What’s in my travel bag: Julien Macdonald

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British designer Julien Macdonald dresses the world’s most photographed women, and his exquisitely crafted red-carpet creations never fail to turn heads. His signature style favours dazzling embellishment, feminine silhouettes, and a generous dose of fun. Over the course of his career he’s worked for Chanel and Alexander McQueen, and in 2001 he became Creative Director of Givenchy.


“I always try to get away and get inspired. Most recently I went to Bali, and I just adored it. I think everyone would love to be woken by the sound of the sea and with the view of an incredible black volcanic beach. Every morning I woke up and did yoga. In the afternoons I’d visit villages to seek out local textiles, batik fabrics, woven tapestries, traditional masks, and dance costumes. It’s a wonderfully culturally rich place with amazing craftspeople. I left brimming with ideas for my next collection.

“For my next trip I’d love to go to New Zealand and see the countryside. I’d also love to go to Oman – it’s supposed to have amazing mountains, and I’d love to go rock climbing.

“I’m a huge fan of shopping at airports – on the way to Bali we stopped off at Hamad International Airport – it’s a duty-free haven and had an amazing selection of stores. Last time I went a bit wild!”

“Another thing I can’t get enough of is Elemis products – they are my secret to fashion week survival, and when I go away on holiday I make sure that I’m stocked up!”

“When I travel, I always take a black cashmere tracksuit to sleep in. James Perse does resort attire that’s very chic, modern, and  laid-back. I have a case full of his clothes so when I go on holiday it’s all ready to go!”

“I love travelling on an aeroplane – the peace and quiet is always a huge source of inspiration for me. I also seem to write loads of notes when I’m going to or coming back from somewhere.”

“When I get to new places I like to learn about what’s around me. In my experience it’s always better to find out about an area by asking the locals instead of relying on a guidebook. I always take my Apple iPad mini and iPhone – that’s all I need.”

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