It all sounds super glamorous, I know, but the reality of extremely long days as well as being away from family and home for a month means that it’s those little extra things that make the difference and help you get through it all - so by the time you board the Eurostar back to London after the last day in Paris you still (kind of) have a smile on your face.
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have packed a suitcase, Whether it’s for an overnight stay in LA to shoot a cover, a quick press trip to Paris or a two week holiday with the kids. I have pretty much got it down to a fine art. But it still seems to take me forever and I don’t stop until the case is full. I have some tips on packing I can share (but that’s another blog post!). This all about those things that make it into my suitcase before anything else.
Packing for fashion weeks should all be about the bags and shoes. Right? Well, yes. There's a lot of planning that goes into those outfits. But it's also about those things you may not think about, so here’s my go-to list of things I can't live without (don't judge me!)
Lets start with something essential – the perfect suitcase. One that is so light that it means that extra pair of shoes won’t tip you into excess baggage/overweight territory. It has four wheels so it glides across the airport with little effort from you. Struggling with a suitcase is not a good look. Instead you should be chic and effortless - just like celebrities when they travel.
2. Cables And Chargers
As I never leave the house without at least two phones, an iPad and possibly a laptop - as well as a hairdryer and travel steamer - a vast selection of plugs, wires, charges, adapters, convertors are needed, too. Which calls for the perfect bag to put them all in.
Then there’s the caffeine, or an equivalent. As a non coffee drinker who has managed to kick my dark chocolate habit (well almost), I need to find my caffeine fix in other ways. Matcha powder is my new pick me up, and keeps me going all day. Plus, it's a healthy alternative.
4. Party Feet
Not being a high heel wearer most of the year, I couldn’t get through a week of Milan (where heels are essential footwear) without a pair of Party Feet. They are not the most glamorous of accoutrements, but they give me at least another three hours of comfortable heel wearing. Running in heels… well, almost.
An eye mask and earplugs are in my hand luggage for the plane journey (have you ever been on a plane over half term with 100 excitable teenagers on a school trip?!), and also for the hotel room. You never know where that chink of light is going to appear in the morning, or if your neighbour in the next-door room will be noisy. Sleep is essential to fashion week survival. Get it while you can.
Buy It: Yolke Eye Mask £25
6. Healthy Snacks
In-between shows we try and find time to eat. Odd, I know, but yes, fashion people eat too. Sometimes that lunchtime pizza can be another three shows and an appointment away, so I travel with a selection healthy snacks (yes there is a Nakd bar in the bottom of my Chanel handbag) to keep me from reaching for the Haribos. But whatever you do don’t make the mistake I did of offering a medjool date as a substitute for lunch. Some members of the team don’t appreciate it!
Buy It: Upcakes ChocBites £4.95
7. Hand Steamer
Now we are on to something a bit extra – a hand steamer. With all those street style photographers one every corner the ‘I just rolled out of bed look’ is not a good. This is one of the best things I have ever bought. It’s light enough to travel with as well a quick and easy to use. Within 5 minutes you can go from crumpled mess to camera ready.
Finally my trainers. No matter where in the world I go these come too. Sneaking in an early morning run is just what I need to get me through my FROW slump. Plus it’s a great way to see a city.
So now you know what really goes into a Fashion Director's suitcase. And you thought this was going to be all about Celine, Gucci and Prada.
But if you do want to see my show looks every day from Fashion Week, check out my Arabella Wears: Street Style gallery.
WATCH: How To Survive Fashion Week (By Our Favourite FROW Stars)