My Look: London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week has always been my favorite as it is the least pretentious one, with many of my preferred designers showing such as Mary Katrantzou and Natasha Zinko. Over time, we all became friends and it is wonderful to see how everyone attends each other’s runway presentations.

Love them both: With Natasha Zinko (left) at Mary’s show and with Mary Katrantzou (right) backstage after.

Here you see me in one of Mary’s last fur pieces (since S/S 2018 she is only using fake fur) that almost got me killed. There were protesters outside of the show who started attacking me. It got so violent that the police had to escort me inside. Backstage after the spectacle, I waited almost 30 minutes with my fox jacket wrapped in a garment bag to leave the premises.

Hiding from the protesters.

My look: Nausheen fox fur coaticon, and Faylinn dressicon, both by Mary Katrantzou, Knife suede over-the-knee boots by Balenciagaiconlarge classic flap bag in caviar leather by Chanel, and butterfly crystal earrings by Miu Miu.

The photos were taken before leaving to the show in front of my hotel, COMO The Halkin, located perfectly in the city’s Belgravia district on Halkin Street.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Mary Katrantzou 10 Year Anniversary Party

Today is MARY KATRANTZOU‘s birthday and with this post I want to congratulate my dear friend who also happens to be one of my favorite designers. From her first presentation, I have been collecting her outstanding designs and I am proud of my extensive collection. It’s hard to believe that it’s a decade since her designs made their catwalk debut as part of the annual Central Saint Martins MA graduate show. Her digital trompe-l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery placed on colour-block dresses were an instant hit and her label is one of London’s most loved. Since then, she has constantly evolved. The so-called «Queen of Prints» surprises me each season how she masters print and plays with proportions.

Princess Beatrice of York, Mary Katrantzou, my humble self and Federica Fanari

On top of her talent, Mary is an amazing woman, so warm-hearted – it is always so much fun spending time with her. Therefore, I hopped on the plane in the beginning of October to attend her 10 Year Anniversary Party at MATCHESFASHIONicon‘s newly opened retail space at 5 Carlos Place in London.

To celebrate the occasion, a limited edition collection was exclusively launched on MATCHESFASHION.COMicon. The capsule features 10 iconic looks from past collections, all reissued for this exclusive collaboration. And needless to say, I have most of the featured pieces in my closet. Here are a few examples:

Left: Caramolengo jewel-print silk dress (click here for the post from September 2011)
Right: Serendipity print crepe and chiffon mini dress icon(click here for the post from June 2011)icon

Left: Harp Hazzard printed silk-satin gown (click here for the previous post from May 2012)
iconRight: Powdy printed silk mini dress (click here for the previous post from December 2012)

Part of the exhibition: my beloved Jewel Tree dress from Mary’s F/W 2011 collection that I wore to her launch event with Longchamp at Collette in January 2012.

So divine: Mary Katrantzou S/S 2019

Also Mary’s S/S 2019 collection is celebrating 10 years of her eponymous label. It explores the urge to collect, catalogue and organise, infused with themes and motifs from Mary’s decade of designing. A collection of collections! Among the highlights is a dress inspired by her perfume-bottle dress from her first London fashion week collection.

Below you can enjoy some of my impressions from this amazing event. Amazing people gathered together from the world of art and fashion to celebrate our beloved Mary.

Favorite editor: Sarah Mower

With my lovely Federica Fanari

With another great designer Mira Mikati

Mary Katrantzou framed by Jasmine Hemsley and Candice Lake

With Mary Katranzou and jewellery designer Eugenie Niarchos (Venyx)

Girls in Mary: Magdalena Gabriel and me

Sandra Choi of Jimmy Choo

With Juliet Angus

The beautiful night ended at Annabel’s which is my favorite club in London… here with my gorgeous Brazilian friend Polyana Santos.

A little thank you note with lots of memories I made for Mary!

«The next decade,» Mary said, «is about taking the brand DNA and allowing men and women to buy into it in different ways, whether it’s homeware, jewellery or accessories.» No matter the medium, I am looking forward to having more Mary in my life!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of MATCHESFASHION and © Sandra Bauknechticon

At the Breitling Summit in London

Monday morning, I took the early flight to London to attend the first Breitling Summit, where the brand’s new Premier collection and additional distinguished products in all of their four universes, Air, Land, Sea, and Professional were introduced. The day started already beautiful with a breathtaking landing over the city in full sunshine.

A brand with a rich heritage

Breitling was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling with the mission to create toolwatches with optimum functionality. Based in the Swiss Jura, he specialized in chronographs and precision timers. Until today, the watch company has been famous for its pilot-themed chronographs.
In 2017, Breitling, one of the last family-owned watch brands of note, was sold to one of the biggest private equity firm in Europe, CVC Capital Partners. I was curious how the watch company had evolved during the past 12 months after Georges Kern took over the helmet as CEO and also as an investor.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern

The day started with a presentation about Breitling’s journey over the past year and its vision for the future by Kern himself. For me, he is a marketing genius. In this short amount of time, he managed that Breitling is on everyone’s lips and he is proud of this achievement himself. His mission and energy to create a #legendaryfuture seems well on its way. With him in charge, the brand has a great chance to live up to its own spirit and to be flying high again.

Let’s take for example the #squadonamission campaign that is throughly thought through, celebrating the collective spirit of squads united in pursuit of their mission and featuring leading figures from the worlds of aviation, exploration, cinema, and sport. It was a pleasure listening to iconic photographer Peter Lindbergh who appeared on screen to tell us how much fun he had shooting Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and Adam Driver for Breitling’s Cinema Squad campaign.

Kern said that «this clearly differentiates Breitling from the rest of the industry as Breitling is communicating with teams instead of individuals.» In a round table discussion he also wheeled out his top team.

My favorite: the new B01 Chronograph in Bentley Racing Green

His first steps to turn the brand around was to simplify the product range to four categories of Land, Air, Sea and Professionals and to speak to a broader customer base. On Monday, Breitling also announced new watches in each segment. One presented during the summit will be launched in partnership with Bentley, a collaboration that has been running since 2003, and that will be renewed in 2018 with the new B01 Chronograph in Bentley Racing Green – my favorite watch seen this Monday in London.

Combining purpose with style, the new Premier collections are worthy of Breitling’s legacy.

It is part of the probably most important launch, the elegant and stylish Breitling Premier collection that will be available from the end of October 2018. A reintroduced name that has a special significance for the brand as it was in the 1940s, when Breitling introduced its first collection of truly elegant watches, which were defined by their fash­ionable flair. Willy Breitling wanted to attract a new customer base and Kern wants to achieve the same with these new watches. Kern is clear about the role the Premier watches play in the brand’s product portfolio: «This is the first modern Breitling collection dedicated to everyday elegance. With outstanding quality and performance, these watches bear our unmistakable brand DNA, but they have been created with a focus on style that beautifully complements their purpose.»

Breitling’s new Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown

Going with the zeitgeist and focusing on the sustainability aspect, Breitling’s new Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown celebrates the brand’s partnership with Outerknown, a sustainable clothing company committed to improving environmental conditions for the entire planet. The watch features a first for Breitling: the strap is crafted from ECONYL® yarn, an innovative materi­al created from nylon waste, one source of which is fishing nets from oceans around the world.

Preview at the summit: Navitimer 8 inspired by Curtiss will be launched in 2019

Another very cool model that will hit the shelves in 2019 is for Breitlings’ aviation watch enthusiasts and «flying tigers»: the Navitimer 8 camouflage green dial will be produced in conjunction with Curtiss, an aircraft company best known for its WWII P-40 Warhawk fighter jet that is painted with a shark’s mouth under its nose.

Breitling Boutique in Zurich

During the round table Kern explained a little more about his sales strategy. He will increase their own retail and decrease wholesale. He closed most of the stores in South America and opened new ones in Asia and the US. In Paris, Breitling will open a flagship store in the next weeks featuring the new very masculine look, imagine a loft apartment with a pool table and a living room area with leather sofas, brick and concrete walls. «We call it modern retro,» Mr Kern said. Through their interior design, all stores offer an outstanding buying experience. Something that is key for Kern.

His biggest advantage in his new challenge? The independency of Breitling which gives him the capability to act faster than in a conglomerate. Kern is involved in every little step, even the design process of the watches.

Trying the new Premier Chronograph 42 with blue dial and brown alligator leather strap

An outlook for the upcoming year: Ladies, great news is that 2019 will mark the launch of a designated women’s watch collection. Stay tuned!

To a legendary future… I am wishing the whole Breitling team good luck for this thrilling journey!

LoL, Sandra

Photo: Courtesy of Breitling
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for Breitling
@Breitling #breitling #squadonamission #legendaryfuture #premierstyle

My Look: Love Always London

Last week in London, I wore one of my favorite dresses by Mary Katrantzou. The so-called Knight dress draws inspiration from vintage 1960s ties. Its striped bodice opens to a pleated skirt decorated with an array of typical animal prints you would see on an Hermès tie. Have you ever thought of transforming your hubby’s old ties into something new for you?! Might be worth the thought… If you are wondering why I am wearing such chunky boots, it was raining cats and dogs.

The photos were taken in my beautiful Belgravia Suite at the COMO The Halkin. A hotel review will be coming up shortly.

My look: Knight tie-neck graphic-print dress by Mary Katrantzouicon, Ceinture cut-out leather ankle boots by Balenciagaiconblack cardigan by Miu Miu, patchwork flap bag by Chanel (Resort 2011).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Prêt-à-Portea

This week, I was in London for Fashion Week and treated myself to the legendary Prêt-à-Portea designer afternoon tea experience at the Berkeley Hotel which is inspired by the world of fashion. I had already done it once 6 years ago (for the previous post click here please) and was curious to see the Collins Room after it had undergone renovations.

You might be wondering what is Prèt-à-Portea exactly? It is a menu of couture cakes especially designed for the respective season gets a makeover every six months to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. For F/W 2017-18, Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat has sent out a brand new collection of exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. It takes inspiration from an array of distinguished fashion and accessory designers, and the latest creations shown on the international fashion runways.

YOUR FASHIONISTA’S TEA INCLUDES
A delicate collection of cakes and fancies inspired by the world’s finest designers:

Gucci’s kimono, complete with a charming parasol, transformed into a pomegranate and grenadine bavarois, with cassis and apple compote topped with a crystallised edible flower and a chocolate parasol.

Balenciaga’s effortlessly luxe black-and-white flouncy dress reimagined as a moist chocolate cake, layered with white chocolate Grand Marnier mousse, crunchy ganache and a sexy orange leg.

Gianvito Rossi’s red-heeled boots, recreated as a fennel seed biscuit iced with burgundy red royal icing.

Bottega Veneta’s daring mustard-coloured suit, gracing the cakewalk as an iced speculoos chocolate biscuit.

Anya Hindmarch’s orange leather clutch as a dulce and ginger cake sandwiched within foxy orange chocolate.

Burberry’s sleek white feathered cape, recreated as a tonka bean cheesecake with cinnamon crumble base, covered with glossy white glaze and finished with a curvy white chocolate feather.

Miu Miu’s luxuriously warm coat transformed into a bûche of pistachio crémeux set on hazelnut sable and topped with waved meringue.

Christopher Kane’s ‘LBD’ taken to another level with stunning flowers and transformed into a chocolate moelleux cake with lacte café and Bailey’s cream, finished with sugar flowers.

Dolce & Gabbana’s stand-out dress, now an almond génoise complete with a mango & passion fruit insert and a cocktail caraibe mousse, topped with a rainbow of chocolate disks.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose from a large selection of loose leaf teas (I personally recommend the Ceylon & Rose tea) from the hotel’s extensive collection and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly like I did. Raise a toast in style!

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £52.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £62.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £70.00 per person.
A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your bill.

Bookings
Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866

THE PRET-A-PORTEA BOOK
There is also a great coffee table (I meant tea table book :-)) that I can recommend: «Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Bakes and Biscuits» was published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley’s iconic afternoon tea with 20 recipes and baking techniques from the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. To buy the book, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Runway Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
Photos Cover: Courtesy of the Berkeley Hotel

My Look: Heathrow

Yesterday, I flew back from London Heathrow filled with amazing memories from Fashion Week that I will soon share with you. When I am flying, I like to be comfy but still look stylish. Leather leggings and a striped sweater are one of my favorite combinations and the trending baker boy cap adds a little French touch!

My look: Double-breasted wool-blend felt coat by Saint Laurent, cashmere striped sweater by Chloéicon, skinny leather pants by Guccilarge classic flap bag in caviar leather and long bi-colour scarf, both by Chanelicon, metal chain necklace by Prada, baker boy cap by Dolce & Gabbana, and corset-style booties by Valentino. Trolley by Victorinox.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Lanesborough Hotel London

My avid readers know how much I love London. Personally speaking, a weekend trip to the British metropole is one of my favorite things to do, as the city offers everything you can dream of, culture, shopping, nightlife, and great restaurants.

Happy me at The Lanesborough wearing Mary Katrantzou .

One of my favorite hotels to stay is THE LANESBOROUGH that belongs to the Oetker Collection. Perfectly positioned between Knightsbridge and Mayfair, just a short walk from Harrods, Harvey Nichols and London’s exclusive Sloane Street, this grand mansion overlooking Hyde Park Corner has undergone an inspired renovation by the famed interior designer Alberto Pinto. The hotel is home to 93 luxurious suites and bedrooms, Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, the vibrant Library Bar and Garden Room and the magnificent Lanesborough Club & Spa.

About the latter I would like to tell you a lot more as this is one of the many reasons to stay at this hotel! It is a true sanctuary of health and relaxation in the city and was crowned the World’s Best New Hotel Spa 2017 at the World Spa Awards™. This private 1600 m² members’ fitness and health clubs and spa with its divine interior, is offering members and hotel guests access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness.

The spa’s hydro pool area

A must for all spa lovers: the steam room and sauna.

Beautifully designed: the ladies’ changing room

A sanctuary of relaxation in the city: the private area for spa members

The so-called «Painting Room» serves for manicures and pedicures.

You can enjoy some of the finest spa therapy treatments with products from much-loved spa and beauty brands ila and La Prairie, as well as the expertise of facial and beauty expert Anastasia Achilleos. Good to know is that for non-members, day passes can also be combined with treatment bookings for access to the exceptional facilities.

The restaurant and bar of the Lanesborough Club & Spa

Moreover, The Lanesborough Club & Spa has its own restaurant, offering all-day healthy dining, developed by Michelin-starred Chefs Eric Frechon and Executive Chef Florian Favario in collaboration with Clean & Lean nutritional guidance from Bodyism founder James Duigan. High-protein snacks, smoothies and juices are available throughout the day, and all personal training sessions will finish with a bespoke blended drink to complement each members’ workout.

The hotel’s exquisite rooms and suites, are all uniquely refurbished with stylish, luxurious interiors and responsive technology seamlessly interwoven, including in-room tablets and powerful WiFi. Each room, not only suites, has a round-the-clock, dedicated butler service so that you can be assured that your needs are well served.

The seven-bedroom Royal Suite is a residence fit for a king, queen or head of state.

If you love food, you will enjoy the hotel’s Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant (see photo below) with its richly decorated dining room in light blue and yellow hues, naturally illuminated during the day by a domed glass roof.

Beautiful ambiance at the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant

Moreover, I recommend the award-winning afternoon tea service, the seductive Library Bar and for the cigar aficionados among you one of London’s best cigar and Cognac loungesThe Garden Room. You see that THE LANESBOROUGH caters to all tastes…

I love having breakfast in the room… the first thing that makes my day…

One of my favorites in London is tea time which is served at the hotel’s «Withdrawing Room».

I am a big fan and hope that you will enjoy your stay at THE LANESBOROUGH as much as I do!

And if you become a fan, I recommend getting this beautiful Globe Trotter The Lanesborough Suitcase, that is only available at Eden Being.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Lanesborough Hotel and © Sandra Bauknecht

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

Blondey McCoy Unveils Burberry Murals

British artist, designer and pro-skater Blondey McCoy has created three hand-painted murals in the Flatiron and Soho districts of Manhattan, designed exclusively for Burberryicon.

Blondey McCoy wearing a Burberry Car Coat photographed by Alasdair McLellan

The murals mark the first time Blondey’s work will be showcased in New York and include his largest artwork to date. The three murals are inspired by the dichotomy of modern life and the traditions of the holiday season and feature the artist’s signature mix of eclectic imagery and striking motifs alongside references to Burberry and British culture.

Burberry mural by Blondey McCoy, Clerkenwell, London, September 2017

This collaboration marks the evolution of the relationship between Burberry and Blondey, who most recently appeared in a portfolio of images for the brand captured by British photographer Alasdair McLellan. In September 2017, Blondey created an artwork for Burberry on the largest paintable wall in London, situated near the brand’s show venue in Clerkenwell.

BLONDEY FOR BURBERRY
ABOUT THE ARTWORKS

Flatiron, Broadway and 22nd Street
Spanning over 80ft, the mural tells the story of a British Christmas Eve party. Beginning with the chime of the clock at midnight signalling the start of Christmas, the mural cascades down the wall with traditional holiday references including mistletoe, holly and Champagne, ending with children tucked up in a bed fashioned from a Burberry Vintage check scarf and presents waiting to be unwrapped.

A fashionable must-have that has been inspiring Blondey’s murals:
House-check cashmere-blend scarf by Burberry
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Soho, Lafayette Street and Broome Street
The 17ft mural illustrates the importance of family during the holiday season, portraying three figures exchanging gifts alongside a personal photograph of Blondey’s family.

Soho, Lafayette Street and Spring Street
Featuring two hands meeting, the 15ft mural symbolises the act of gifting and exchange.

All three murals will be up until the end of December 2017. Cannot wait to be back in December in NYC to see them live…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Burberry, © Alasdair McLellan

Christopher Bailey To Exit Burberry

Yesterday, I got the news that after 17 years at Burberry, Christopher Bailey is set to leave the iconic British fashion house in the end of March 2018 making way for a new vision in the brand’s creative strategy.

A digitalized shopping experience at Burberry’s Regent Street store in London.

46- year-old Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 and became CEO and chief creative officer in May 2014. He led the company through successful years, especially when the brand focused a lot on social media. Like other fashion houses, Burberry has endured a difficult period in recent years and in July 2017, Bailey was succeeded as CEO by Marco Gobbetti in July this year who brings a new vision to the brand.

Marco Gobbetti

«Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the company’s success in that period,» said Gobbetti in the official statement. «We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead for our teams, our partners and our shareholders

Christopher Bailey

«It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,» said Bailey. «I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition

An iconic piece and a must-have for every closet:
The Kensington Long cotton-gabardine trench coat

Rumors are that Phoebe Philowho worked alongside Gobbetti so successfully at Céline (Gobbetti was CEO at the French luxury brand before), could be a potential candidate to succeed Bailey. Burberry shares fell 1.46 percent on the news of the designer’s departure in London trading.

Burberry F/W 2017 show

TO SHOP BURBERRY ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Burberry