Limited-Edition Luggage Fit For Vampires’ Wives and Musicians On Tour

The Vampire’s Wife’s Susie Cave releases a luxury luggage suite with Globe-Trotter, inspired by her singer-songwriter husband Nick Cave.

Article by Victoria Pearson

The Vampire's Wife_Ivory Jewellery Case_£1,995 (7)The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Ivory Jewellery Case. All imagery courtesy of The Vampire's Wife.

Love is a potent creative tailwind – a muse as old as time for artists, writers, designers, musicians and so on, and on. A new limited-edition collaboration between The Vampire’s Wife, helmed by Susie Cave, and the esteemed British luxury luggage manufacturer Globe-Trotter, is anchored in romance – inspired by personal stories and memories shared between Susie, her family, and her singer-songwriter-author husband Nick Cave.

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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Black Set.
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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Ivory Jewellery Case.

“I have owned and loved Globe-Trotter luggage for as long as I can remember, to carry a thing of such classic elegance and beauty is such a pleasure,” says Susie, who recalls being gifted a piece from the brand (that had belonged to Leonard Cohen) by the legendary photographer, Dominique Issermann.

“I cherished and used that suitcase endlessly, and it meant so much to me for so many reasons, and then when I met my husband, Nick, I gave it to him. It was the first thing that I ever gave to Nick, and it felt symbolic. Nick in turn used the suitcase for many years until it was recently moved into the care of a museum archive.”

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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Black 4-Wheel Carry-On Case.
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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter set.

Comprising an array of elegant XL trunks, cabin, carry-on, vanity, and jewellery cases in sophisticated black and ivory colourways, the collaborative capsule is brought to life in two parts: The Black Collection and The Wedding Collection. Featuring black sparkle velvet and blood red interiors, each design is accented with meticulously crafted leather trims, golden brass hardware, and luggage tags adorned with The Vampire’s Wife’s iconic bat motif.

The Black Collection was conceived with Nick in mind: “As a musician, Nick is eternally on tour, and loves to carry handsome luggage,” says Susie.

The Wedding Collection, on the other hand, draws inspiration from a striking vanity case presented as wedding gift from Susie’s father to her mother. “As a young girl I was entranced by this beautiful piece of luggage – it is one of my earliest style memories.”

Launching November 30, each piece seeks to redefine luxury travel through the lens of The Vampire’s Wife’s nostalgic and dreamlike aesthetic. Love is supposedly priceless, but with pieces retailing from $2,339, The Vampire’s Wife x Globe-Trotter collection stands as a significant gesture of affection (or self love) this holiday season.

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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Ivory Jewellery Case.
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The Vampire's Wife x Globe-Trotter Black Vanity Case.

Aboard Silversea’s Luxury Ship of Light

A new ultra-luxury cruiser from Silversea promises to connect passengers to the sky, sea and shore like never before.

Article by Lee Tulloch

silversea_silver nova_1The Silver Nova at sea. Courtesy of Silversea.

Although cruise ships carry people across the world’s oceans, it’s possible to spend an entire cruise — especially on one of the behemoths that resemble an apartment complex — without having much to do with the sea. Passengers huddle in bars and restaurants and fight for space on the pool deck, often accompanied by the noise of a movie playing on a big screen. Even on the small luxury ships, outdoor space is limited and private verandahs coveted. 

Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea is pitching a point of difference with Silver Nova, the first in a new class of ships. The concept was to give passengers an experience of being immersed in the ship’s destination, rather than imposing on it. Although the vessel resembles a larger version of Silversea’s other ships, its innovative engineering design offers a greater connection to the outdoors, prompting the company’s president, Barbara Muckermann, to call it a “game changer”.

I have a chance to assess whether that lofty description is deserved when I join Silver Nova’s maiden voyage, spending four days cruising the Adriatic. My first impression after stepping on board is a sense of lightness — both in the ship’s physical structure and the abundance of natural light. Ceiling heights have been raised and many visual barriers, such as columns, reduced. The ship also features an astonishing 4,000-plus square metres of glass, including two banks of sheer elevators that whisk guests between floors while also providing extraordinary views of the coast. 

In many ways, it’s a ship pulled inside out, like a glove. Many spaces that would ordinarily be indoors have been placed outside, so that even with a full load of 728 passengers, it feels sumptuously spacious. 

New, quieter engine technology with less vibration has made it possible for suites to run along long horizontal corridors, rather than being concentrated fore and aft, meaning every suite comes with a verandah, providing yet more views of the expansive sea. My suite is slightly narrower than expected, but the elegant decor, spacious marble bathroom, walk-in wardrobe and vanity table that can double as a desk more than make up for it. Silversea also provides large, refillable dispensers of bathroom products such as shampoo, conditioner and handwash, and every guest receives a stainless steel water bottle that can be refilled at water stations around the ship.

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The Silver Nova’s pool deck is unusually located on the side of the ship. Courtesy of Silversea.
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S.A.L.T. (Sea And Land Taste) Bar. Courtesy of Silversea.

The ship’s asymmetrical design locates the 130-square-metre swimming pool along the starboard side, rather than in the middle, as is standard in ocean liners. This layout not only supports the aforementioned long corridors of suites, it also provides a greater connection to the destination. Floating in that pool while taking in the region’s rugged cliffs and emerald bays is an experience I won’t forget.

Every eye is drawn to the destination, even when you’re seated in the well-named Arts Café — the ship’s social hub — which is lined with shelves of bright glassware, books and ceramics. While the Silver Nova is populated with striking contemporary furniture — by makers such as Tirolo, Pedro and Robos — in citrines and burnt oranges, the underlying colour palette is neutral so as not to distract from the seascape.

Silver Nova has been designed as a warm-weather ship, even though its Grand South America voyage, starting in January 2024, will take it to cooler climates. The main action is on decks 10 and 11, which encompass upper and lower levels in a U-shape, with the pool and its bar flowing into outdoor lounges and the alfresco restaurant hub Marquee, situated under blooming artificial trees.

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La Terrazza restaurant channels Silversea’s Italian heritage. Courtesy of Silversea.
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The Marquee comprises The Grill and Spaccanapoli restaurant. Courtesy of Silversea.

For passengers, the entire boat feels like a floating Italian Riviera. There are some cosy interior spaces, such as the Kaiseki Japanese omakase restaurant tucked away on deck four, and the beautiful “secret” library with a gilded ceiling painted by the Albanian artist Artur Sula, hidden in the Observation Lounge on deck 10. But on a sunny day, the upper decks resemble a scene from one of the beaches of Trieste, Italy, our first port. My fellow passengers seem to prefer life by the pool rather than on one of the sparkling beaches below. Who can blame them? Four of the ship’s 10 bars and lounges are located on deck 10, and there is no shortage of bartenders and waitstaff to deliver drinks. 

Dusk Bar at the rear of the pool deck soon becomes my favourite haunt. Although it’s popular at night for its roster of live music, it’s largely forgotten during the day. I can linger over a well-constructed mocktail on one of the lounges and watch the destinations get smaller as we leave them behind. 

The ship has eight restaurants, including two specialty restaurants, La Dame and Kaiseki, available at a supplementary cost. (Pretty much everything else is included, except spa treatments in the Roman-style Otium Spa, select shore excursions and premium wines.) But the culinary standout is Silversea’s Sea And Land Taste program (aka S.A.L.T.), conceived by former Saveur editor-in-chief Adam Sachs, a three-time James Beard Journalism Award winner. 

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At S.A.L.T. Lab, guests can enjoy cooking lessons and food experiences inspired by the ship’s destinations. Courtesy of Silversea.

Designed to be as immersive as the vessel (it was launched on sister ship Silver Moon in 2020), S.A.L.T. features local ingredients, authentic recipes and spirits and wines drawn from the destination — in this case, the Adriatic region. The program runs via a well-orchestrated 11-course chef’s table experience, cooking classes at the S.A.L.T. Lab and chef-led tours to wineries, organic farms and notable restaurants in the region. The S.A.L.T. Kitchen, a separate restaurant on deck three, has a changing menu every night, showcasing traditional dishes from the day’s port. And the S.A.L.T. Bar serves regional wines, beers and spirits, and mixes wicked cocktails integrating local flavours. 

A thoughtful collection of 230 books and 1,766 works of art by 59 emerging and established artists from 25 countries enhances the cruising experience. Among the pieces are 28 bronzes by Italian sculptor Francesco Messina and whimsical ceramics by Spanish artist Ana Rod. Against the ship’s neutral design palette, the works sing with colour and wit. Curator Mariangela Capuzzo from International Corporate Art says she wanted to create a museum-like experience, particularly in the usually dead stairwell areas, where the walls form perfect small exhibition spaces. Each commissioned artwork needed to withstand the ship’s vibrations and movements, no small thing considering many of the creations are made from porcelain or glass. I can’t help wondering how a beautiful installation of 40 glass pieces by Canadian artist Michael Skura on the walls of the Venetian Lounge will fare in rough seas.  

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An ocean view from the Otium Spa sauna. Courtesy of Silversea.

Another element of the ship’s “lightness” is its sustainability, with Silversea aiming to make as light a footprint on destinations as possible. The new Nova class is shaping up to become the most environmentally conscious fleet of ultra-luxury ships at sea, with Silversea aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions per suite compared with the fleet’s Muse class of ships. Fuel cells and batteries will allow emission-free operation in port where possible. Nova’s hybrid technology uses liquefied natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel. The ship’s blunt-nosed hull is designed to increase fuel efficiency, and the six glass elevators generate their own energy. 

The Silver Nova may not be a game changer for the entire industry — after all, the concept of a floating resort is not new — but I hope its inspired design and approach to sustainability means other companies see the light too. 

Spend A Long Weekend in the New New York

For one T Australia writer, a few days in the Big Apple provide a fresh perspective on New York City.

Article by Mariela Summerhays

Little IslandLittle Island in the city's Meatpacking District. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.

There are the New York cultural institutions that are steadfast and unchanged by the passage of time. But one of the beautiful things about New York City is that a new show’s curtains are raised every night, a new hotel offering a different perspective on quiet luxury opens its doors, and a new restaurant adds another dimension to the city’s famed and expansive culinary scene.

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The Penthouse at the Gansevoort Hotel. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.
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The Penthouse at the Gansevoort Hotel. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.
View from Saishin
The view from Saishin. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.
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The Penthouse at the Gansevoort Hotel. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.

The evolution of a local legend
Gansevoort Hotel, Meatpacking District

If ever you stay at the Gansevoort Hotel, plan to arrive when it’s already dark. It is the early hours of the morning when I arrive, and the stone-cobbled streets  glow from the soft light being emitted from not only its own windows, but the ones of the shop fronts across the way. I’ve arrived in New York many hours later than anticipated, after coast-wide delays have meant I’ve spent the better part of the day in airport lines, redirected and turned away at every turn. Arriving in my room, the lights are already mercifully dimmed. I’m not so tired that I can’t appreciate the immaculately curated charcuterie board that waits for me, or the vibrantly-hued fresh flowers that pick up on the royal blue and chartreuse that is woven throughout the hotel’s recently renovated interiors.

This attention to detail is prevalent throughout my short stay, a legacy of current management. Anton Moore, General Manager of the Gansevoort Hotel, shares he actually first frequented the hotel when it opened eighteen years ago (we’re speaking over cocktails in the hotel’s lobby bar, and he apologises; he’s spotted a stray straw that’s just fallen from a nearby table, and politely requests a staff member remove it). Back then, the hotel was the centre of nightlife in the area, and Moore recalls clocking off work and coming to the hotel for its iconic rooftop, or its club, Provocateur. “I joked when I was interviewing, if they had seen some of the security footage of me bouncing in and out of the hotel years ago…” he says, laughing. “But it was a rite of passage, for a lot of people.”

The Meatpacking District of those years no longer exists, and so then, has the Ganesvoort too changed. “The Meatpacking District, alongside the Gansevoort, we’ve all kind of elevated and changed at the same time.” Sharing the neighbourhood with the Whitney Museum, Little Island and the Chelsea Gallery, art is consciously interspersed throughout. Sitting on shelves above us in the lobby bar, playful sculptures made over in the styles of New York’s most prolific artists, Warhol, Haring  and Basquait look over us. Even the custom cocktails menu from which we’ve chosen our drinks is distinctively creative, each recipe inspired by the clients who come from far-flung corners of the globe, and elect to stay here over other luxury hotels, due to its relaxed, social and artistic atmosphere.

Moore kindly escorts me to the hotel’s rooftop, which he fondly refers to as the ‘jewel of the jewellery box’ and where I’m to have dinner that evening. Saishin, a contemporary omakase-style restaurant, delights with its views, to be sure – awe for the New York skyline isn’t a cliche for nothing – but without doubt, it is worth facing away from such views to dine at the counter, where the ten-plus nigiri omakase (literally translated to ‘I leave it up to you’) is served.

Chef first serves me two seasonal appetisers – the oyster topped with uni and ikura white soy gelee is said to be a crowd favourite, and I immediately conclude it to be one of mine, too – before nigiri and sashimi are elegantly and expertly assembled in front of me in quick succession. Bluefin tuna is paired with caviar and gold; saba, or blue-backed fish, with green apple and goma. It is a fitting fine dining experience for a hotel of endless creativity, and a journey I can only hope to be taken on again in the future.

Book your stay at Gansevoort Hotel here; and make reservations at Saishin here.

J. Harrison Ghee post-performance
J. Harrison Ghee post-performance at "Some Like It Hot". Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.

A modern retelling of a golden classic
“Some Like It Hot”, Broadway

Based on the ‘50s film of the same name (and Marilyn Monroe’s famed, critically-acclaimed foray into comedy), “Some Like It Hot” is about two jazz musicians who witness a mob murder, and disguised as Josephine and Daphne, jump on a cross-country train as part of an all-girl’s jazz band. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman know that some of their audience will be expecting the bright and brassy music of the prohibition era when this story is set, and for certain, the tap sequence during “You Can’t Have Me (If You Don’t Have Him)” delights any who was raised on MGM classics and the pairings of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, as I was; but indeed, this is not the “Some Like It Hot” of the last century.

Where the film made allusions to honesty being of great import, this production holds it at its centre, with heartwarming sincerity. It is a few weeks after J. Harrison Ghee wins their Best Leading Actor in a Musical award at the 76th Annual Tony Awards. After thanking their mother for showing them the best ways to direct their God-given talents, Ghee had dedicated their history-making award “for every non-binary, every transgender, non-conforming human who was ever told you couldn’t be seen, this is for you”. It is evident that Ghee holds these sentiments close to heart, as despite having inhabited this role hundreds of times since the production debuted, they still deliver lines with such sincerity.

Yes, it is a wonderful night out at the theatre where joy, and loud joy, is served (two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle charms at every turn as Joe/Josephine, his Playbill bio stating, ‘He is not on social media. Won’t you join him?’ only further endears him); but the value of this production can be distilled to the soft, almost-whisper of a moment when Joe asks Ghee’s character, “What do I call you?  Jerry or Daphne?”. Their response is simply, heartachingly, honest: “As long as you do it with love and respect.”

“Some Like It Hot” is now showing at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre. Book tickets here.

Meatpacking District
The Meatpacking District. Photograph by Mariela Summerhays.

A cultural icon takes a new direction
American Ballet Theatre

Last year, American Ballet Theatre announced Susan Jaffe – once declared by The New York Times as ‘America’s Quintessential American Ballerina’ – as artistic director, after an earlier career dancing at the company for 22 years. When asked by Playbill about how she intends to aid in the company’s mission to extend classical dancing to the widest possible audience, she spoke of the need for diversity and inclusion.“Currently, my focus is on providing more women and artists of colour the opportunity to share their voices on our stage so that we continue to expand artistically as we move forward into the future.” 

This expansion into broader territories of storytelling was evident earlier this year, when Christopher Wheeden’s adaptation of Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” made its New York premiere. Following the generations-spanning love story between Tita de la Garza and Pedro Muzquiz, it has captivated for its magical realism; the food born of Tita’s emotive and heartfelt cooking affects all who consume it, in dramatic and often devastating ways.

Desiring “to create a poetic abstraction of Mexican ideas, colours, and sounds in order to tell the story,” the production is said to be the biggest in Company history. Mexican conductor, Alondra de la Parra, served as a music consultant on the production, and so music by Joby Talbot – herself inspired by encounters with Mexico City – is coloured with many instruments indigenous to Mexico. Bob Crowley’s set designs, inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán, are instantly transportive. (Claire Davison, who plays the overbearing and ultimately sympathetic character, Mama Elena, also deserves mention for her captivating performance.)

In a time when entertainment is bite-sized, and ballet company directors are being tasked with preserving this classical art for future generations, Jaffe’s recent choices offer hope for the future. “Woolf Works”, the North American premiere of a production inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf, debuts next April; if anywhere as considered as “Like Water for Chocolate”, it will be a fulfilling and inspired night at the ballet.

“Woolf Works” will make its North American premiere with the American Ballet Theatre next year. Book tickets here.

Don’t Pack Your Bags Without These Three Travel Essentials

Holiday outfits aside, don’t forget these trip-making accessories when heading off on your next adventure.

Article by T Australia

Samsonite C-Lite_2Photograph by Phillip Huynh.

Hot Shot

Good things come in small packages, as the clever folks at Wacaco surely knew when they released a smaller version of the brand’s portable espresso machine. At 13 centimetres long and weighing only 290 grams, the Minipresso NS2 is compatible with original Nespresso capsules. Several pumps of the pop-out piston will produce a rich shot of espresso topped with golden crema. $89.90, alternativebrewing.com.au.

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Image courtesy of Wacaco.

Light Relief

Combining rugged construction and clever design, Samsonites C-Lite suitcase provides a smoother and lighter travel experience. Made in Europe, the innovative Curv® technology hardshell is both impact resistant and feather light. The double wheels and elongated pull handle make navigating a crowded airport a breeze, while the integrated USB port allows for charging on the go. C-Lite bags also come with a 10-year limited warranty. From $489, samsonite.com.au.

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Photograph by Phillip Huynh.

On the Move

Keep your essentials close and your hands free with Bellroy’s Lite Sling — a handy cross-body bag with enough compartments to separately house your sunglasses, wallet, phone, earphones and even an AirTag. A padded panel on the back ensures comfort on the go. The durable ripstop fabric, made from recycled plastic, is three times lighter than its predecessor. Available in seven- and four-litre sizes, the sling comes with a three-year warranty. From $119, bellroy.com

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Photograph courtesy of Bellroy.

T Australia Luxury Travel Special: The Polar Express

A daytrip to Antarctica by air provides an unforgettable look at the continent’s fragile beauty.

Article by Katarina Kroslakova

Antarctica_luxury travelA tapestry of ice on the edge of Antarctica, seen from on board an Antarctica Flights charter plane. Photograph by Kit Haselden.

We’ve been flying south from Sydney for almost four hours and passengers on the right side of the Qantas 787 Dreamliner have started gasping and pointing at something out of the window. From my seat in the middle of premium economy, I crane my neck to try to glimpse what has captivated them. When someone moves their head, I finally see it: a shard of the purest white gleaming in the inky ocean below. It’s an iceberg — the first spotted on this 13-hour scenic charter flight to Antarctica. 

It’s just a taste of what is to come. As we cross the south magnetic pole and head towards the great frozen landmass — at 13.7 million square kilometres, it’s almost twice the size of Australia and larger than all of Europe — ice floes stretch to the horizon as far as the eye can see, turning the Southern Ocean into what looks like a giant slab of marble.  

The aircraft gradually descends to about 3,000 metres above sea level (the lowest altitude permitted) to grant an up-close view of the vast continent. Rising from the horizon, the jagged coast of Antarctica appears and the cabin breaks into rapturous applause. While I had expected to be wowed by the stark beauty of the ice shelves, glaciers and crevasses, glistening like crystal in the sunlight, it is the mountain ranges that impress me most: dark peaks and ridges jutting proudly from a pillowy blanket of snow. Their immensity is hard to grasp. The Transantarctic Mountains stretch for 3,500 kilometres, spanning the entire continent, and their highest peak, Mount Kirkpatrick, is 4,528 metres tall. We fly so close it seems as if I can see every striation on the surface of these slumbering beasts.

At the halfway point of the journey, we all swap seats so those sitting far from windows can get a better view. I’m relieved to finally be in pole position, especially since the 787 Dreamliner’s electronically dimmable windows are the largest on any passenger jet, which minimises the drawback of being seated over the wing. The view is so glaringly white that it calls for sunglasses, which I’d been advised to bring. 

The documentary maker Peter Hicks and the glaciologist Peter Keage provide expert commentary over the plane’s PA system and roam the cabin sharing their knowledge of and experiences exploring the Great White Continent. I learn that the ice sheet covering Antarctica is on average about 2.2 kilometres thick (up to 4.8 kilometres at its densest point), and that it holds 90 per cent of the world’s surface fresh water. Yet Antarctica is one of the driest places on earth, with an average annual precipitation of just 166 millimetres, and is classed as a desert.

No trip to Antarctica would be complete without considering the effects of climate change, which includes thinning ice, melting glaciers and declining numbers of krill, polar bears and penguins (including the recent devastating loss of thousands of emperor penguin chicks). The paradox of taking a long-haul flight to view one of the most ecologically fragile places on the planet is not lost on me, but the operator, Antarctica Flights (antarcticaflights.com.au), has taken measures to mitigate environmental damage: all flights are carbon neutral and only fly out of each departure city — Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth — once or twice a year, with the next flight scheduled for mid-November. The company also supports the Antarctic Science Foundation, a charity that funds research into crucial projects such as ice shelf mapping and penguin mating viability.

We roam over Antarctica for three hours in all, collectively marvelling at the pristine wilderness. We spot the French Dumont d’Urville base, Mawson’s Huts (erected by the explorer Sir Douglas Mawson from 1910 to 1914, appearing to us like specks of dirt on the gleaming ice), the spectacular Ross Ice Shelf, which is fed by several gigantic glaciers, and the stunning mountains in Northern Victoria Land and Cape Adare — collectively just a fraction of the continent. All too soon, it’s time to head home. 

At the end of the day, I have been in the air for more than half of it and have ended up where I started. But my spiritual cup — not to mention my camera’s memory card — is full after my encounter with this magical place.

Christine Piper contributed to this report.