Clothes not only attract us, they can also be memories of very special events. Four celebrities tell us the story behind their cult clothes. Furthermore: In the picture gallery annabelle employees reveal anecdotes about the new annabelle series “Stoff für Stories”.
The Grand Prix dress
Paola Felix-Del Medico, singer and presenter
“‘Bonjour, Bonjour, it’s nice to see you again …’ It’s almost fifty years since I performed this song in 1969 in Madrid for Switzerland at the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson, as the competition was then called. One always thinks that today the show has become much more important, almost more important than the music. But even then, a lot of things revolved around optics. The outfit you wore was expected with just as much curiosity as the song you sang.
The press was already present during the fitting sessions, ‘Blick’ published a report on the creation of the dress, and the Spanish media were also interested in my costume. It was designed by Akris, the embroidery comes from the St. Gallen company Forster Willi, which is now called Forster Rohner. So I not only represented Switzerland musically, but was also an ambassador for my hometown, the textile city of St. Gallen. Colour television was new at the time. The Spaniards were not so far technically, however, only thanks to the German broadcast vans one could see the appearance at home in color. I still remember how convinced I was of my song and my dress. The outfit, the music and me at the age of 18 – it was the perfect symbiosis. Four singers shared the victory that year. I was very happy with the second place, this success was for me the entry into my profession as a singer. That’s why the dress means so much to me. During my career I wore a lot of great clothes. That fits, because my father, an Italian immigrant, was a tailor.”
Paola Felix-Del Medico still stands in front of the camera today, for a fashion line that bears her name.
The winning shorts
Stan Wawrinka, professional tennis player
“The shorts were provided to me by my Japanese outfitter Yonex for the clay court season 2015. I found them cool from the beginning, even when the media made fun of them. Some journalists even called them pyjama pants, and there were lots of cartoons. The fashion police wanted to send me past and doubted my sense of fashion. But then Roland Garros came along.
I beat Roger Federer and won the final against Novak Djokovic. My second Grand Slam victory! It was one of my greatest successes, a very emotional moment. Suddenly there was a huge hype about the shorts. They were sold out immediately, Yonex even had key rings made from them that sold great. Even Novak Djokovic wanted one. When I went to the press conference in Roland Garros after the final, I brought the shorts and hung them over the desk. The journalists broke out laughing loudly. I would definitely wear the shorts again, maybe they bring luck! In any case, they will be remembered. Or do you remember what I wore when I won the Australian Open?”
The cult gown
I’ve worn a white coat like this since I started the business, fifty years ago. It has no emotional value for me, it is a working tool. A white coat, a white shirt and a blue tie are what all our employees have to wear. As long as I live, there will be no other coat. My successor must not change this either, that is a condition. The coat is hygienic, I attach importance to it, because we do clean things. In a company that is clean, we also work cleanly. Our first advertising film was broadcast 15 years ago on Tele Züri. It has always been my wish to one day put our business on television. Then a few people came along who wanted to produce it. Two people said: ‘That’s not possible with you’. The third one was also against it, but then he shot the commercial. I briefly considered whether I should wear something else in front of the camera. But such a white apron fits the product.
I wasn’t sure whether the advertising, to put it in German, would go down the drain. I slept badly for a few nights, and then, thank God, it ended well. The media wrote about it. Some thought it was good, others didn’t, they also made fun of me, but that’s not important, after all we have more customers since then, forty to fifty a day. Before the commercial there were four to five customers a week. I’m often recognized on the street. Not on my coat, because it always stays in business, but on my voice. Being famous means nothing to me. I am a normal working man.”
The swearing-in dress
Elisabeth Kopp, former Federal Councillor and first woman in the state government in 1984
“Before my time as a Federal Councillor, I was already Mayor of Zumikon and National Councillor and therefore had little time to buy clothes. So four times a year someone from the Oscar Rome shop came to my house with a selection of clothes. On the day I had bought the dress, nobody had even remotely thought that the Federal Councillor Friedrich would resign and ask himself the question of a replacement. So I hadn’t bought this dress especially for the swearing-in. The top is in a very nice blue and the skirt, in a big check, takes up the blue again. I did not consciously bet on a Swiss brand, nor did I know that it was from Akris. I just liked it and it had a wide skirt with which you could sit comfortably. As a politician you sit a lot. Besides, you don’t see any stains on the paint so well.
On October 2, 1984, the day of the election of a replacement in the Federal Council, I stood somewhat helpless in front of my wardrobe. Actually a Deuxpièces would have been appropriate, but I decided on the dress in which I felt most comfortable. My choice was not clear from the beginning, my party had nominated a two-man candidate, National Councillor Bruno Hunziker and myself. When the result was announced, I was frightened. I felt the relief about the progress, but also the heavy responsibility that suddenly weighed on my shoulders with this election.
With me, a woman was elected to the Federal Council for the first time – that was the decisive factor, not that it was me. I would have been just as happy if it had been another woman. I knew how important it was for women to have a say. Not because they can do everything better, but because they set other priorities than men and this mixture is essential for our policy. My wardrobe has always been particularly eyed. Of course I had to be dossier-proof, but it was also natural for me to represent women visually. They had to be able to identify with me. A journalist once accused me of always wearing the same lipstick colour. I told her that I was a Federal Councillor and not the mannequin of the nation. A saleswoman told me that after my swearing-in many women were looking for something in the so-called Kopp blue. That amused me. I had other things to do than set trends, but apparently it happened to me once.”
From now on in every issue
The story “Stoff für Stories” is the prelude to a new annabelle series: From now on we will show a cult piece of clothing in every issue and let the famous wearer tell the story behind it. The series was inspired by the book “Worn Stories” by US author Emily Spivack.