Visiting Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Already in April this year, I had the the pleasure to visit one of the most beautiful exhibitions ever, a must for every fashion lover: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This retrospective celebrates the founding couturier’s avant-garde spirit and the international destiny of his House, shepherded, after his passing in 1957, by the talent of the Creative Directors who succeeded him.

You still have one week left to indulge in the universe of the French Maison as the exhibition has been extended to September 1st after it sold out within 19 days of its opening.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN DIOR

Christian Dior was born into a wealthy Normandie family in the French seaside town of Granville on January 21, 1905. As a child he shared his mother’s love of gardens. is early passions included architecture and designing fancy dress costumes for his friends. Sent by his parents to study political science in Paris, Dior gravitated towards a bohemian group of friends, including composer Henri Sauguet and artist Christian Bérard.

In 1928, he opened and art gallery, but the business foundered when the Dior family fortune collapsed following the 1929 financial crisis. Forced to find a new way to make a living, Dior took up fashion drawing, eventually working with top couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.

In 1946, Dior founded his own couture house with the backing of textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac. On 12 February 1947, the House of Dior launched its first collection. Dubbed the «New Look» by the press, the collection had an instant and unparalleled influence on fashion around the world. The House of Dior grew rapidly. By 1955 it accounted for over 50% of overseas exports of French haute couture.

In the prime of his career, Christian Dior died suddenly on 24 October 1957. His legacy has continued under the creative directors who have succeeded him at the head of the House of Dior: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

THE EXHIBITION

Based on the highly successful Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve (on view from 5 July 2017 to 7 January 2018), the show charts seven decades of the continuing importance, influence and creativity of the House of Dior in the fashion world, with an additional section showcasing the story of Dior in Britain.

The famous «Bar Suit» and hat, Haute Couture S/S 1947

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition presents over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. Unfolding across eleven themes, this unique event invites visitors to immerse themselves inside Christian Dior’s world, tracing the highlights of his life, from his childhood to the creation of his couture house at the end of 1946. A voyage through time that continues with the starring role played by such timeless icons as the eternal «Bar Suit», and legendary looks designed by the visionary tastemaker the couturier was.

Celebrating the Dior art of color, accessories, hats, bags, illustrations, miniature dresses, lipsticks and emblematic fragrances together form a spectrum of colors dear to Christian Dior and, in turn, enrich this exciting encounter with the House. The culmination of this immersive exploration, an exhibit called «Le Salon» showcases the splendor of society soirées, illustrated by spectacular dresses that testify to the virtuosity and savoir-faire of excellence of the Dior haute couture ateliers.

THE NEW LOOK

Christian Dior unveiled his first haute couture collection on 12 February 1947, amid excited anticipation within fashion circles. Offering a radical alternative to the boxy, masculine style of women’s fashion after the Second World War, Dior’s designs caused a sensation. Carmel Snow, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, declared: « It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian, your dresses have such a new look!» The Dior Line showcases ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957, Christian Dior’s own tenure at the House.

DIOR IN BRITAIN

Exactly to this day, 72 years before, on 26 August 1947, a small group of people stood together in London’s Claridge’s Hotel, hovering around a smartly dressed middle-aged man holding a trilby hat. The celebrated couturier Christian Dior, who just six months earlier had revolutionized fashion with its first «New Look» collection, was in the process of being ambushed by the press. One journalist grilled him as to how he was able to persuade a world short of fabric to embrace his audacious new fashions, to which Dior replied: «I am giving the women the dresses they want. They’re fed up with war restrictions… My full skirts are a release

«I adore the English, dressed not only in tweeds which suit them so well, but also in those flowing dresses, in subtle colours, which they have worn inimitably since the days of GainsboroughChristian Dior, 1957.

Christian Dior designed this couture dress in 1951 specially for the 2st birthday of Princess Margaret.

In his autobiography, Dior affirmed his love for all things English. He was particularly enamoured with the English aristocracy and he admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary, and Savile Row suits.

HISTORICISM

Christian Dior often cited historic periods in his designs – the sinus lines of Belle Époque dresses from the late 1800s and early 1900s: the tightly waisted mid-nineteenth-century styles worn by the French Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III’s wife. The sumptuous silks and dramatic silhouettes of the eighteenth century held a particular fascination. Dior’s premises at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris had a neo-classical façade, medaillon-backed chairs, and white and grey panelling like that of Petit Trianon at Versailles, a colour Dior is said to have revived.

«I thank heaven I lived in Paris in the last years of the Belle EpoqueChristian Dior, 1957

In front of one of my favorite Dior dresses, Look 24 from the F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection by John Galliano.

TRAVEL

Travels explore how travel and different countries and cultures have consistently inspired the various designers at the House of Dior. This section focuses on five of the countries that provided a source of reference for Christian Dior and his successors at the House of Dior: Mexico, India, Egypt, Japan and China.

THE GARDEN

Flowers are emblematic of the Maison and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints, but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show.
From horticulture to global travel and historicism, the show reveals the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic.

Look 47 from the F/W 2012 Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons for Dior. It was worn by actress Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior perfume.

DESIGNERS FOR DIOR

Designers for Dior spotlights the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since Christian Dior’s death in 1957.

Since 1957 the House of Dior has been led by:
Yves Saint Laurent 1958-60
Marc Bohan 1960-89
Gianfranco Ferré 1989-96
John Galliano 1996-2011 
Raf Simons 
2012-15
Maria Grazia Chiuri 2016 to present
Each creative director has brought a new perspective.

THE ATELIERS

The Ateliers showcases toiles from the Dior Ateliers in a stunning «cabinet of curiosity» style.

«Everything created by human hands expresses something – above all the personality of the creator. The same thing is true with a dress. But since so many people are working on it, the real job is to get all the hands that cut, sew, try on and embroider to express all I have feltChristian Dior, 1954

DIORAMA

Diorama examines the breadth of the House of Dior, from accessories including costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags, to illustrations, miniature dresses and archive lipstick and perfume, bottles, collected in a kaleidoscopic display. This section spotlights the key creative partners of the House from the past 70 years, including Roger Vivier Stephen Jones, René Gruau, Serge Lutens and Swarovski, Christian Dior’s first choice for crystals to embellish his creations.

How cool! My own outfit was part of the exhibition.

THE BALLROOM

Drawing on his love of costume, it was in his evening dresses and ball gowns that Dior could indulge his imagination and showcase the diverse skills of the haute couture ateliers. Until today, a Dior gown, synonymous with allure and opulence, demonstrates the formidable talents and techniques of Parisian haute couture. It is no wonder that such striking creations have graced numerous red carpets as the choice of film stars and prominent personalities over the past seven decades.

I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my tour through this beautiful exhibition.

LoL, Sandra

Photos taken of the exhibition: © Sandra Bauknecht

Raf Simons and Calvin Klein Part Ways

Breaking news last night: Raf Simons and Calvin Klein part ways after less than two years and eight months before the end of his contract. But the fashion world saw it coming after PVH (which also owns Tommy Hilfiger) chief Emanuel Chirico criticised last month the brand’s bumpy financial performance and high-fashion approach for which on the other side Simons won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America during his time at Calvin Klein.

With Raf Simons in 2014 when he was still at Dior.

Here lays exactly the problem. The Belgian designer, as well known for his cult menswear label as his well-regarded times at Jil Sander and Dior, was clearly committed to the cause of the iconic brand that consumers know for its denim, underwear and provocative marketing campaigns. He was given a multi-million-dollar salary and the title of chief creative officer. He oversaw all aspects of marketing and design for the American megabrand, a degree of control he did not have at Dior.

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 ad campaign shot by Willy Vanderperre

Unfortunately, the brand, that was renamed Calvin Klein 205W39NYC under Simons (sorry, but I have hated the name from the beginning), hoped to create a marketing effect through the high-end ready-to-wear collection for its lower-priced products. But this transformation didn’t take place. Personally speaking, I liked the looks Simons designed but I didn’t buy one single piece. Somehow I never felt the urge.

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 show in NYC

For the American fashion industry, it is a big loss to see Simons go. But on the other hand, it is the only way to go. The brand will NOT even stage a runway show in February which is truly sad as his show definitely got a lot of international attention.

#MyCalvins – bestselling items the brand will focus on even more.

What will happen now with Calvin Klein? Needless to say, probably not another big designer name. but a strategy that will shift the focus of its marketing campaigns from high-fashion to more affordable items. Cobbler, stick to your trade!

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 runway collection

TO SHOP A LAST PIECE FROM RAF SIMONS FOR CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Calvin Klein and © Sandra Bauknecht

Raf Simons & Christiane F.

Growing up in Germany, «Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo» (1978) was a must-read. This non-fiction book portrays the drug scene in West Berlin in the 1970s. It is about 13-year-old Christiane Felscherinow who lives in a multi-story, concrete social-housing building in a dull neighbourhood in the outskirts of West Berlin. She’s sick of living there and has a passion for rockstar David Bowie. After meeting the wrong people, Christiane starts taking LSD in addition to abusing pills, and later heroin.

After her 14th birthday, she even stops going home and spends more and more time at Bahnhof Zoo, a large train and subway station notorious for the drug trafficking that takes place in its underpasses and back alleys. Christiane also starts to prostitute herself. Eventually she recovered and is still alive today, but most of her cohorts either died or are still addicts.

In 1981, the film inspired by the book and directed by Uli Edel immediately acquired cult status (which it still retains today). It features David Bowie as both himself and the soundtrack composer, which gave the film a commercial boost.

Now, Raf Simons, previous designer at Dior and now Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein besides his own line, seeked inspiration from this sad story and will launch its collaboration with the story «Christiane F. – wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo». These exclusive pieces will be available at shop.rafsimons.com and in selected stores worldwide. With this project the designer will support organisations that help those in recovery from addiction.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Raf Simons

Visit Flanders – Visit Antwerp

January blues? Forget those and plan a weekend trip to Antwerp. Last Monday, I was invited by Visitflanders to celebrate the launch of the first direct flight from Zurich to Antwerp. From now on, Flyvlm is heading on a daily basis to the Belgium hot spot. In 48 hours, I explored the city with a population just over 500,000 (of which I know surprisingly many:-)) and fell in love! Would you like to know why? Here you go!


Brussels is Belgium‘s capital, but the second biggest city, Antwerp, is without a doubt the country’s hot spot of cool. Best known for its gigantic seaport, diamond district, beer and being home to the baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, it has a dazzling variety of attractions. And personally speaking one of the most important ones, is fashion! Antwerp’s renowned fashion school, the «Royal Academy of Fine Arts», is the prolific birth place of world-famous designers, of which six became known as «The Antwerp Six».

The Antwerp Six

Under Linda Loppa, who now serves as the dean of Polimoda fashion school, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee graduated between 1980–81. In times where everything was a «little too much», the fashion collective presented a distinct, radical avant-garde vision for fashion that established Antwerp as a notable location for fashion design. The breakthrough occurred in 1986 as the group rented a truck and set out for London Fashion Week with their collections that immediately became a huge success. Within just three days, they found themselves stocked at Barneys, Bergdorf and Liberty of London, and propelled into the media stratosphere, even without Instagram.

Martin Margiela, another Belgian contemporary, was not actually part of the group that showed in London, although he is often mistakenly described as one of the Antwerp Six; he had moved to Paris, initially working for Jean Paul Gaultier. Another Belgium fashion celebrity is Raf Simons, who originally graduated in Industrial Design and Furniture Design from a college in Genk in 1991, when  he got encouraged by Linda Loppa to become a self-trained menswear designer and launched his Raf Simons label in 1995.  He began working as a furniture designer for various galleries, having previously interned at the design studio of Walter Van Beirendonck between 1991-1993. The latter  took him to Paris Fashion Week and that was when Simons first saw a fashion show — Martin Margiela’s all-white show in 1991 — which inspired Simons to turn to fashion design. I love how all of them are related and that it brings it full circle.

With Raf Simons

Despite being a powerful magnet for everyone from fashion moguls to art lovers and diamond dealers, Antwerp also retains an intriguing medieval heart with plenty of café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress and a truly impressive cathedral. Antwerp in a nutshell? These are the must-sees during your visit.

Hotel Les Nuits
Located on the fourth floor, this little boutique hotel sits on the edge of Antwerp’s Fashion District and is perfectly located in the city. Every room has its own design. The service is extremely friendly and the food is healthy and amazing!
Lange Gasthuisstraat 12, 2000 Antwerp
Phone + 32 03 225 02 04

The Apartment
A home away from home. The luxury Apartment with hotel service at Graanmarkt 13 is designed by Vincent Van Duysen and is a warm and welcoming home in the heart of Antwerp. It is the place where Mario Testing or Tim Burton are staying when they are in town. The top floor used to be the home of the concept store’s (located beneath) founders Tim and Ilse, but is now open for all. The price per night for the full apartment is € 1.300 (it is absolutely worth the money!). You get a spacious loft for up to 6 adults with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, wifi/internet, and breakfast included.
Graanmarkt 13, 2000 Antwerp
Phone +32 3 337 79 91, E-mail 

Bourla
Café Restaurant Bourla is housed in a majestic building on Graanmarkt, next to the Apartment. Yet the atmosphere is casual, the prices are decent and the Belgium food is amazing. Try their fries and you die! Young and old, businessmen and tourists, shoppers and theatregoers… everyone feels at home here.
Graanmarkt 7, 2000 Antwerp
Phone +32 3 232 16 32, E-mail 

RAS
So chic! In an outstanding Antwerp setting in terms of architecture, interior decoration, art and design, lunch or dinner at RAS goes beyond food. It is an unforgettable total experience. The name drives from its location, RAS – Restaurant Aan de Stroom (the Restaurant by the River).
Ernest van Dijckkaai 37, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 234 12 75

Billie’s Bier Kafétaria
This is your first stop when you are looking for a great pub in Antwerp (there are many). From the greatest and unknown Belgian beers to the most obscure beers from around the world, you’ll find everything here! I loved Oude Geuze, a blend of lambic from different years, served in champagne flutes.
Kammenstraat 12, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 226 31 83

Würst Haute Dogs
This is a must when you are in Antwerp. At Würst, Belgian television chef Jeroen Meus serves “haute dogs“, hot dogs like you’ve never tasted them before. I shared a Caesar dog and a Sauerkraut dog which were both absolutely amazing.
Maalderijstraat 5, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 296 18 86

You will go bananas with the magnitude of Belgium designers having their little affordable shops around town. Moreover you can find many high end designer brands in Antwerp and of course, renowned Belgium designers have their flagship stores in the city, too.

Dries van Noten
Personally speaking, a must when you are in town. It’s impossible to untangle the city of Antwerp from the life and work of Dries Van Noten. Unfortunately the shop was closed when I was there last week.
Nationalestraat 16, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 470 25 10

Delvaux
Delvaux is the oldest fine leather luxury goods company in the world, founded in 1829 in Belgium. You can find a great selection of handbags, small leather goods and accessories for women and men.
Komedieplaats 17, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 232 02 47

Verso
The moment you enter this multibrand concept store which is across from Hotel Les Nuits, your breath is taken away. Located in a beautifully restored 16th century mansion which served as a bank before, it is a fashion heaven on earth with a great selection of many high end designers. The Verso café is also worth going to.
Lange Gasthuisstraat 9, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 226 92 92

Renaissance
A multi brand hig end fashion store merging directional fashion with fine dining in the heart of Antwerp. Realised by acclaimed Belgian architect Glenn Sestig, the 800 sqm boutique and restaurant delivers bold statements in light, colour and atmosphere.
Nationalestraat 32, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 233 93 90

Essentiel Antwerp
The Belgium fashion brand delivers trendy fashion at affordable prices and has many locations in the city of Antwerp. In Switzerland available at Globus and at Limmatquai 70 in Zurich.
Schuttershofstraat 26, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 213 15 10

Stadtfeestzaal
The beautifully renovated Shopping Stadsfeestzaal on the Meir is presently a shopping centre housing over fifty shops. Not my favorite for shopping, but worth seeing.
Meir 78, 2000 Antwerp
Phone: +32 3 202 31 00

Antwerp Central Station
First used in 1905, this station is absolutely impressive and is considered as one the most beautiful train station in the world! Trains arrive on top of each other on three different platforms with two additional underground levels.

Antwerp Zoo
One of the oldest and best-known zoos, it will take you at least half a day to see one of the most diversified animal collections in Europe.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Plantin-Moretus Museum

Antwerp Museums
Antwerp has numerous museums. Among the best known are the Rubens House, the MAS | Museum aan de Stroom, and the Red Star Line Museum, but there are plenty of others worth seeing: historical houses where you can savour the atmosphere of past times, a fashion museum and several art museums. There is something for everyone, whatever your taste. As I was on a Monday in Antwerp, museums were unfortunately closed. My favorite would have been the MOMU Fashion Museum.

Vlaeykensgang
The secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another. Walk through the gate at Oude Koornmarkt 16 and you feel as if you have journeyed back in time.

Grote Markt
Grote Markt originally was a forum or square just outside the medieval residential quarter. In 1220 Duke Henry I of Brabant (1165-1235) donated this community land to the city. The name Merckt was used for the first time in 1310.

Cathedral of Our Lady
After 169 years of construction the cathedral of Antwerp finally dominated Antwerp’s skyline in 1521 with a height of 123 metres. It’s the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries.It is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens.

Having the most exclusive sightseeing tour thanks to Tanguy Ottomer.

The Story of Nello & Patrasche
The story of the young boy Nello and his dog Patrasche is famous all over the world and it’s set… in Antwerp! Nello and Patrasche are the main characters in the 1872 novel «A Dog of Flanders» in which the Cathedral of Our Lady and various paintings by Rubens play an important role.
Nello, a poor orphan boy, becomes friends with Patrasche, an abandoned cart dog. They walk to town together every day. They often visit the cathedral, where Nello admires the paintings by Rubens. Due to a series of setbacks, the lives of Nello and Patrasche end in that same cathedral. They die together from hardship. This moving and atypical Christmas story holds a message of pride and unconditional friendship and is very famous in Japan. Artist Batist Vermeulen (‘Tist’) designed a statue of the boy and his dog which you can admire on the Handschoenmarkt, in front of the cathedral.

Den Deugniet
Brussel’s Manneken Pis‘ companion in Antwerp is called Den Deugniet and is a pretty naughty statue that can be found at the corner of the Oudaanand Korte Gasthuisstraat to show his bare bottom to people passing by. It was first placed there in the ’70s by local traders and has since been kidnapped several times! Now the bottom is not gold anymore but you can still rub it for good luck.

I had an amazing 48 hours in Antwerp and I am sure that you can imagine that time flies fast with all the spots you can visit in the Flemish city. I’ll be back, for sure…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Photo Antwerp Six via Dazzed Digital

Raf Simons Heads to Calvin Klein

simons,raf-portrait-2016_ph_vanderperre, willy-black+white
Long-running rumors in the industry have been finally confirmed today: RAF SIMONS has been formally appointed as Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, filling the vacant position left by Francisco Costa in April. It is said that the American brand and Simons have been unable to make any announcement due to the year-long non-compete clause in Simons’s Christian Dior contract that came to an end last month.

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Iconic minimalism:
Bara tulle-paneled stretch-crepe dress by Calvin Klein Collection
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Mr. Simons will lead the creative strategy of the Calvin Klein brand globally across the Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein Platinum, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Home brands. As part of his role as Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Simons will oversee all aspects of design, global marketing and communications, and visual creative services. Mr. Simons’ first collections will debut for the F/W 2017 season.

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The famous underwear:
Modern Cotton stretch cotton-blend soft-cup bra 
by Calvin Klein Underwear

Sandra_Bauknecht_Raf_SimonsRaf Simons with me
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The appointment of Mr. Simons as Chief Creative Officer marks the implementation of Calvin Klein’s new global creative strategy, announced in April 2016, to unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. The strategy comes as part of a global evolution of the Calvin Klein brand, which began with the reacquisition of the Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear businesses in 2013. As Calvin Klein looks to grow the brand to $10 billion in global retail sales, this new leadership is intended to further strengthen the brand’s premium positioning worldwide and pave the way for future long-term global growth.

steve-shiffmanSteve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc.

The arrival of Raf Simons as Chief Creative Officer signifies a momentous new chapter for Calvin Klein,” said Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernized fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.

340172Raf Simons & his right hand Pieter Mulier in Dior and I (Courtesy of Dior)

As part of the creative strategy for the apparel and accessories business, Calvin Klein also announced the hire of Pieter Mulier as Creative Director, reporting directly to Mr. Simons. Mr. Mulier will be responsible for executing Mr. Simons’ creative and design vision for men’s and women’s ready to wear, as well as the bridge and better apparel lines and accessories. He will also manage all men’s and women’s design teams within the Calvin Klein brand, under Mr. Simons’ leadership.

Sandra-Bauknecht-MyCalvins

Calvin Klein, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp. [NYSE: PVH], is one of the leading fashion design and marketing studios in the world. It designs and markets women’s and men’s designer collection apparel and a range of other products that are manufactured and marketed through an extensive network of licensing agreements and other arrangements worldwide. Product lines under the various Calvin Klein brands include women’s dresses and suits, men’s dress furnishings and tailored clothing, men’s and women’s sportswear and bridge and collection apparel, golf apparel, jeanswear, underwear, fragrances, eyewear, women’s performance apparel, hosiery, socks, footwear, swimwear, jewelry, watches, outerwear, handbags, small leather goods, and home furnishings (including furniture).

PVH

With a heritage going back over 130 years, PVH Corp. has excelled at growing brands and businesses with rich American heritages, becoming one of the largest apparel companies in the world, having over 30,000 associates operating in over 40 countries with over $8 billion in 2015 revenues. Among the brands are Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, ARROW, Speedo, Warner’s and more.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Calvin Klein and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dior Split Sunglasses

Dior_Split Diorsplit sunglasses

Here they are, DIOR SPLIT – the new must-have sunglasses from the House of Dior. Reinventing the classic aviator shape in a graphic style, they are designed with different mirror effect stripes on the lenses. First presented against a sea of blue delphiniums that embellished the S/S 2016 set of Raf Simons last runway show for Dior.

Diorsplit11 DiorSplit_Models

Thanks to Safilo, I was able to get my hands on the new shades and went for the yellow gold with green version. It is very funny feeling when you put them on for the first time as the separation of the lenses can be felt and you literally look through a box. This distraction goes away pretty easily and your eyes get used to the effect.

Available now for € 430.00. Click here to visit the website.

LoL, Sandra

Dior_Split_Sunglasses_Dior_Fusion_Sneakers_2Perfect match: my new Dior Fusion sneakers and the Dior Split sunglasses.
Thanks, Dior, for spoiling me!

Photos: Courtesy of Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

Alber Elbaz Leaves Lanvin

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It’s been a crazy week in fashion. Those who have been following me on instagram @sandrascloset got the breaking news already this afternoon. After Raf Simons another designer is joining the fashion carrousel: Alber Elbaz leaves Lanvin after 14 years. It is said that his exit was based on a decision made by Lanvin owner Shaw-Lan ​Wang.​

No word so far on Alber’s next move, but one thing is for sure after Simons it’s another high-profile fashion departure in a week and it puts Elbaz in a premium position to be considered for the Dior post. I think that it would be a perfect match!

Sandra Bauknecht and Alber Elbaz in ParisAlber Elbaz with me in Paris a few weeks ago.

Lanvin Fall 2009Lanvin F/W 2009

Lanvin Fall 2015 AdLanvin Ad Campaign F/W 2015

FrenchMade_Lanvin

Now, it is a good time to shop the latest designs by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. I put a great outfit together for you.

Get the look: Embellished velvet and wool-gabardine jacket, cutout metallic fil coupé chiffon mini dress, metallic suede brogues, Sugar medium quilted suede shoulder bagicon, tasseled gold-tone crystal necklace and snake chain-trimmed rabbit-felt hat, all by Lanvin.

LoL, Sandra
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Photos: Courtesy of Lanvin, © Getty Images and © Sandra Bauknecht

Raf Simons Leaves Dior

Dior

This is one of those days. I am totally jet-lagged as I just got back from New York City and in between travels which means emptying one suitcase and filling the next one. I hoped for an relaxing evening on the couch when I heard the big and very unexpected news that I had to get out to you in case you haven’t read it yet.

After three and a half years as Creative Director at Christian Dior, fashion designer Raf Simons has announced today that he will be leaving the French Maison. His S/S 2016 collection he showed during Paris Fashion Week in the beginning of October will be his last.
Here some of the beautiful looks:

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Here is a statement that Simons released  to ​WWD: «It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as creative director of Christian Dior’s women’s collection. It is a decision based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book. I want to thank Mr. Bernard Arnault for the trust he has put in me, giving me the incredible opportunity to work at this beautiful house surrounded by the most amazing team one could ever dream of. I have also had the chance over the last few years to benefit from the leadership of Sidney Toledano. His thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experiences of my professional career.»

Sandra_Bauknecht_Raf_SimonsRaf Simons with me in 2014

It will be interesting who will succeed Simons as ​Dior’s sales increased dramatically under him. I truly loved what he did.

Tomorrow I will be on a trip with Dior ​so let’s see if I can get some insights.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Chloé Le Drezen, © Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com, © Sandra Bauknecht

Are You an Addict?

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Spring time at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the perfect backdrop for Dior to present their upcoming launch, the first lipstick created by their new Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup Peter Philips who gave me a very exclusive and rare interview (available in German and French in the new October issue of L’Officiel Switzerland – at newsstands nationwide this Thursday).

Since its launch in 2001, the «Dior Addict Lipstick» has been on everyone’s lips. The first lipstick created as a fashion accessory has been reinvented this fall in a futuristic version, defying the limits of shine to ensure easy-to-wear, lively and vibrant colour in one movement with no mirror needed. Thanks to its hydra-gel core, that is composed of 40% of the three of the shiniest oils used in cosmetics, it is the first lipstick with an integrated top coat. With each application, this original gel coat delicately melts over the lips, providing them with a sensual moisturizing glossy film and a spectacular volumizing effect. No lip balm needed anymore.

DIOR-cover2Basic Instinct: Jennifer Lawrence in the new campaign.

The 35 shades are divided in three different light effect families, from glittery to flashy to glowy. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is the face of the new campaign that is very reminiscent of the famous «Basic Instinct» movie scene in which Sharon Stone is crossing and uncrossing her legs. The only difference? The cigarette is a lipstick. The slogan? «Shine, don’t be shy!» – the perfect reflection of who she is in real life. A modern woman who takes control without taking herself too seriously. About her collaboration with Peter Philips she raves: «He is very sweet, incredibly creative and brilliant. I love how he does makeup. He understands a woman’s face and knows how to make it dramatic with makeup, but also make it seem very natural.»

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Time to meet this icon of the beauty industry. Born in Antwerp in Belgium, Peter Philips is the former Creative Director of Chanel Makeup. After having left in 2013, he spent the subsequent year as a freelancer before joining the House of Dior. Working along with his fellow countryman and longtime friend Raf Simons, Creative Director Dior, the two share the same aesthetics and vision. The perfect match!

Dior Addict Lipsticks

The lipstick as a fashion accessory – what does that mean to you?

I talk about the origin of the object, the way it is shaped is different from any other lipstick. It is pretty to put in your handbag, just like a fashion accessory.

«I am guided by beauty.»

When you create makeup looks, do you take it from a fashion and trend angle or you think more about the wearabilty of the products?

As a makeup designer my first motivation is beauty. That is my main reason. Once you start talking trends in makeup, it becomes fashionable but this is just a niche. Clearly all women want to be beautiful. Not everyone wants a trendy shade, but everyone wants a pretty shade. So first, I am guided by beauty and then I use fashion to make it more interesting, to tease and link it to couture, to editorials and shows.

BoatsTour DiorGetting spoilt. Lunch on the boat for the launch event of Dior Addict Lipstick.

How do you work together with Raf Simons?

Our creative process is about looks, not about collections, not about products.

Practically, we have a different timing. Raf works now on couture and the show will take place in one and a half month. I am working one and a half year in advance to design new makeup products. Therefore it is so important for me to be guided by beauty as I can always integrate the fashion part later. When I work with Raf, I create a look for his show and use my products as a service to enhance Raf’s vision and to deliver his message.

Jennifer Lawrence Dior

The ad campaign reminds me so much of that famous scene in Basic Instinct. Is this on purpose?

Yes, it comes with these cinematographic references and it is just a flash. With Jennifer Lawrence, we have got an actress and she loved the movie. It is visually a nice teaser. It shows a strong woman and is a nice «clin d’oeil» to another Dior icon, Sharon Stone.

Be Dior

Can you give us some tips how to apply Dior Addict Lipstick?

It is such an easy product. Most important is to find the right shade or shades according to your mood. «Be Dior» for example suits a lot of women. You can even only apply it in the middle as it is sheer and you can build it up as you like. It gives a lot of moisture and comfort. You don’t need to use a primer, a liner or a balm. All the tricks are in this one lipstick.

FireworksFireworks at night to celebrate the new Dior Addict Lipsticks

How do we find the right shade?

This is hard to say. It is the same for every beauty product, for eye shadows, foundation, nail polishes, you have to try it because there is no manual for it. I recommend going to a counter and feel it. Therefore I don’t believe in buying over the internet for the first time.

And do not forget to look at the colours in different lights. For example, the new Dior Addict Lipstick shades shine in the sun like fireworks.

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How can we make lipstick long-lasting?

For shoots and in general, I like to scrub the lips to get rid of the dead skin, I moisturize the lips preferably with Lip Maximiser but it can be any lip balm to nourish them. Very important is it to take the greasiness away and to dab off the excess before getting started with applying the colour.

For a classic lip, I recommend a liner, maybe fill in the whole lip and apply the lipstick afterwards.

If you would like to have a lip stain, just pinch it in with the fingers so that it will last. The new Dior Addict Lipstick comes already with an integrated top coat that seals in the colour and makes the pigments stay longer.

«An eyelash curler is a must for every woman.» 

What are the beauty products every woman should own?

Each woman should find the right foundation if she needs it. If you have great skin, do not even bother to get it, just maintain it. A foundation should give the illusion of a youthful skin. If you have it, do not change it. Actually I am wearing «Star Foundation» right now because I got a huge sunburn.

An eyelash curler is a must for every woman. Even if you do not wear makeup, curl your lashes as it will open your eyes immediately. But never apply it when you have mascara on as the lashes might break.

Eden RocBest location to host a launch event: The beautiful Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

What is your signature?

As I said before, I am guided by beauty. I like to create products that are really useful and surprise with interesting elements, such as new textures or different shades. I don’t want to dictate. The women who wear my makeup should discover the products themselves and have fun with them.

When I work for a fashion show, my signature is that I am very loyal to the designer, to support him and not to make it my show. Therefore they like working with me. I like to stay low profile but if they want something spectacular, I can deliver it.

Why did you take the job at Dior?

After I left Chanel, I worked for one year as a freelancer and I realized that I missed creating the products. I know Raf for 20 years and kept doing his menswear shows. One day, he came to me and said: «You stopped so that you can do my shows now?» He booked me and so from one thing came another. I got to meet Claude Martinez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parfums Christian Dior. Funnily enough, I was not sure if I wanted to be linked again to one brand and stay in Paris. (Laughs) Probably it was midlife crisis but after one year, I truly missed doing collections and creating new products, the innovation. It was bizarre going to a store and buy products again that I needed for my work. I had a very critical eye and simultaneously Raf came in. Now, I am happy to be part of this amazing House that has a different DNA than the one I worked before at.

Dior Addict Flowers

What are you working on now?

We already shot the campaigns for S/S 2016. Autumn and Christmas is almost done and I will be shooting those ads for F/W 2016 during the next weeks.

What is your favourite part about your job?

To make a living by doing makeup. The big variety of my job. Doing shows, products, shoots and working with the labs, even that technical part interests me. I don’t see myself as an artist, but I can be very creative. I like to watch women wearing my shades and products. Working also with a movie star who wants to put me in her bag and travel around with me makes the whole package just great.

Thank you, Peter!

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As a journalist you get to meet a lot of people but it is always a pleasure to talk to someone who has such a passion for his job like Peter Philips. After having tried the new «Dior Addict Lipsticks», I can understand his excitement and I have a confession to make. I have become an addict and I cannot get enough. And you will surely, too!

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4 It-shades: Be Dior (Jennifer Lawrence wears it in the campaign), Smile, Tribale and Wonderful are also available as Dior Gel Coats.

The collection is in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers

LVMH Prize Cover

Forty internationally renowned experts from the world of fashion (among them Jefferson Hack, Katie Grand, Natalie Massenet, Carine Roitfeld and Patrick Demarchelier to name a few) are to meet thirty applicants to the LVMH Prize during Paris Fashion Week.

They will select a short-list of ten young designers who will go forward to present their work to the jury in May 2014. Entries have already been received from all over the world, including Asia, Africa and South America as well as the United States and Europe, with many more anticipated before the closing date of February 2nd, 2014.

Jury LVMH Prize

The members of the jury for the first edition of the prize in 2014 are eight creative directors from LVMH Fashion Houses including: Nicolas Ghesquière (Louis Vuitton), Marc Jacobs (Marc Jacobs), Karl Lagerfeld (Fendi), Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (Kenzo), Phoebe Philo (Céline), Raf Simons (Dior) and Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy).

The designers will be joined by Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie (advisor to Bernard Arnault and head of corporate philanthropy for LVMH) and Pierre-Yves Roussel (Chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group).

YOU CAN APPLY HERE! Good luck!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton