How to pack for fashion week

A styling master class with Harvey Nichols’ Anita Barr

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Harvey Nichols Group Fashion Buying Director Anita Barr travels the globe in order to keep in touch with international design. From New York to Paris, it’s fair to say she has fashionable packing down to a fine art. So, of course we asked her to share her secret to sorting one’s suitcase for the world’s must-see fashion weeks.

Photos: Timur Emek, Getty Images and Melodie Jeng, Getty Images

How often do you travel and what kind of cases do you take with you?

I travel regularly for work and in particular during the fashion weeks. Believe me, you don’t want to be carrying anything too heavy, but equally your case needs to have enough space for the essentials. My go-to is a Rimowa suitcase. Work trips are always really busy with back-to-back appointments and social engagements in the evenings, so I need to be really organised when I pack.

What kind of garments do you choose to pack?

I avoid packing items that crease easily, so no silk pieces or shirting. I plan out my week ahead in terms of outfits and I pack versatile pieces that can mix and match and be worn day to night. And I stick to a neutral colour palette so I know my separates will work together.

What types of fabrics travel best? And are you a roller or a folder?

I’m no roller! I avoid packing items that crease easily and usually use tissue paper to keep delicate items protected. I never over pack as this will certainly crease everything. I have certain items I always travel in because comfort is key.

What do you inevitably wear on the plane?

A Rick Owens leather jacket, J Brand skinny jeans and Rick Owens trainers. When you travel, taking the right bag is really important. I’m currently in love with my Thakoon Downing bag which is really practical as it doubles as a cross-body or a clutch, so perfect for day-to-night dressing; it has multiple compartments which makes it really easy to find things when you’re rushing around and helps avoid those ‘where’s my passport’ panics.

What’s your unpacking routine when you arrive at your hotel at the other end?

I close the door, put some music on, open the case and enjoy not having to worry about anyone else apart from me!

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