Talbot Runhof in Zurich

Munich-based designers Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof left careers in engineering and fashion consulting to launch their own label, which is defined by luxurious fabrics and elegant silhouettes.

After Munich, Dusseldorf and Berlin, TALBOT RUNHOF finally opened their first exclusive salon in Switzerland in partnership with Maison Gassmann, a local fashion institution since 1882, that has carried the brand since many years. To celebrate the occasion, an opening party took place that was a lot of fun!

With Johnny Talbot (left) and Adrian Runhof (right) at the opening party.

The interior design of the new store by Patrick Ferrier makes customer feel like they are at home.  It blends in perfectly with the beautiful location – the medieval «House to the Golden Sheep» in the old town of Zurich. Warm purple and gold tones create an elegant atmosphere alongside the original wooden floors and cool retro chandeliers. On the ground floor, you can find the whole collection, including beautiful evening wear with flattering gathered details and rich colors, while the basement serves as a generous VIP area for the ultimate and discreet shopping experience.

«We are part-time Swiss,» says Adrian Runhof, «so it was on top of our bucket list to finally open a boutique in Zurich. With Katja and Michael Hahnloser we have ideal partners and longtime friends to realize this dream.»

Adrian, you have been living in Switzerland now for almost a decade? Why did you move here and how do you like it?

I live predominately in Munich but happily spend a considerable amount of time in Switzerland. For approximately the last 10 years, we have a wonderful apartment overlooking Lake Zurich where we often go hiking and swimming, preferably with our border terrier, Cooper. Without a doubt, Switzerland has an unbeatable quality of life… quality of air… quality of nature… quality of EVERYTHING…

Zurich marks the opening of your 4th store and the first one in Switzerland. You opened it in partnership with Maison Gassmann that have been carrying your designs since many years. Can you tell me a little bit about the story behind?

Katja and Michael Hahnloser from Maison Gassmann have been been carrying TALBOT RUNHOF in the their boutique for many years now. What started as a business relationship has developed into a very close friendship. They are young, cool, creative and enthusiastic; always up for a challenge.

How would you describe the Swiss fashion/clothing style compared to other PoS for example? Is the buying different from your other stores?

Our swiss customers are definitely risk takers… always looking for that special piece. That statement piece. That piece that requires a keen eye for fashion.

Choosing my outfit for the opening night with Johnny & Adrian.

TALBOT RUNHOF is known for creating amazing bespoke gowns. Can the Swiss ladies meet you in person from time to time?  Do you offer the same service as in Munich for example?

Now that we have a boutique in Zurich, the frequency with which I have a bowl of pasta at BINDELLA, go swimming at the HÜTTENSEE or simply hang out in our boutique in SCHIPFE 4 has increased dramatically. For me it is that perfect balance of work and pleasure.

Our wonderful team in our boutique in Zurich offers exactly the same service as in our other three boutiques in Germany… what a lot of people do not know is that TALBOT RUNHOF is a 100% MADE IN GERMANY product. So if a dress is not available in your size or color, more often that not, we can make it within a reasonable amount of time.

In love with my TALBOT RUNHOF jumpsuit in silver.

How can I imagine the creative process between you two?

Over the last almost 30 years, Johnny and I have developed a very special way of working together. We never went to fashion school. We never learned how to be fashion designers. It’s a very unconventional yet intuitive ping pong game we play, batting around an idea until we feel it is right for the TALBOT RUNHOF customer.

Who would you love to see in your dresses? 

For us, our customers are the real celebrities.

Thank you, Adrian, for your time and insider on the Zurich store opening.

I have been a big fan of TALBOT RUNHOF since the beginning. Originally, the company, founded in 1992, was called «All About Eve». In 2000, it was renamed in TALBOT RUNHOF, to match the faces behind and due to trademark issues, as Wolfgang Joop had already launched a perfume of the same name on the market.

The designer duo catered to the huge demand for modern evening dresses in the ’90s and built up a core of loyal customers over the years. Their small store and atelier in Munich was located close to ESMOD, where I studied fashion design at that time and I always admired their work as a young student. So you can imagine, that it is a real honor that our paths have crossed over the years again and again… businesswise and privately.

Talbot Runhof Boutique Zurich
Schipfe 4, 8001 Zurich
Phone +41 44 533 88 04
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10 am to 6.30 pm
Saturday 10am to 5pm


LoL, Sandra

Part of the family, Cooper, the cutest dog ever!

Photos: © Talbot Runhof and © Sandra Bauknecht

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

Fashion Days Zurich 2012: Closing Night


I have been meaning to show this post to you since quite a while but time just flies. Nevertheless, everything you see here, is in stores now which is a very good thing. I am sure there are some looks that have been shown on the runway of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Days Zurich International Closing Night last November that you will surely adore. So let’s get started.


Arzu Kaprol is known for her architectural femininity. A Paris Fashion week must, the designer of Turkish origin was inspired by “bones” for her S/S 2013 collection that she has kept in a muted color palette. Very pretty!


Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos is the designer behind the one of my favorite labels presented at the FDZ: Dimitri. A graduate from renowned fashion school ESMOD like me, he had worked for Jil Sander, Vivienne Westwood and Hugo Boss before launching his own label in 2007. His S/S 2013 designs are vivid and colorful, feminine and seductive.


Berlin-based designer Dawid Tomaszewski founded his eponymous label in 2009. His designs are inspired mostly by art and architecture. For S/S 2013, he came up with an extremely eye-catching collection in luxurious fabrics, of which every piece has the potential to become a favorite.


The culmination of the International Closing Night was the S/S 2013 show of New York-based designer Charlotte Ronson, who is part of the famous Ronson family. Her twin sister Samantha is a famous DJ and her brother Mark, a music producer and the face of Fan di Fendi pour Homme.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Charlotte_RonsonCharlotte Ronson backstage with me

Backstage she told me that water had been her main source of inspiration for this lovely slightly romantic collection. She combined ocean’s blues and greens with light yellows reminiscent of the sun. Her all time favourite, floral prints were of course also part of Charlotte’s designs. Personally speaking, what I liked most, was the mix of feminine details with a sporty approach, which took her looks from sweet to cool. Well done!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Swiss Textiles Award 2010

Last night, the 11th Swiss Textiles Award was presented on the occasion of the first Fashion Days Zurich. The highly acclaimed fashion prize is worth € 100.000.- and talented designers like Jason Wu, Duro Olowu, Adam Kimmel, Juun.J, Damir Doma and Mary Katrantzou were fighting for it.
But there can be only one winner! And this year, it went to the only woman in the competition.
I was very happy to meet all of them and talk about their visions and designs.

Mary Kantratzou with me

Mary Kantratzou with me

The winner Greek-born and London-based Mary Katrantzou was my guess and also my favourite. So I was very happy for her to receive the trophy.


The 27-year-old is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.


She belongs to a new generation of designers, using digital prints to create extraordinary trompe d’oeil effects. To me, she is creating unique pieces that the fashion world has not seen before, a true innovation! This is her fourth collection. The first was about perfume bottles, the second about artisanal blown glass, the third was inspired by jewels and this time it is all about rooms. Her stunning S/S 2011 interior-inspired collection was already the talk of London Fashion Week


Mary, congratulations, you have absolutely deserved to win. How do you feel at the moment?

Ecstatic! I couldn’t believe it and cried backstage so I think that says it all.

What does the trophy mean to you?

The financial support is amazing at a stage when the business is growing and it’s so important to have that support. I can invest in my company now on a multilevel, taking it to a newer and international level and award the people who have believed in me. It’s a very prestigious prize, it’s a benchmark and a great honour. You just feel you have been acknowledged.

Does your Greek origin influence your designs?

Probably in the concept of the female figure, meaning to design very closely to the body.
Moreover, it is very difficult and time-consuming to place the prints correctly on the clothes in order to flatter the feminine silhouette.

Do you think that your designs are wearable?

Absolutely! I mean the commercial aspect is important, too. I want women to wear my designs instead of hanging them in a museum. You should feel comfortable.
I like to make objects wearable and desirable. It is just my signature look, I don’t want women to feel objectified.

Any hints concerning your next collection for F/W 2011?

It’s a progression of this one, it’s not as thematic and it’s slightly darker. The thing is with my collections,  if I say too much then it will give it away. Like with this collection if I had said ‘rooms’, I would have revealed too much.

How do you like Zurich?

It is my first time and I haven’t been able to properly enjoy it as I was so busy with this show. But yesterday we were very hungry and went to the lake where all these old buildings are located. It was really nice and I love Zurich.

What will you do next?

Going home to my boyfriend and I think drinks will be on the list. (Giggles.)

Where are you going to put your trophy?

Top front in my new studio that we are right in the middle of moving in.

That Mary had to beat off stiff competition from fellow designers can you see below.

Jason Wu with me

Jason Wu with me

Jason Wu was born in Taipeh and moved when he was a child to Vancouver. He studied to be a sculptor and went to Parsons School of Design. His first collection was launched in 2006.


His career kicked off when Michelle Obama supported the young talent by wearing a custom-designed one-shoulder, floor-length white chiffon gown, at the ball on the night of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Later, she appeared on the cover of the US-Vogue once again in a Wu design, a magenta silk dress.




Today, Wu works in New York. His eye for details and colours is his strong point.
For S/S 2011 he cut out small petals and created beautiful embellishments.

Jason was very sweet and revealed some interesting facts:

My mum always supported me. She bought me a sewing machine at the age of 10 and paid a fashion student to teach me.
My beloved symbol, the owl, was inspired by my last name Wu because if you say it many times in a row, it sounds like it.


Duro Olowu with me

Duro Olowu with me

Born in Lagos and based in London, Duro Olowu went on a quite different career path.  He studied law in England, worked as a lawyer in Nigeria before switching to his first love, fashion. Drawing on the inspirations he found by the unexpected mix of fabrics, textures and draping techniques of the clothing worn by the women of his native land.


He launched his own label in London in October, 2004 which became an instant hit with his use of luxurious fabrics and ecclectic, clashing prints.
Last year, he opened his own boutique in London.

Michelle Obama has supported Duro’s carrer as well, as she has been seen many times in his vibrant styles.


For his S/S 2011 collection, Duro flipped easily back and forth between retro silhouettes and modern bright pop-like references, incorporationg the saturated colours of tribes in Papua New Guinea and the ever present influence of his Nigerian and Jamaican heritage.

I spoke briefly to him and was overwhelmed by his charming positive attitude. His aura reflects the joie de vivre that shows in his collections.

Being proud of his roots, he is a leading example of how you can life your dream and that everything is possible.

Damir with me

Damir Doma with me

Damir Doma is a modern nomade. His collections are inspired by his own way of living.


He was born in Croatia and grew up in the southern part of Germany. Same like me, he studied fashion design at ESMOD (L’ Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode) in Munich and Berlin. He graduated in 2004 with magna cum laude for the best collection and worked after that in Antwerp for Raf Simons whom he sees as one of the most inspiring designers.

In 2006 he started his label with menswear, followed this year by his first collection for women. He is widely considered the most improtant German fashion designer of his generation.


Damir explained:

I don’t like the body to adapt to the clothes, it should be vice-versa. I love soft materials and flowing volume. I grew up in my mother’s atelier and was playing with fabric starting in my early childhood. That might be the reason why fabrics play such an important role for me.


Adam Kimmel with me

Adam Kimmel with me

Adam Kimmel stands for the American way of life, uniting the worker and the artist. As he states himself; it’s all about giving the industrial style profile by infusing relaxed elegance.


He studied architecture, completed then later an apprenticeship with an Italian samples manufacturer before launching his debut label in 2002.

The New Yorker designer received standing ovations for the presentation of his S/S 2011 collection last night. The usually more quiet Swiss audience cheered from the first moment when the sounds of Snoop Dogg echoed in the hall.

The Snoop looky-likeys paraded down the aisle in a perfect mixture of hip-hop style elements produced in the finest Italian cashmere. I am sure Snoop would love it.


Later at the after party at Moods, Adam told me more:

I saw the Wall Street Journal including something about Snoop Dogg and got immediately inspired to create this collection.

As we could not bring the models to Switzerland, we did a fun street casting in Zurich before to find the best bad boys.


The final show last night was the one of last year’s Swiss Textiles Award 2009 winner Alexander Wang.
Stay tuned as I did a fantastic detailed interview with him which will soon be published here.

LoL, Sandra