The British fashion designer on her world of travel, from tropical yoga retreats to Spanish art and divine hotel pillows


How often do you travel in a year and to which parts of the world?
This past year, I haven't been in the UK for more than a month at a time. I've travelled to Japan, China, Iceland, Thailand, LA and Houston, with regular trips to New York, Paris and Milan. It's been rather exhausting and my cat is a nervous wreck!

On a plane, do you rest or work?
I look forward to a long flight. I sketch, read and watch movies I would never get to see, like Maleficent or Jack the Giant Slayer. (Am I the only one?)

What are your carry-on items?
My sketchbook, Jo Malone eye cream, noise-cancelling Bose headphones, a book.

What do you bring home?
Things I can't resist or find elsewhere.

How does travel influence your work?
I find inspiration wherever I go. My Autumn/Winter 2015 ready-to-wear collection was inspired by Spanish artist Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta at the Prado in Madrid.

What is on your iPod when you are away?
Currently, Nick Cave.

What books to you take?
I converted to a Kindle two years ago, and try to find books that complement where I am. I found myself reading Jamaica Inn [by Daphne du Maurier] while I was in Ko Samui, Thailand, but I would be drudging across the damp dark moors as I dipped my toes into hot sand. It was too extreme, so I switched books.

What is your dream holiday?
I've just booked a holiday to Nova Scotia, Canada, with my partner and two teenage daughters. I'm currently dreaming about that and wondering when I am going to tell them about the wilderness eco-lodge without internet access!

What was your most magical recent trip?
I went to a fabulous yoga retreat in Thailand earlier this year, in between meetings in Asia. I now have a personal trainer and a coconut water addiction.

What do you like the most about Mandarin Oriental hotels?
The elegance, charm, and ability to make you feel at home. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London has a fabulous Spa - perfect for indulgent 'me' time.

What is most important to you when staying at a hotel and why?
The pillows and the view. I could stay anywhere if it had a great view. A hotel with a 'pillow choice' is, however, a divine kind of decadence I appreciate.

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