The business trip
Caroline Issa, fashion director, Tank magazine
I’ve been travelling like a crazy person this year, and have definitely been refining my packing technique along the way. In the past two weeks, I went to Milan for three days, then Paris for four, then back to London for three days, then to Paris for couture, and back to Milan.
I love all the voluminous skirts around these days, worn with a simple top, but they’re not practical to pack because they just take up so much room. What I’ve found to be most helpful is to have two pairs of great-fitting trousers and then, if I’m away for eight days, I’ll rotate lots of tops.
I take silk blouses by Equipment because they’re so thin and easy to pack away. And Ohne Titel does this amazing knit viscose dress that keeps its shape. They’re so easy to pack, and you can take three in different colours. Dresses are great for evening and during the day.
I always start imagining my suitcase two nights before I leave and that way, the night before I leave, I can easily pick through my closet quickly rather than just standing there. I pack with hangers because I hate hotel ones – they’re too fiddly. And then I’m not spending tons of time unpacking.
I’ve got a pair of great fuchsia cigarette pants from Giulietta – if you have a light pink shirt and a fuchsia trouser, it looks like you’ve made an effort to colour-block, but it’s really easy. If you invest in great colour, and a little bit of print, it looks like you’ve made more of an effort than you really have.
I take my red lipstick and Prada chandelier earrings everywhere with me, so I’m ready for a night out, and my bag is usually a patterned clutch with a wristlet. My Kindle has been a real game-changer – I’m currently reading The Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang.
I appreciate my wardrobe more and more when I come home. I don’t get a chance to wear all the fun stuff, because it’s too bulky to take away. As I’ve streamlined my packing, I’m having more fun with fashion in the office. I’m rebelling against the limitations my suitcase imposes.
The late summer trip
Ursula Lake, founder of swimwear label Violet Lake
Ibiza isn’t a place where I’d want to pack light, because I think the mood might take me somewhere I’d want to wear heels – although invariably that doesn’t happen. I don’t do so much crazy clubbing now; I’m quite daytime orientated.
There’s a lot of sitting in a restaurant or on the beach or a boat and then going to a bar, so I always pack lots of little dresses made from super-light cotton. It’s boiling hot and you want things that are beautiful but breathable and airy. I’ve got a really lovely cover-up from Heidi Klein that’s like an oversized man’s shirt. When I go out in the day, I always pack an extra bikini, because no one wants to sit and have lunch in wet bottoms.
Ibiza is quite a chichi place and you want to look the part. I’ve got a wicker Anya Hindmarch beach bag that works just as well for the flight too. I always pack multiple pairs of sunglasses, T by Alexander Wang T-shirts and a leather jacket that I can wear with a sundress if it gets chilly in the evening. And I never go anywhere without my Bose noise-reducing headphones.
Frieze art fair
Maureen Paley, gallerist
I never use a suitcase, because I want things to be kept as flat as possible. Apart from all of my potions and lotions, everything else I put into a hanging suit-bag that gets folded over. The other thing I do is to put sleeves of plastic from the dry-cleaners between each article of clothing. It just means everything arrives fairly wrinkle-free. You don’t want to do too much upkeep once you arrive – you want to get right into it.
I tend to have my own quasi-uniform, which makes me feel comfortable. At the moment, I’m really focusing on wearing different white shirts. One of my favourites is a Comme des Garçons shirt that I wear with a button-down cardigan by Margiela, that I then layer with an Isabel Marant jacket, some Prada trousers and a Céline bag.
Once you get dressed in the morning, you’re pretty much in that all the way through the afternoon and evening. I can function in a slight heel – I have some Tracey Neuls shoes that I’m in love with, and some Repettos.
You need to be neutral, and let the art be the thing people are most aware of. I have a place in Hove and when I go there, I can wear very different things – colour and hats. So there is a bit of a relief.
International fashion shows
Tomoko Ogura, senior fashion director, Barneys New York
For the few days leading up to when I have to leave, I keep a list on my iPhone of what I want to pack that I keep adding to when things come up. Then a few hours before I leave my apartment, I just throw everything into my Rimowa suitcase.
I stress out about it but from trip to trip the contents of my suitcase don’t differ very much: T-shirts by ATM, solid and stripe; Band of Outsiders cotton button-down shirts; then Ann Demeulemeester trousers, and motorcycle jackets from Sacai or Acne.
Street style isn’t something I’m mindful of particularly. I prefer being comfortable, so most of the time I’m in flats – loafers from Church’s or Céline, Oxfords by Maison Martin Margiela or sneakers by Nike. If there is a cocktail reception or Barneys is hosting an event, that’s when the heels come out.
I’m quite into pouches – I have a system. One for things I might need on the plane; I have a pouch for plugs and adaptors, a pouch for business cards that I collect on the trip. Most of these pouches double as clutches – it might be a Comme des Garçons pouch or a Reece Hudson clutch. By the end of the trip, I’m definitely bored by things, but I think regardless of what I brought I would feel like that.
Travel essentials: Beauty in the air
Margo Marrone, founder of the Organic Pharmacy, reveals what is in her washbag when she travels.
My carrot butter cleanser comes with me, no matter where I go. It’s got antioxidant carrot and decongesting rosemary in it, so it takes off all the grime, pollution and dirt, but the lavender and chamomile in it are very soothing. It helps relax your mind and body at night just before you’re going to bed. Then arnica and cocculus help me overcome jet lag. The other thing I’d recommend during flying is taking your vitamin C, because when you fly you’re exposed to more germs. Vitamin C is great for protecting your skin and your health.
I always wear my shawl when travelling. It gets so cold during a flight, so it’s always nice to have something big enough to wrap around you and over your legs, and just feel snuggled. The one I usually travel with is a very old blue Louis Vuitton leopard-print one, which is great because you can spill stuff on it and it still looks good.
Stockists in this article and this week’s other Style articles