In this feature, InStyle’s Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent Dana Avidan Cohn documents what she packed and what she wore for her trip to London Fashion Week.
Twice a year I get to travel to London and check out all that British designers have to offer. While I am there I stay at the Rosewood London and attend 40+ runway collections, scout new brands at showroom appointments, and take lunches and dinners with designers and publicists. This all takes place within a compressed 4-day mini fashion week. My days are 8 A.M--midnight and if I'm lucky there is a 30 minute break to run back to the hotel.
The Burberry show is one of the highlights every season in London. For years, the mega-brand has been at the forefront of digital innovation in the fashion industry. From Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne in the front row, to click-to-buy runway looks via Twitter, to Instagram-worthy installations—the whole experience feels like one big social media frenzy. The whole time, I kept my followers in-the-know via Instagram (@danaavidancohn).
Fashion-wise, I need to dress for a full day. It's tricky to pack because the weather is so unpredictable, so I pack something from every season knowing that the mornings may be freezing and afternoons may be hot. First, I commit to checking a bag. There is no way I am getting everything into a carry on. Instead of over stuffing a small bag, I decide to leave room in a large bag knowing that there are a few shops I intend to swing by (after all, it's fashion research).
I see my only block of time is a 2 hour window on Saturday morning which gives me just enough time to swing by Whistles, Matches Fashion, & Other Stories, none of which are not open in the United States yet. I score an oxblood Fendi bag at Matches and a pair of Nikes at & Other Stories—I also found a great pair of culottes and a pleated skirt at Whistles. Fraud protection notified my husband of the purchases before I get a chance to—(oops).
Even though I work in fashion, I shop very little. I pre-order a few pieces each season and that's it. However, every time I travel I get an urge to shop, partly because the pieces feel a bit more special and also because the pound always sounds more reasonable even though the conversion isn't!
My clothing strategy for London was the same for New York fashion week - black, white, burgundy, and navy with some cool darker prints mixed in. I brought a Belstaff moto jacket that I wore on and off the whole weekend and kept the same jewelry on everyday. This season, for me, has been all about separates. I like creating something instead of just wearing a dress on its own.
On the plane, I always wear track pants from Vince—they are so comfortable and look cute with a trainer and leather jacket. I also pack one flat sandal to swap in for when my feet are done with heels.
I am still learning about beauty. I have never been into makeup and too many products overwhelm me. I am trying to streamline my regimen. When I travel, I always pack the polish I have on for touch ups.
1. Hitting London Town
"Getting to cover the British designers means an amazing trip to London twice a year. I always leave room in my suitcase knowing I will be adding a few new purchases while I'm in town."Marc Jacobs sunglasses, $365; marcjacobs.comBelstaff leather jacket, $2,495; belstaff.comSuno pants, lagarconne.com for similar stylesDerek Lam shoes, shopbop.com for similar stylesFendi satchel, $1,762; matchesfashion.com
2. Beauty Must-Haves
"I never use hotel shampoo because my hair reacts so strongly to new products. Bumble and Bumble makes the perfect size mini bottles for travel."Eau Thermale Avene spring water spray, $18; dermstore.comBumble and Bumble Foam Wash Shampoo, $24 for full size; sephora.comBumble and Bumble Cream Rinse Conditioner, $26 for full size; sephora.comBumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $26 for full size; sephora.comNARS Audacious Lipstick in Smokey Rose, $32; narscosmetics.comDermalogica travel size Daily Microfoliant, $12; skinmedix.comArmani Luminous Silk Foundation, $62; bloomingdales.comFresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask, $65; fresh.com
"A friend once told me she orders room service the night before and it really is the best tip. If you have an early morning you can schedule breakfast for 5 minutes after your wake up call. It saves so much time and allows you to plan out your morning more efficiently, which is key for a work trip."
4. Workout Wear
"Before I go to a hotel, I always find out about the gym. If I’m in a city, I like to run outside in the morning when it's quiet. It's the absolute best way to get a feel for the city. For music, I download everything onto a Spotify playlist so that I don't waist any data."Nike sports bra, $35; ladyfootlocker.comUnder Armour pants, $40; underarmour.comBeats by Dre headphones, $200; beatsbydre.comDannijo iPhone 5 case, $98; dannijo.comNike sneakers, $100; footlocker.com
"Lipsticks are the only things I pack in multiples. Because I don't wear a lot of makeup when I travel, it's the only thing I use to change up my look."From left: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Flamingo, $32; narscosmetics.comRouge Dior Lipstick in Deauville, $35; bloomingdales.comMarc Jacobs Beauty Kiss Pop Lip Color Stick in Electric Rose, $28; sephora.comGuerlain Kiss Kiss Shaping Cream Lip Colour, $37; sephora.com for similar colors
7. Visiting Mulberry's Headquarters
8. Visiting Mulberry's Headquarters
"I also had to capture the moment with this shot of their incredible floral arrangements. They had over 3,000 flowers there!"