La Mer World Oceans Day

June 8th marks World Oceans Day which is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s overall theme is «Our Oceans, Our Future», with the focus on encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier sea life.

Shades of blue: GG Marmont matelassé mini bag by Gucci and the limited edition Crème de la Mer Blue Heart.

iconTo commemorate World Oceans Day, La Mer has created as in previous years a special collector’s edition of its much coveted miracle cream «Crème de la Mer Blue Heart» which will be available from now for CHF 490.00 (100ml). The ultra-luxury skincare brand has long been a committed guardian in assisting with the protection of sea habitats. Inspired by its healing power and the natural regenerating properties of plants, the Crème de La Mer creator and aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber looked to the sea to transform the look of his skin.

THE MISSION

The La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund launches with a focus on protecting ocean habitats by expanding Marine Protected Areas and empowering ongoing ocean conservation projects around the globe.

This year, La Mer is taking its mission a step further through a New York City-based art walk and auction in collaboration with ocean conservation organization Project 0 and the storied auction house Sotheby’s.

Here is a glimpse of the extraordinary sea-inspired sculptures on display in New York City through the end of June.

THE LA MER
WAVE WALK

Partnering with La Mer, Project 0 brought together some of the world’s most influential artists, designers and culture-makers to create their own wave-inspired, charitable works of art.

On display in New York City during the months around World Oceans Day, the artworks will be auctioned off with all net proceeds going to ocean protection efforts. The online auction will be live until June 23rd, 2017. Sotheby’s will auction off select wave sculptures in an exclusive, live charity event on June 21st in NYC.

YOU CAN SHOP LA MER ONLINE HERE.icon

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of La Mer and © Sandra Bauknecht
#LaMerBlueHeart – #LaMerWaveWalk

Louis XIII Fetches Record Price

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Last April, I wrote a post about the amazing project that LOUIS XIII did in collaboration with HERMÈS, SAINT-LOUIS, and PUIFORCAT.

L'ODYSSÉE D'UN ROI: An Ode to AdventureFour French luxury houses joined forces to create something very special.

Personally speaking, I still find it very impressive that each decanter of LOUIS XIII takes four generations of cellar masters over 100 years to craft. It is a unique blend of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie, the youngest of which is at least 40 years old.

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A veritable journey through time, it has been present at every milestone in the history of luxury travel. In tribute to this odyssey, the four French luxury houses joined forces to create three unique masterpieces. To crown their rarity, the LOUIS XIII cognac they house is a tailor-made coupe enriched with a selection of one of the oldest Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie, set aside over the decades by the Cellar Masters.

louis-xiii-suite-3Touring the world.

Inspired by the iconic LOUIS XIII journeys, these objets-d’art have toured the globe, exhibiting their history and savoir-faire at Hermès boutiques, prestige museums and select venues in cultural capitals: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Paris and London… For one year, LOUIS XIII shared its ode to adventure with the world.

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To close this exciting tour, each decanter has been auctioned by Sotheby’s. In New York, the Americas edition topped the record for sale of a LOUIS XIII decanter; in Hong Kong in October, the Asia decanter surpassed that total; and at the final sale in London on November 16, the Europe decanter fetched US$ 235,000, bringing the full total to US$ 558,000.

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LOUIS XIII and The Film Foundation are both committed to preserving a cultural legacy, honoring the past while ensuring that films survive into the future. The work of the foundation has helped to restore over 700 films, from the 1880s onward, encompassing well over 100 years of this extraordinary art form. We are grateful for our partnership with LOUIS XIII, and its generous and continuous support for the foundation’s mission,” said Martin Scorsese.

The proceeds will benefit The Film Foundation, created by Martin Scorsese in 1990 to restore and preserve cinematic heritage. A great project with a lot of success – bravo!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of LOUIS XIII

Louis XIII – An Ode to Adventure

LSBerke_PRWhat happens if four French luxury houses join forces? They surely design something very special that exudes rare craftsmanship and unbroken tradition. Offering a bespoke tribute to one of the world’s most storied Grande Champagne cognac’s mythical journeys through the ages, LOUIS XIII has collaborated with HERMÈS, SAINT-LOUIS, and PUIFORCAT.

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Each of them contributing their own expertise and centuries-old savoir-faire, they have created together a series of three one-of-a-kind masterpieces, L’ODYSSÉE D’UN ROI (JOURNEY OF A KING), that is paying ode to the travel heritage of the famous cognac house.

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THE ULTIMATE JOURNEY
LOUIS XIII has been present at every milestone in the history of luxury travel — from the legendary bar-car of the Orient-Express to the first-class lounge of the S.S. Normandie ocean liner to the sleek cabin of the supersonic Concorde jet. To pay tribute to this heritage of adventure and discovery, L’ODYSSÉE D’UN ROI is inspired by the first shipments of LOUIS XIII in the late 1870s and the iconic journeys that followed to the farthest corners of the globe.

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THE AUCTION
The three trunks will be offered in a special 1-lot sale in different auctions at Sotheby’s, one in NYC on September 10, 2016, one in Hong Kong on October 1, 2016 and one in London on November 16, 2016. Each masterpiece is unique, its design and contents are inspired by the continent for which it is destined. 

All proceeds will be benefiting «The Film Foundation», a non-profit organization founded by Martin Scorsese and other leading filmmakers in 1990 to preserve and restore classic films, ensuring their survival for future generations. In this same spirit of preservation, the house has pledged to replant 115,000 oak trees in France in partnership with ONF (French National Forest Office).

N09549_500_6Ludovic du Plessis and Martin Scorsese

“LOUIS XIII – L’ODYSSÉE D’UN ROI is truly the result of a work of art and genius, a veritable tribute to craftsmanship and time. Much like the time, finesse and care it takes to create LOUIS XIII, so it is with the process of preserving classic cinema. We therefore decided that the proceeds of LOUIS XIII – L’ODYSSÉE D’UN ROI will be donated to THE FILM FOUNDATION, a group dedicated to film preservation and the exhibition of restored and classic cinema, a cultural legacy that one generation leaves to another.”
Ludovic du Plessis, LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director

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Let’s have a closer look at those masterpieces that were created by more than 5o individual artisans that devoted over 1000 hours per piece to produce the three bespoke creations.

THE TAILOR-MADE OFFERING INCLUDES:

A beautiful book that chronicles LOUIS XIII’s mythical journeys that begin on a 16th-century battlefield in rural France but will touch every corner of the globe.

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HERMÈS

A bespoke trunk hand-stitched by HERMÈS using the finest leathers and evoking a bygone era of luxury travel.

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This bespoke trunk was hand-stitched by HERMÈS using the finest leathers. Modelled on a classic steamer trunk — the kind that would have been taken on an ocean liner or a long journey by train — it evokes a bygone era of luxury travel. In fact, the handles are exact replicas of those used for HERMÈS from the 1920s and30s. Of course the design of the interior was created for a very precise function, which is to luxuriously house a unique magnum decanter of LOUIS XIII. This unique object is a suitably grand conveyance for this unforgettable journey across space and time.

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PUIFORCAT

A white gold pipette forged by the Art Deco silversmith PUIFORCAT for the ritual of service.

Puiforcat

This white gold pipette was forged by hand by the Art Deco silversmith PUIFORCAT for the ritual of service. The method is centuries-old: the craftsman spins a plate of silver on a mandril, which is a tapered piece of wood that turns horizontally. He uses a simple tool called a “spoon” to give shape to the object. Several passes are often needed for a piece to take on the desired contours. These steps are punctuated by “annealing,” a controlled heating process used to soften the metal. Etching is another whole step: the piece is wedged on a leather pillow full of sand. With thin notches made on the surface of the metal, the craftsman can draw a coat of arms or some other decorative pattern with exquisite precision, honed through decades of practice.

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SAINT-LOUIS

A sublime crystal decanter and four elegant serving glasses — mouth-blown, cut and wheel- engraved by hand at the royal cristallerie SAINT-LOUIS. Each decanter is etched with a 19th-century map of the continent where it is bound.

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Three sublime crystal decanters and 12 elegant matching serving glasses were blown, cut and engraved entirely by hand at the royal cristallerie SAINT-LOUIS. The ancient, painstaking technique of copper-wheel engraving has given these crystal works their regal profile. Each magnum-size decanter was additionally etched with a 19th-century map of the continent where it is bound. For this project, SAINT-LOUIS capitalized on the savoir-faire of more than 10 craftsmen — including four glassblowers, one engraver, and a specially trained artisan to apply the palladium trim to each crystal object. The crystal was heated to over 1,400°c degrees and then mouth-blown at around 1,200 °c. Each glass required 110 man-hours of work while the magnificent decanter itself took no less than 270 hours to accomplish.

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LOUIS XIII

A blend of LOUIS XIII Cognac enriched with a selection of the house’s oldest treasures from Grande Champagne, that each cellar master pass on to each other, from generation to generation. A very special spirit revealing flavours that are at once singular and complementary. A cognac to savour and admire.

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Of all of the legendary travels of Louis XIII, its most important journey is the one taken through time. That voyage begins in the rolling hills and chalky soil of Grande Champagne, the strictly demarcated and most prestigious cru of Cognac. Here the region’s delicate grapes — predominantly the Ugni Blanc variety — are harvested and turned into a low alcohol wine, which is then twice distilled in an onion-domed copper pot still, yielding an eau-de-vie of uncommon freshness and power. Only the tiniest sliver of this base spirit will be set aside to become, four generations later, a part of LOUIS XIII.

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That ageing process takes time, but also a tremendous amount of savoir-faire, an almost mimetic genius possessed by each generation of LOUIS XIII’s cellar masters. The chais, or cellars, in which they work are dark, incredibly quiet places, the barrels in which the cognac rests covered in thick blankets of spider webs. As the alcohol evaporates over time, the spirit deepens and darkens, releasing a sweet and rich smell that fills the moist air.

LouisXIII_Cellar_MasterThe keeper of the legend, Baptiste Loiseau, the current cellar master, joined the house in 2007.

“In one century I won’t be here, so I have to be sure, deep inside, that what I select really corresponds to the universe of LOUIS XIII. It’s a big responsibility, if in tasting this blend, I don’t have the sensation or emotion given by the previous cellar master, then something is missing.”
Baptiste Loiseau

With each passing year, the cellar master dips a pipette into the barrel and tastes something different. At 20 years, there is almonds, figs and fresh-baked brioche. At 40, candied plums. At 70, honeysuckle and saffron. All the while, he is blending different eaux-de-vie, searching for perfection through a process called marriage.
By 100 years, hundreds of eaux-de-vie have been married together, resulting in a complex, ineffable flavour. On the nose, it is elegant and floral: dried rose and jasmine — the fragrances of Grande Champagne. These are followed by denser notes like dates, dried fig and walnut. On the palate, the first drop of LOUIS XIII unleashes a ballet of flavours; the walnut and fig aromas soften with those of honey as headier notes — of wax, tobacco and undergrowth — roll in like a wave. The tasting is distinguished by a haunting, lasting finish. The century-long journey of LOUIS XIII has come to its triumphant end.

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L’ODYSSÉE D’UN ROI is a shining testament both to the heritage that created LOUIS XIII and the nature that continues to inspire it. The protection of cultural treasures — whether the art of filmmaking or the art of cognac — requires time, finesse and care. It is a beautiful project, bravo LOUIS XIII!

And if you interested, check LOUIS XIII’s other recent project in collaboration with John Malkovich: «100 Years: The Movie You will Never See» by clicking here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Louis XIII

Pink Diamond Sells for World Record

Pink Diamond Sothebys

Last night, Sotheby’s achieved the highest jewelry sale in history with a total of $199,512,930 (CHF 183,054,500) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The highlight of the auction was an enormous diamond known as “The Pink Star”, which sold for $83,187,381 (CHF 76,325,00), far surpassing its expected price of $60 million. It is the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at an auction.

Pink Star

Representing an anonymous buyer, the vivid and flawless 59.60-carat vivid pink diamond was bought by the famous New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, who has renamed it after the sale “The Pink Dream”. It received the highest color and clarity grades from GIA for pink diamonds. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5 carat rough diamond was painstakingly cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone. It was presented for the first time at auction last night.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Sotheby’s and The Associated Press

My Look: Day to Night

Day to Night

Yesterday, I had a pretty busy day with different events and the opening exhibition of the Gunter Sachs Collection at Sotheby’s in the evening. After many days of bad weather, the sun was shining for a change. So I chose this look that worked day to night perfectly:

Python-print silk dress iconby Chloé, double-breasted blazer by Balmain (a similar great piece is this military coat by Balmain which is available now), tri-colour Trapeze bag by Céline, Lady Excalibur watch by Roger Dubuis, belt and boots by Gucci.

LoL, Sandra

Chloé P1

Chloé P2

Chloé P3

Chloé P4

Chloé P8Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Gunter Sachs Collection at Sotheby’s

Gunter Sachas Coll.

Last night, I went to the exhibition opening of the Gunter Sachs Collection at Sotheby’s.

The art collection of famous German multimillionaire Gunter Sachs, who committed suicide at his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, at the age of 78, last year and who was once married to style icon Brigitte Bardot, will be sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London on May 22 & 23, 2012.

Gunter Sachs and Brigitte Bardot

The 300 items are ranging from Pop Art works to Art Deco furniture, including paintings by Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Mel Ramos, to name a few.

Sachs, one of the last great “playboys” and famed for his jet-set lifestyle, was friends with many famous artists.

Brigitte Bardot

Andy Warhol – Brigitte Bardot
Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 120 by 120cm
Executed in 1974
Estimate £ 3,000,000 – 4,000,000

I love this Bardot painting!

Visit sotheby’s.com/sachs for further information, highlights and videos. For enquiries regarding the London auction, please call + 44 (0) 20 7293 5390.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: AFP, Getty Images, Reuters