SANDRA LEMP

...giving women fashionable reason to show off what's underneath

Gone are the days when underwear was here just for one purpose… unless that purpose is being super on trend. The past few seasons have seen underwear playing a bigger part both on the catwalk and for individuals. It started subtly with lace, then crop tops, then lace crop tops; now it is perfectly acceptable to leave your house in little more than a lace bra and petticoat. NJAL designer Sandra Lemp layers delicately detailed, sheer fabric in her lingerie collection “Le Boudoir”.

Sandra Lemp gained her skills in ladies' tailoring at the Haute Couture Atelier of the BFF-School in Berne in 1988. After some years of experimenting and exploring other fields of design, she returned to her studies of fashion at the University of Art & Design in Basel, followed by a traineeship in Vivienne Westwood's London studio. She finished her degree in 1999 and has since been focusing on the design and production of “Prêt-à-Porter” ladies wear. For her work as an independent designer, she has twice won the “Swiss Federal Design Competition Award” (1999/2002) and she was also the recipient of the “Design Award Berne” in 2003/08. For “Le Boudouir”, she is responsible for: concept, design, buying, product development, press and sales.

“Le Boudoir” is an exclusive high-end lingerie collection, first introduced in 2006. Its style is reduced and modern, yet highly sophisticated and very sexy. All fabrics and materials are hand-selected and carefully combined in order to achieve the unique characteristic of “le boudoir”. The layering of different “see-through” fabrics produces a variety of colour shades, which sometimes seem to evade the real world. “From its basic concept throughout the whole design and development process, 'le boudoir' is made in my studio in Berne. Responsible for the limited edition production is a well-known manufacturer in Switzerland. The pieces are composed of smooth, skin-friendly and highly elastic micropolyamide/elastane fabrics. The basic materials, as well as most of the accessories, are drawn from diverse sources in Europe,” says Sandra.

“Individual-thinking and sensitive women appreciate 'Le Boudoir' for its high quality and the modern, very sensual, yet comfortable style. This customer wants to know the source of the clothes she wears. She notices subtle details, like the small flower on the edge of a wood, smells the hint of powder sense on the cheek of her best friend and hears the wind blow softly and quietly through the grass. She likes the play and sophisticated tease…”

Nothing inspires me like…
Colours, characters, Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, the work of Billy Childish, passing my fingers through a lavender bush in Provence and smelling them, poetic sadness, the Cemetery du Vieux-Château in Menton, Berlin’s Kreuzberg, fragrances, drinking cold water, shadows, inconsiderable things I’ve been collecting for many years, “L’écume des jours” by Boris Vian and many more.

I hope…
That in future more people will be interested in buying high-end quality fashion in small editions instead of buying cheap mass products. In my dreams, my motto would be: I can’t afford to buy cheap. But there are a lot of other things I hope for…

Cultural influences…
The painter Balthus, Art Brût, black music from the 30s to the 60s, portrait paintings, beautiful gardens, Amélie Poulain, Tracy Emin’s textile works, historical buildings in Italy, film noir, the Sonics, the colour, mood and music in “O’ brother, where art thou” and “Lost in Translation” and many more.

I got where I am...
Through wild and unrealistic dreams, passion, faith, love, knowledge, experience, hard work, good luck, music, dance, friends, sense of colour, critical analysis, talent, writing texts, my hands, my head, mostly my feelings and decisions.

Fashion can sometimes...
Be just beautiful, too serious, superficial, without substance, touching, hurting the eyes, making us laugh, cry, bad and useless, too much, too little, individual, brainless, gorgeous, wrong, right… There are definitely more important things in the world than fashion. However, I need it.

I scream when...
I see a spider, or a bug or similar approaching me very fast from absolutely nowhere. Afterwards, once the initial shock is gone, I maybe see the beauty. But only from the bug and preferably on pictures…

Did you know…
That 90% of an iceberg lies under water. I love people who have depth, like the iceberg. They are at first only showing a tiny bit. You have to try harder to find the soul and the whole spectrum of the personality.

Cake makes me…
Very happy and excessive indeed. I like chocolate truffle cake the most. The one with the thick coat of chocolate and the creamy part inside. The best you can get is from “Confiserie Tschirren” in Berne. I’m an expert, believe me, I've tried many…

I have never…
Read a book about Tom Waits, let a church bell ring, eaten Sushi, tried to find a mushroom in the woods, written a letter to the postman, broken a bone.

Pain comes from…
Monotonous and heartless music played too loud, selfish people, tailgaters on motorways, too much perfume, scratching radio sounds, careless dog owners, absolutely gorgeous new shoes bought a little too small…

I wouldn't pay for…
A football match, a copy of a design cloth, a book about the military, a box of caviar, a musical, a flight to any place where it’s colder, darker and greyer than in Switzerland.

There's a new...
Idea for a collection in my heart and head, but first I have to raise money. Therefore, I currently work as a head of production. Actually I would prefer to work as a freelance designer…

I'm a perfectionist…
At almost everything: choosing colour combinations, planning and producing shoots, cutting with scissor, working on my voice, buying flowers, painting my nails, decorating the dining table, working on graphics, writing texts.

My first crush...
I believe was on a fluffy koala bear which made a funny sound when turned around and smelled very nice. Now my cat smells like that, and it’s like being a little blonde, blue-eyed girl again.

I like making...
Nothing, sometimes. I like making design concepts, music, pictures, waves in the water, a journey, sunbathing with only my feet in the sun, fresh bread, a gift package, calling a friend, marks in the untouched snow.