Hotel executive Katherine Melchior Ray knows how to stay stylish on the fly.
Although Katherine Melchior Ray, the vice president of luxury brands at Hyatt Hotels, is on the road at least twice a month, she never forgets to pack a touch of home. “I bring my own coffee mug. That way, I don’t feel like I’m in a hotel, especially if I’m in bed and the sun’s coming in.”
Stella McCartney may be quintessentially British, but her Pre-Fall 2014 collection is immutably connected to a different locale: Argentina. In partnership with the Nature Conservancy and Ovis XXI, a South American network of sheep ranchers, the designer sourced sustainable Patagonian wool for her line of slouchy blazers, boxy fringed tops, and oversize clutches. McCartney’s goal, she says, was “to help conserve and restore the region’s endangered grasslands” by promoting healthy grazing practices. The inspiration for the line’s updated houndstooth pattern, meanwhile, is rooted in her own English upbringing. “I thought about my childhood, growing up in London, and then moving suddenly to the countryside,” McCartney explains. “What a contrast."
The New York–based fashion designer made his name on a prim, classic, and sometimes offbeat look, a credo that is echoed in his travel style. “I’m a horrible creature of habit,” he admits. “I pack more simply than most people—I don’t bring much stuff.” We take a peek at his well-ordered universe.
The Women’s Collection: Browne made a splash last January when Michelle Obama wore a coat he designed to the inauguration. This look (pictured) is in stores now.
The Suit: Browne is rarely caught not wearing one of his ultra-trim suits, which can cause unintended confusion. “People think I’m a pilot,” he laughs. “I’ve been offered discounts at Starbucks.”
Manhattan’s latest crop of boutique properties have one thing in common: classic styling with a modern twist.
High Line Hotel Location: Occupies a slice of the 1895 Gothic-style General Theological Seminary, in Chelsea. Ideal For: High Line explorers; gallery-hoppers. Nod to the Past: Original stained-glass windows; well-worn handwoven carpets. What We Love: A desktop stationery embosser to personalize postcards and envelopes. Choice Bite: Cult bakery Mah Ze Dahr’s caramel-oatmeal bars, served from the hotel’s 1963 Citroën van parked by the entrance. Smallest Room: 275 square feet. Details: 180 10th Ave.$$$
The designer shares her low-maintenance packing logic.
She might have a cult following among fashionistas and an eye-catching new luggage line for Tumi(from $95), but style isn’t Anna Sui’s top priority when traveling. “I’m all about comfort,” she admits. That means stretch jeans from Uniqlo($39) and a loose-fitting silk tunic from one of her past collections. New York–based Sui often flies to Japan for work and England to see friends, and fastidiously plans each day’s look in advance, favoring pieces in wrinkle-resistant chiffon or crepe de chine. “There’s nothing worse than bringing the wrong clothes.”
• “I scour London’s Portobello Market, a favorite shopping stop, for my vintage Bakelite jewelry.”
• “Always in my Tumi carry-on: noise-reducing headphones and British rock zines.”
• Sui’s Chippewa boots(from $149) are intentionally a bit big—easier to pull on and off.
• “I pack an extra collapsible bag in my suitcase for souvenirs—like the Tutankhamen head I bought in Egypt.”
For this sharp shoe designer, flying is all about unplugging and head-to-toe comfort.
As the creative director of Via Spiga—not to mention the talent behind a namesake line of women’s shoes and the men’s footwear brand Casbia—Edmundo Castillo has a pretty hectic life. Which is why he loves air travel: “It’s my time to disconnect and not have the phone ringing,” he says.
Castillo gets ample time to himself en route to factory visits in Milan (where he keeps an apartment), business trips in China, and vacations in Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, and his native Puerto Rico. In flight, he watches 30 Rock and Mad Men on his iPad, which he carries in a vintage-corduroy sleeve by Milan-based Pijama(from $38). When he wants to sleep, Castillo relies on his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones (from $200) because “they block all the noise.” As for his on-the-go outfit: “I usually land and go straight to work,” he says, “so it’s important to stay in style, but also feel comfortable.”
The woman who gives Bergdorf Goodman its distinctive flair shares her on-the-road routine.
“If I don’t look right, then I just don’t feel right,” says Linda Fargo, senior vice president of women’s fashion, store design, and presentation at New York City’s iconic department store. Which is why she packs more than she needs for her jaunts to European runway shows and vacations on the Italian Riviera. One tip: she packs clothes on hangers in plastic dry-cleaning bags inside her large T. Anthonycase. “Almost nothing gets wrinkled,” she swears.
New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”(May 4–July 31) pays homage to the late British fashion designer by displaying more than 100 of his creations (a jacket with horns in place of epaulets; bulbous “armadillo” shoes).
France: With various exhibits across 30 institutions in the French Riviera, “Contemporary Art and the Côte d’Azur”(June 25–Nov. 7) spans 60 years of work by more than 200 artists, from Picasso to performance artist Philippe Ramette.