know about you, but I'm forever on the hunt for that quintessential thing that
you can only find locally—like the conch shells from the beaches of Turks and Caicos or Ladurée macaroons (before the French company decided to sell out and populate the earth).
It's that thing you would ask a friend to pick up if you knew they were going. Rare as it is with the internet at our
fingertips, it's still fun to make discoveries when we travel.
While in Florence on a T+L Sept cover shoot, I noted a great
pair of navy suede ballet flats on an effortlessly chic Italian colleague. Always on the hunt for great travel flats, I
became obsessed when she told me how much she paid and had to make a mad dash
to the shop before I got on the plane the next morning.
Ever wonder what happens to the bits and bobs of airplanes after they’re decommissioned? You can find them on eBay.
Universal Asset Management buys retired planes and strips them to recycle their components. The company runs an eBay storefront where you can shop for all your engine aft thrust fitting needs—from an entire A320 lavatory (!) to cockpit seats, galley carts, overhead bins, first aid kits, a row of luridly colored 747 seats, to more technical items like circuit panels, wheels, assembly valves, tail cones, and oil gauges. The products that make the eBay store are not longer flight-worthy, of course, except for flights of fancy. Those overhead bins would look cool mounted over a airplane-crazy child's bed...
Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Universal Asset Management.
Playing dress-up just got more sophisticated at London’s Berkeley Hotel. There, along with cocktails from the Blue Bar, you can have a steamer trunk filled with baubles and accessories—all curated by Carmen Haid of vintage e-boutique atelier-mayer.com—delivered to your suite to borrow (gratis!) for a night on the town. Fall in love with that Pierre Cardin clutch? Any piece can be purchased for your permanent collection. the-berkeley.co.uk; doubles from $597.
Illustration by Ryan Hashka
“I overpack,” says Jimmy Choo chief creative officer Tamara Mellon, OBE. “Always!” For a woman with an estimated collection of 1,000 pairs of shoes, that can sometimes mean checking four to eight suitcases. The English-born, New York–based executive’s main route is JFK to Heathrow, but since Jimmy Choo is a go-to label for A-list actresses, flying to Los Angeles for glitzy Hollywood parties also counts as a business trip. She takes a surprisingly streamlined approach when it comes to her travel look, however. “My rule,” Mellon says, “is to keep it simple.” She starts with J Brand stretch jeans ($158) and a cotton T by Alexander Wang top ($76), and adds a blazer ($525)—such as this wool-blend style, also by Alexander Wang. She accessorizes with leather biker boots ($1,195) and oversize sunglasses ($295)—“you never feel good when you get off a plane, so it’s great to hide behind a big pair of shades”—both by Jimmy Choo. Her mock-croc tote ($1,795) and wheelie ($3,595) are from the brand’s recently launched 24/7 bag collection. After all, you’re going to need the right luggage if you pack 30 pairs of shoes “just in case.”
WHAT'S IN HER BAG?
Fit for the Road: “I’m sure to bring Tracy Anderson’s Mat Workout DVD ($30), so I can exercise in my hotel room.”
Magazine: “I always pick up the British edition of fashion weekly Grazia at the airport. It’s my guilty pleasure.”
These sporty pieces will have you ready for a weekend getaway.
A Dapper Look: Cotton polo shirt, $80, by Lacoste. Lightweight corduroy blazer, $695, Gant by Michael Bastian. Linen shirt, $195, and cotton pants, $125, Façonnable. Seersucker belt, $80, Ernest Alexander. Leather-and-suede saddle shoes with Nike Air technology, $198, Cole Haan. Gingham bow tie, $60, Ernest Alexander. Canvas tote with calfskin details, $450, Ralph Lauren.
Photo by Teru Onishi
Rinok. Just saying the word brings a sense of calm to my disjointed Russian life in Moscow. All at once, the sprawl of doorways open as if they are choreographed. I pass stalls where ducks and coffee and wild honey are being sold. You can get your keys copied, or a box of chocolates, maybe a fuzzy pair of house slippers. When they are in season, truckloads of watermelons are sold by the hour.
Austin, Texas has always favored and encouraged local entrepreneurs; it’s how they “Keep Austin Weird.” Although Kendra Scott is a Wisconsin native, she began her jewelry line as a mini-collection in Austin in 2002 with only $500, an extra bedroom and a newborn baby. Today, her collections are in more than 800 stores worldwide including big name retailers such as Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, and Lord & Taylor. Due to Austin’s large part in the success of Kendra’s company, she only felt it was appropriate to anchor her flagship store in this flourishing city.
Get your tribal on at Urban Zen during its colorful African Bazaar. Carved wooden bowls, beaded bracelets, gorgeous cotton sarongs, woven beach baskets crafted by Samburu nomads. And warriors performing ritual dances!
Read the first part of guest blogger-photographer Elizabeth Lippman’s special series about departing from the fashion flock here.
In the beginning: disaster. ALL my luggage is lost. I have my cameras and my computer, but no clothing. Let me repeat: NO. CLOTHES. For PARIS FASHION WEEK. I have only what I am wearing, my traveling-at-4am-clothes, and a toothbrush.
Happily, my husband Jac is meeting me at CDG, and we take the RER together right to the neighborhood of our first Paris apartment—"Le Studio de St. Paul" from Airbnb.com, which I've booked for three nights for $359. It's a TINY studio with a loft bed, RIGHT on Rivoli/St. Antoine in the heart of Le Marais, and packed with the clothing and personal items of the owner, a young actress. She greets us, and gives us the keys.
The apartment is above a French chocolate store, the L'Atelier du Chocolat, and the scent of bittersweet chocolate wafts thru the open windows. Not bad. My husband has only been to Paris once, and I am eager to show him “my Paris,” my bars and cafes and, most importantly, now that I have no luggage, my favorite boutiques, all in the Marias—Blancs Manteaux, Les Petits, and Maje. BHV, where I stocked up on Princess Tam Tam and Etam undies. We make our way to Rue Charonne. Luckily for my bank account, the Isabel Marant boutique at no. 16 is closed.
Wonder what Kate Middleton’s going to wear down the Westminster Abbey aisle this Friday? Or what Michelle Obama’s going to wear on just about any given day of the week? Recently, I chatted with T+L contributing editor and style guru Kate Betts—hot off the heels of publishing her new book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style (Clarkson Potter, $35)—about the fashion sensibilities of first ladies around the globe.
Q: People the world over have been enraptured by Michelle Obama’s sense of style. Considering her presence on the international stage, what sort of statement is she making about herself—and America—through what she wears?
A: She is making a statement about the power of confidence. The idea of wearing young, unknown American designers perfectly mirrors many of the ideas her husband campaigned on: new faces, new ideas, change. And at the recent state dinner for the President of China, she made a very bold statement by not wearing a dress designed by an American. A lot of people were upset about that—particularly the American fashion industry. But to my mind her self-possession and confidence define American style better than any label in her dress ever would.