What is your brand-new Céline purse doing on that filthy conveyor belt? How is it that your beloved pink coat, pale as a rosebud in the snow, lays crumpled in a disgusting gray bin? And why are you in stocking-feet, holding your arms aloft in front of an electronic monster as thousands of other half-dressed strangers line up behind you, oblivious to your humiliation? Because you are at the airport, going home for the holidays!
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The indignities of modern air travel cannot be overstated, but what's the use of carping? Let's look on the bright side-there are chic accessories that can take the edge off of these horrors, making you feel like Greta Garbo en route to some grand hotel, not someone facing seventeen cousins in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
First off-why pack those toiletries in a sad sandwich bag when you can show off your contact lens fluid and your three ounces of shampoo in a pink patent-leather and clear plastic in-flight case by Anya Hindmarch. (Yes, it's $250, but sometimes it's these small extravagances that make life worth living.) Replace this whole section with: Instead of those studded lace-up Saint Laurent platform boots that were almost impossible to get on and off in Bergdorf's shoe department, let alone in the security line, sport a pair of satin Isotoner cheetah-print satin slippers that can double as party shoes. (Their $22 price can help ameliorate your guilt over the Hindmarch purchase.)
And people, please-make sure you have the right suitcase! I know whereof I speak-back in the day, I insisted on carrying a vintage duffel bag, a glorious satchel, intensely stylish, but so heavy that the last time I used it I had to be on medication for something like a dislocated shoulder (well, it felt like a dislocated shoulder) for the rest of the trip.
See more: The Best Wedding Moments on Vogue.comAfter that misadventure, it was all wheels, all the time for me, even if the many practical choices, usually rendered in black, or maybe gray if you were feeling really wild, didn't exactly scream fashion. But that was then. A brief review of the season's latest offerings, most of which are available in carry-on sizes, evinces a decidedly lighthearted, even goofy take on the serious matter of packing. (They will also be easy to spot at baggage retrieval, should you be foolhardy enough to actually check a suitcase.)
At Herschel, an incredibly popular brand favored by everyone from schoolboys to fashionable types who could well afford backpacks that cost ten times as much, there is a soft-sided camouflage-printed affair called a New Campaign rolling suitcase for $190. The redoubtable DVF suggests that you pack your dainties in a case that features jungle spots from an extinct lavender species for $149.99; readers likely to be gliding through JFK in Birkenstocks (at least they are easy to remove at security) and an Indian-bedspread dress might prefer Anthropoligie's rolly, printed with a glowing abstract pattern-it even has turquoise wheels-that might have been lifted from a Persian carpet. And if you really want to have fun (and really, why shouldn't you? Are things really that bad?) the Pop artist Charles Fazzino has entered into a collaboration with Heys luggage, the result of which is insanely printed cases, dense with silly incident, featuring buoyant cartoon interpretations of major European capitals. Even if you are only headed to a fraught family reunion in Paris, Texas, or New London, Connecticut, this rolling stock can't help but cheer you up.