Christian Cowan shares his secrets for stylish holidays

British fashion designer Christian Cowan shares his secrets for stylish holidays.

“What we see around us on holiday can transform what we wear at home,” says fashion designer Christian Cowan, who has worked with stars including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Cardi B. “We get used to the norm of dressing a certain way back home but when we travel, our minds expand and we become open to new possibilities with style, fabric and colour.”

Although it’s no doubt easy to decide what to pack for your holiday wardrobe when your entire profession is based around fashion, for everyday New Zealanders, it seems a little harder. Research by Booking.com — for which Cowan is an ambassador — shows that packing is one of the three biggest worries for Kiwi travellers. On average, they spend more than three hours prepping their holiday wardrobe — almost as much time as they spend on finding the perfect accommodation (3.52 hours) and researching their holiday destination (4.62 hours).*

Cowan, who travels frequently for work and pleasure, says: “A holiday is the time to get experimental with your style. The environment often allows you to be bold and adventurous with prints, textures and accessories. It’s the perfect time to try out a new look that you wouldn’t necessarily wear at home, whether that’s due to a different culture or climate.”

And, when it comes to holiday style, his most important advice is: “Go big or go home.”
Here are some of his other tips.

1 Watching the locals is the best way to get inspiration. Experimenting with local style and translating it to your look back home can make you feel like a new person, whether it’s simply wearing your hair differently, trying a bolder colour or tying on a scarf in a vibrant local print.

2 We are all guilty of spending excessive amounts of time planning our holiday wardrobe. My top tip for packing quickly is to simply keep everything on the hanger. I have all my outfits on thin hangers, so they can fit right into a suitcase, and then on arrival I just pop them on the rail.

3 This year will be all about animal print and unnatural colours. Be
bold, vivid and exciting. Don’t be afraid to pack and mix different animal prints together, this creates a greater depth to your style, and shows you are unafraid. It is a style risk, but one that is sure to pay off.

4 I love to stay in fashionable accommodation when I travel and for me there is no better stay than the super chic Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. I adore a spa stay anywhere, but Miami’s Aqualina Resort & Spa is brilliant, the facilities are amazing and the view is second-to-none. I love the Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London apartment too, in a great spot in central London and close to stylish bars and restaurants.

5 When it comes to taking photos for social media, show people a side of you in a way they haven’t seen before — wear your new swimsuit or favourite dress, with your hair up (or down) for a change. For selfies, make the background interesting to show people you are on holiday.

* Booking.com conducted research across 21,500 global travellers from 29 countries, including 500 Kiwis, to unpack the art of packing.

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