Q&A with top Australian fashion stylist Lana Wilkinson

The Sydney Life
The Eventful Life

Travel is synonymous with style, which is why we’ve enlisted Australia’s top fashion stylist to the stars, Lana Wilkinson, to give you the low-down on how to stay chic while journeying from one destination to another. Whether you’re heading off on a European sojourn or an interstate weekend away, here are Lana’s (until now) best-kept secrets for how to travel in style.    

You are one of the country’s most acclaimed and celebrated fashion stylists, travelling all over to dress top models and celebrities. How do you maintain your chic look while always being on the move?

The key is to have staple pieces in your wardrobe that you can alternate. I always recommend quality over quantity, so I suggest foregoing buying lots of not-so-well-made items in favour of beautifully designed pieces that can be rotated each day. My must-have items are a good pair of denim jeans, white shirt or tee shirt and a black blazer.

What are your top three style travel tips?

I am terrible at editing what to take on a trip, especially if I’m working. I like to have options; however, my tips for travelling in style are;

  • Multi- functionality is key
  • Give priority to items that serve more than one purpose - quality over quantity is clearly a theme for me. Stylish sneakers that can double as walking shoes, a cross body bag that can double as a passport holder etc. Or a dress that can be styled with sandals or heels and look effortlessly chic.
  • The key to being fashionable and packing light is choosing clothes that are versatile. Everything you bring should look good when paired with any other article of clothing you have. You should be able to blindly pull out any top and bottom from your bag and pair them together. If you can’t do this, you should reconsider what you’ve chosen.
  • Ensure to pack low-maintenance clothing. This is a rule I sometimes find hard to abide by, but make sure the pieces you bring don’t have special washing instructions — like dry-clean only.
  • Don’t pack at the last minute. There's a reason most people don't pack light for every trip … it takes effort and thought. Packing at midnight upon departure-eve makes it even harder, because you're too tired to make the right decisions. Start packing, or at least thinking about what to take, a few days before you leave.

What is one item you cannot live without when travelling that you would recommend everyone have on-hand?

Definitely my iPhone. Such a cliché I know, but I can take notes, photos, read, utilise navigational apps, Google everything, Instagram and I can also be found should I get lost on my travels.

What are your tricks of the trade for taking that straight off-the-plane look to feeling fresh and glamorous in one (or two) simple moves?

It’s all about a quick shoe change and always add denim.  When I’m travelling long distances I like to be comfortable; however, by adding a heel or denim to my look I can go from plane to meeting. If I could add a third item, I’d include a blazer. A blazer always says “I’m a boss”.

If you could choose one staple travel item, would you choose: a stylish tote bag, a pair of designer sneakers or a fabulous pair of sunglasses?

A stylish tote bag so I could stash any new pieces I purchase whilst on my travels!

What luxury travel accessory is on your current wish list?

The Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote Bag. As a stylist it’s perfect to put my style kit / any additional accessories etc, in for clients and as a mum, it can double as a non-travel bag too.

If you could choose to dress clients at any fashion event around the world, which one would it be?

MET GALA! I don’t even need to think about it. I want to say the Oscars, because I live for that event as well, but there are almost no rules at THE MET, except interpret a theme and make it your own - a creative’s dream!

Finally, what does style mean to you?

Style is not fashion. Stylish people use fashion but fashion has its place. Style is empowering when you understand your own limits and strengths, and know how to exploit them favorably. When it comes to your personal look, it’s not permanent, it can be changed, tweaked and re-created when you have the key essentials in your wardrobe.

June 7, 2018