St. Moritz Pops Up In Sotheby's!
Sotheby's meets the organisers, Harriet Dalmeny and Irma Camperio Ciani Roder.
W hat comes to mind when you think of St. Moritz? Snow-capped Alpine peaks, glittering in the sunlight beneath infinite blue skies? Thrilling winter sports from the Cresta Run to vintage motor sports criss-crossing the mountainsides? Snowboarding, skating and cross-country skiing? Or maybe the elegant nightlife, world-renowned fine dining and next-level retail? Yes, yes and yes - St. Moritz has it all.
But today, while the picturesque Swiss town continues to attract discerning visitors from around the world in search of that quintessential St. Moritz magic, recent years have seen a resurgence in cultural activity in the town from international art galleries to homegrown fashion designers.
And if you can’t visit St. Moritz anytime soon to experience this rich cultural scene - or if you have, and want to re-engage with some of the most exciting names and talents based in St. Moritz today – then Sotheby’s is the place to be this autumn as we present ‘St. Moritz Pops Up In Sotheby’s!’ in the Devonshire Gallery at Sotheby’s New Bond Street, between 28 October to 5 November; an exclusive curated collection of the best in art, jewellery, fashion and design from the Swiss mountains, in the heart of London’s West End.
This joyful celebration of St. Moritz is presented by two close friends, both of whom intimately know and love the place – art consultant and fashion collaborator Harriet Dalmeny, and creative advisor Irma Camperio Ciani Roder. The pair, who between them have extensive experience in art, design, fashion, fintech and conference planning, came together united by a mutual love of the Swiss town’s unique vibe, its creative energy and unmistakable charisma.
And these qualities will be abundantly represented at ‘St. Moritz Pops Up In Sotheby’s!’ in the work of participating artists Alina Abegg (Alina Abegg), Henriette Lefort (Lefort Sport), Eugenie Niarchos (Venyx World), Annina Pfuel (Annina Dirndl), Olivia Schuler-Voith (LOKOMOTIVE OOO) and the brand, Olympia Le-Tan®️.
The Pop-Up has been designed to reflect the unique nature of each of these brands, the founders describing it as a cabinet of curiosities or Wunderkammer. Even the announcement has been given an artist's touch, as curator and creative director, Mafalda Millies Kahane has produced a bespoke collage to set the scene. And to amplify this celebration of Swiss arts and creativity further, Sotheby’s will also offer a one-off sale of works by Swiss artist and St. Moritz legend Rolf Sachs in parallel to the Pop-Up.
To celebrate the launch and talk about how ‘St. Moritz Pops-Up In Sotheby's!’ came together, we recently met up with its instigators, the dynamic Harriet Dalmeny and Irma Camperio Ciani Roder, to talk St. Moritz, art, jewellery and what makes this little town such a magical destination - and how they intend visitors to the pop up to discover "fun, beauty, quality - and some surprises."
What sparked the idea of 'St. Moritz Pops Up In Sotheby’s'? How did you pull the project together?
Harriet: Irma and I spend a lot of time together in St. Moritz and were discussing how wonderful it would be if these designers – who are mostly only available by appointment – were accessible in London. We are both inspired by highly curated retail spaces, like Dover Street Market and Browns Fashion, and we thought that pulling together a one-off concept store capturing the spirit of St. Moritz would be really exciting.
Irma: These designers are very much part of our own everyday aesthetic, so grouping them together was a natural fit. These girls are all dear friends and their vision has very much shaped our personal style – Annina designed dresses for both of our weddings for example, and Olivia created a beautiful bespoke coat for me while my page boys wore LOKOMOTIVE OOO; I also wore some of Alina’s pieces. Their pieces are unique and form the basis of a collection more than a wardrobe, and they are produced with such character and personality that they have become synonymous with those milestones in my life.
"Their pieces are unique and form the basis of a collection more than a wardrobe"
Have you staged similar events before?
Harriet: I have been trying to connect fashion and the arts in what I do for some time – I produced a display for Browns Fashion on the idea of scent and sound with Haroon Mirza and Timothy Han, but this is the first major concept project of its kind that I have mounted. It is the first of many that Irma and I will launch, and we are already working on the next!
Irma: Given my background in tech and finance it is the first project of this nature that I have worked on. I think that part of the beauty of this project is not only the synergistic nature of the brands, but also the partnership between Harriet and myself. We have such a close working relationship and share so many ideas that it has made the process of bringing this to life very natural.
St. Moritz has been enjoying a resurgence in activity post pandemic, with numerous high end brands and galleries moving to the town. How has this energy changed the dynamic of the place and why do you feel such brands and institutions want to be present here?
St. Moritz has actually always attracted such a diverse and remarkable group of people, in part down to the emphasis on Alpine sport and the comradery it creates. For example, Jean-Michel Basquiat visited St. Moritz frequently with Bruno Bischofberger in the 1980s. Artists, gallerists, and tastemakers have always congregated here; perhaps now a wider group of people are just becoming aware of it. Brands such as LOKOMOTIVE OOO have actually made St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley their home, where they both create and produce. This is remarkable in the context of fashion as traditionally brands would tend to congregate in cities like Milan, New York or London. What makes St. Moritz so unique is the trailblazing characters that bring it to life.
"The atmosphere is electric - you just won’t find it anywhere else"
And on a personal level, what makes St. Moritz special to you? What’s unique about the town?
Harriet: I have been coming here for quite a few years, but for me it was always the most magical bubble. The atmosphere is electric and you just won’t find it anywhere else – I also met my husband here, so there is a certain romance about returning to the mountains.
Irma: St. Moritz has always been at the centre of my world – I spent winters and summers there since I was a child. Although I was not born there, it has always been the place where I have felt the most at home. I also met some of closest and dearest friends here, as well as my husband – we later married in St. Moritz.
And what distinctly St. Moritz signature attributes can we expect to experience at the Pop-Up?
We have tried to capture the beauty and quality synonymous with St. Moritz in the Pop-Up, but we also think that having Rolf Sachs’s work in the building in such a direct, present way is very special.
Can you talk about the process of how you curated this selection of designers and artists?
It was a natural process, as these brands represent St. Moritz in such a beautiful and unique way. We are also part of the same generation and share friendships, so the evolution was quite personal. We have left selections up to the designers themselves as we wanted to highlight them as masters of their craft, giving them the opportunity to curate their own presentations, offering a snapshot into each of their own unique worlds.
'St. Moritz Pops Up In Sotheby's!' is at The Devonshire Gallery, Sotheby's New Bond Street between 28th October – 5th November 2023
Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 4.30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12.00pm – 5.00pm