Travel Companions

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Travel Companions

Words by Mr Chris Elvidge | Photography by Mr Nacho Alegre | Styling by Mr Scott Stephenson

3 June 2015

Up your TSQ (travel style quotient) with our pick of the most elegant vacation accessories.

Marrakech has long seduced travellers with a taste for the exotic. It was here, for instance, that Mr John Paul Getty Jr and his wife, the socialite and style icon Ms Talitha Getty, entertained the jet set in the 1960s, luring the Rolling Stones and others away from Swinging London to luxuriate in their Bohemian retreat, which they nicknamed the “pleasure palace”. Then there was Mr Yves Saint Laurent, who fell so deeply in love with the city that he chose to have his ashes scattered there among the rare flora at Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden and villa whose walls are daubed in an intense shade of cobalt blue.

Such a glamorous setting requires that you pay careful attention to what we like to call your TSQ, or “travel style quotient”. As you’re following in the footsteps of some of the most stylish men and women of the past 100 years it’s only right that you make every attempt to fit elegantly into your surroundings. To help you achieve this we headed to El Fenn, an old riad in the heart of Marrakech, less than 10 minutes from the mayhem of the city’s main square, Jemaa el-Fna, where snake-charmers, astrologers and outdoor dentists ply their trade. Into our aptly named Globe-Trotter suitcase, we packed a few of the accoutrements of the stylish traveller: sunglasses, Panama hats, swim shorts and more. Yet you don’t need to be a jet-setter to bring a little “souked-up” glamour to your travels – read on to find out how.

Smells have the power to evoke a flood of memories. For some, summer is defined by cut grass and barbecue smoke. For others it’s orange blossom and citronella candles. The next time you go on holiday, try packing a distinctive fragrance – one that you haven’t worn before. We recommend Floris’ No. 89, which blends notes of orange, lavender, nutmeg and sandalwood, or Limes, a citrus blend. Wear it every day while you’re away. When you get back, the scent will instantly transport you back to summer.

Mr Santiago Gonzalez, son of acclaimed Colombian accessories designer Ms Nancy Gonzalez, launched his own men’s line in 2012. A constant traveller, he bases his designs on the pieces he’s been carrying around the world for years. Impeccably crafted from exotic crocodile skin, this backpack makes for a stylish and practical travel companion. It’s shown here with a light-brown Panama hat from Loro Piana.

Sunglasses in summer are a no-brainer, whether you’re in dappled shade or the full glare of the midday sun. As to which you should choose, that’s a slightly more taxing question; at the last count there were more than 150 pairs available on MR PORTER. In exotic destinations we’re in favour of sticking to a vintage aesthetic: try these light- brown tortoiseshell frames from Persol, which are designed in collaboration with Mr Bret Easton Ellis as part of the brand’s Typewriter collection.

If you travel regularly and are yet to invest in a good leather wash bag, then why not make this the moment you’ve been putting off? Think of it this way: it’ll get better with age, so every day you don’t own one is a day that it won’t spend getting beautifully roughed up at the bottom of your suitcase. As for what to put in it beyond the bare necessities, we’d recommend carrying a proper shaving kit from D.R. Harris – unless you’re planning to cultivate a “holiday beard”.

By employing a laser-cutting technique, Bottega Veneta has been able to recreate its classic intrecciato weave without sacrificing the rigidity of this belt. In a rich brown leather, it’s a sleek accessory that’ll go well with tailored navy shorts and a simple polo shirt during the day, or with chinos and a breezy linen shirt after dark.

The spring/ summer collection from British designer Oliver Spencer was inspired by the vibrant, colourful work of Mexican architect Mr Luis Barragán, who was known for his minimal designs in bold block colours. You can see his influence in these classic wayfarers, recreated in bright green and red. They’re shown alongside a Panama hat from Lock & Co., of London’s St James’s Street ­– one of the world’s oldest and most illustrious hat-makers.

This trio of beaded bracelets comes from the Brazil-by-way-of-Miami designer Mr Luis Morais. We can’t think of anyone who does masculine jewellery quite as well: by combining rough-hewn jewels, tide-polished glass beads and gothic, gunmetal skulls, he creates pieces that somehow manage to be rugged and refined at the same time. Also in the picture are a pair of tortoiseshell spectacles from London’s Cutler and Gross and a portable travel candle from New York’s Land by Land.

Removed from the distractions of the real world, a holiday can provide the perfect opportunity to write, or – for the restless among us – a chance to plan our next adventure. Struggling to decide between the elegant notebooks made by Parisian bookbinders Elam and the vintage-inspired ones by Roman stationers Antica Cartotecnica, we packed both. They’re shown here with a brass pencil from Japanese brand Midori.

While we don’t need to remind you to take a suitcase on holiday, there’s another kind of luggage that will come in handy should you choose to venture out of the hotel. Trimmed with supple tan leather and luxuriously appointed with a bamboo handle – a Gucci signature – this canvas bag is perfect for transporting your essentials. It’s accessorised here with a chunky, leather-knot keyring from Loewe.

In the heat of high summer it can be hard to find footwear that strikes a balance between form and function but these smart leather sandals from Lanvin solve that holiday-shoe dilemma. Cut from dark-brown leather and finished with suede footbeds, they’re as fit for strolling the souks as they are for reclining by the pool.

No holiday is complete without a dip in the pool, so it stands to reason that no holiday wardrobe is complete without a pair of swim shorts. They should be the first thing to qualify for a place in your suitcase and the ones designed by the Brazilian-inspired brand Frescobol Carioca are currently at the top of our list.

Sometimes an iPhone just isn’t enough. On these occasions we try to keep Hasselblad’s beautiful Stellar II compact camera to hand. To say that Hasselblad has pedigree is something of an understatement; the Swedish camera brand is famous for designing the photographic equipment carried on board Nasa’s Apollo missions to the moon, so it should be safe to handle your holiday snaps, too. It’s shown here alongside a plain billfold wallet in crocodile from Santiago Gonzalez.