Bex Manners: Istanbul


Born and raised on Spain’s Balearic Islands, BEX MANNERS started her fashion career as a stylist’s assistant in New York. During that time, she taught herself to make jewelry because she couldn’t find certain pieces in the market. After her move back to London, she started her line BEX ROX in 2009. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, she is renowned for her luxurious custom jewelry and her  innovative designs. Bex draws inspiration from across the globe, and epitomises the essence of cultures, travel and nature. As a world traveller, she gave us her tips for one of the most fascinating cities on earth.

Your favourite city?
ISTANBUL – it touches on every sense.


Your favourite hotel?
GEORGES HOTEL GALATA – A boutique hotel in Galata, chic and cosy with a perfect rooftop for a sunset aperitif.
Müeyyedzade Mh., Serdar-ı Ekrem Cd. No:24
Phone: +90 212 244 2423


Your favourite restaurant?
DUBLE MEZE restaurant on the top of the Pera hotel, vibrant, mouthwatering food and the best views in the city.
Asmalı Mescit Mah. Meşrutiyet Cad. Palazzo Donizetti Hotel Üstü Kat:7 No:85, 34420 İstanbul Phone: +90 212 244 0188


Your favourite bar or nightclub?
MINI BAR 17, a tiny little bar with great DJ’s when you feel like a little dance.
Nişantaşı › Harbiye Mahallesi, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, No 17, Şişli, İstanbul


Your favourite sightseeing spot?
You can’t leave istanbul without going to see the HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM, it used to be a church then later a mosque, stunning and soulful.
Sultanahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 522 1750


Your favourite park?
The TOPKAPI PALACE GARDENS are breathtaking, full of every kind of flower you can possibly image, if only it was my back garden!
Sultanahmet, Fatih, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 512 04 80


Your favourite shop?
For a real local flavour the BAZAAR is a must but go with lots of energy and patience, there are some hidden gems to buy some stunning old jewellery and fabrics.
Beyazit, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 519 1248

Horn Large Fringe cuff

Your must-have accessory?
A touch of the turkish with my HORN LARGE FRINGE CUFFS, perfect for a little turkish dancing with the flick of your wrists and super chic.


The best soundtrack for this destination?
A remix by ACID PAULIJamie Wards “Almost there” and Selda mixing a little bit of the Ottoman to get you going.


The best book to read while being on vacation there?
THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL by Elif Shafak. She is one of Turkeys most popular writers, this book is magical, informative and heart-breaking as it brings together the turbulent past and the complex present!

Thank you, Bex, for sharing your insider scoop on Istanbul with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bex Rox and the different locations

Trend Alert F/W 2011: Spice it up!


Don’t hold back with colour and spice up your F/W 2011 season. Infuse the hues of autumn leaves straight into your wardrobe. Blast away your winter blues with spice colours such as mustard, curry, russet, pumpkin orange and gingerbread brown, sure to keep your spirits up in the bitter cold.

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I put together some of my favourite pieces for you and included some photos that I took at the spice market in Istanbul. If you like something, just click on the highlighted designer name for an immediate shopping experience!

Have fun!

LoL, Sandra


Spices 3

This mink shoulder wool tweed trench coat by Burberry Prorsum makes an amazing fashion statement during the cold season.



This felted wool coat by Space has a great price and is a classic piece that you will keep for many more seasons to come.


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What a stunner! Make a stunning entrance in this floor-sweeping gown by Roksanda Ilincic .


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Fendi has launched many It-bags during the last years, from the iconic “Spy bag” to the “Baguette clutch”. This fall, fashionistas crave for the Chamelon colour-block tote that will stay a must for next summer.


Spices 5

Pair this standalone piece by Fendi with a simple black dress for high impact, low effort style.


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Channeling fall’s penchant for all things texture, this shaggy statement coverup by Maurizio Pecoraro will lend every wardrobe a hit of directional cool straight from the runway.


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Keep warm in style with Paul Smith‘s striped wool knitted hat.


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Take a playful approach to this season’s ’60s-inspired style in Gianluca Capannolo‘s bright wool coat.


Carven Dress

Make a head-turning statement at cocktails in Carven‘s merlot wool-blend dress.



Christopher Bailey breaks from tradition with a trendy spin on the Burberry Prorsum Meniconic  trench coat.


YSL Muse Two

Yves Saint Laurent‘s “Muse Two” is a modern classic and a wonderful addition to every closet.


Spices 2

Simple design can make the boldest statement and Nicholas King‘s jewelry pieces are an effortlessly directional adornment.



Etro‘s metallic silk-blend lurex dress is the perfect piece for the imminent party season.


Spices 1

Proenza Schouler‘s iconic PS1 Keep All gets an on-trend makeover for fall in Navajo-inspired jacquard. My absolute must!


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Detailed with a signature horsebit and buckle strap, Ralph Lauren Collection‘s sleek boots will make a polished addition to your footwear collection.



Giuseppe Zanotti‘s killer heels spice up every outfit!


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Tap into a ladylike retro mood with this fur stole by Diverso Italiano that is your fast-track to statement vintage appeal.

Photos (spice market Istanbul): © Sandra Bauknecht

Myracle – A Little Istanbul in Zurich


img_contactMy last week in Istanbul was truly magical. I was impressed by the kindness and friendliness of the Turkish people and how wonderful and vibrant the city is. Shopping was a hell of a lot of fun. If you are based in Zurich and would like to experience some Istanbul fashion wonders, I recommend the newly opened shop Myracle – The Boutique (Freyastr. 21, 8004 Zürich).
Meryem Yalcinöz, who is Swiss with Turkish roots, carries yound Turkish designers as well as established brands like Machka and Ipekyol. Some of the shoes and jewelry pieces are even exclusively made for Myracle.

In case that I have whetted your appetite for a trip to Istanbul, Meryem also offers customized concierge services, from hotel recommendations to insider tips concerning dining and nightlife.
With her help, you can experience the city like a local.

LoL, Sandra

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boutique 2

Last Night in Istanbul


Bye-bye Turkey! I truly enjoyed my last night at the beautiful Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul. The hotel was outstanding in everything and I would absolutely recommend staying here. Here are some photos of the restored historical Sultan’s Palace which is part of the hotel and where the 11 VIP suites are located with a private entrance.

CiraganMy outfit: Blue Sweater and Dress by Alexander McQueen



Ciragan3Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Sultan suite one of the biggest in Europe with over 376 square meters is located on the second floor of the magnificent historical Palace overlooking the Bosphorus. It has hosted many royals and precious guests since its opening such as King of Spain – H. E. Juan Carlos II and the Queen; King of Jordan – H. E. Hussein and the Queen; the US former President Mr. Bill Clinton; Luciano Pavarotti and Liza Minelli, Oprah Winfrey and many more.

Staying in the Sultan Suite is a luxurious privilege with two master bedrooms and an astonishing marble bathroom with gold plated taps, guests enjoy 24 hour private butler service and absolute privacy. Rack rate: 30.000 Euro per night + VAT % 8

By the way, during my stay I spotted Zaha Hadid

LoL, Sandra

ciraganpk_sultan suite master bedroom 3Sultan Suite Master Bedroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite master bathroomSultan Suite Master Bathroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite 2nd bedroom 2Sultan Suite Second Bedroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite 2nd bedroom bathroom clawfoot bathtubSultan Suite Second Bathroom

ciraganpk_sultansuite living roomSultan Suite Living Room

ciraganpk_sultan suite from the mirrorPhotos: Courtesy of Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul

Istinye Park Mall


Yesterday, it was raining cats and dogs here in Istanbul. Unbelievable, where can I go for just one week of sunshine?!
To enlighten my weather depression, I went to Istinye Park, one of the most impressive shopping malls I have seen.

It felt a little like „Scotty had beamed me up to the USA…“ The mall showcases international brands like Zara, Gap, Massimo Dutti and many more. In addition to these stores, the shopping centre has fabulous restaurants and cafés such as Borsa restaurant and La Durée.
The outdoor section with a green central park truly resembles a Mini Rodeo Drive. It features high-end lines like for example Miu Miu, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and the local trendy department store Beymen.
With almost 300 shops in total, I was bound to find something…

LoL, Sandra






IMG_8064Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Haghia Sophia


During the last days, I did a lot of sightseeing in this phenomenal city. Today was my favourite: Istanbul’s most famous monument, the former cathedral and later mosque of Haghia Sophia (meaning „Divine Wisdom“) that was originally built in 537 A.D., in the rule of Emperor Justinian, and later converted to a mosque after the conquest of the city by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453.


View of the Haghia Sophia from the beautiful Four Seasons at Istanbul Sultanahmet terrasse.


The interior is truly awe-inspiring, particularly the main chamber, roofed by its fabulous dome, 30m (98ft) in diameter, just breathtaking.


Hagia 6

While sightseeing, I like to be comfortable but don’t want to look too sloppy. Today I went for my T-shirt dress with colourful applications and ballet flats by Lanvin and had an extra pair of  leggings plus my ikat print scarf by Louis Vuitton with me to respect the local dress codes if necessary. Backpack (very practical) by Prada.

LoL, Sandra


Hagai 1Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Grand Bazaar


Yesterday, I visited the Grand Bazaar (in Turkish, Kapali Carsi, meaning „Covered Market“) which is truly a whole new world. Made up of a maze of interconnecting vaulted passages, the Bazaar has its own banks, baths, mosques, cafés and restaurants, not to mention the thousands of shops, all glittery and fairy-lit in the absence of natural light. Since the rise of the mall, it is no longer the biggest shopping centre in the world, but it is definitely one of the oldest. You can browse through a sea of trinkets, jewelry, clothes, oriental decorations, fabrics, carpets and much more. I tried to capture some of my favourite impressions for you and hope that you will like them.

At the end of this post, you will see what I got to take a piece of Istanbul home with me. I am invited soon to a „1001 Nights“ themed party and this will be my costume…

LoL, Sandra


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Grand Bazaar1

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Harem 15

Harem 6Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

A Night at Ulus 29


Welcome to Ulus 29! The trendy restaurant with its bar and nightclub is an Istanbul classic. Located between the first and second Bosphorus bridges, overlooking the Anatolian side with one of the most beautiful Istanbul Strait views, it combines contemporary and traditional interiors.  The menu is a mix of both as well, from a wide sashimi selection to mini pita, Turkish pizza and yoghurt kebab.


My makeup: Eyeshadow Palette in Baby Nu and Mascara Hypnôse Doll Eyes by Lancôme, New Lip Gloss in Buff by Bobbi Brown and Wanted Blush in 01 Glowing Peach by Helena Rubinstein.
On my finger nails:
Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Berry Hot, on my toes: Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Purple Passion, both by Estée Lauder.

Ulus29 -2

My outfit: Strapless Dress (with cut-outs at the back) and Sandals by Gucci (Resort 2011), Foldover Falabella Bag by Stella McCartney and Daisy Necklace by Christian Dior.

LoL, Sandra



Ulus29-5Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Sandra’s Istanbul

Sandra's Istanbul

Merhaba! Yesterday, I flew to Istanbul, Turkey. A place I had been wanting to go for a very long time. After having arrived in my hotel in the late afternoon, I didn’t even change and went straight to the nearby harbourside  district of Ortaköy, a fascinating place full of restaurants, nightclubs, specialty antique, jewelry and ceramic shops.

On the weekends, there is a colourful street market with Turkish handcrafts and local food street vendors in an oriental setting beside the famous Ortaköy Mosque.
Enjoy my first impressions of last night. I am loving it here!

LoL, Sandra

Istanbul6Me at the Bosphorus

Zebra-print Top by Stella McCartney, Leggings by Blumarine, Long Cardigan by Gucci, Stingray Sunglasses by Louis Vuitton and Daisy Necklace by Christian Dior

Istanbul 14



A fun dinner outside at the House Café Ortaköy.


Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Brigde that is connecting Europe and Asia.




IMG_7436Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht