What to Wear to the Vienna Opera Ball

The legendary Vienna Opera Ball, that started in 1877 under Emperor Francis Joseph, is considered as the highlight of the social calendar in the Austrian capital and usually takes place on the last Thursday of the carnival season. The city of waltzes celebrates more than 450 balls each year but as far as glamour goes, the Vienna Opera Ball is up there with the BAFTAs and the Met Ball. For the event, the State Opera is transformed into the most festive, imposing and high-profile ballroom in the world where important politicians, entrepreneurs, royals, artists, and well-known celebrities from all over the world dance the night away.

 Each year, around 5.500 guests attend. Renowned designers are regularly involved in running the show: this year, Dolce & Gabbana designed the tiara for the around 300 debutantes, that will kick off the Opera ball. After they have finished, the master of ceremony announces: Alles Walzer! (All waltz!). When you hear this and Johann Strauss’ waltz «On The Beautiful Blue Danube», you know that you are allowed to enter the dance floor.

Nevertheless when it comes to the dress code, there is a huge difference. It is much stricter and more old-fashioned than compared to other galas.

The following dress code applies to the Vienna Opera
Ladies: Long Evening Gown
Gentlemen: Tailcoat

What sounds simple at first, is associated with some pitfalls, because if you do not follow the dress code, the access to the ball will be denied.

For the ladies:

long gown (at least ankle length)
no cocktail dress
wide skirt – no body-con dresses (very important)
cleavage: not too deep
no wristwatch – only a jewelry watch

For the men:

tailcoat (elegant evening suit with waist-short jacket and «swallowtail»)
no tuxedo, no simple suit
no tie
«Mascherl» bow tie (white)

I am so excited to attend this amazing event on the 8th of February this year and will practice my Vienna waltz dancing skills. Therefore I need a gown in which I will be able to move and which honors the dress code. Not so easy…

Here are my favorite choices, which one do you prefer?

Lace-insert pleated georgette gown by Elie Saab

iconGlen sleeved embroidered dress by Temperley London

Graphic floral-print organza-silk gown by Dolce & Gabbana
iconDraped front strapless fil-coupé and tulle gown by Delpozo

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vienna Opera Ball, APA, © Swarovski

Get Your 50% Off Code at Moda Operandi

My favourite time of the year is right around the corner! My dearest readers, today I have a special surprise for you! Warm up your wallets and click through to be transferred to the Friends & Family Sale for 50% off your purchase of beautiful F/W 2017 pieces with code FRIENDS50, only valid until November 19, 2017. And an extra goodie for my British followers, you will receive free UK delivery. If you are off to a warm destination for New Year’s Eve, you will love my selection below…

Happy Shopping! Enjoy my favorite pieces I couldn’t resist…

LoL, Sandra

Pipe Dream Belt Silk Dress by Temperley London

Belted A-Line Dress by Emilio Pucci
iconM’O Exclusive Mahi Tie Blouse by Johanna Ortiz

iconPrinted Cotton Dress by Peter Pilotto

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

Omega Celebrates a Family Affair in Paris

Why do all great things tend to happen at the same time? This what I am asking myself constantly, for example last week, the Zurich Film Festival has officially opened, Paris Fashion Week has started, and the tempting Oktoberfest in Munich celebrated its end. As you cannot attend everything, I had to decline an exclusive invitation to Paris with a heavy heart.

Last Friday, OMEGA has officially opened its «Her Time» exhibition in the French capital at the city’s historic Hôtel de Sully. Having already been showcased in Milan, Moscow, Shanghai and Sydney, this exhibition displays the house’s evolution of women’s timepieces and changing styles, from early Lèpine pendants and the iconic Ladymatic, through to «secret jewellery watches» and today’s latest creations.

Such a beautiful family, Kaia Gerber, Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford and Presley Gerber.

As an added highlight for guests, OMEGA also welcomed Cindy Crawford along with her beautiful children, Kaia and Presley, who have recently been announced as the brand’s newest ambassadors. Moreover, a family portrait taken by Peter Lindbergh on Malibu Beach was unveiled to celebrate the occasion. Having joined OMEGA in 1995, Cindy Crawford is one of brand’s closest friends and has been a renowned figure in the house’s advertising and events for over 20 years.

Raynald Aeschlimann at last Friday’s event in Paris with the supermodel family

OMEGA’s President and CEO, Raynald Aeschlimann said about the «new family members» of his brand:«Kaia and Presley represent the next generation of watch wearers. They are good looking, motivated, inspirational and full of energy. It’s incredible to have such a passionate family tradition within our brand and I’m so excited to begin working with these two young people.»

Personally speaking, I couldn’t agree more with Raynald. Kaia and Presley are stunning as their mom, who has been one of my favorite models since ever. I had the chance to meet the family on several occasions and they are all not only super good-looking, but also extremely kind and fun to talk to.

Framed by Kaia and Cindy last January at Nikki Beach in St. Barts.

Fashion soulmates

I liked Cindy’s look a lot. Surprisingly, she decided not to go for something new season but to wear a knee-length dress in iridescent sequined jersey by Givenchyicon from their Pre-fall 2014 collection that I sported for the Fashion Days Zurich three years ago.

The «Her Time» exhibition can be seen at the Hôtel de Sully until the 15th of October 2017 from 9am to 7pm each day.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of OMEGA and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Straw Hat Dress

This S/S 2017 season, French designer Jacquemus showed the so-called Santon wide-brimmed straw hat at his runway presentation that has become a must-have among fashionistas. This week, he unveiled a new summer dress, that is made entirely of eight straw hats sewn together.

Being unlined and made 100 percent of straw, it sounds like something very itchy and comfortable to wear, but I adore it. I just imagine that it will break the minute I sit down, but it is definitely a museum piece and I would love to own it. Available to shop exclusively at Ssense, the Jacquemus design retails for €2495.

Why throwing on one straw hat if you can have eight… .

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Jacquemus

S/S 2017: New Chic in Pink


Think pink, the S/S 2017 catwalks defiantly dictated fuchsia hues. The look? Nothing for sweet sugar princesses, pink has grown up and looks super cool on cape/dress hybrids, tight at the neck to elegant effect, as seen at Valentino or at Balenciaga where it was paired with purple spandex shoe-pants. I like those dresses together with Miu Miu‘s runway heels. Do you dare?
To shop click on the links below.


From left to right:
Split-side silk-georgette midi dress by Balenciaga
Cape-effect silk-cady midi dress by Valentino
iconMetallic leather-trimmed satin platform sandals by Miu Miu

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

Happy Swiss National Day and Swiss Dot


Today, is August 1st, Swiss National Day. It has been an official national holiday since 1994, although the day had been suggested for the celebration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy as early as 1889. This day was chosen because August 1st 1291 was the date on which three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.

I have been living in Switzerland now for over eleven years and I feel absolutely at home. I love the mountains, the lake of Zurich, the people, the food and of course the Swiss textiles which are famous around the world. Therefore I thought that I dedicate today to the «Swiss Dots».


«Dotted Swiss», also known as «Swiss Dot», is a sheer cotton fabric that is embellished with small dots. The dots can be applied in a number of different ways and colors. The design is said to have originated around 1750 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, which emerged as a textile center in the 15th century.

I love this fabric especially in white on long maxi dresses. In combination with red accessories, it  can take you everywhere from weekend brunch to evening events.


First collage:
1 Holzer lace-paneled fil coupé silk-voile maxi dressicon by Temperley London (30% off)
2 Belle Web Swiss-dot and lace silk top by Zimmermann
The Rockstud leather pouch by Valentino

Second collage:
4 The Garden Swiss-dot cotton maxi dressicon by The Great (50% off)
5 Belle Swiss-dot and lace silk midi dress by Zimmermann
6 Swiss dot tulle-paneled cable-knit sweatericon by REDValentino
Ren cutout suede sandals by Jimmy Choo


My absolute favorite of all:
Good Times lace-paneled Swiss-dot silk-georgette maxi dressicon by Zimmermann

To all my Swiss readers: Happy National Day!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, via ZSG

The Best Dirndls in the World


For more than 15 years, the name Lola Paltinger has been standing for an unmistakeable creative signature which combines Alpine tradition with pleasurable eccentricity. At the heart of her company is her bespoke dirndl atelier in Munich’s city centre. Lola is like my humble self a former ESMOD student. Later she trained with Vivienne Westwood and has been running her enterprise with her mother Brigitte since 1999. Her timelessly beautiful couture dirndls delight every woman’s heart in search of an outfit for the Munich Beer Festival, a wedding or another, very personal crowning event. All the models are produced and finished off in the ateliers in Germany.

1008_2015-3cb511ff63Designer Lola Paltinger on the streets of Munich in one of her designs.

Lola Paltinger Couture

Let your dream of a timelessly glamorous couture dirndl come true in Lola Paltinger’s atelier! Only materials of her own creation are used for the unique dirndls and Bavarian style ensembles: luxurious, sometimes hand-painted materials, combined with magnificent embroidery, buttons and charivaris. All the models are produced in the ateliers in Germany, on request even within 24 hours.

Here are some of my favorite couture models:

Couture 1015
Piqué dirndl in soft blue with printed Alpine motifs, decorative borders, floral bouquet, embroidered cotton blouse and glitter apron: € 2,800


Couture 1016
“MARIE” red-check dirndl with hand-embroidered, ornate rhinestone border, lace and ruffle trims, taffeta underskirt, lace blouse and hand-embroidered, bordered velvet apron: € 3,200

Couture 1019
Jacquard dirndl in denim blue with hand-embroidery at the front, decorative borders and taffeta underskirt, high-necked lace blouse and glitter apron: € 3,100


Couture 2020
Dirndl ensemble consisting of bodice and skirt “MARIE” bodice with hand-embroidered insets: € 1,550, Flared skirt with decorative border: € 1,200
Combined with: High-necked lace blouse: € 550, Patch apron with decorative borders: € 550


Couture 2021
Jacquard dirndl with lace borders, floral brooch and patch apron: € 3,000


Couture 2025
“MARIE” jacquard dirndl with hand-embroidered insets: € 3,100
Combined with: “PEGGY” blouse in pink, Patch apron

1017_2015-46516d1d4cLola Paltinger with one of her famous clients Kim Kardashian.

Happy Heidi

This limited-edition less expensive collection of prêt-à-porter dirndls, which appears annually right in time for the Munich Beer Festival, is bright and cheerful, and highly fashionable. The enchanting combinations with apron and charivari or embroidery are made from specially created materials and are rich in elaborate and lovingly placed details. They come in several attractive colours and are complemented by blouses which are available separately.


Happy Heidi 5137
HAPPY HEIDI printed linen dirndl with brooch, taffeta underskirt and taffeta apron: € 699
Combined with: Cotton blouse: € 139


Happy Heidi 5139
HAPPY HEIDI “UNGARN”  jacquard dirndl in bordeaux with brooch, taffeta underskirt and taffeta apron: € 699
Combined with: Cotton blouse: € 139


Happy Heidi 6145
HAPPY HEIDI cotton dirndl with embroidered inset and organza apron: € 699
Combined with: “SALZBURG” lace blouse: € 159

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Lola Paltinger

Mirror Play

Mirror Play

This summer, a dear friend of mine is getting married and she has wished for us bridesmaids to be dressed in pastel colors, every girl in a different shade, from rose to lavender, from light blue to soft yellow. My assigned hue is mint green and so I have been looking for the perfect gown. I came across those two beautiful dresses that might look pretty much the same but if you check their price tag, you might be extremely surprised…

SPLURGE: Pleated silk-chiffon gown by Elie Saab
STEAL: Cross front plissé-chiffon gown iconby Halston Heritage

LoL, Sandra

Celebrity Style: The Perfect Leather Dress


Isabel Marant‘s Dreamy studded stretch-leather mini dress for S/S 2013 is a must for every fashion lover. Obiviously the Parisian-based designer loves a bit of Americana and took inspiration from Elvis and his passion for rhinestones and leather.

It was already seen on Blake Lively who combined it with cage sandals by Christian Louboutin.

LoL, Sandra

Fashion Trend New Year’s Eve: Sparkle


Channel the look of New Year’s Eve glamour with the shimmer of allover sequins and invest in high style with those dresses that are eye-catching trophy pieces.

1 Annabelle sequined satin dress by Rachel Gilbert (50% off)
Paillette-embellished jersey mini dress by MICHEAL Michael Kors
Zenith chain and stud-embellished suede pumps by Brian Atwood (40% off)


4 Pegaso lapis necklace by Rosantica
5 Light alate allover sequined dressicon by Jenny Peckham
6 Karmel sequined mesh dressicon by Alice + Olivia
Navy blue sequined one shoulder bandage dressicon by Hervé Léger
Tonda box clutch iconby Diane von Furstenberg

If you like to see me wearing such a sequined dress for New Year’s Eve, please click here for a previous post.

LoL, Sandra