Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Last night, fashion’s most anticipated yearly event (yes, hotter than the Oscar’s), the MET GALA, offered a breathtaking red carpet that I will tell you all about today. It always takes place on the first Monday in May. But if you’re not an industry expert, you might be wondering why on earth there should be so much hype about it. First of all, Anna Wintour is hosting the night along some well-known co-hosts, which are all much-worshiped by the paparazzi: Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. But there is more… many stars, models and fashion designers attend the night in showstopping outfits worthy of unforgettable photos.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, right, designer Donatella Versace, left, and Vogue US Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour  in Rome last February.

It is a huge night for fashion fundraising as it is dedicated to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute – formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum’s gala since 1995. It also celebrates the opening of the newest exhibition of which its theme sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly. Personally speaking, I find this year’s motto extremely interesting, instead of being dedicated to the work of one designer, it is inspired by the dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art: «Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination».

In Anna’s recent «Letter of the Editor» in the May 2018 edition of US Vogue, she writes: «The exhibition itself has been years in the making, and it will be not only the largest Costume Institue show to date but the biggest show ever at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to not sound hyperbolic about it, but it is going to be an absolutely magnificent experience – spanning some 26 galleries and including work from the likes of Valentino, Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana along with more than 40 extraordinarily opulent liturgical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican.

For curator Andrew Bolton, it required endless hours of patience dealing with the Vatican, given the labyrinthine way that it operates.»

Central to the conversation will be the papal garb on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, even in the 1983 Met blockbuster, «The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art».

An enduring influence of religion on fashion: for F/W 2010, church elements played a huge role on the catwalks. Have a look at this previous post: The Nun’s Story.

The display of these extraordinary ecclesiastical pieces will highlight the enduring influence of religion and liturgical vestments on fashion. Among the 150 or so ensembles that will be on display are pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, and John Galliano, whose transgressive F/W 2000 Couture collection for Christian Dior opened with a mitred, incense-swinging pope-like figure who proceeded down the runway to a voice intoning: «Understand the concept of love.»

First look of Christian Dior Couture F/W 2000

Fashion is a way to express yourself and by placing clothes within the context of religion, you realize how much power the looks of Christianity have and that fashion has supported the way we feel the Catholic imagination.

Part of the exhibition
Left: Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, Byzantine, 500–550, with modern restoration, marble, and glass; right: Ensemble, Dolce & Gabbana, F/W 2013

Me in a Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013 look: A Byzantine Moment

«Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination» is on view May 10–October 8, 2018. A catalog with photographs by Katerina Jebb will accompany the exhibition.

Below you can enjoy some of my favorite looks of last night.

My personal winner: Blake Lively in Atelier Versace
She needed to arrive in a party bus to have enough space for her amazing gown!

Love this look as well: Jennifer Lopez in Balmain, Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch.

Rare moment: The host of the night, Anna Wintour, caught smiling in Chanel.

Angel of the night: Katy Perry in Versace.

Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier

Co-host perfection: Rihanna in custom Maison Margiela by John Galliano, Christian Louboutin shoes, Maria Tash jewelry, Cartier jewelry, and a custom Judith Leiber Couture clutch.


Always an eye-catcher: Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Fisher.

Heavenly: Anne Hathaway in a stunning red Valentino gown.

Icon: Lily Collins in Givenchy


Cara Delevingne in Dior Haute Couture

Simple and elegant, matching the theme:
Andreea Diaconu in Michael Kors Collection and Chopard jewelry

Beautiful print: Ariana Grande in Vera Wang.

Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto, both in Gucci

Curvy and beautiful: Kate Upton in Zac Posen

Rita Ora in Prada

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in custom Ralph Lauren Collection

So cute: Cardi B shows off her baby bump in Moschino next to designer Jeremy Scott.

Kate Bosworth recreated her bridal look in Oscar de la Renta and Tacori jewelry.

Beautiful in velvet: Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren.

Definitely not the most sexy look, but matching the theme well: Greta Gerwig in The Row.

Stella Maxwell in Moschino and David Yurman

Sexy interpretation: Taylor Hill in Diane von Furstenberg

Best dressed man of the night: Chadwick Boseman in Versace.

I personally didn’t like this look at all, not matching the theme (as a co-host you would expect better) and the cut is not pleasing her beautiful shape: Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Melanie Galea, (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane DickFund and Fletcher Fund, 1998; Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Dodge Fund, and Rogers Fund, 1999 (1998.69; 1999.99) / © Metropolitan Museum of Art; Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana / Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb, Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Scrunchies Are Back

History does repeat itself, and so do trends. Here’s another throwback to ’90s hair must-haves (after the revival of the barrettes) that is celebrated this S/S 2018 season: SCRUNCHIES.

Sarah Jessica Parker with a perm and a scrunchie in 1988.

It was no other than Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City who sentenced scrunchies in one episode to the purgatory of style faux pas with her portentous proclamation to her boyfriend Berger for mentioning a scrunchie in his novel, claiming that no New Yorker in her right mind would ever wear one. Love them, hate them, but you cannot ignore them, scrunchies were making a comeback even on the catwalk, and funkier than the ones we had been wearing decades ago.

Times change. Would it be controversial to say that now looking at those fabulous Balenciaga leather ones, I actually disagree with Carrie Bradshaw and totally think that they really are rather fabulous?!

YOU CAN SHOP THE BALENCIAGA SCRUNCHIES IN DIFFERENT COLOURS AT BROWNS FASHION AND NET-A-PORTER. FOR AROUND €150 EACH.

Styling tip: Because those leather scrunchies tend to keep sliding down your hair, I recommend giving it a good grip by applying SACHAJUAN’s Hair Powder to the part where the base of your ponytail will be. This will give your hair texture, fullness and help keep your scrunchie stay in place without adding any weight to your tresses.

LoL, Sandra
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Photos: Courtesy of Balenciaga and © Getty Images

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

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«I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!» Carrie Bradshaw

This is one of the many funny quotes that we know from Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. So it seemed quite obvious that the actress launched her own show label in February 2014 by with the help of her business partner George Malkemus III, who the CEO of Manolo Blahnik USA.

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The collection was built upon three main pillars: quality, using color as a neutral, and giving the single sole a new heartbeat. Each shoe in the collection is handcrafted in Italy by a third generation Tuscan shoemaker; a luxury shoe offered at a fair price point.

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An homage to her Sex and the City character: the Carrie satin pumps.

In time for party season, the exclusive capsule includes heels in rich jewel tones and timeless silhouettes. Sarah Jessica’s next step is the launch of a clothing line focusing on the LBD, the little black dress. We are curious what will be the next step of our favorite style icon to surprise us.
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TO SHOP SJP BY SARAH JESSICA PARKER ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: Courtesy of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker and via Harper’s Bazaar
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Met Gala 2015

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The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute in New York City and marks the grand opening of its annual fashion exhibit. Celebrating this year’s theme “China, Through The Looking Glass”, it seems to be one of the most challenging yet. See below who honored China’s heritage and its present culture on the red carpet best.

This year’s award to best dressed of the night goes to:

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Rihanna wearing Chinese designer Guo Pei

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The butt girls:

Jay Z and Beyoncé
Jay Z and Beyoncé in Givenchy

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West in Roberto Cavalli

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Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez, both in Atelier Versace.

Best Chinese inspirations:

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Zendaya Coleman in Fausto Puglisi

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Karolina Kurkova in Tommy Hilfiger

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I am always looking forward to seeing Sarah Jessica Parker‘s outfit because she has never let us down in pulling off the best looks. And let’s just say the headpiece combined with her H&M dress is divine.

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Georgia May Jagger in Gucci and Alessandro Michele

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Chloë Sevigny in J.W. Anderson

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Very sophisticated: Tom Ford and Rita Ora in his design.

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Alexa Chung in Erdem

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George Clooney and Amal Clooney in Maison Margiela

Not so inspired by the Chinese theme… but great to watch:

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Jeremy Scott kissing Kate Perry‘s hand who is wearing Moschino.

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Also Madonna wore Moschino.

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Stella McCartney framed by Cara Delevingne, Sofia Richie, and Zhu Zhu, all dressed in her designs.

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Alexander Wang kissed by Lady Gaga in Balenciaga

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Miley Cyrus and Zoë Kravitz dressed in Alexander Wang.

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Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection

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Robert Pattinson and FKA twigs in Christopher Kane (definitely not my favorite gown of the night).

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Supermodel Joan Smalls arrived at the Met Gala in a black tulle and purple silk one-sleeved Roberto Cavalli gown with cutouts and sheer paneling. Her date was the newly appointed designer of the Italian fashion house Peter Dundas. Isn’t this gown to die for?!

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Anna Wintour in Chanel

LoL, Sandra

Photos via: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com, Moschino, Vogue and Style.com

Oscar de la Renta Is Dead at 82

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Sad news not only for the fashion world! OSCAR DE LA RENTA, the famous fashion designer, died yesterday on October 20, 2014 at his home in Kent, Connecticut at the age of 82, surrounded by family and friends and “more than a few dogs,” according to a statement signed by two of his company’s executives, stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen. De la Renta gave up the title of chief executive of his company in 2004, handing over business duties to the two of them, but remained active on the design end, continuing to show his collections during New York Fashion Week.

His death comes one week after it was announced that former Nina Ricci designer Peter Copping had been appointed as creative director of the Oscar de la Renta label. De la Renta is survived by an adopted son, Moises, a designer at the company.

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The fashion designer after his show at New York Fashion Week on September 9 with Karlie Kloss (left) and Daria Strokous (right).

He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and said at that time, “The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”

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Most recently, Amal Alamuddin wore a de la Renta-designed wedding dress when she married George Clooney. Here, he is pictured with the bride in a photo shoot for Vogue.

Fern Mallis, Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 1991-2001, called him once “The Sultan of Suave.” De la Renta himself served as President of the CFDA from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988. Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo was born on July 22, 1932 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. The award-winning designer also worked for Lanvin and spearheaded the Pierre Balmain collection from 1993-2002, marking the first time an American designed for a French couture house. His eponymous fashion house is famous for its red carpet gowns, bridal and evening wear that has been loved by leading figures, from film stars to royalty, over decades until today.

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Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta at this year’s Met Gala in NYC.

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Stunningly beautiful: this gold bullion embroidered ball gown from the F/W 2013 runway.

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First lady Laura Bush wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball and Hillary Clinton wore a gold de la Renta in 1997.

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In 2006 Oscar de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a Leading Small Hotel of the World boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club.

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Oscar de la Renta was definitely one of the last great American couture fashion designers. If you want to own a piece of his last collection, I invite you to have a look HERE. I will absolutely get this two-tone silk-satin gown, as I love its cocoon-like cut.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Anne Leibovitz/Vogue, © Getty Images

Met Gala 2013 – Chaos to Couture

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Each year, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the Met Gala, the fashion event of the season and the party of the year, to celebrate the newest the exhibition. This spring, it will be about PUNK: Chaos to Couture, on view from May 9 through August 14, 2013, will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today. “Since its origins, punk has had an incendiary influence on fashion,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”

If you want to find out more about the exhibition, please click here.

Enjoy the best looks from the red carpet of the Costume Institute Benefit last Monday. On top, you can see Sarah Jessica Parker who took the night’s punk theme to heart, and went for this stunning Giles Deacon dress, combined with a Philip Treacy punk hat and plaid Christian Louboutin boots. Madonna understood the invitation well and showed up in Givenchy.

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Anne Hathaway had the most surprising look with her bleached blond hair which I loved. Of course, the vintage Valentino gown was the perfect match.

And here is an amazing opportunity, you can PRE-ORDER those extremely sexy couture red carpet looks (all F/W 2013) below directly now for seven days. How cool is that?! Just click on the highlighted text to be transferred directly.

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Emma Watson in a matte black crepe crossover tie strap gown with high sliticon by Prabal Gurung.

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Kate Bosworth in a short body-conscious dress with 3/4-length sleeves and diamond embroideries on pink lurex jacquard by Balmain Atelier.

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Anja Rubik in a lambskin and macrame dressicon by Anthony Vaccarello.

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Gisèle Bündchen in a bonded crepe and macrame one sleeve halter dress byicon Anthony Vaccarello.

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Taylor Swift in a black silk crepe gown with black lace inserts, black chiffon sunburst pleated back and silver-gold embroidered crystal necklineicon by J.Mendel.

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Kate Mara in a short dress with woolen crepe base, heart-shaped neckline and architectural modules by Delpozo.

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Christina Ricci in a turquoise silk taffeta McAndrew tartan corset gownicon by Vivienne Westwood Couture.

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And don’t miss Moda Operandi‘s amazing punk pop-up store iconwhere you can find all those  must-have pieces. Mmh, Hedi Slimane was obviously not so wrong with his F/W 2103 collection

LoL, Sandra

Maison Martin Margiela with H&M Party

Margiela_WITH_HM_COVER1Yesterday night, the Maison Martin Margiela with H&M collection was celebrated in New York. Mena Suvari, Chace Crawford, Alan Cumming, Helena Christensen, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Selma Blair, Doutzen Kroes, Alexander Wang, and my humble self were some of the over 1 000 guests at the spectacular party on 5, Beekman Street.

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The derelict and raw nine-story historical building in the city’s financial distric, housed around a glass-roofed atrium, was the perfect setting for the celebration of Maison Martin Margiela with H&M, decorated in the label’s signature white-painted style. As you can see, people were slack-jawed looking at the gorgeous location.

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All celebrities wore already the new Maison Martin Margiela with H&M collection.
Enjoy my photos!

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Chace Crawford with me

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Me with the beautiful and overly sweet Julianne Moore who said: “It’s an amazing collaboration! Margiela is a beautiful brand – arty, iconoclastic and always edgy. And the quality is always amazing with H&M. Fashion is great because it’s an expression of who you are.”

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Sarah Jessica Parker stated: “It’s incredible, so exciting to celebrate one of my favourite designers. They are mysterious and compelling and I’ve been a great fan of Margiela for many years. H&M, well, look at the lines of men and women lined up! It’s a great opportunity for people to have access to great designers. It makes luxury available to everyone. It’s very democratic and I’m all for it.”

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Mena Suvari impressed with her lion tattoo.

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Gorgeous Selma Blair talked a little about her beautiful newborn baby boy Arthur with me. Mums united!

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Selma’s amazing shoes from the Maison Martin Margiela with H&M collection.

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Me with Alan Cumming who said: “I’m here to see the lovely Margiela collection. I love the way H&M is doing collaborations with other designers. It’s a great thing, to make clothes stylish and affordable. The collaborations are a great idea, they are really amazing!”

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Fashion designer Olivier Theyskens with me

Kanye West

Kayne West

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Elena Perminova with me

Helena Christensen

“I’m a huge fan of Margiela and I love H&M – it’s a great collaboration. I never get surprised by H&M’s choices, every designer they pick I’m interested in. I’m always standing in the queue with my mother in the early mornings. I’ve been a fan of Margiela since the start”, said Helena Christensen.

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Topmodel Doutzen Kroes

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The collection was shown in an art and dance performace by choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in squares of sand and further revealed in special art installations on various floors: artists Daniel Arsham, Frederique Chauveaux and Noemie Goudal, created sculptures, projections and photographs exclusively for the event. After that, DJ’s kept the party going into the early hours.

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On the 9th floor of the buliding, a special pop-store was located where guests could shop the Maison Martin Margiela with H&M collection before its official launch on November 15th in around 230 H&M stores worldwide. Unfortunately, when I had finally arrived on the top floor, the best pieces were gone.

What an amazing night and a gorgeous collection – it was all about superlatives! Thank you, H&M, for having me! You guys rock!

LoL, Sandra

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CANDY_WALLET_MARGIELA_WITH_HMPhotos of the first collage: Courtesy of H&M – All other photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Closed Denim Lounge in L.A.

Denim Lounge

Five years ago, Sue Giers, PR Director of Closed, had a spontaneous idea while vacationing in L.A.: Why not introduce Closed to the US ?

Together with a friend, American socialite Stephanie Salay, she considered organizing a “denim bar” in Los Angeles. Giers and Salay soon implemented their idea, put up a clothesline in a suite of the infamous Chateau Marmont, hung-up the different Closed highlight styles, and invited L.A.’s fashion community. Stylists, stars and starlets dropped all to discover the new brand from Germany. Perhaps it was precisely the unusual and the lack of perfection that the Americans liked so much… Or maybe they were impressed by the now more than 30-year history of the brand. The first denim bar was not just a success in L.A., but it also produced a lasting effect. Photos of celebrities wearing Closed have been published continuously since then

Brad PittBrad Pitt wearing the Clifton Chinos.

SPL130519_004Sarah Jessica Parker at the set of Sex and the City in a custom-made pair of Pedal Pusher.

For the second time the simple indoor clothesline was swapped for a showroom at the famous Margaret Maldonado Agency in Melrose Place. There was even a blog with all the “real time” news for those who could not come personally.

This summer for the third time the temporary store will go back to its origins and reside at the famous Chateau Marmont for two days, August 14th and 15th.
The ‘must have’ F/W 2012 Closed pieces will be presented to the L.A. fashion society during those days. These styles were selected from well-known US retailers such as Ron Herman, American Rag, Traffic, Fred Segal Trend, Elyse Walker, and Stacey Todd.

Follow Closed on Twitter or Facebook during the Denim-lounge at Chateau Marmont. The host Sue Giers will keep you updated.

Here is my personal craving from the Closed F/W 2012 collection.
To shop, please click on the highlights product description below.

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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Closed

The Best Show Ever: Louis Vuitton

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Yesterday morning in Paris, I attended the Louis Vuitton F/W 2012 show which was the best I have ever seen (It even topped Chanel’s Paris – Bombay…).

When I arrived, I found myself inside a 1920’s inspired train station with a huge Louis Vuitton station clock hanging from the ceiling. And what looked like the runway in the middle, was actually something else…

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The show started on time as usual and a gigantic gate opened, there was steam. All of a sudden, I saw rails…

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…and an amazing old-fashioned train with a lot of steam rolled inside the hall. The crowd cheered and applauded. Believe me, it takes something to charm the fashionable audience.

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Inside the wagon, the models were seated. You could already see the gigantic hats. The ambiance reminded me immediately of the Titanic era. The ladies looked like belonging to the upper class de-boarding the “Vuitton Express”.

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THE BAGS

Each lady had a her own porter helping her to carry the oversized bags which were absolutely divine. Hat boxes, vanity cases, weekend bags and petites valises all make an appearance for everyday use. The traditional canvas Monogram finds itself trimmed in real crocodile or embroidered in sequins on a blanket wool, trimmed with box calf. The Speedy has an intense reworking this season, based on and featuring a round signature buckle.

Mink makes its way into Vuitton baggage, utilising vibrant colours to accompany its rich, sumptuous texture.

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THE LOOKS

Marc Jacobs played with proportions and this collection seems to be for the tall ones among you. It is all about elongation. The clothing is layered in rich, sumptuous fabrics; long skirts over cigarette pants, long coats over all, each look topped by a tall hat. There is a certain, simple geometry to this elongation, an extended A-line to engulf the entire body.

The normal sized porters seemed tiny in comparison to the tall models. Marc Jacobs did it on purpose to reinforce the point of his towering female silhouette; the men are merely added accessories.

The materials are rich, from kangaroo leather that is patch-worked and bejewelled with plastics to heavy metal yarns replicating Afghan blanket fabrics and brocades and jacquards.

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I loved Marc’s thinking about the company’s nineteenth-century origins and travel heritage. Can you believe that he started Louis Vuitton’s Prêt-à-porter collection fifteen years ago… time flies!

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IMG_1396Bryan Boy with me, isn’t his Jil Sander hat too cute?!

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SJPFamous guest: Sarah Jessica Parker

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Another reason for my enthusiasm for this amazing, outstanding Louis Vuitton F/W 2012 show might be that it reminded me so much of a collection inspired by the Titanic era that I created during my fashion design studies.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Interview with Nicholas Kirkwood

SJPYesterday, Zurich’s best shoe shop Lovers Lane hosted a trunk show to present the gorgeous creations of Nicholas Kirkwood. The British designer is the biggest name in shoes today, known for his craftsmanship and innovative designs, that are instantly recognisable. He also has a lot of celeb fans, among them Sarah Jessica Parker who wore his extravagant designs all the way through the Sex and the City 2 promotions.
The famed footman came extra to the Swiss city for the event last night and I was very lucky to do an extensive interview with him before he left for New York for a meeting with Anna Wintour this morning.

 

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Nicholas Kirkwood with me

You were born in Germany. Do you speak any German?

No, I was just born there because my Dad was living in Münster at that time.

Being here in Zurich today to present your amazing creations, do you have a vision of the typical Swiss woman?

I came to Switzerland quite a lot when I was younger for my ski holidays. We were always staying at the same hotel that was run by lady who was very firm, and very strict, you could never do something wrong.  When we were running around, she would say no-no.

So tonight I am looking forward to meeting another type of Swiss ladies and see how my customers here look like.

Which woman do you have in mind when creating your shoes in general?

One season is more feminine, the other more angular. It is quite open. Therefore I like to do events like tonight. Seeing the shops I sell to and  meeting the women’s wishes. Every market is different. You have to start somewhere.

You logded with the late Isabella Blow?  Has her eccentric style influenced your work?

She was very encouraging. Any new idea, any of her thoughts would make a good idea. And of course, knowing her was amazing, her inspiration and unique character.

Is there a celeb woman that you would love to dress in your shoes that does not wear them yet?

A very interesting question. Let me think. If I was walking in the streets and my cell phone would be ringing and somebody would be asking me for shoes, who would shock me the most? Mmh, Madonna, no… Now I know. Imelda Marcos! I just want her to have my shoes even if she probably can’t wear them anymore.

Lovers Lane sells other brands as well. Which one do you like the best?

I love very much what Charlotte Olympia does. A wonderful girl, very beautiful. I think we sometimes have the same customer, it is a very close but friendly competition.

I know that you are not a big fan of kitten heels. So how did you like this season’s shoe trend? Will we see one day a Kirkwood kitten heel?

I kind of did a kitten heel, but it was very strange looking. There is more a hype, than a reality to it. A lot of people want it to be a trend, are pushing it to be a trend.
The shoes might be not as high as they were in the last few seasons and I might be completely wrong but I just do not see this happen.

You have a signature look that is instantly recognisable . I truly admire that, especially with all the different collaborations you do, like for example Rodarte, Erdem, Peter Pilotto. Now, you are the new creative director for Pollini. You seem to be an unlikely fit for the traditional house. Do you have a carte blanche? How much freedom do you get in creating for other designers?

Pollini is a big challenge and I like it. I have a lot of work and I do not sleep much.

The best collaborations come out of working together. I’d hate it to be just told „do what you want“. The other party tries to bring the most into it. So the final product is the result of both rather than being too heavily weighted on one side or the other.

How did the pop-up e-commerce shop go? (The runway shoes he created for Peter Pilotto and Erdem were available for just a few days during London Fashion week.)
Would you do it again?

I think we will do it again. It was a great experiment.
In some ways it is the future. Probably sad to say but that is the way things are going to go and we like to keep ahead of the game. Burberry did it with clothes. I might be wrong, but with shoes we were the first.
Fashion is so quick. Something can seem old before it even hits the shops.

Will there be a Nicholas Kirkwood online shop soon? Do you dream of your own stores?

Yes, but we are not there yet.

In 2009, you created jelwery in collaboration with Swarovski? Will we see more Kirkwood in the future? For example handbags, menswear and more?

Men’s shoes, handbags, jewlery and sunglasses, yes! Soon…

Do you like things to be matchy-matchy? Like matching your bag to your shoes?

No, hate it. Similiar colour that is o.k..

Experimenting with heel shapes, negative spaces and shoe shapes might be pretty expensive. Do you have some base models you always start working with?

I try to always do something new. As soon as I have finished the collection, I start over again. I re-start and also keep something. Partly it is mostly somewhere close of what I have just done.  Fashion is too quick to always change.

I read once that you do not like fastenings and excess, do you still agree with that? Has your focus changed or developed during the last years?

No, it is not that I do not like it. There is sometimes a need to have a buckle and sometimes I try to think of other solutions than a buckle. But it is also nice to have those elements in there. When you are at a young stage, you start out on one tune.

Now, I am trying to expand the range, become more obedient to different types of customers, to become more of a shoe brand not just a niche for a small community.
Those details will become part of the collection more and more. There will always be my signature in it, but probably just not so in your face.

Is there a creation that you find horrible today?

Oh yes, especially a shoe that comes out crooked. I normally try to hide and burn it without anybody seeing the disaster.

Did you ever see a woman wearing your shoes and you did not like what you saw?

Sometimes, when I see somebody wearing my shoes completely beaten up. But on the other way, it is a sign that she very much loved them.

I hate it if they are wearing the wrong size and the toes are hanging out.

Have a you ever made a shoe in which it was impossible to stand or walk?

Yes, especially for photo shoots. You could stand in them for 10 seconds and that was it.

The Alice in Wonderland shoes that I made for Printemps in Paris, you could probably not walk in them because of the little hanging porcelaine cups.

Do you have a favourite of your designs?

In some ways I am never satiesfied with anything. Sometimes I am very happy with the way things come out. But once the shoe is made, I am over it. I have seen the process for so long, it gets kind of boring after a while.

It is like recording an album. You are listening to the same thing for such a long time, that by the time it is finished, you can’t stand it.

Your shoes melt contemporary art and fashion? Best example is the upcoming Keith Haring collection. Do you see yourself as an artist?

No, not at all. I am more of a product designer. I studied fine arts at St. Martins. I am a big fan of art. It is a completely other thing. You do not replace it so easily like a piece of fashion. It has more of a longevity to it. There are similiarities to it like the way  people get excited.

I feel a little like the art world looks kind of down on the fashion world, a little bit of a high brow.

Could you imagine to do a collaboration with H&M? Or to create a more budget-friendly second line?

Not yet. I have been approached by similiar kind of things. I always like to promote the quality manufacturing and made in Italy. That is what I sort of believe in. It is different with the ready-to-wear. Regarding footwear, you will really notice a cheap pair of shoes . I don’t want to say that I will never do it. (Laughs…) I will wait until I can make a hell out of money out of it for a one-time-thing. And make a big party after.

I mean, there are a lot of people out there, not everything has to be accessible to everybody.

I don’t say that I will never,  there is just no need at the moment unless I will be forced by a powerful editor who says you have to.

Like the one you are seeing tomorrow (Anna Wintour)?

Laughs again. No, not her.


Lovers LaneI hope that you have liked the interview. I had a blast talking to Nicholas as he is such a sweet guy. The party at Lovers Lane was really great. I took some photos for you to get an impression.

And gentlemen, sometimes it is worth going shoe-shopping with your wifes or girlfriends. There might be a little treat for you, too.

LoL, Sandra

 

Daniela Karagi and Melanie Guenthardt, the two ladies behind Lovers Lane with me

Daniela Karagi and Melanie Guenthardt, the two ladies behind Lovers Lane with me

 

Annina Frey

Annina Frey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos: Sandra Bauknecht

Photos: Sandra Bauknecht