McQueen’s Beyond-Amazing New Fragrance

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Sometimes I receive a press release that truly makes me happy and excited. Today, I got one of those. Great news! The ALEXANDER MCQUEEN brand launches its first women’s fragrance under the creative direction of Sarah Burton after signing a deal with P&G Prestige.

Do note that there were already two scents on the market, Kingdom, in 2003, and My Queen, in 2005, that were developed by YSL Beauté. Both were disappearing very quickly from the shelves after being discontinued in 2008.

Although Alexander McQueen passed away six years ago, his legacy lives on in his label’s stunning designs by Sarah Burton, who was also in charge for the amazing juice that is the base for those two new scents, McQueen Parfum and McQueen Eau de Parfum.

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Inspired by the craftsmanship of haute parfumerie, McQueen has created a unique scent made from the precious essence of three night-blooming flowers: Sambac jasmine, tuberose and ylang ylang. There are also topnotes of clove, pink and black pepper, as well as vetiver. Solid, sensual, with the artisan’s love of form, the parfum bottle is a small work of art. Gold feathers crown the perfume bottle, reflecting bespoke craftsmanship that is pure McQueen.

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ORIENTAL FLORAL

Top notes: Clove, pink and black pepper
Middle notes: Sambac jasmine, tuberose and ylang ylang
Base note: Vetiver

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The association with these nighttime flowers launched the social media hashtag #BloomAtNight, a tag that can easily be tied to more than a few of the pieces in the new F/W 2016 collection.

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McQueen Parfum
50ml – CHF 450.00

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McQueen Eau de Parfum
30ml – CHF 90.00, 50ml – CHF 119.00, 75ml – CHF 149.00

Available in Switzerland from September 5, 2016.

TO SHOP THE NEW ALEXANDER MCQUEEN FALL COLLECTION, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

My Look: Mix Master

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Yesterday, I had a lovely day surrounded by great friends to celebrate the baptism of little Ben. After the ceremony in the church, we went to the restaurant Seerose at the lake of Zurich for lunch and stayed until dinner. The big thunderstorm that was supposed to hit in the afternoon luckily waited to arrive in the evening.

My look: Cropped leather jacket by Pradabonded laser-cut cotton-poplin bra topicon and matching bonded laser-cut cotton-poplin skirt, both by Alexander McQueen, Rockstud leopard-print calf hair trapeze bag iconby ValentinoJanis leather pumps by Saint Laurent, Mitza ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie, interlaced loop necklace by Dior, green calf hair cuff by Céline and Tank Américaine watch in yellow gold by Cartier.

McQueen’s Sarah Burton got heavily influenced by Mondrian‘s art this season. I am in love with her ability to mix different materials and turn them into one. This structured pleated skirt and top are both crafted from black cotton-poplin with a bonded laser-cut white overlay that gives them a three-dimensional effect that is unfortunately hard to see in the pictures.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Alexander McQueen SS14-7

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Sandra Bauknecht in McQueen 30

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

McQ Alexander McQueen – Private Order

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Own a piece of fashion history with McQ Alexander McQueen‘s debut runway collection, available for private order only for two more days. Sarah Burton‘s debut collection of sculptured dresses and refined military silhouettes is dramatic and darkly glamorous. Burgundy and green, the two must-have colours for the F/W 2012 season, will add a stylish touch to any wardrobe.

Until Wednesday, May 23rd, you as my readers have the chance to place a private order made especially for you at the Alexander McQueen atelier in Italy. These exquisite, limited edition pieces – that you can explore below – are available exclusively at NET-A-PORTERicon and will arrive in time for fall.

“A love story, a love of McQueen and a love of great British style — from military coats to overblown ball gowns,” the show notes explained.

To place your exclusive private order, please click here.

LoL, Sandra

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Savage Beauty

Savage Beauty

I am a huge fan of the Alexander McQueen F/W 2011 collection. As for me, Sarah Burton has outdone herself once more. The fetish elements, the beautiful fur edges, the frayed organza, just amazing. Needless to say, those dramatic pieces are not for everyday use but for making a showstopping entrance, they are perfect. And just one item at a time works lovely, see here.

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When I stumbled upon the advertising campaign photos, I was blown away. Such a beauty and drama: Raquel Zimmermann photographed by David Sims.

LoL, Sandra

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Kate – A New Grace Kelly

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Finally we definitely know who is the designer behind Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. It’s Sarah Burton, the McQueen designer. I was right with my speculation a few weeks ago.

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Kate, who is now Princess Catherine, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stunned the crowd in an English and French Chantilly lace gown worn with a 2.70m long train and a silk tulle veil. The ivory duchesse satin shoes were also handmade by the McQueen team.

The look reminded of Princess Grace’s wedding dress in 1956. Sarah Burton captured Kate’s style in the right way, very classy and kind of simple for the house of McQueen. Only the draping at the back side of the dress seemed like a reference to the late designer. The Cartier tiara was lent to the bride by the queen.

Kate carried a secret love message by including „sweet william“ flowers in her bridal bouquet.

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Here are some quotes of famous designers concerning the bridal look:

“She is very elegant,” Karl Lagerfeld said. “The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster decor. I love the modest veil with the Queen Mother’s Thirties scroll tiara and balanced volume of the whole gown. She’s radiant; She never was so beautiful.”

“Kate’s dress was beautiful,” Donatella Versace said. “She looked very regal.”

Designer Elie Saab added: “It was a very elegant dress, subtly refined and discreet, in keeping with her style. I would have liked it even more with a little extra volume and a longer train.”

Oh what a royal wedding – congrats to the newly wed couple!

LoL, Sandra

The Wedding of Kate M.

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In London, the hype is going on since quite a while. Everybody is speculating about the wedding dress of Kate M.. Wait, there are two Kate M.s getting married. One is Kate Moss and the other one Kate Middleton. Bride Wars!

Let’s dedicate today’s post to the royal wedding. Rumors are out that Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, will be designing the gown for Kate Middleton. So how will she look like? The yound bride is not a so-called style icon, she prefers basic pieces and likes to shop High Street brands. One thing is for certain, she will definetely wear an English designer and McQueen would be a bold choice.

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In case that you don’t want to miss the big event, you can enjoy the royal wedding at a royal location and book Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s wedding tour.

With special access and hosted tours by first-hand family members and associates of the royal family to Kensington Palace, Chartwell, Spencer House, Althorp and Westminster Abbey, all venues which members of the public have not had access to before, this promises to be the truly majestic stay. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park also boasts the only private Royal Entrance from Hyde Park.

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This exclusive itinerary for the Royal Wedding Tour at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is as follows:

Tuesday 26 April

Check in to the hotel. Pre dinner drinks and a welcome dinner, before retiring to a deluxe room.

Wednesday 27 April

A tour of Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s family home in Kent since 1924, with a special greeting from a member of the Churchill family and lunch at the nearby private family home.

That evening guests depart for Spencer House, the home of the Spencer Family, for drinks on the terrace overlooking Green Park followed by a private tour and dinner in The Great Room designed by James Athenian Stuart.

Thursday 28 April

The morning begins with a visit to The British Museum followed by lunch at The Wallace Collection with a special visit with the Director Dame Ros Saville.

Dinner will take place at the home of a member of the royal family, at their private London townhouse.

Friday 29 April

Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art with exclusive use of the venue and roof terrace overlooking The Mall. Guests will have unrestricted views of the royal wedding parade, nestled above the crowded streets and hustle below. Toast the happy couple with a glass of champagne before a sumptuous three course lunch served in the gallery.

After returning to the hotel, guests will then depart for Kensington Palace where the evening will begin with drinks in the sunken garden, followed by a tour by esteemed curator Nigel Arch and dinner in the newly restored Kings Gallery.

Saturday 30 April

Begin the day with a visit to the setting of the royal wedding, Westminster Abbey, with the Dean. This senior church in London is where great coronations, weddings and burials take place, and is an historic Royal Peculiar (a church whose jurisdiction falls directly under the monarch).

The afternoon allows time for a leisurely roam around London or perhaps a visit to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental to soothe aching muscles and unwind tired minds, followed by dinner at one of the hotel’s celebrated restaurants, Bar Boulud, London or Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

Sunday 01 May

The day starts with a trip to Northamptonshire for lunch at Althorp, the ancestral home of Diana Princess of Wales’ family since 1508.  A private visit and lunch will be hosted by a member of the Spencer family.

That evening, guests can enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel before departing on Monday morning in majestic triumph.

The Royal Wedding Tour package is priced from GBP 11,300 for one person and GBP 18,800 for two people sharing the same accommodation.  Valid between 26 April and 01 May only, inclusive of Full English Breakfast, exclusive of VAT at 20% and 5% discretionary service charge, subject to availability.  Reservations can be made by contacting the hotel directly on +44 (0) 207 201 3618, on email or through the direct on-line reservations service, www.mandarinoriental.com/london.


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And if you cannot get enough to commemorate this momentous occasion or you are a little insane, I recommend this fancy product: A refrigerator is being unveiled in tribute to the century’s super wedding. GDHA, a distributor for GE appliances in the UK, has launched a 5’9” side-by-side fridge freezer emblazoned with one of the official engagement photographs of the couple.

This is your chance to keep the royal romance fresh! And it is not an April Fool’s joke!

LoL, Sandra

My Top Twenty for S/S 2011

Today, I would like to give you a preview of my Top 20 runway shows for S/S 2011 that I consider the key collections for the next season.

The overall spirit was light-hearted and positive sweeping away the last bit of sobriety. The designers’ colouring box was bright and vibrant with lots of neon shades, vibrant stripes and bold tones.  Many tributes to YSL as well as the 70s were spotted, along with biker and punk themes, floral prints and embroideries, Marrakesh and Shanghai references and pure clean white. Enjoy!


LOUIS VUITTON: Marc JacobsS/S 2011 show for the French fashion house was a hell of a lot of fun, brazen in decadence. A colourful free-spirited collection for the camped-up China girl that loves high-voltage chic. Inspirations from 1930 Shanghai’s Art Deco style to a 70’s New York disco atmosphere were seen in the Cheongsam dresses and bold tiger stripes.
As for me one of my favourites this season.


PRADA: Miuccia Prada’s message was crystal-clear: „It’s time to be bold“. Her ecclectic humours take on her S/S 2011 collection was visionary. Fake baroque paintings (Who would have ever imagined that baroque can be minimal?!), fluorescent stripes, Josephine Baker banana designs and Mexican sombreros lead to that iconic Prada-twist that likes to surprise us.
I am loving it!!!!


JIL SANDER: An implicit change to the Jil Sander woman, that was this collection about. Minimalism inversed into a modern maximalism that led to couture. Raf Simons surprised the fashion crowd with this exceptional S/S 2011 show.
Simple white tees dominated long, full skirts joined with YSL’s rich associations of colours. The shapes were reminiscent of Cristobal Balenciaga’s proportions. The apostel for minimalism, Raf Simons, showed us another optimistic side of the Sander woman without betraying the spirit of the label. Wow! And by the way, the fuchsia lips are gorgeous…


CHRISTOPHER KANE: „Princess Margaret on acid“, this is how Tammy described her brother’s S/S 2011 collection. It was an interesting vision of the future, brilliant and different, like the designer and his place in English fashion. Fluoresent colours and print motifs inspired by yakuza tattoos lightened up the classic and kind of formal pieces.
Watch out for Christopher, this guy is provoking trends!


MARC JACOBS: There were many YSL references on the catwalks and Marc Jacobs was one of the first ones showing them in New York. By taking on the energy of the Studio 54 years and the ’70s, the brilliant American designer came up with one of his best collections, fresh, charming with a modern new spin, an ode to Missoni’s zigzag knits.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the peasant blouses and full skirts. My summer must-haves.

GUCCI: Yves Saint Laurent’s Marrakech years were in the air and a breeze of the ’70s omnipresent at Frida Giannini’s collection  for Gucci. Alternating between electric glamour, safari chic and ethnic touches, the Italian powerhouse continued to celebrate the female silhouette and its seductiveness. You cannot go wrong with this!


EMILIO PUCCI: A beautiful Greek Mediterranean vibe highlighted the collection that was seventies-inflected and mostly long. Peter Dundas knows his craft and the jetset girls will love his luxe hippie dresses worn with laced boots. Nonchalant, elegant, seductive details of which some were a little reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent will make Pucci a bestseller this summer.

YVES SAINT LAURENT: The seventies are everywhere this summer and so is YSL. Thanks to the retrospective that was held this year in Paris, many designers were influenced by the epic Saint Laurent. But none could stake a more legitimate claim to the Master’s inspirations than Stefano Pilati’s work.
He revisited the codes of the fashion house one by one, „le smoking“, the famous palette of orange and pink, French blue, black and beige, abundant bows and the sophisticated tailleurs. I am so on for a trip down memory lane, and you?


CHANEL: This time, Karl Lagerfeld took his inspiration from the early sixties movie Last Year at Marienbad and created a breathtakingly surreal setting. More than 80 models paraded through the ornamental garden with fountains, water features and gravel paths. The collection was so rich, full of couture details with dégradé chiffon florals, tweed patchwork, feathered edges and more. Just beautiful!


MARY KATRANTZOU: It was her first stand-alone show with which she won the Swiss Textiles Award 2010 in November. Mary Katrantzou is one of the hottest fashion newscomer with her groundbreaking creations. The designer of Greek origin worked in three dimensions and was inspired by the decors and backgrounds of the most beautiful of Guy Bourdin’s and Helmut Newton’s photos.
There was an almost hallucinatory depth to her digital printed clothes. The real revolution was how Mary modeled the shape to go with the graphics of interior designs. Are you up for wearing “room” this summer?


ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Sarah Burton who had worked beside McQueen for 15 years, took over the cepter after the designer’s death last February. The S/S 2011 show, her first solo one, grabbed hold of his legacy and defined the same fantasia McQueen was so famous for. This time a hymn to nature, superb in its construction.
One of the biggest differences was that Burton softened the staging, a concept that was always so  vital to a McQueen show. It was a pleasure to see that there is a more feminine vision for the house but with the same theatrical love for detail.


HERMES: Time to say good-bye for Jean-Paul Gaultier and he couldn’t have done it better. His last collection for the traditional French house boasted of master tailoring, sensuous glamour and leather at its finest. “Zorro in Andalusia” celebrates Hermès’ equestrian elegance heritage could have been the headline. Good luck to Lacoste defector Christophe Lemaire! Taking these luxurious reins seems to be quite difficult…

CELINE: The collection was once more strong in its remarkable simplicity even that Phoebe Philo laid her hands on artisanal effects like hand-woven silks, fringes and vibrant colours. Her motto „less is forever chic“ has determined the codes of her hugely influential designs.


CHLOE: Minimalism at its best. Classic, timeless pieces that women can make their own and customise at will. The tutu-like skirts, reminiscent of the world of ballet, were among my favourites. Congrats, Hannah MacGibbon, for this lovely collection!


ERDEM: Erdem Moralioglu, the upcoming designer of Turkish origin, took his audience to Russia for his S/S 2011 presentation in a London park. He had been involved this summer with Victoria & Albert Museum’s Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1920 exhibition.
The experience had been so inspiring that it shaped the substance of his collection where delicate dresses that clearly reflected the structure and flou of ballet costumes dominated the look. Once again floral motifs sprinkled the collection and were complemented by Nicholas Kirkwood’s gorgeous shoes tied up the calf like ballet slippers. I am sure that we will see much more of Erdem in the future.


STELLA MCCARTNEY: Even that I have to admit that I prefered Stella’s cruise 2011 collection, I am always in love with her practical, easy chic. The mother of four knows what she is talking about. Her key pieces are ideal companions to feel good in, even her long skirts split up the thighs swing comfortably with class. First bananas at Prada, now grapefruits and lemons at Stella that put us in a good mood. Her suits in pastel colours were strong on the runway and denim made a boxy shape debut. Thumbs up!


HAIDER ACKERMANN: One thing is for sure, the days that Haider Ackermann was only a fashion insider’s favourite secret are definitely over. His S/S 2011 collection was outstanding in its beauty. Origami folds, kimono jackets and obi belts were among the Asian references. Dramatic effects and strong colours for a glamorous red carpet moment.


DIOR: Betty Page, the model from the 50s that invented the pin-up look, goes on vacation to Hawaii – this South Pacific-style fantasy dominated John Galliano’s collection for Dior. The colours and floral prints on exquisite chiffons, the ankles tied with satin, this island extravaganza put you immediately in the holiday mood. Very cute.


BALENCIAGA: This was probably the most futuristic, unexpected and innovating collection of all. Nicolas Ghesquière defied the fashion codes and came up with new ones. His teddy boy-meets-punk masculinity was the reaction to a certain kind of sexiness. For him it was all about individuality. The talented fashion troublemaker used plasticized textures and couture techniques that were modernized with laser machine precision cuts.
It might take a while to adapt to the look but once you get it, you will be all over it!


BALMAIN: Honestly, the time of Balmain might come to an end as there are always the same sharp-tailored rock allure pieces on the runway but I still love them so much.
This time, Christophe Decarnin shortened the shorts and minis as much as he could and looked for punk rebellion for inspiration. Studded and safety pinned biker jackets, bleached jeans and holey T-shirts were among his favourites. Let’s hope that the Balmainia is still strong enough to convince the fashionistas to pay so much for this DIY-look…

Stay tuned as I will go much more into detail during the next weeks about the trends and must-haves for S/S 2011.
If you are interested which collections were my Top 20 for F/W 2010, please click here.

To a very promising and cheerful looking summer!

LoL, Sandra

Designer Moves

Designer Moves

There was a lot of movement in the fashion world during the last days, some very interesting announcements were made. The probably most unexpected one is Jean-Paul Gaultier`s departure from Hermès seven years after his jump-start of the house`s ready-to-wear line in 2003. If the reason was the  seven-year itch or the death of former president and chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas a few weeks ago, we will never find out. Fact is that Christophe Lemaire, the designer behind the resurgence of Lacoste, is headed to Hermès and will present his first collection for F/W 2011 next spring.
Gaultier is reportedly leaving to focus on his own collection of which 45%  is still owned by Hermès. Like a real divorce… somebody is always keeping a stake.

The second news was not so surprising for me. After different speculations over the future of the Alexander McQueen brand, the creative director has officially been named. Sarah Burton, who had worked alongside McQueen for sixteen years and oversaw the completion of the F/W 2010 collection after the designer`s death in February will definitely keep his spiritual heritage.
The first McQueen underwear collection for men will launch in June. Might be a nice gift for your boyfriend or hubby.

Finally we have two more designers who landed themselves a job. First, former wunderkind Olivier Theyskens, who worked for Rochas and Nina Ricci, will design a capsule collection for Theory that will be released next spring.
And last but not least, Alessandro Dell`Acqua is making a return to fashion with a new collection dubbed N°21( his lucky number), after having lost trademark rights to his namesake line last year. Moreover he will take reigns at Brioni and design their womenswear.

Somebody else seems also ready for a fresh start: Giles Deacon has been confirmed as Emanuel Ungaro`s new creative director. After tumultous times and the Lindsay Lohan episode, the French fashion house will try to skyrocket right up to the point where Balmain and Balenciaga already are. One thing is certain, Ungaro has a fancy name and a lot of potential. Let`s see if Deacon along with the help of his stylist friend Katie Grand can come up with some zesty ideas.

LoL, Sandra