream palette is combining five different golds and is said to be limited to only 1500 pieces.

This collection is for the modern Theodora empresses who might be Chanel’s clientele of today. Celebrating Chanel’s strong heritage is surely a smart move and one key to remaining a powerhouse in the decades to come, especially with the opening of a second Chanel boutique in Istanbul.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Chanel