Le Vestiaire des Parfums: Caftan

Inspired by the emblematic creations of Yves Saint Laurent, Le Vestiaire des Parfums is a collection of fragrances that each interprets a centrepiece of the couturier’s wardrobe.

Young Yves Saint Laurent wearing a caftan in Marrakech

With its its loose-fitted and floating cut, the caftan sums up the Eastern world. Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with this traditional piece of clothing during his Marrakech stays and reinterpreted it through his own signature and compelling modernity. By turning the fluid lines of the traditional caftan into a strikingly modern, iconic piece, it immediately became a welcome alternative to the classical evening dress.

The couturier’s oriental reveries have in turn inspired the scent CAFTAN, whose mysterious allure blends dark, velvety incense with lush, radiant benzoin. Mysterious and vibrant, CAFTAN is a tribute to far-flung journeys. A floating veil of incense embroidered with vanilla lightly drapes the skin in the same way that the fluidity of the caftan caresses the body. Inspired by the vibrancy of Moroccan culture, CAFTAN calls upon all the bursting and colorful fabrics of the East. The shimmering amber deploys deep sensual promises that mirror the exuberance and warmth of ochre and sandy shades.

CAFTAN is part of the Haute Parfumerie collection of Yves Saint Laurent. It is a woody leathery, spicy unisex fragrance, and definitely a great fall /winter scent. I have fallen immediately in love with it. It is seductive and warm, however not too gourmand, yet very flamboyant with its notes of amber, incense and vanilla. A great gift for a scent-loving friend or just to spoil yourself.

TO SHOP CAFTAN, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

Enjoy your holidays!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography / Sandra Bauknecht and © YSL Beauty
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored.

YSL – Le Vestiaire des Parfums

Launched in 2015, Le Vestiaire des Parfums is a tribute to Yves Saint Laurent’s style.
The collection translates into unique scents the Couturier’s singular flair for turning the most basic garments into sophisticated, androgynous, timeless silhouettes. That special twist defining the Saint Laurent attitude.

TASTE FOR TENSION
Inheriting the couturier’s spirit, Le Vestiaire des Parfums is a collection of bold signature fragrances, each inspired by one of the house’s iconic pieces, materials or addresses. Each expressing Yves Saint Laurent’s taste for tension, his effortless singularity, his instinctive and elegant sense of provocation.

TRANSCENDING CODES
The pieces of this Vestiaire complement each other. Blending classic notes with high-quality ingredients, they transcend the codes of gender to reveal an attitude. Le Vestiaire des Parfums is the story of Saint Laurent told in another language, just as universal as haute couture’s. And like haute couture, the collection is made to measure: the measure of each wearer’s imaginary world.

TUXEDO
ÉPICES – PATCHOULI

THE INSPIRATION
In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent invented his version of the Tuxedo by turning it into women’s eveningwear. Matching the authority of masculine tailoring with provocative femininity, he introduced a novel, androgynous attitude in couture.

THE OLFACTION
TUXEDO is as troubling as the iconic suit whose name it borrows. The lushness of Patchouli attracts and embraces, while the sensual intensity of Spices mesmerizes and arouses. Charismatic, TUXEDO captivates.

BLOUSE
ROSE – ANGÉLIQUE

THE INSPIRATION
In 1962, Yves Saint Laurent turned the humble cotton smock into a delicate silk blouse. Finding inspiration in a functional garment to invent a sophisticated weapon of seduction: the gesture sums up the couturier’s boldness and freedom.

THE OLFACTION
This taste for creative transgression is reflected by the scent of BLOUSE: a single, fragile Rose draws unexpected energy from vibrant green Angelica and cool Pink Pepper. In its duality, BLOUSE reveals its perfect modernity.

GRAIN DE POUDRE
ACCORD VIOLETTE – SAUGE

THE INSPIRATION
In the mid-60s, Yves Saint Laurent borrowed this strict, grainy fabric from the masculine wardrobe to design timelessly sophisticated couture dresses and suits.

THE OLFACTION
The scent of GRAIN DE POUDRE translates this bold alchemy by draping the familiar, powdery fragrance of Violet in the coolness of Sage. A subtle, elegantly modern interplay between the masculine and the feminine.

SAHARIENNE
NÉROLI – MUSCS BLANCS

THE INSPIRATION
By adapting the Safari jacket for women in 1968, Yves Saint Laurent combined freedom with elegance. In his hands, the symbol of exotic adventures became seductive and alluring.

THE OLFACTION
SAHARIENNE captures this perfect balance between animal magnetism and extreme sophistication, blending the addictive sensuality of a creamy white Musk with a fresh, vibrant Neroli. Troubling, SAHARIENNE reveals a fascinating, untameable nature.

TRENCH
AGRUMES – IRIS

THE INSPIRATION
With Yves Saint Laurent, the quintessentially virile trench-coat became a symbol of femininity. The couturier endowed it with a mysterious, intense charm that gave off a whiff of danger and of the forbidden.

THE OLFACTION
As chic as the piece that inspired it, TRENCH wraps a velvety, dark Iris in the purebred delicacy of Neroli. A play on light and shadow, the legend of TRENCH is still utterly contemporary.

CABAN
POIVRE ROSE – TONKA

THE INSPIRATION
The sailor coat was introduced in the Saint Laurent wardrobe in 1962, its pared-down lines resonating with the couturier’s innate sense of style.

THE OLFACTION
CABAN translates its commanding style into scent by matching the sharp radiance of Pink Pepper with the lush warmth of Tonka Bean. Sleek and empowering, CABAN claims simplicity as the ultimate form of elegance.

CAFTAN
ENCENS – BENJOIN

THE INSPIRATION
His time in Marrakesh and Tangier inspired Yves Saint Laurent, who turned the fluid lines of the traditional caftan into a strikingly modern, iconic piece.

THE OLFACTION
The couturier’s Oriental reveries have in turn inspired CAFTAN, whose mysterious allure blends dark, velvety Incense with lush, radiant Benzoin. Mysterious and vibrant, CAFTAN is a tribute to far-flung journeys.

JUMPSUIT
MAGNOLIA – BERGAMOTE

THE INSPIRATION
JUMPSUIT. In 1968, the functional overall of car racers, aviators, parachutists – hence its name, the «jump» suit – and astronauts ascended into the stratosphere of high luxury. Daring, dashing yet unexpectedly elegant, Yves Saint-Laurent’s first short evening jumpsuit in black silk jersey was acclaimed by the fashion press as a bold new fashion statement. The couturier had discovered the true beauty of a utilitarian garment, turning it into an archetype of fashion.

THE OLFACTION
Colourful and empowering. The scent of spring, when its giant, tulip-shaped flowers bloom on trees. Joyful, captivating, as bright as the morning light. The citrusy brightness of Bergamot picks up when magnified by the full radiance of Magnolia Flower, in an echo of the House’s vibrantly coloured jumpsuits.

CAPELINE
LYS – VANILLE

THE INSPIRATION
Throughout his career, Yves Saint Laurent would play on the capeline’s paradox: a nonchalant way of going incognito that is also the most spectacular of accessories. Worn since the Middle-Ages as a protection against the sun, the wide-brimmed hat sailed to catwalks. A centerpiece crowning a sleek silhouette.

THE OLFACTION
Sensual and nonchalant. The majestic Lily bloom could inspire the form of an extravagant capeline. Its name in French_LYS_ forms the anagram of Yves Saint Laurent’s initials_YSL. No wonder the heraldic Lily was the couturier’s emblem. It embodies a sensual grace with its pure, elegant white, and its sophisticated facets. Twisted with the warm, creamy, and suave Vanilla absolute, it reveals a sensual and nonchalant character.

Stay tuned as I will show you soon my new scent from the YSL – Le Vestiaire des Parfums. Do you have an idea for which I went?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © YSL Beauty
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored.

My Look: Classy and Fabulous

Classy and fabulous – this is how I feel in SAINT LAURENT. After this week’s IG Live Beauty Talk for Mother’s Day with Yves Saint Laurent Beauty (owned by L’Oréal, which holds exclusive licenses for the name), this post is an other homage to the French Maison. Shot at the Zaha Hadid exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska – I am wearing pieces from the brand’s beautiful Resort 2021 and S/S 2021 collections.

SAINT LAURENT, that is today owned by the Kering Group, is one of the most iconic brands of the 20th Century. Founded by legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in 1961, it quickly revolutionized the way fashion and society intertwine with the launch of its iconic «Rive Gauche» collection just five years later, becoming the first couture house to launch ready-to-wear. Today, Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello, who was appointed in April 2016 after Hedi Slimane left the company, continues to honor the label’s trailblazing spirit with his empowering, dynamic and boundary-pushing designs.

My look: Two-tone ribbed wool jacketicon, pussy-bow ruffled silk crepe de chine blouseicon, cotton-blend satin shortsicon, Jodie rose-embellished white leather platform sandalsicon, Cassandra medium YSL-plaque dark green leather cross-body bagicongold-tone, enamel and faux pearl clip earrings, all by Saint LaurentJUSTE UN CLOU bracelet in rose gold with diamonds by Cartier, and Carrera Automatic Chronograph by TAG Heuer.

LoL, Sandra

Photos:  © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.icon

Tribute to Alber Elbaz and AZ Factory

I am still so in shock. One of my favorite designers, especially because of his amazing character, Alber Elbaz, died Saturday in Paris from Covid-19. He was such a warm-hearted person, always thinking about his employees. Instantly recognisable for his broad smile and distinctive personal uniform of bow ties and thick-rimmed glasses, he was best known for his star turn leading couture house Lanvin. At their peak, sales were as high as €235 million. He definitely died too young, in June he would have turned 60.

Born in Morocco and educated in Israel, Elbaz climbed the ranks of the fashion industry from a small dressmaker’s shop in New York City to serve at the helm of Guy Laroche. Then appointed by Pierre Bergé, Elbaz next worked as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent from 1998 until he was fired after three seasons when Gucci bought the company and put Tom Ford in charge.

Designer Alber Elbaz walks down the runway at the S/S 2004 Lanvin show in Paris.

Elbaz began designing for Lanvin in 2001. He also held a minority stake in the company of nearly 18 percent. During his 14-year tenure, he was credited with the house’s renewed appeal thanks to Elbaz’s «classic with a twist» takes on silk cocktail dresses and other feminine designs, often playing with color or other unusual variations on hallmark elegance.

Alber’s sketches for Lanvin

His humorous sketches of everything from lollipops to his own face became a brand signature, also remember the amazing collaboration he did with Lancôme. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, was lauded by the fashion press. In 2005 Suzy Menkes wrote: «Elbaz is every woman’s darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names

In October 2015, Elbaz announced that he had been let go from Lanvin after disagreements with the company’s major shareholder, Shaw-Lan Wang. He then took some time off until he launched a new label together with Swiss luxury group Richemont, AZ Factory, in January.

A tribute to Alber today on the AZ Factory homepage.

The following text has been written months ago but sometimes time flies and I always postponed to post it. It feels so bizarre to show it to you now post mortem. However, it is a tribute to Alber, to his latest venture in fashion, that hopefully will also have a great input how the world consumes fashion. It is all about inclusivity and diversity. I invite you to get your last piece designed by Alber…

In a Zoom call with Alber in January…

So let me introduce you to AZ Factory, the eagerly awaited fashion concept from Alber Elbaz. Launched at Paris Haute Couture Week in January, it had not only marked the comeback of Elbaz but also Richemont’s first foray into launching a fashion label from scratch, a €25 million investment, that is focusing on online distribution.

Described as Elbaz’ «dream factory» and created with «women of our times» in mind, the label is an expansion of the playful, confident pieces that have become his calling card through the years. This is a marvellous fashion moment! Neither a revolution nor an evolution but a refreshing reset! AZ Factory might change the face of luxury fashion as long as we’ve known it and Alber Elbaz might have become the new «Hervé Leger». Over the next few months a six part capsule collection will be launching.

Alber wanted to design for «All Women».

And one of the most exciting elements surrounding this new brand is the diversity in its sizing, with an emphasis placed on the fact that this entire six capsule series is inclusive for «All Women placing importance on body positivity and inclusivity. Sizing ranges from XXS-4XL or FR34 – FR48.

MyBody ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and MyBody paneled stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody
The essence of the MyBody capsule is bodycon styles made from a technical weave fabric that sculpt the female form. The AnatoKnit technology provides hugging tension that shapes your natural curves. The boning at the back supports your posture and the ergonomic design features allow for movement and breathability. The idea behind this is functional fashion that has been made for «women on the move» and Alber wanted to encourage us to wear these with their sneakers. I think they’d look perfectly splendid with heels too.

Your Body color-block ribbed stretch-knit mini dressicon and Your Body striped stretch-knit leggingsicon

MyBody 2.0
The sporty edition of MY BODY. This additional story features colourblock designs paired with matching leggings. It’s the next level of athleisure.

Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill shirticon and Pijama Valentine printed silk-twill wide-leg pantsicon

Switchwear Pyjamas
Uplifting printed silk pyjamas are equally suited for sleep or for styling your look day or night. Made in collaboration with several artists and designers, which Alber found on Instagram due to the pandemic, these touching visuals reflect the emotions of our times and the wish to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness.

Switchwear recycled duchesse-satin maxi skirt
icon

Switchwear
From bed, Zoom, to yoga, to the supermarket, to couch, to date night – Switchwear takes you from cozy to couture (and back!) in under 60 seconds. Upgrade your supremely soft Switchwear Prime-layers with the iridescent, satin-like Switchwear Duchesse Add Ons.

Neoprene and mesh sneakers
icon

Pointy Sneakers
Hybrid footwear that combines the comfort and function of a sneaker with the elongating benefits of a pointy-toe shoes. Performance sneaker construction so you don’t have to trade off all-day comfort and stability.

In light of this, I was invited by Alber Elbaz and NET-A-PORTER to a live launch celebration for AZ Factory in the end of January. I also received a spectacle in a box to open during the event that included sweets, a puzzle, ….

Alber is such a sweet human being. He told us that he started his new venture by thinking: «How can I hug women? Who’s my customer? Is she an architect, who’s her mother, does she have kids?» He went on: «I wanted to create something for all of them. I never had one muse. I have never understood how to design for only one woman. It is the variety that counts. The world doesn’t exist of one song, one book or just one woman. Life is not black and white. I wanted to find something in the middle without being mediocre. I thought due to my own body shape that you have to hide who you are if you are a plus size. And the tiny women are sent to the children’s department. I wanted to change that. I also created the long zip opener so that women are not dependent on a man to open their dress. My sneakers are hybrid footwear, pointed like pumps to elongate the legs with all-day comfort. SwitchWear plays a key role for me. For example you wear leggings for travel and once you arrive, you just put a skirt over it. It’s modular dressing and also includes pyjamas. It is comfort, technology and a couture dream in one

Creativity? «The moment I feel and don’t be asked…» Az Lazy, Az Crazy

Thank you, Alber, for your creativity, your positivity and for making us dream… you will never be forgotten!

TO SHOP AZ FACTORY, CLICK HERE PLEASEicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © AZ Factory, Net-à-Porter, © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise.

My Look: Morocco Style

Morocco was a constant source of inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent and it shows no signs of stopping for his successor Anthony Vaccarello. His boldly sophisticated blending of Moroccan-inspired elements has resulted in exquisite style. I adore this bohemian silhouette, rich gold tones, and the turban as a finishing touch to incorporate a bit of the beautiful North African country into my wardrobe. As I cannot travel to Morocco, Morocco comes to me. Have a great week!

My look: Cotton-velvet vest, metallic silk and Lurex-blend blouseicon, metallic striped woven tapered pantsicon, Zoe chain-embellished satin pumpsicon, Marrakech cord and silver-tone necklaceicon, Kaia mini leather shoulder bagicon, silk-blend lamé turban, all by Saint Laurent, and gold-tone crystal earrings by Etro.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise!

Masterpiece London x Net-à-Porter

First of all, congrats to Net-à-Portericon, my favorite shopping destination turns 20 this month and it never stops to amaze me. Last Thursday, I had the privilege too attend a very exclusive zoom meeting hosted by Net-à-Porter for their top clients to explore Masterpiece London, the world’s leading cross-collecting fair, before the official launch date today.

With Alison Loehnis to the right and Charlotte Olympia in the middle at another amazing Net-à-Porter event in London.

Our lovely host, Alison Loehnis, president of Net-à-Porter, was joined by experts from the art world for a virtual discussion on «Voyages of Discovery: journey, legacy and connection in art & design.»

Philip Hewat-Jaboor gave us some great insight into Masterpiece London.

Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece and a distinguished collector himself of exceptional pieces from every category imaginable, including 18th-century and early-19th-century ceramics, marbles, furniture and antiquities, gave us a great introduction. What sets Masterpiece London apart from other art fairs is the juxtaposition of art and design from all periods and origins. It is the unmissable art fair at which visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture and jewellery – from antiquity to the present day.

Emma Ward during the meeting in front of a Picasso painting.

«Art is incredibly subjective.» – Emma Ward

With almost 400 years of collective art world experience, Dickinson specialises in privately and discreetly handling rare Old Masters through to Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary masterpieces. Emma Ward, Managing Director, who runs the company, explained us how to navigate through today’s complex and fast-moving art world.

Stunning necklace by Fabio Salini

«I couldn’t find the perfect color combination. Therefore I divided the gems in two rows, into warm and cold colors.» – Fabio Salini

Gemologist and jewelry designer Fabio Salini worked for Bvlgari and Cartier before launching his own brand, creates original jewelry and events around the world. In 2004 he opened his Atelier in Rome, an elegant shop and design studio that has become the focal point of his work, representing the quintessence of his style. His keen interest in contemporary art as a form of expression and a source of inspiration has led to brilliant collaborations, like that with Fernando and Humberto Campana, rooted in a tantalizing mélange of jewelry, design and art. He sees himself as a contemporary artist, very much related to his emotions. He is a pisces, very moody, feelings change every single day.

Image of Rockefeller’s salon designed by Jean-Michel Frank in 1939, showing the Léger mural and Giacometti andirons.

«I believe that a less severe principle can be found—the mixing of styles. The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations. The house that we build now can welcome ancient things of beauty.» – Jean-Michel Frank

Such a source of inspiration: Helena Rubinstein’s apartment.

«Re-editions can be problematic.» – Daniel Malarkey

Daniel Malarkey, art advisor, specialized in contemporary art and important design for collectors. I loved his advice and speech. He spoke about provenance and the designer’s work; how proportion, materials and form inspire contemporary design today: how then one commissions site-specific design for interiors and mixing 20th century with contemporary.

Van Cleef and Arpels Œillet handbag mirror. Unique piece, High Jewelry Collection, 2019
Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds. £300.000

If this preview has whet your appetite, you can go even further with this online. Navigate on your own, you can do this from every corner of the globe. However, without the conversation with the exhibitors, you might be stuck. If you find something you like, make a telephone call, talk to the dealer, get engaged and learn more about the respective piece. Masterpiece’s exhibitors span all eras and disciplines and include many of the world’s most distinguished art dealerships.

Shopping art and design is actually similar to shopping at Net-à-Porter, do your homework. Understand the fabrics and materials, buy books and learn about iconic pieces. Buy the best you can afford, instead of buying 25 pieces, invest in THE one. You should feel comfortable in spending money so that you would like to do it again.

Chairs, ca. 1930, by Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941), Galerie Marcilhac

If you commission a piece, find a gallery, an artist or designer. Talk about the feeling of the house, work on the discussion and have an eye on proportion.

Invest in something you like. It might become an iconic piece. I am a collector myself, my collection of high end fashion pieces is my biggest passion that I have followed since over 25 years now. I buy what I personally adore and this is in general the best advice! In the meantime, my collection includes many museum-quality objects.

Do you remember the auction sale of the art collection put together by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé that was held from February 21-25 2009? Yves Saint Laurent was a tastemaker of his own who also got inspired by art, as you can see perfectly in the creation of the famous «Mondrian dress». It was the first ever auction sale to be staged in the Nave of the Grand Palais. The event turned out to be memorable with even 34.000 visitors. Record-breaking items were: the Brancusi sculpture, Madame L.R. which fetched 28.1 million euros. The Matisse Cuckoos went for a spectacular 32 million, smashing the estimated figure of 12 to 18 million euros. Marcel Duchamp’s Belle haleine, eau de voilette fragrance bottle fetched 7.9 million euros.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in their apartment with the famous dragon armchair.

Last but not least, a legendary item in the collection, Eileen Gray’s «dragon» armchair, defied all expectations, the sale price of 21.90 M€ being ten times the pre-sale estimate. This chair was absolutely different from her usual style, but you see how things can turn out surprisingly well.

Join Masterpiece Online (22 – 28 June 2020) for live panel discussions with leading cultural institutions, watch interviews and learn from experts, expert-led virtual tours or arrange a tailor-made private view for you and your friends.

Have a great start into the week.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Courtesy of Rockefeller Foundation, Net-à-Porter and Masterpiece

Alber Elbaz Teams Up with Richemont

Great news for the fashion world: luxury conglomerate Richemont is teaming up with former Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz for a new venture at a time when luxury goods groups are vying to make star hires.

«I am very happy to partner with Richemont and to establish my ‘dream factory,’ which will focus on developing solutions for women of our times,» Elbaz said in a statement.

Me with Alber Elbaz in 2015

Elbaz was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1961 to a Moroccan Jewish family. He immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of ten and grew up in Holon. After his studies at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, he had jobs at Geoffrey Beene, Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent where he designed the Rive Gauche collection under Saint Laurent himself, and Krizia.

Lanvin F/W 2012 campaign

He then began designing for Lanvin, France’s oldest fashion house, in 2001 and transformed the Maison from a small label with only 15 wholesale accounts to a global fashion house known for feminine, comfortable and clever ready-to-wear that earned the approval of celebrities, critics and customers alike. Elbaz’s simple, feminine clothing, which has been compared to Lanvin’s 1920s outfits, has been lauded by the fashion press. Suzy Menkes wrote: «Elbaz is every woman’s darling. And that includes Nicole, Kate, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola and a slew of rising movie names.» In 2010, Elbaz launched for Lanvin a mass-market collection with H&M, and proved to be one of the retailer’s most popular annual runway collaboration series. In 2013, he created a much anticipated make-up collection for Lancôme.

Therefore the shock was huge when the announcement came that Elbaz had been let go from the fashion house due to major disagreements on strategy and targeted investment in 2015 with major shareholder Taiwanese businesswoman Shaw-Lan Wang. The house has since changed hands and failed to find its footing.

Shaw-Lan Wang and Alber Elbaz in happier times. Photo: BFA / The Cut

After Elbaz was abruptly fired from Lanvin, the industry has wondered when and how he might return to design full-time. Between then and now, he has turned his hand to designing accessories for LeSportsac, collaborated on a fragrance with luxury perfumer Frédéric Malle, and mentored at prestigious design schools. Recently, the star designer had his comeback For Elbaz, after having skipped several years of shows, watching the fashion industry shift from the sidelines. He designed a capsule collection of bags and shoes for luxury Italian brand Tod’s, called «Happy Moments.» Known for his charming and emotional personality, it couldn’t be a better match.

Alber Elbaz lives it up at Tod’s Happy Moments launch. Photo: Tod’s / Getty

«I like fashion, I like fashion people. But after Lanvin, I did not like fashion,» he told Elle Magazine in September 2019, «I needed to fall in love with fashion again.» To fall back in love with fashion took a lot of time. «Because you have to take a few years distance,» Elbaz continues earnestly.

A shoe from Tod’s Happy Moments collection created by Elbaz.

Now Elbaz has a partner for his next chapter. Today, Richemont  announced an agreement to form a joint venture with the designer, calling it AZfashion, which the Swiss luxury conglomerate described as «an innovative and dynamic start-up, meant to turn dreams into reality

As much as the fashion industry has anticipated Elbaz’s return, he and Richemont have their work cut out for them. The announcement about the new brand indicates a completely different approach in this new brand, which the designer told the New York Times will be project-based.

Feminine and dreamy designs: Lanvin F/W 2011 by Alber Elbaz

«Upon hearing Alber Elbaz describe his vision for fashion and the projects it inspires in him, I was again struck by his creativity and insight,» Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement. «His talent and inventiveness, with his sensitivity towards women and their wellbeing, will be of great value to our group and its maisons.»

We will all be watching how Elbaz’ vision will transform… I am sure he will let us dream again… something that is desperately needed in today’s fashion world. Fashion should be fun and Elbaz will teach us!

LoL, Sandra

Me in a Lanvin by Alber Elbaz dress, click here for the post.

 Photo: © David Biedert Photography
Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, or otherwise mentioned

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

My Look: Summer Kick-Off

Last week, I was invited by Veuve Cliquot to kick off the summer season with the launch of the new Veuve Clicquot Petit Rich! Those small 20cl bottles are currently available exclusively at Samigo Amusement in Zurich. For more information on the champagne, click here for a previous post.

Black lace is such a hot trend right now and will even be bigger for F/W 2019. Snap up a piece and make the right fashion statement.

My look: Pussy-bow lace blouseicon, and pleated lace midi skirt, both by Christopher Kanewool twill jacketred Janis pumps, and Monogram fringed shoulder bag, all by Saint Laurent, red suede belt iconby Yves Saint Laurentgold-tone Swarovski crystal broochicon by Gucci, and Mitza ring by Dior Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Event photos and photos of me at the event: © David Biedert Photography
Photos in garden: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Girl Power

This is my outfit I wore for my speech at the Creative Women Conference. Taking photos outside the newly opened Parklane Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Limasso was really hard as the wind was blowing in full force. I wanted to show you how beautiful this floral dress looks in the back as it has draping inside that lifts the fabric like a curtain.

My look: Cropped knitted cardigan by Alaïaicongathered floral-print cotton-poplin gown by Alexander McQueen, red suede belt iconby Yves Saint Laurent, platform leather pumps by Gucci, magazine-print leather pouch by Balenciaga, and white camelia sunglasses by Chanel.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknechticon