If you think Fashion Month seems like an endless parade of parties, runway shows, dinners, and socializing, you would actually be correct. But, throw in buying appointments, business meetings, line reviews, and nonstop shuttling from place to place by plane, car, and foot, and suddenly you’ve got a lot less glamour and a ton more grueling work to round out the schedule. From February to March, Barneys’ Fashion Director, Marina Larroudé, navigates this sort of demanding itinerary from NYC to Paris with plenty of stops in between. While her agenda demands that she pack up her entire closet, the size of her Rimowa suitcase dictates otherwise. Here’s how she pulls together a lean, mean Fashion Month wardrobe with a few helpful tips and tricks that can be used for any type of work/play travel plans.
STREAMLINE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE
Three things to take advantage of when packing a neat and tight toiletries case: travel kits, sheet masks, and makeup palettes. Barneys stocks tons of mini versions of your favorite products, such as this skin and hair set from Malin+Goetz. It’s good to have when you’re not sure what kind of shower setup you’re walking into; plus, they come self-contained and are spill-resistant. Meanwhile, sheet masks give you a dose of moisture at your skin’s driest time: air travel. And once you use them, they can be disposed of—which means one less thing to hold on to. Makeup palettes simply cut the clutter.
PACK A LITTLE SECRET
This one has a dual meaning. For starters, Marina loves and swears by small bags. She packs them using a Russian-nesting-doll method of putting one in the other to hold their contents and take up less space. Secondly, while the Paco Rabanne bag’s R at the bottom does stand for Rabanne, Marina says it makes her think of her husband, Ricardo. Having a little something that reminds you of home when you’re gone for so long can brighten a moment and make you smile. It’s a small but important momento that’s nice to have on the road.
Dresses take the guessing game out of getting ready in the morning. No mixing and matching pants with skirts and blouses and sweaters. Just choose a handful of dresses, and your polished outfits are complete.
In Marina’s non-on-the-road life, she’s a believer in the statement piece. Shoes, bags, coats, tops—just one of these standout items can elevate a whole look. When you’re keeping your travel wardrobe tight, though, Marina suggests statement jewelry pieces for the simple fact that they’re small but mighty. Take this Natasha Zinko earring: It fits in the palm of her hand but has the ability to take her look from daytime serious (classic diamond studs) to nighttime fun (BOOM—apple ear jacket).
THE MID-HEEL MULE
Yes, mid-heels are great for when you have to walk a lot (or non-violently fight for your seat at a fashion show), but, truth be told, they’re also having a major fashion moment right now. The trendy-yet-comfortable heel height looks sexy and playful in a mule silhouette; plus, the shape allows the shoe to puzzle up quite nicely in a suitcase.
COMFORT DOESN’T MEAN SLOPPY
It may be tempting to get as casual as possible for a red-eye flight, but when you’re commuting with everyone you’ve ever known and worked with, keeping up appearances is a must. Choose wrinkle-averse tech fabrics and soft knits that will both keep you warm and cozy and have you looking like a pro. Also, be sure to stick some leggings in your bag to change into during a red-eye, and simply swap back to the skirt you boarded in before touchdown.
THE SUITCASE MATTERS
The most important bag of all for travel is the one that holds it all together: the suitcase. If you’re still wheeling around your old trusty duffel on double wheels, you haven’t truly enjoyed life. Lest we sound hyperbolic, picture this: two matching titanium trolleys on 360 wheels that move when you move, with neat compartments and TSA locks. Heaven.