Gift Guide: Luxury Travel Essentials for a European Summer

Surprise the special person in your life with a gift that’s both stylish and guaranteed to make travel stress-free this season.

Article by T Australia / Photographs by Jedd Cooney / Styled by Virginia van Heythuysen

A collage of pictures.Images courtesy of the brands.
July Carry On Trunk

July Carry On Trunk, $495, july.com.

Mulberry Farringdon backpack, $2,100, mulberry.com.

Mulberry Farringdon backpack$1,580, mulberry.com.

A collection of perfumes.

Jimmy Choo I Want Choo Forever eau de parfum, $219 (100ml), myer.com.au; Moncler Sunrise eau de parfum, $135 (60ml), davidjones.com; and Van Cleef & Arpels California Rêverie eau de parfum, $280 (75ml), davidjones.com.

Chanel Première Velours watch

Chanel Première Velours watch, $6,900, chanel.com

Onitsuka Tiger sandals

Onitsuka Tiger sandals, $330, onitsukatiger.com.

Celine by Hedi Slimane sunglasses
Celine by Hedi Slimane sunglasses, $790, celine.com.

Celine by Hedi Slimane sunglasses, $790, celine.com.

This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our nineteenth edition, Page 52 of T Australia with the headline: “The Art of Giving”

Annie Leibovitz Shoots Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal In Italy For Louis Vuitton

The tennis rivals star in a new campaign for luxury house Louis Vuitton in Italy’s Dolomites.

Article by Hannah Tattersall

Photographer Annie Leibovitz takes a photo for “There are Journeys that turn into Legends” by Louis Vuitton. Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton has revealed a new chapter in its Core Values campaign, enlisting acclaimed photographer Annie Liebovitz to take photographs of tennis rivals (besties) Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The duo are photographed hiking through the Dolomites mountain ranges in Italy with the tagline, “There are Journeys that turn into Legends.” Federer wears a Monogram Christopher backpack and Nadal, the Monogram Eclipse.

The Amphibian-Inspired Shoe Making a Statement off the Runway at Australian Fashion Week

The rubber clompers were designed for sloshing through wild and watery terrain — which, as any fashion lover will tell you, lies at the heart of their appeal.

Article by Jessica Matthews

Merrell’s eco- and vegan-friendly Hydro Next Gen Moc SE shoeMerrell’s eco- and vegan-friendly Hydro Next Gen Moc SE shoe weighs just 680 grams. Photograph courtesy of Merrell.

Few brands embody fashion’s current intrepid spirit quite like the American sportswear purveyor Merrell. Founded in 1981 as a maker of hiking boots, Merrell is now one of a select group of bona fide outdoor apparel labels that have, in recent years, emerged at the epicentre of a growing obsession with all things comfortable, utilitarian and athletic. Although many luxury houses have refined the so-called “Gorpcore” look (named after the acronym for “Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts”, in reference to the beloved hikers’ trail mix), Merrell has continued to build a cult following thanks largely to its gratuitously perforated Hydro Moc shoes. There is simply no mistaking that these amphibian-inspired rubber clompers were designed for sloshing through wild and watery terrain — which, as any fashion lover will tell you, lies at the heart of their appeal.

Early designs or the shoe experimented with additional materials / a sketch that inspired the sinuous shoe.
Early designs or the shoe experimented with additional materials / a sketch that inspired the sinuous shoe. Images courtesy of Merrell.

The recently released Hydro Next Gen Moc SE builds on the success of its namesake predecessor. These ultra-lightweight, fully waterproof slip-ons are vegan- and eco-friendly, made from sustainable materials including the algae-based foam Bloom. According to the brand, 93 litres of water is cleaned and restored to the environment during the creation of each pair.

Merrell aims to include recycled, organic or renewable materials in all of its products by 2025, and this ambition is complemented by a focus on social responsibility, justice, equality, diversity and inclusion. Fittingly for a brand with a wilderness-oriented heritage, its ambassadors tend to talk more about their love for the planet than their style choices. Although it may not be a conventional fashion label, Merrell has somehow trekked right into the heart of the cultural — and sartorial — moment.

Is 2,000 Bags Too Many?

The visual artist Pipilotti Rist’s collection is what happens, she says, “when a 60-something-year-old Central European woman doesn’t throw anything away.”

Article by Kate Guadagnino

The collection.Pipilotti Rist at her Zurich studio, holding the first bag she ever owned, made of lacquer and purchased from a street vendor in Naples, Italy. Photograph by Thibault Montamat.

The Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has long been fascinated with bags and keeps a vast collection of them in her Zurich studio. Known for her immersive sound and video installations (she’s currently the subject of a show at the Fire Station in Doha, Qatar), Rist believes that the bag was one of the first human tools. With a bag, she says, “you have what you need and are independent — and you’re always ready for a possible escape.” But Rist, 61, also considers a bag to be many things besides: a good friend, a portrait of its owner, a universe unto itself and a vessel — similar to the human body. At its heart, Rist says, her collection is “a phenomenological investigation into how many bags come together when a 60-something-year-old Central European woman doesn’t throw anything away.”

The collection:

“All kinds of bags, from [leather] satchels to plastic bags. I’m drawn to anything you put something in and close. For me, they’re all containers, and they’re all stories. I often wonder about the moment at which one of my bags was designed or who the previous owner was.”

Number of pieces in the collection:

“Around 2,000, most from thrift stores. Others I got for free, or as gifts. Relatives and friends drop them off at my house because they know I’m the bag lady.”

First purchase:

“When I was 10, my family went to Naples and, for the first time, my parents took me to the opera. I got a little handbag made from lacquered woven corn leaves from a street vendor. It was red and had a golden chain, and I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. I don’t remember what the opera was. I was more interested in my bag.”

Latest purchase:

“My sister Tamara’s made a lot of my handbags, where I keep my keys and things, and I wear them until they’re in pieces. But last year I cheated on her and bought the most beautiful bag in the world in a [consignment] store in Japan. It’s a leather shoulder bag that’s green, brown and blue.”

One obtained through dubious methods:

“Once, as a teenager, I wanted this big, brown leather bag in a department store. I couldn’t afford it, so I stole it.”

Most far-flung:

“You know the nets around fruits? I count these as bags, too, and I have a couple of lovely examples, also from Japan.”

Other collections:

“I consider myself a collector of collections. [Rist also has collections of toys, cowbells and underwear.] Beginning in first grade, I collected all the broken pencil tips, and I still have them — more than two kilos’ [4.4 pounds’] worth.”

Everything You Need to Know About the 2024 Met Gala

What’s the dress code, who’s hosting, who’s going and how to watch.

Article by Vanessa Friedman

Rihanna, a dizzyingly late arrival at last year’s Met Gala, has confirmed that she will be returning for this year’s event. Photography by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times

First things first: What is the Met Gala?

Officially, it’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, a black-tie extravaganza held the first Monday in May to raise money for the museum’s fashion wing, the only curatorial department at the Met that has to pay for itself.

Unofficially, it’s the party of the year, the Oscars of the East Coast and “an ATM for the Met” (the last according to publicist Paul Wilmot). Consider that last year’s event raised almost $22 million, while the Met’s Art & Artists Gala raised $4.4 million.

How is that possible? What is the secret sauce?

Two words: Anna Wintour.

Wintour, the global editorial director of Condé Nast and the editor-in-chief of its marquee fashion magazine, Vogue, has been the gala’s chief mastermind since 1999 after first signing on in 1995, and has transformed the event from a run-of-the-mill charity gala into a mega-showcase for Vogue’s view of the world — the ultimate celebrity-power cocktail of famous names from fashion, film, tech, politics, sports and, increasingly, social media. Every brand scratches every other brand’s back.

We think of it as the Fashion X Games or the All-Star Game of Entrances.

When is it?

The big day is Monday, May 6. In theory, the timed arrivals — each guest is allotted a slot — start at 5:30 p.m., usually with the evening’s hosts, and end around 8 p.m. But you try telling Rihanna when to show up. (Last year she came so late, other guests had already begun to leave.)

Is there a theme?

The party signals the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual blockbuster show, and the benefit is usually themed to the exhibition. Last year, that was easy — Karl Lagerfeld, the designer of Chanel, Fendi and his own brand, was both subject and dress code. But this year the show is called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” and it is a lot more convoluted.

It will be built around not fairy tales or Disney, but rather treasures in the museum’s fashion collection so old and delicate that they cannot be displayed on mannequins. Instead, the exhibit will involve AI and 3D recreations of the work, as well as sound and, um … smell. But that’s not all.

The idea of decaying dresses — in total, the show will include about 250 pieces from four centuries — led Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s curator in charge, to think about the ephemerality of nature, which led to gardens … which ultimately led to the party’s dress code.

OK, what is the dress code?

It’s as potentially confusing as the exhibit. Guests have been instructed to dress for “The Garden of Time,” so named after a 1962 short story by J.G. Ballard about an aristocratic couple living in a walled estate with a magical garden while an encroaching mob threatens to end their peaceful existence. To keep the crowd at bay, the husband tries to turn back time by breaking off flower after flower, until there are no more blooms left. The mob arrives and ransacks the estate, and the two aristocrats turn to stone.

Just what comes to mind when you think “fashion,” right?

How this parable will be expressed in fabulousness has left many scratching their heads, but for anyone in doubt, roses are the most likely default. Also corsets, drapery and — hopefully — a great vintage gown or two; given his recent popularity, the smart money is on old Galliano resurfacing.

Still, there may be some surprises. Last year, Jared Leto came dressed as Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, in full kitty glory. (After weeks of speculation, the look’s inspiration ultimately did not attend.) Given that Loewe is one of the sponsors of the evening and exhibit, you can expect a lot of Jonathan Anderson creations. He did once make a coat that sprouted real grass. That would look terrific as a formal sheath, don’t you think?

Who are the hosts?

Joining Wintour as the 2024 gala’s co-chairs are Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Chris Hemsworth and Bad Bunny, while the honorary chairs are Anderson of Loewe and Shou Chew, the CEO of TikTok. (TikTok is sponsoring alongside Loewe and Condé Nast, though given what is currently happening in Washington with that social media company, whether he shows up at all is a question.) Like the party itself, the combination of hosts is all about the mix: music, film, fashion and social media.

Who are the livestream hosts?

To give an inside look at the gala, Vogue will be livestreaming the event for the fourth year in a row. Hosts have not yet been announced, but last year they included La La Anthony, Derek Blasberg, Emma Chamberlain and Chloe Fineman.

Who’s invited?

The guest list is a closely guarded secret. Unlike other cultural fundraisers, like the Metropolitan Opera gala or the Frick Collection Young Fellows Ball, the Met Gala is invitation-only. Entry is not just about price — which this year is a whopping $75,000 for one ticket ($25,000 more than last year), with tables beginning at $350,000. Qualifications for inclusion have more to do with buzz, achievement and beauty — the gospel according to Anna — than money. Wintour has the final say over every invitation and attendee.

That means that even if you give tons of money to the museum, you won’t necessarily qualify; and even if a company buys a table, it cannot choose everyone who will sit at that table. It must clear any guests with Wintour and Vogue and pray for approval. This year, as in 2023, there are about 400 Chosen Ones, according to a spokesperson for the Costume Institute.

Rihanna has confirmed her presence. Given the hosts, it’s also a pretty safe bet that Ben Affleck, Lopez’s husband, will be there; ditto Elsa Pataky, Hemsworth’s wife. Chances are likewise high that Loewe faces such as Greta Lee, Josh O’Connor, Taylor Russell and Jamie Dornan may also show. There will probably also be a Kardashian/Jenner or two, judging from years past, and odds are good that Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez will step out — though the hottest speculation is around such names as Caitlin Clarke, Sam Altman and the current celebrity royal couple, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

Last year a cockroach made a surprise, and very New York, appearance.

The 10 Best Things at Salone del Mobile

From an exhibition in a 1940s-era Modernist house to a blood-red sofa, the highlights of Milan’s annual design fair.

Article by Monica Khemsurov

A Mario Bellini for Tacchini Le Mura sofa remade in Gucci’s new signature shade of red, Ancora Rosso, on view in the fashion brand’s Milan flagship store. Photograph courtesy of Gucci.

The annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair has always been big — it’s the event of the year for the international design world, drawing hundreds of thousands of makers, curators, editors and buyers to Milan each April for a week’s worth of inspiration, shop talk and aperitivi. Even more so than fashion week, the fair consumes the city. But this year’s edition seemed to buzz with a new level of excitement, with more people from outside the design industry joining the throngs and hourlong lines forming outside events like the launch of the French luxury brand Hermès’s interiors collection, the annual installation by the Milanese architecture firm Dimorestudio and the satellite fair Alcova’s takeover of the Modernist architect Osvaldo Borsani’s former home — this despite the house being a 45-minute drive north of the city centre. Luckily, there were so many interesting presentations on view that braving the crowds felt well worth it. Here, 10 standouts.

Formafantasma’s Floral Chairs and Futuristic Lights
Left: Formafantasma’s new furniture for Giustini/Stagetti gallery, exhibited at the Fondazione ICA Milano. Right: the duo’s Superwire lights for Flos. Photograph courtesy of Formafantasma. Photograph by Andrea Rossetti; Fondazione ICA Milano. Photo by Nicolò Panzeri.

One of the most talked-about openings of the week was the Milan-based design duo Formafantasma’s solo show at the Fondazione ICA Milano, for which the pair — Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin — drew on memories of their childhood homes in Italy to create surprising hybrid chairs and lamps that pair steel armatures with colourful wood, frilly fabrics and hand-painted or embroidered floral motifs. The aesthetic was institutional furniture meets Italian grandma’s house. Formafantasma also debuted a new series of utilitarian but delicate lights for Flos made from LED strips enclosed in thick glass panels.

A New Furniture Line From Dimorestudio
Pieces from Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci’s new furniture brand, Interni Venosta, displayed inside a plaster workshop in Milan’s Chinatown. Photograph by © Andrea Ferrari.

Once people began posting photos on social media of the launch of Interni Venosta, a new furniture brand from Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, the founders of Dimorestudio, the line’s exhibition quickly became a must-see — partly for its pairing of bold minimalist forms with luxe materials like walnut and steel, and partly because it was presented in an extremely photogenic local plaster workshop. The brand’s name pays homage to the cult Italian designer Carla Venosta, who created modernist furniture and interiors in the 1970s and ’80s.

Gucci’s Blood-Red Design Icons
A Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni Parola lamp, left, and a set of Nanda Vigo for Acerbis Storet drawers, right, both in Gucci’s Ancora Rosso, at the brand’s Milan flagship store. Photograph courtesy of Gucci.

Having recently redone part of Gucci’s Milan flagship store entirely in a deep oxblood red, the brand’s creative director, Sabato De Sarno, partnered with five Italian design companies to reimagine some of their classic pieces in the house’s new signature colour, Ancora Rosso. The lineup, installed for the week on the store’s second floor — inside a lime-green carpet maze created by the Spanish designer Guillermo Santomà — included Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni’s Parola lamp, Nanda Vigo’s Storet cabinet, Mario Bellini’s Le Mura sofa, Tobia Scarpa’s Opatchi vase and a new rug created by Nicolò Castellini Baldissera based on motifs by his great-grandfather Piero Portaluppi. Each item will be produced in a limited edition of 100.

A Takeover of a Modernist Architect’s Fomer Home
At the Alcova fair’s Villa Borsani location, from left: a marble table by Agglomerati and Tino Seubert, and steel office furniture by Supaform. Photograph courtesy © Giulio Ghirardi; © Sean Davidson.

Since its inception in 2018, the Alcova satellite fair has become the place to discover new talent during Salone. This year, it occupied two historic mansions outside the city: the 19th-century Villa Balgatti Valsecchi and the 1945 Villa Borsani. The latter venue, the former residence of the architect Osvaldo Borsani, was the hotter ticket and featured pieces like a two-tone wood room divider by Anthony Guerrée for Atelier de Troupe, a family of marble tables with columnar legs by Agglomerati and Tino Seubert and a suite of galvanized-steel office furniture by the Russian designer Supaform, which was exhibited in Borsani’s onetime home office.

A Dispatch From the Americas
At Unno Gallery’s presentation, from left, brown lacquer furniture by Mark Grattan, a minimalist mirror and chair by Estudio Persona and a mirror and stool made with seashells by Andrea Vargas Dieppa. Photograph by © Alejandro Ramirez Orozco.

Hidden down a long, dark hallway directly next door to Hermès’s big Salone presentation was “Origen,” a comparatively understated show of works by four up-and-coming Latin American(-ish) designers for the New York- and Mexico City-based Unno Gallery. Among the pieces on display were brown lacquer desks and shelves with reverse-waterfall legs by Mark Grattan, an American designer who was based in Mexico City for many years, and a series of glittering stools and mirrors, covered in crushed iridescent seashells, by the Colombian designer Andrea Vargas Dieppa (a co-founder of the 2010s-era shoe brand Dieppa Restrepo).

Unusual Lamps Commissioned by Loewe
Lights commissioned by Loewe and made by Anthea Hamilton, left, and Alvaro Barrington, right. Photograph courtesy of Loewe.

For its eighth and biggest Salone exhibition, the Spanish luxury house Loewe commissioned 24 artists and designers from around the world to create lamps in materials and styles of their own choosing. The results range from the futuristic (a tangle of neon tubes by the London-based artist Cerith Wyn Evans) to the eccentric (a miniature storefront with metal shutters and a pull cord by the London-based painter Alvaro Barrington) to the rustic (an ancient-looking ceramic vessel punched with holes, and lit from within, by the Japanese artist Kazunori Hamana).

Two of six beds designed and exhibited by the Georgian interiors firm Rooms Studio
Two of six beds designed and exhibited by the Georgian interiors firm Rooms Studio. Photograph by Lile Revishvili; Levan Maisuradze.

Eye-catching beds are a true rarity in the design world, which is why there was so much interest this week in an exhibition of six of them, all produced by the Tbilisi, Georgia-based firm Rooms Studio — founded by Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia — in materials ranging from chunky wood to thin steel tubes with steer-head finials. The design duo were inspired to focus on the oft-overlooked category by their struggles to source great bed frames for their own interiors projects.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Next Generation of Design Talents
Works from Dolce & Gabbana’s Gen D show, from left: enameled vessels by Jie Wu and a crab-shaped mosaic table by Mestiz. Photographs courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana.

The Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana’s second annual Gen D project reflects the company’s commitment to supporting young talent both within and beyond the fashion world. For the ambitious group exhibition, the house enlisted the Italian curator Federica Sala to pair 10 international designers with sixteen Italian craft workshops. Among the resulting pieces are interesting stylistic and cultural mash-ups like the Chinese designer Jie Wu’s wild, squiggly vessels, which feature Chinese and Sicilian good-luck motifs and are coated in classical Venetian enamel.

Two photos of Modernist architectural details, from the more than 3,000 images exhibited in Adam Štěch’s “Elements” show.
Two photos of Modernist architectural details, from the more than 3,000 images exhibited in Adam Štěch’s “Elements” show. Photograph by© Adam Štěch.

In a simple but memorable exhibition mounted in one of the tunnels that flanks Milan’s central train station, the Czech writer, curator and photographer Adam Štěch — along with his colleagues Matěj Činčera and Jan Kloss — displayed over 3,000 photos of details from famed Modernist homes and buildings. In shooting the photos, which he’s shared on his Instagram account, @okolo_architecture, over the years, Štěch focused on interiors and furnishings that were custom-made for each project by their architects. It was easy to get lost in the show, poring over doorknobs, stair rails and lamps from around the world.

Works from a show of furniture made from the acrylic-resin material Fenix.
Works from a show of furniture made from the acrylic-resin material Fenix. From left: a Ping-Pong table by Martinelli Venezia and a double-sided rocking chair by Zanellato/Bortotto. Photograph by Claudia Zalla.

The exhibition “Design Duo Double Feature,” also curated by Federica Sala, was a thoughtful example of a materials brand commissioning designers to show off the potential of its products: The six pieces in the show were all made from the acrylic-resin surface material Fenix and designed by up-and-coming Italian studios like Cara \ Davide, Mist-O and Zanellato/Bortotto. A standout was the Match table by Martinelli Venezia, a circular two-tone Ping-Pong table whose “net” is formed from a tenting of its top.