In a perfect world I would travel with nothing more than a credit card and my YSL red lipstick, which I simply couldn’t survive without. In fact, I’d even take it with me when camping. Alright, that’s a lie, you’d never see me camping, I simply wanted to stress the importance of red lipstick in the art of packing.
Believe it or not, I know a very wealthy man who happens to travel (first class of course) only with his passport and wallet (clearly filled with a lot of credit cards). He then buys everything he needs for the duration of his holidays while abroad and leaves everything behind when the time comes to fly home. Ah, to be a billionaire! The reality for the rest of us however, or at least my reality, is not as glamorous, as sadly I’m left with no choice but to travel with luggage. Due to luggage restrictions and zero reassurance, that my suitcase will a) arrive at the final destination undamaged (See what happened to my suitcase two weeks ago! )
and b) will arrive at all, I fear that I can only rely on a carry-on bag, that I know will not leave my sight, apart from when it’s secured in an overhead locker. After all no matter how high the travel insurance, nothing in the world could replace my Hermes scarf or Vivienne Westwood trousers (from the 2009 Red Label collection!). Some things, as opposed to people, are simply irreplaceable.
Hand luggage, as I prefer to call carry-on, has developed into something of a fashion statement in itself of recent years and let’s face it with the amount of brands, colors and styles present now, everyone can without doubt find something that defines them. Personally, I fell in love with a Bottega Veneta Nero Intrecciato carry-on bag that comes in black and red. Also I adore the timeless and elegant Canova Marcopolo Trolley, also by Bottega Veneta, which by the way has always been my number one choice when it comes to designers who do luggage, as the company has a no nonsense approach and what’s really important to me, there are no huge logos advertising the brand.
Over the years, I’ve had to learn to pack wisely. Translation for the travelling uninitiated: to leave couture stuff in the safety of one’s closet and instead, fill the suitcase with something wearable. I must admit, I find the act of packing, or rather the act of choosing the right amount of clothes needed for a two-day business trip, very challenging.
I always start with a pair of black or navy pants that go with any top or blouse and shoes for that matter. You can never go wrong with a pair of wide leg Vivienne Westwood trousers or an YSL suit, which reminds me, I have my eye on YSL cashmere wide-leg pants but the £1065 price tag temporarily prevents me from clicking that tempting “Add to Cart” button on Net-a-Porter, http://www.net-a-porter.com. So for the time being they remain in the annoying and ever-growing “Add to Wish List” folder.
When it comes to travelling light, it’s all about mixing a couple of classic items with different shirts and accessories. White shirt buttoned all the way up with a vintage cameo and Vivienne Westwood trousers is my choice for the first day of meetings. For the evening I roll up the sleeves, quite literally, unbutton the shirt and wear with an over-the-top emerald green spider, which helps to create a more dramatic look. Also, let’s not forget about the shoes and bag. Since comfort is all I can think about at the moment I have opted for my favourite Acne shoes worn with a beautiful black clutch that was specifically designed for my mum over 30 years ago! Which finally, after years of begging on my part, is now in my proud possession.
For day two of my trip I choose a grey Max Mara pencil skirt and stripy Vivienne Westwood top with matching Fendi shoes, which I bought at the (now not so) Secret Sample Sale http://www.secretsamplesale.co.uk. If you’re a bargain-hunter like myself, go and register with the website, but shhhh, after all it’s a secret! Lol!
For a more casual evening out I choose skinny jeans, silk Ted Baker jacket, White shirt, Vivienne Westwood red shoes and once again my mum’s clutch. I add stronger make-up (YSL ombres 5 lumieres eyeshadows and YSL creme de blush) and I’m ready to go for that well deserved cosmo!
In case it gets windy I also pack with me my beloved Hermes scarf that will also go with all the outfits I have chosen for the trip.
My Hermes scarf has a travel tale to tell in itself. A few years ago, I travelled with Mr de Merteuil to Venice. So that he could justify the splurge on getting us into an expensive hotel, Mr dM thought it prudent to take a cheaper indirect flight via Switzerland, leaving us with three hours of transit time to kill in a Swiss chocolate cheese form of hell. Drinking didn’t help and still being left with an hour of nothingness, Mr dM (foolishly) suggested, that we tour the airport shops. Before he could blink, we found ourselves accidentally – on purpose in the Hermes shop, where a mannequin was dressed in a beautiful scarf which as I keep saying a lot, had my name on it meaning, it was beyond my control, I simply had to have it! €300 later we decided as a joke, that it should become a tradition and every time we fly through Switzerland, I will get an Hermes scarf! Four years later and you know what, we have never taken indirect flight again…