Wednesday, June 22, 2011

South African Charlene Wittstock in Vogue

Charlene Wittstock did an interview with Vogue. She talks about her relationship with Prince Albert II and how they met. She chats about their wedding plans and how she intends to start a Monaco Fashion Week.

On meeting a prince
The first time Prince Albert saw Charlene Wittstock, she was in a swimsuit. A former competitive swimmer who has won numerous championships and represented South Africa in the 2000 Olympics, Wittstock was taking part in an event in Monaco when she caught the prince’s eye ten years ago. “It was incredibly flattering,” she recalls. “After seeing me swim, Albert asked my management for permission to take me out. We spent the whole evening laughing and talking.”

Charlene Wittstock in a swimsuit

On cultivating her personal style:
“Finding my fashion feet has certainly been the biggest challenge,” she says, remembering her “trial by fire” at Monaco’s 2007 Red Cross Ball. “‘I was literally a fish out of water. I thought it was all fun, fun, fun, and didn’t give my outfit any thought. I had been playing beach volleyball all day, painted my nails red, and threw on a green dress. I thought I looked great at the time, but looking back, I realize that my debut into Monaco society should have been better executed!”

On listening to other people about how she should dress:
“I was insecure. I felt pressure to err on the side of caution — I was terrified of meeting a head of state in an over-the-top outfit….I’ve reached the point where I know what I like and what works. I’m starting to play with fresher, bolder, and more daring looks.” She was helped by Giorgio Armani, who will dress her for the religious part of her wedding and who notes that her casual elegance and slender figure look equally good in suits and evening gowns with necklines “that emphasize the beautiful structure of her shoulders.”

On her relationship with Karl Lagerfeld:
“Karl took me to his workshop in Paris. He said, ‘You are going to be a style icon. You bring a breath of fresh air and modern glamour to Monaco.’ Then he asked me if there was one item of clothing that I had always wanted to experiment with, and I replied, ‘A smoking jacket.’ He went back to his apartment and presented me with his own white shirt and smoking jacket from his closet.

See the Vogue Interview