Life and style with Claudia Knoglinger

Life and style with Claudia Knoglinger

Bernstein & Gold owner talks fashion, beauty and reading favorites

  • Apr. 6, 2020 7:30 a.m.

– Words and photographs by Lia Crowe

Claudia has always been someone I’ve gone to for fashion inspiration. When I have a nugget of an idea but need to distil it into a concrete concept, I’ve relied on her knowledge of fashion and trends and her passion for all things visual. She also has a strong sense of personal style and with her boutique Bernstein & Gold, she brings a fresh, current and bold aesthetic that has elevated this city to the category of fashion forward.

So, it is a real treat to meet Claudia for a chat about her life, style and inspiration, and what she holds as important. She’s owned a retail boutique in Victoria for close to 20 years, so I wonder what aspect of her work fires her up and keeps her going.

“It’s the customers and the fashion,” she says. “There’s a thrill in the buying for the next season: the trends, colours and fabrics, and what direction I’m going to take the store next. And that all comes from feedback I get from clients while working on the floor; being on the floor is everything.”

And what is Claudia most excited about for spring 2020? “There’s an interesting mix. The ’90s are definitely showing up again, and wild florals in big prairie poofs.”

Asked what innate quality has led to her success, Claudia says her strength lies in the buying. “Choosing out of the million things you see, sifting through countless amounts of pictures and fabric swatches, going to the showrooms, meeting designers and really paring it down. It’s about trusting your instincts and being able to take risks. It can’t be boring, it needs to be fresh but still wearable. That’s what I spend the most time fretting about — it has to be right.”

And what essential daily practice has she adopted in her work?

“Something that I try to show up with every morning is — listening to customers. They are coming through the door, they chose to spend their time with me and it has to be special, it has to be personal, it has to be meaningful to them in all aspects of the interaction. I have a great team and they all subscribe to that same philosophy.”

Since she is the mother of a toddler, I asked Claudia: what is the best life lesson she’s recently learned?

“One big thing I’m passionate about is self-care and wellness and making it a priority in my life. Going back to basics — from natural skincare to even the type of clothes and how much that you buy — incorporating the right things into your life, making better choices and honouring what matters to you. My self-care practice is focused on my garden because it’s something I can do with my son. It’s all about keeping your body well to preserve yourself, so you can be there for that person. You don’t think about that in your 20s very much, or at least I didn’t.”

When it comes to personal style, Claudia says she likes things pretty and casual.

“I’ve always liked flowing blouses, nice fabrics and patterns, but most days I’m in jeans and sneakers because I’m running around and I need to be able to move.”

So what does good style mean? “It has to feel like it’s you. And it’s a feeling; it’s the way your body responds in clothes, the way you move. It doesn’t have to be expensive or be designer, it just needs to feel like there has been some thought behind it. It has to work for the person and you can usually tell by the way they carry themselves in it.”

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE

Style icon: Stella McCartney.

Favourite artist: Mark Rothko.

Favourite piece of art: Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm.”

Favourite fashion designer or brand: Chloé/Stella McCartney style and brand philosophy.

Favourite musician: Too many but Neil Young is in the top five.

Era of time that inspires your style: ’70s and now.

Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Toni Collette in Wanderlust.

Favourite local restaurant: Brasserie l’Ecole.

Favourite cocktail or wine: Old Fashioned.

Album on current rotation: Best of the ’80s on Spotify.

Favourite flower: Thistle.

Favourite city to visit: New York City.

Favourite hotel: 1477 Reichhalter, South Tyrol.

Favourite App: Instagram for the store.

Favourite place in the whole world: Copenhagen.

FASHION & BEAUTY

Uniform: Straight-leg high-waist Mother denim, Ulla Johnson blouse or top with big sleeves, sneakers.

All-time favourite piece: Ulla Johnson blouse with lace and ruffles.

Currently coveting: A new wallet by Celine.

Favourite pair of shoes: Isabel Marant sneakers.

Favourite day-bag: WANT Les Essentiels backpack.

Favourite work tool: My iPhone.

Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Initial necklace by Pascale Monvoisin.

Fashion obsession: Sneakers.

Accessory you spent the most money on: Chanel bag.

Moisturizer: Susanne Kaufmann Hyaluron Serum.

Scent: Love by Chloé.

Must-have hair product: Hair mask by Kerastase.

Beauty secret: Sleep, laugh and facials by Jamie.

READING MATERIAL

What you read online for style: Numerous style blogs but I still like traditional Vogue Paris and Schöner Wohnen (interior design) for style news and links to other sites and blogs. It’s truly endless.

Fave print magazine: The Gentlewoman.

Fave style blog: Who What Wear.

Coffee table book/photography book: A Frame for Life: The Designs of StudioIlse by Ilse Crawford.

Last great read: She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

FashionLifestyleStyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In this file photo from 2019, Tammy Burrows of the Wild Women of the North Society organizes the donations before the group of volunteers begins assembling Christmas hampers Dec. 22 at the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre. The society is collecting food hamper items again this winter, along with winter clothing and warm gear. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)
There are many ways to help fill Christmas hampers in and around Quesnel

Many businesses, volunteers and the RCMP are collecting hamper items over the next few weeks

A masked statue of Billy Barker sits on top of his namesake casino in downtown Quesnel. As we head into the weekend, Northern Health is urging residents to follow all provincial health orders, which include mandatory masks inside all indoor spaces. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
A masked statue of Billy Barker sits on top of his namesake casino, eight months to the day it was closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Owner Brad Kotzer said they won’t be opening in 2020. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Northern Health urges residents to respect COVID-19 rules

The number of COVID-19 cases has been growing, and Northern Health saw 35 new cases from Nov. 26-27

Coralee Oakes won 48.42 per cent of ballots in the Cariboo North district in the October election, en route to winning a third term as MLA. (Photo Submitted)
Cariboo North MLA sworn in, despite technical difficulties

Coralee Oakes began her third term as the region’s MLA but couldn’t attend the virtual ceremony

Dr. Richard McAloney, an adjunct professor in the school of business at the University of Northern British Columbia, is the founding director of the new Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North. (University of Northern British Columbia Facebook Photo)
New innovation hub aims to bridge the technology adoption gap northern B.C.

The Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North is hosted at UNBC

The Quesnel RCMP detachment will be donating the goods collected for the holiday season to four local charities. (Quesnel RCMP)
Quesnel RCMP hoping to ‘stuff a cruiser’

Items donated on Dec. 6 and 7 will be given to four local charities

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read