Margy’s Monte Carlo at Gstaad Palace

This week, I had the pleasure to experience a very special facial at the GSTAAD PALACE that brings royal Mediterranean flair to the Bernese Oberland. Exclusive in Switzerland, only at the PALACE SPA, you can find the luxury cosmetics line MARGY’S MONTE CARLO.

The famous Palace spa.

The facial treatment concept of the Swiss-by-choice Margie Lombard, which Princess Charlène of Monaco has already pampered herself with, is comprised of natural care products, that are developed in Vevey. For the brainchild behind the luxury beauty brand, it has been clear from the beginning: A high-quality, effective skincare product consists of pure, undiluted ingredients. This is why, she uses exclusively pure substances produced in the body to counteract ageing highly effectively, which she has been able to imitate using Swiss bio-technology.

As a young entrepreneur, Margie Lombard learnt that collagen and hyaluronic acid are two fundamental elements of our body. They have been proven to influence the moisture content of the skin. If this is intact, it has a beneficial effect for a youthful appearance – uneven and wrinkled places also automatically become softer and gentler. In addition, Vitamin A in the selection of MARGY’S provides elasticity, while Vitamin E as an antioxidant has an anti-inflammatory effect and supports the hydrolipid layer of the skin. All products are completely natural, contain no perfume at all and are formed on the basis of sandalwood oil and geranium oil.

«My products are not exotic, but instead classic and clearly results-oriented. Beautiful skin requires sound treatments based on clear biochemical laws, and not magic. I am convinced that I have found the “place-to-be” for my brand and my concept at the Gstaad Palace.», explains Margie Lombard happily.

The native Alsatian and Swiss-by-choice has dedicated herself entirely to skincare. At the age of 18 she already attended the well-known CARITA Institut in Paris and learned the craft of cosmetics from the experts. With this precious degree in her hand, she came to Gstaad, where she managed a cosmetics salon independently. Her talented hands and her beneficial facial treatments quickly became appreciated by guests from all over the world. Soon her career was already taking off.

Despite her love of the Saanenland, she moved on: She studied cosmetology and after long research founded her own line of spa products. Many famous people were now among Margie’s customers – including even Princess Charlène of Monaco. After stays in Dubai, Hong Kong and Monte Carlo, Margie Lombard then returned to the Bernese Oberland with her care formula. She has been a resident of Switzerland for more than 20 years, and lives with her husband and son in Zurich.

The complete product range of Margy’s Monte Carlo is available at the Palace Spa.

The Palace Spa provides three exclusive treatments with MARGY’S products. As well as this, guests can also buy selected products on the spot and thus continue the beauty regime at home.

Haute Couture Facial – 90 minutes / CHF 450.–
For true skin rejuvenation combined with sublime relaxation. A 90 minute facial employing unique Margy’s techniques to activate the natural ingredients and their benefits. Skin feels smoother, firmer and plumper, benefiting from intense moisturization.

The beautiful treatment room at the Palace Spa.

I tried this treatment and was fully convinced. My therapist Manuela worked with different massage techniques to let the ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin. It was absolutely relaxing and my skin felt moisturized and pampered afterwards.

Firming Lifting Facial – 60 minutes / CHF 210.–
This facial treatment – based on a highly-efficient algae mask – smooths the skin gently and tones the face. Highly moisturizing, skin feels firm and supple following this treatment.

Short Fresh-Up – 30 minutes / CHF 95.–
A quick freshness boost for the skin for a glowing start to the day or to be party-ready.

Bookable via e-Mail: or by phone: +41 33 748 50 00.

LoL, Sandra

The beautiful heated jacuzzi that is part of the Palace Spa.

Photos: Courtesy of Gstaad Palace, © Sandra Bauknecht

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015

I was still in Shanghai for Omega’s amazing event with George Clooney (post coming up soon) when in Monaco around 300 fashionable people moved their way up the steep, winding streets of the city to enter the transparent tent with custom-made Pierre Paulin seats in the Place du Palais to attend Nicolas Ghesquière‘s second show for Louis Vuitton: his Cruise 2015 presentation.

489703641CS00017_Louis_VuitCEO of Louis Vuitton Michael Burke, Delphine Arnault, fashion designer Nicolas Ghesquière, Princess Charlène of Monaco and Prince Albert II of Monaco

On the runway appeared beautifully embellished but still very wearable pieces, mismatched prints, embroidered lace with tiny seed beads, and a very well played game of colors that established Ghesquière’s very own key LV codes that he had started back in March during his F/W 2014 show.

The French powerhouse is always about accessories and those spiky silver belts, gladiator boots and the new, wide-opened bucket bag will surely find their fans all over the world.

I attached you my favorite looks herewith!

LoL, Sandra



















Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton, © Jürgen Teller and © Rindoff/Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton

Versace Store Opening in Soho


Another blockbuster fashion event took place this week in NYC. One evening after the Maison Martin Margiela with H&M launch party, Donatella Versace hosted a cocktail party to celebrate the opening of her new Versace boutique in Soho on 160, Mercer Street followed by a dinner at the Waldorf Towers.


A huge variety of celebrities chose to attend both events, with everyone from Gerard Butler and Kanye West to supermodel Linda Evangelista and close friend of the House Lady Gaga.


Carrying both menswear and womenswear ready-to-wear collections in addition to accessories, the store will also house special collaborations.

Kicking off the shop’s opening, Donatella Versace tapped Christopher Kane, who also creates the Versus line, to design a capsule collection of tees and other items with iconic Versace images pulled from the archives, which will be sold exclusively at the Soho store. With printed T-shirts being so à la mode, be sure that those tops will activate another fashion hype!

Below, find a complete list of celebrities who chose to wear Versace:


Donatella Versace entered the cocktail party at the boutique in a Fall 2012 black corset top with a Swarovski encrusted jewelled cross emblem on the front with a velvet pencil skirt (see photo below with Princess Charlene of Monaco).  She changed later for the dinner into another look from Fall 2012 (as you can see above with Lady Gaga) – she was perfect in a black Versace leather top with crescent-shaped neckline with Swarovski crystal details and Versace leather pants, completely embedded with Swarovski crystal details from the knee down.


Princess Charlene of Monaco wore a chic black Versace cocktail dress paired with thigh-high leather Versace runway boots with a gold capped-toe. She finished her look with a black Versace cashmere waistcoat with leather inserts.


Linda Evangelista wore a black velvet Versace coat from the Fall 2012 runway enriched by Swarovski crystal crosses.


Doutzen Kroes wore a Versace Fall 2012 black coat with flared skirt covered entirely in Swarovski crystals.


Bar Refaeli looked amazing in a fitted black leather cocktail dress with Swarovski crystals detailing with a matching leather jacket and black Versace booties.


Coco Rocha wore a black dress with metallic detailing from Versace Fall 2012 paired with black Versace Fall pointed toe pumps.


Alexa Chung here with Christopher Kane wore a look from the Versus Fall 2012 runway: a burgundy knit turtleneck top paired with a matching leather miniskirt.


Karolina Kurkova wore a black leather bomber jacket with intricate floral detailing with a pencil skirt with a matching pattern, paired with black Versace pumps and a black Versace clutch.


Leigh Lezark sporting a yellow cocktail dress with leather cutouts at the hem and on the side with a modern crescent shaped neckline. She completed her look with black Versace shoes.


Tali Lennox, daughter of Annie Lennox, wore a full look from Versus Fall 2012 – she looked fabulous in a fuchsia top, miniskirt, and huge fur coat. She completed her outfit with blue booties with fuchsia inserts.


Hunger Games star Alexander Ludwig chose a Fall 2012 look – he wore a blue floral printed suit with matching tie. He completed his look with Versace Fall boots with gold buckles and a black Versace belt with a medusa buckle.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versace

At the Akris S/S 2013 Show & After Party


“90 looks, exceptionally once, for the 90th anniversary in a Roberto Burle Marx inspired garden. The Brazilian landscape architect, plantsman and painter invented a new language for modern landscape design. He abandoned the tradition of the straight line and cultivated a passion for curved and sensual lines. His work is, in the detail and as a whole, always one and the same. Inimitable!”

AKRIS is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. A wonderful reason for Albert and Peter Kriemler to throw a party after the presentation of the S/S 2013 collection during Paris Fashion Week. 90 looks were shown on the runway of which many were noticeably transparent. Sexy without being vulgar – Albert Kriemler is one of the rare designers who can make this work in an elegant and sophisticated way. The collection was inspired by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and the prints as well as the setting of the show resembled a beautiful greenhouse. Tailoring is the soul of Akris and played a huge role as usual. The colour palette developed from black to basic shades such as white and beige to vibrant hues of green, yellow and fluo coral pink. The only look that was a little too extravagant for me was the shift dress with a gigantic organza leaf appliqué (see collage above). Personally speaking, I like Albert Kriemler’s modern jungle chic, a worthy jubilee collection!

Have a look at the collection below and see which celebrity attended the show:










“Style is all about the woman; it’s about her personality. You should notice the woman first, and what she is wearing follows.” – Albert Kriemler

ALBERT KRIEMLER-CHARLENE_VICTORIA STEEL-PETER KRIEMLERAlbert Kriemler, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Valerie Steele and Peter Kriemler

Princess Charlene of Monaco, who is a huge fan of  the Akris brand, attended the show and listened to the very emotional speech given by Peter Kriemler, Global President of Akris, in honour of the house’s 90th anniversary. Later, she joined the after party.

NORA-SANDRA_KIM_SARAAt the party: Nora Baldenweg, Kim Dang (NZZ) and Sara Allerstorfer (Bolero Magazine) with me.


« AKRIS » by Valerie Steele 11 x 14 in – 28 x 35 cm |192 pages | 150 illustrations | Hardcover
available in English and German $125 – €100 – £80

Limited Edition of 90 11 x 14 in – 28 x 35 cm |192 pages | 150 illustrations | Hardcover with Horsehair bag
Available in English and German $1922 – €1922
Fall 2012, Assouline

A great book that maps the rich heritage of Akris and its dynamic evolution in the recent years.

Akris is available in Zurich at Gassmann.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Akris and @ Sandra Bauknecht

Race in Grace

The Race Dress

At the Formula One Grand Prix race on Sunday, May 27, Princess Charlene appeared in a Caraibe crêpe marocain Grand Prix dress iconby her all-time favourite Akris. The amazing print shows little race cars. Call this dressing for the occassion!

I have to admit that I am always proud when my fashion prediction comes true. Last October, I wrote that this would be the perfect dress for the princess to wear to this prestigious event.
(For the previous post, please click here.)

If you want to be on the fast lane fashionwise, shop the look hereicon.

LoL, Sandra

69951872Photos: Courtesy of Akris and Getty Images

Akris S/S 2012: Ladies, Start Your Engines!

Start Your Engine!

Last Sunday, Albert Kriemler presented his Akris S/S 2012 runway show during Paris Fashion Week and surprised us with some amazing prints which have become his signature.
Ladies, start your engines!

Like Miuccia Prada, the designer got turned on by cars this season and seeked inspiration from John Frankenheimer’s 1966 film Grand Prix, set in Monaco.

Einladung Akris



Akris 59

Akris 59k

Akris old

Akris 377

One print is a shot of the Hotel de l’Hermitage at Monte Carlo on a racing day with people watching the event from the balcony:


Akris 303

This dress would be the perfect look for Princess Charlene next May at the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 race, don’t you think? The princess, who has been seen many times in Akris, sat front row at the show and I am pretty sure that she was kind of Albert Kriemler’s muse for this collection.

KPrincess Charlenen, Anna Wintour, Peter Kriemler Runway Akris SS2012Anna Wintour, Peter Kriemler and Princess Charlene front row at the Akris S/S 2012 show.

KPrincess Charlene, Albert Kriemler, Anna Wintour at Akris SS2012Haven’t seen Anna that happy in a long time…she must have really liked the collection.
Princess Charlene, Albert Kriemler and Anna Wintour.

S 2012-2

Sport is an important trend for next summer and Akris offers some clean and crisp choices. But my favourite part of this collection is definitely the motor sports section!

Enjoy the looks! For my Zurich based readers, Gassmann carries a large selection of Akris.

LoL, Sandra

Akris 135

Akris 164

S 2012 - 1

Akris 488Photos: Courtesy of Akris

Princess Charlene of Monaco in Armani Privé

Charlene Armani Privé

Yesterday, Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert of Monaco made it official with a religious ceremony at the main courtyard in the palace in front of 4000 invited guests.

The bride looked stunning in a breath-taking custom-made Armani Privé (the haute couture line of Giorgio Armani) silk duchesse off-the-shoulder ivory gown with subtle pearl and gold-tinted Swarovski crystal embellishments and an amazing train.



A long off-white silk tulle veil was placed on top of her chignon which had quite a very beautiful diamond encrusted floral accent.

Charlene1Photos: © Getty Images

For the evening reception and gala, Charlene wore another fantastic Armani Privé gown. The newlyweds looked much more relaxed than during the religious ceremony and had definitely the world’s largest wedding cake ever.

LoL, Sandra

Charlene reception