Weltwoche Style Edition 04-2011

Weltwoche Stil 04-2011

In the meantime, something for my Swiss and German based readers: The fourth 2011 Weltwoche Style Edition is available now featuring my winter must-haves including an interview with Melanie Günthardt, co-owner of Lovers Lane, and the cover story I wrote about Stella McCartney. You might be surprised how versatile the British designer really is.
Get your issue now.

LoL, Sandra

Get Your Rox On!

Bex Logo2BexRox

Bex Manners with me

Bex Manners with me

Yesterday, I was so happy to meet Bex Manners, the designer behind BEX ROX, the It-jewelry brand from London. She came to launch her beautiful collection with Lovers Lane who will exclusively carry the little treasures in Zurich.

If you are looking for a killer statement necklace, for deco inspired jewelry or for animal shaped rings, you will instantly fall in love with her creations. The entire range is bold and very unique, combining chain mail techniques with ancient Chinese knotting.

Since the launch of BEX ROX in 2006, the rise has been unbelievable. BEX ROX has not only done acclaimed collaborations with MADE Africa, and with Browns Focus, it has also been celebrated with the Coutts New Jewellers award 2009.

Please enjoy my interview with Bex Manners below. All the photos I took show the pieces that are available now at Lovers Lane.


Donkey Ring_1

Donkey Ring

You were raised in Menorca. What is your nationality? Your cultural background?

I am English but born and raised in Menorca- my mother is Austrian and my father is British but my soul is definitely Spanish!

How much has the lifestyle of the Balearic Island inspired your work?

I would say a great deal.  My collections are about a feeling, being a free spirit, youthful and colourful with a sexy undertone which for me sums up the Balearics…

Since when do you live in London? How do you like the city?

I’ve been living in London since 2007 –  I love it – it’s edgy, diverse and full of constant inspiration – people aren’t afraid to show off their style.

What is your favourite place on earth?

Right now my bed!!




Elephant Collar

How did you come with the idea of creating jewelry? What did you do before?

I was fashion stylist in NYC  and used to constantly make pieces for photo shoots and then would wear them afterwards- people in the streets kept stopping me to ask me where I’d got “that necklace” or “that bracelet” and I would literally sell them off my neck- et voila I started BEX ROX.


What is your most iconic piece? Your signature?

My Eivissa Cuff and the Natalie Ring are my most iconic pieces but then again I believe in my identity and make sure that every season screams BEX ROX.

Eivissa Cuff

Eivissa Cuff

Natalie Ring

Natalie Ring




Gold Tribe Pendant

I like your idea of a necklace that you can take apart with your magnetic clasp to get a bracelet and to be able to mix and match with other pieces so that the customer himself can become creative. Will this always be part of the collection?


What is your style advice? How would your perfect outfit with Bex Rox jewelry look like?

Walk out the door feeling all woman and believe in yourself, this way you’ll make anything work.

Do you only wear your own jewelry? If not, what else do you wear?

I also wear lots of vintage jewellery and pieces from other designers that are friends of mine.

Do you have a muse? Or an icon?

Most of my best friends are my muses!


Bex Manners in 3 words.

Individual, freckly and pretty temperamental ( but I suppose that comes with being a redhead! )

Where do you see yourself in the future? Will we see more BEX ROX, probably handbags or even clothes?

I have already started collaborating and creating but for now that would be telling.

Thank you, Bex!

And now ladies, run to Lovers Lane and get your Rox on!

LoL, Sandra


Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Interview with Charlotte Olympia Dellal

CharlotteOlympia Dellal

Charlotte Olympia Dellal – a Forties Fashionista

Meet Charlotte Olympia Dellal, the half-Brazilian, half-English designer behind the label Charlotte Olympia. Her designs are characterised by towering heels, bold colours, vivid animal prints and the glamour of the 1940s. The cordwainer graduate is looking like a classic noir femme fatale herself. With bright red lipstick and her hair laid in waves, she is an eye-catching image from that bygone era.


Born 1981 into a prominent family of London real-estate developers, Charlotte is the eldest of four children.  Her siblings are also often featured in the press.  Alice, her sister, is a style-setting model with a punk-rock image and Alex, her brother, owns an art gallery and dates Monégasque beauty Charlotte Casiraghi.

Charlotte Dellal has inherited the grace and beauty of her mother Andrea, a famous `70s Brazilian model. Last year, she not only got married to the father of her first son Ray, she also opened her first shop in London’s Mayfair.

The Dellals

Her designs were featured heavily on the catwalk at London Fashion Week and can be bought at well-known reatilers around the globe, like Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Selfridges in London among others.

In Zurich, her amazing creations are available at Lovers Lane. The newly opened corner at Salvatore Schito is a must for all shoe-lovers!


Charlotte, who was supposed to join the opening party, had to cancel because of her second pregnancy. Nevertheless, she gave me a lovely and long telephone interview. I truly enjoyed talking to her.


First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to talk to me and congrats on your pregnancy and the fabulous collection. I am truly in love with your creations. I read once that you were already in love with shoes when you were a kid and were playing with your mom’s shoes. Is that true?

I don’t think obesessively not more than any other girl liked playing with shoes, not obsessed. Playing dress up.

When has your passion for shoes started?  When have you realized that you have to make shoes, that you have such a talent for it?

I always loved shoes. I think most  girls love shoes. I decided to make them when I was at college doing my foundation course. Before Cordwainers , I went to London College of Fashion. I originally didn’t think I would be a shoe designer, I wanted to  do clothing. But during the course, I knew that I want to design shoes.

Will we see clothes one day?

I did some collaborations. I did dresses for S/S 2010 matching the shoes and gloves.  It depends on the collection. It works well for the head to toe look, quite pin-upy…
I sold them in my store, but now they are all gone.

Do you like it matchy-matchy?

It depends on the fabric and on the feel of the collection. It varies…

FlagshipStore Charlotte Olympia

Are you working in the London store sometimes? Can your fans see you there?

I love being in my store but obviously the majority of my time, I have to work in my studio. Especially in the beginning, I loved being in my store.

Where do you design mostly? In your studio or at home?

Like most  designers, you can have your best ideas at a random place but otherwise I like being in my studio. It has got my materials, all my things, components etc..

I read once that you design with a television usually showing an old movie in the background? True?

In college I stayed up late, all night sometimes and I kind of liked working in silent noise. When deadlines came up, the television  in the background was kind of inspiring, that silent noise was not so distracting and it tend to be movies I had watched anyway a thousand times before. Today, my studio doesn’t have a TV but I listen to music.


Charlotte Olympia Dellal photographed by Julia Kennedy

You are obviously very inspired by the decade of the fourties. Not only the designs of your shoes, you even wear your hair in that glamourous wavy style, you like red lips, gloves and berets. Where does that love for that era come from?

I like that era, it got that nostalgic feel to it. The accessories were so much more fun and had a certain humour to them.  They were more a part of the outfit and the look.

When you look back to previous decades, like the fourties, fifties, thirties, they’d wear a fantastic hat, a funny little bag like the poodle bag for example. They had stockings to match their shoes. It was so much accessories-oriented, more fun. I love hats, I love shoes, I collect them. That’s why I like it so much.

Will we see other decades referenced in the future?

Definitely the fourties, it partures off to the fifties sometimes. A little bit of kitsch. But obviously not too kitschy. There is a thin line between.

But you work the retro vibe in a very modern way. How?

I try to get just the essence of it. The soul of it is maybe nostalgic. I don’t want to imitate. Things change, I think my shoes are classic with a modern silhouette with a feminine touch that probably only a woman can do.

This time, your F/W 2011 collection is based on the character of Arlena Stuart Marshall from the Agatha Christie mystery novel „Evil Under the Sun“. You even created a movie to present the collection. It is called „To die for“ and it is really to die for, full of 1940s and 50s glamour.

I love Agatha Christie movies. The director Jam was fantastic.  I came up with the concept but she did it. It was a lot of fun, almost like a little film noir.

Who would be your favourite character of that time? Do you have a muse? Which one is your favourite movie ?

I love Rita Hayworth and her movie Gild. I died my hair red because of her. Last time that you saw me in London it was still red but now I cannot die it anymore because of my pregnancy.


Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht

Speaking of time managment. You already have a little son, you got married last year, opened your first store, create all those amazing shoes. If you could advice other women, how do you balance all your different tasks?

I only have one kid at the moment and he is two, so that is easy. Obviously that is going to change soon. My studio is only 5 minutes away from my home. I try to go there at lunch time as I don’t like to be absent so much from his life. And I am my own boss which makes it much easier. For the first year, my son came to work with me the whole time. So I guess that helped a bit. But ask me again when I am having two…

Do you know already what you are going to have? Boy or girl?

I like surprises. I am always designing for the future. My feeling tells me that it is a boy again. To be honest, I would like to have one girl to wear my shoes. Wouldn’t it be an irony to only have boys?!


Your signature trademark on all your shoes is the spider web. Is it true that it associated with Charlotte’s web, the famous children’s book?

Yes. It is as simple as it is, it is related to the children’s book.


You got married in a stunning gown by Giambattista Valli. Why did you choose him and not an English designer for example?

We are friends. I used to intern for him when he was at Ungaro and afterwards when he started up his own business. I never did full internships because I was still in college but whenever I had a spare moment I would go to  Paris and work for Giambattista, whether it was for a month or two weeks. And during that time, he became my friend. It was always clear that he would do the dress for my wedding. I didn’t have to do anything. He knows me and I gave him a free rein.
Giambattista does amazing dresses, I just love his designs. And I wore my own shoes in leopard print.

Giambattista Valli & Charlotte Dellal

Best friends: Giambattista Valli & Charlotte Dellal

If you were the stylist for Kate Middleston’s dress, which designer would you choose for her?

Concerning the footwear, probably not my own shoes. She is a cool girl, my shoes are too high, she wouldn’t wear platforms.
Regarding the gown, I am intrigued. The dress is not confirmed. It could be McQueen. It will be a definitely an English designer and if Sarah Burton (McQueen’s designer) gets her right, she could come up with a great creation for her.

Do you only wear your own designs? If not, who would be another designer you will wear shoes from?

No, I only wear my shoes.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Too many, it is a tough question as I also sample in my size. If there is a pair of shoes that I didn’t order for myself, I still got the sample and I have pieces that I didn’t produce in the end. So let me say, I have got a lot of shoes.


I interviewed Nicholas Kirkwood last year.  He went to Cordwainers like you. During our conversation, he said the following about you: “I love very much what Charlotte Olympia does. A wonderful girl, very beautiful. I think we sometimes have the same customer, it is a very close but friendly competition.”
Do you agree?

Lovely Nicholas! I fully agree. We have the same clients. But you cannot compare us so much, apart from the heel height. We do absolutely different things. It is a friendly competition. There are a lot of young and contemporary designers at the moment, there are so many fantastic shoes designers coming up. They always got their own signature which is important.

Do you have somebody in mind that you truly want to wear your shoes?

My grandmothers, especially the one from my father’s side, who recently passed away. I loved her very much, she was a big influence to me. Till the day she died, she dressed fabulous, had her hair fantastic. I kind of based my hair on her. She was an extremely chic and glamorous woman. There are less and less of those women who are bringing back that old-school glamour in a modern way. I’d like to reach out to my customer base and kind of have older women wearing my shoes.

You are born into a very prominent family. Everyone seems to be very independent and strong in what they are doing. How was your childhood?

My parents have always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do and encouraged me to work. My dad always asked me from the beginning, when I said that I wanted to do shoes, if it is a hobby or a business. 
From the moment I left college, I never interned with any other footwear designer. I always wanted to set up my own business and it is very much a business for me. It is not just about designing shoes. I wanted it to be a growing business, make it work worldwide. So I tend to be very business-minded as well.

What was the moment when your business has become really succesful?

I think when I decided to open my own store. It is always a risk, but it felt right. I cannot really explain it. I was starting to get more character. At the same time, I always tried to grow slowly but surely. As much as I loved to be in many more stores, I try to choose stores where I can grow organically. Make the production. The key is not to want or do anything too quickly.  I have established my esthetics which I think is extremely important and  to have a signature style that makes people recognize.


Do you want to open more shops?

Hopefully, probably next year another one.

If you had to escape to an island and were allowed to bring three things, which ones would that be?

I am definitely not taking shoes on an island. I am not taking any shoes for once in my life. I prefer the sand on my feet. I am going to stick with people. I collect too many things. My husband, my child and my dog.

S 2011

I hope that you have enjoyed reading the interview. Here you can find some of my favourite Charlotte Olympia pieces for this summer.

LoL, Sandra

New Concept Store in Zurich

Save the date 1

Colette in Paris, Corso Como 10 in Milan… and now finally Zurich will get its own concept store.

Salvatore Schito, the renowned fashion house is presenting a shop in shop together with Lovers Lane, the place to go for the best shoes and bags in town. The beautiful courtyard will be hosted during spring, summer and early fall by MaDonna Ristorante. So the perfect place to park your hubby while you discover the newest fashion must-haves in the stylish shop, situated In Gassen 14, in the heart of Zurich.

Mark your calendars and this is not an April fool’s on April 1st when the doors will officially open!

LoL, Sandra

Save the date 2

My Interview with Nicholas Kirkwood

SJPYesterday, Zurich’s best shoe shop Lovers Lane hosted a trunk show to present the gorgeous creations of Nicholas Kirkwood. The British designer is the biggest name in shoes today, known for his craftsmanship and innovative designs, that are instantly recognisable. He also has a lot of celeb fans, among them Sarah Jessica Parker who wore his extravagant designs all the way through the Sex and the City 2 promotions.
The famed footman came extra to the Swiss city for the event last night and I was very lucky to do an extensive interview with him before he left for New York for a meeting with Anna Wintour this morning.


Nicholas Kirkwood with me

Nicholas Kirkwood with me

You were born in Germany. Do you speak any German?

No, I was just born there because my Dad was living in Münster at that time.

Being here in Zurich today to present your amazing creations, do you have a vision of the typical Swiss woman?

I came to Switzerland quite a lot when I was younger for my ski holidays. We were always staying at the same hotel that was run by lady who was very firm, and very strict, you could never do something wrong.  When we were running around, she would say no-no.

So tonight I am looking forward to meeting another type of Swiss ladies and see how my customers here look like.

Which woman do you have in mind when creating your shoes in general?

One season is more feminine, the other more angular. It is quite open. Therefore I like to do events like tonight. Seeing the shops I sell to and  meeting the women’s wishes. Every market is different. You have to start somewhere.

You logded with the late Isabella Blow?  Has her eccentric style influenced your work?

She was very encouraging. Any new idea, any of her thoughts would make a good idea. And of course, knowing her was amazing, her inspiration and unique character.

Is there a celeb woman that you would love to dress in your shoes that does not wear them yet?

A very interesting question. Let me think. If I was walking in the streets and my cell phone would be ringing and somebody would be asking me for shoes, who would shock me the most? Mmh, Madonna, no… Now I know. Imelda Marcos! I just want her to have my shoes even if she probably can’t wear them anymore.

Lovers Lane sells other brands as well. Which one do you like the best?

I love very much what Charlotte Olympia does. A wonderful girl, very beautiful. I think we sometimes have the same customer, it is a very close but friendly competition.

I know that you are not a big fan of kitten heels. So how did you like this season’s shoe trend? Will we see one day a Kirkwood kitten heel?

I kind of did a kitten heel, but it was very strange looking. There is more a hype, than a reality to it. A lot of people want it to be a trend, are pushing it to be a trend.
The shoes might be not as high as they were in the last few seasons and I might be completely wrong but I just do not see this happen.

You have a signature look that is instantly recognisable . I truly admire that, especially with all the different collaborations you do, like for example Rodarte, Erdem, Peter Pilotto. Now, you are the new creative director for Pollini. You seem to be an unlikely fit for the traditional house. Do you have a carte blanche? How much freedom do you get in creating for other designers?

Pollini is a big challenge and I like it. I have a lot of work and I do not sleep much.

The best collaborations come out of working together. I’d hate it to be just told „do what you want“. The other party tries to bring the most into it. So the final product is the result of both rather than being too heavily weighted on one side or the other.

How did the pop-up e-commerce shop go? (The runway shoes he created for Peter Pilotto and Erdem were available for just a few days during London Fashion week.)
Would you do it again?

I think we will do it again. It was a great experiment.
In some ways it is the future. Probably sad to say but that is the way things are going to go and we like to keep ahead of the game. Burberry did it with clothes. I might be wrong, but with shoes we were the first.
Fashion is so quick. Something can seem old before it even hits the shops.

Will there be a Nicholas Kirkwood online shop soon? Do you dream of your own stores?

Yes, but we are not there yet.

In 2009, you created jelwery in collaboration with Swarovski? Will we see more Kirkwood in the future? For example handbags, menswear and more?

Men’s shoes, handbags, jewlery and sunglasses, yes! Soon…

Do you like things to be matchy-matchy? Like matching your bag to your shoes?

No, hate it. Similiar colour that is o.k..

Experimenting with heel shapes, negative spaces and shoe shapes might be pretty expensive. Do you have some base models you always start working with?

I try to always do something new. As soon as I have finished the collection, I start over again. I re-start and also keep something. Partly it is mostly somewhere close of what I have just done.  Fashion is too quick to always change.

I read once that you do not like fastenings and excess, do you still agree with that? Has your focus changed or developed during the last years?

No, it is not that I do not like it. There is sometimes a need to have a buckle and sometimes I try to think of other solutions than a buckle. But it is also nice to have those elements in there. When you are at a young stage, you start out on one tune.

Now, I am trying to expand the range, become more obedient to different types of customers, to become more of a shoe brand not just a niche for a small community.
Those details will become part of the collection more and more. There will always be my signature in it, but probably just not so in your face.

Is there a creation that you find horrible today?

Oh yes, especially a shoe that comes out crooked. I normally try to hide and burn it without anybody seeing the disaster.

Did you ever see a woman wearing your shoes and you did not like what you saw?

Sometimes, when I see somebody wearing my shoes completely beaten up. But on the other way, it is a sign that she very much loved them.

I hate it if they are wearing the wrong size and the toes are hanging out.

Have a you ever made a shoe in which it was impossible to stand or walk?

Yes, especially for photo shoots. You could stand in them for 10 seconds and that was it.

The Alice in Wonderland shoes that I made for Printemps in Paris, you could probably not walk in them because of the little hanging porcelaine cups.

Do you have a favourite of your designs?

In some ways I am never satiesfied with anything. Sometimes I am very happy with the way things come out. But once the shoe is made, I am over it. I have seen the process for so long, it gets kind of boring after a while.

It is like recording an album. You are listening to the same thing for such a long time, that by the time it is finished, you can’t stand it.

Your shoes melt contemporary art and fashion? Best example is the upcoming Keith Haring collection. Do you see yourself as an artist?

No, not at all. I am more of a product designer. I studied fine arts at St. Martins. I am a big fan of art. It is a completely other thing. You do not replace it so easily like a piece of fashion. It has more of a longevity to it. There are similiarities to it like the way  people get excited.

I feel a little like the art world looks kind of down on the fashion world, a little bit of a high brow.

Could you imagine to do a collaboration with H&M? Or to create a more budget-friendly second line?

Not yet. I have been approached by similiar kind of things. I always like to promote the quality manufacturing and made in Italy. That is what I sort of believe in. It is different with the ready-to-wear. Regarding footwear, you will really notice a cheap pair of shoes . I don’t want to say that I will never do it. (Laughs…) I will wait until I can make a hell out of money out of it for a one-time-thing. And make a big party after.

I mean, there are a lot of people out there, not everything has to be accessible to everybody.

I don’t say that I will never,  there is just no need at the moment unless I will be forced by a powerful editor who says you have to.

Like the one you are seeing tomorrow (Anna Wintour)?

Laughs again. No, not her.

Lovers LaneI hope that you have liked the interview. I had a blast talking to Nicholas as he is such a sweet guy. The party at Lovers Lane was really great. I took some photos for you to get an impression.

And gentlemen, sometimes it is worth going shoe-shopping with your wifes or girlfriends. There might be a little treat for you, too.

LoL, Sandra


Daniela Karagi and Melanie Guenthardt, the two ladies behind Lovers Lane with me

Daniela Karagi and Melanie Guenthardt, the two ladies behind Lovers Lane with me


Annina Frey

Annina Frey










Photos: Sandra Bauknecht

Photos: Sandra Bauknecht