Travelling light. How it trips off the tongue, so easy to say... so darned near impossible to do.
Men might be able to throw a couple of pairs of shorts, some tees and a lurid print short-sleeve shirt into a holdall and then be all “hey, good to go”, but for women, this whole minimalist thing poses problems.
However, for those taking a rolling stone, see-the-world type of extended holiday, it’s simply not possible. Among my own acquaintance, these long, move-around breaks seem to be on the increase. Every week, I hear of someone shutting up home and heading off somewhere exciting, or mildly interesting, for a few months or longer. It might be a gap year before or after university, a pre “trying for a baby” sabbatical, a post-redundancy impulse to flee, a mid-life crisis avoidance road trip, a retirement indulgence plan or a “let’s do it before we’re too old to hobble” adventure. All ages are at it, and sometimes it’s those you least expect it of.
When it comes to dressing for an extended trip, there are slightly different considerations than for a week or fortnight’s holiday to a destination with an endless supply of taxis. Clothes must be hard-working, easily washable, lightweight and durable.
The High Street is jam-packed full right now with summer-ready layering pieces, perfect for packing, unrolling and putting on so you’re good to go, as I found when I went on a road trip (okay, an aisle trip) of my own to put together the seven outfits for this shoot.
Since it opened in March 2013, at a cost of £350m, Trinity Leeds has seen almost 50 million visitors mill through its airy walkways, shopping and stopping beneath its vast glass domes. Whatever the weather, it’s always filled with light. It’s almost impossible to remember the city centre without it now, and for me, it’s made High Street shopping in Leeds an absolute pleasure, rather than the chore, frankly, that it used to be.
The centre also provided the perfect solution when searching for suitable backdrops for our shoot (budgets sadly not allowing for genuine exotic locations). Trinity Kitchen opened in October 2013 as a place to chill and recharge while taking a culinary trip around the world. It has hosted nearly 100 street food vendors since then and there are several permanent restaurants, including Pho Café for Vietnamese food; Rola Wala for Indian street food with a twist; Chip + Fish; Tortilla and Chicago Rib Shack for Mexican and American food, respectively. There are also independent street food traders with “shacks” and vans, which change on a monthly basis, and these proved especially atmospheric as backdrops for our shoot. Plus there are street and bar games to play and graffiti-style murals to catch the eye. Full of colour and vibrant bustle, plus the sight, sounds and aromas of delicious foods from far-flung locations, it’s worth bearing in mind as the place to head to if you’re yearning for a taste of the exotic, but don’t have the funds or the time to do so.
As for those of you who are looking forward to an extended travelling break, good luck. Make sure you have the adventure of your life.
Concept and styling: Stephanie Smith
Pictures: James Hardisty
Hair: Eboni Day at West Row, which has salons in Leeds and across Yorkshire; www.westrowhair.com.
Make-up: Emma Worrall at Illamasqua, which has a store in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds; www.illamasqua.com.
Model: Naomi Roberts at Boss in Manchester.
Location: Trinity Kitchen at Trinity Leeds shopping centre. With thanks to Holly Skelton and Aimee Sutcliffe.