May 18, 2017
Though he switches off work when he flies, the Australian fashion designer and TV presenter can’t get enough of The Devil Wears Prada midair. Interview by Kate Barracosa.
How far ahead do you book your flights?
Interstate trips are usually last-minute but overseas trips to look at fabrics are planned ahead of time. It’s the packing that always happens at the last minute.
So what’s your approach to packing?
I usually do it the night before. I start with socks and undies and work my way through. I always travel light and take a soft bag in case I shop. I pack smaller bags, for chargers and my shaving kit, within the big one.
Do you work to a list?
I’m not a list person. When you pack often, you become better at it. You don’t freak out; you know what you need.
Is there anything you constantly forget?
No. I’m paranoid about forgetting stuff. I leave my bag open then run through it all in my head again in the morning. I have this thing about the phone charger. I don’t know why – it’s not hard to get one if you forget it.
What always makes it into your suitcase?
My Bose speakers. I often design when I travel so if I’m in a hotel room, I like to have my own music because you never know what kind of audio system it will have.
What do you wear on the plane?
Jeans, boots and a T-shirt. When we travelled as kids, Mum would make us dress up to go to the airport. There’s a part of me that’s still like that. I don’t want to look like I’m going to the gym. If it’s a long flight, I take something to change into.
What do you do while waiting to board?
Most of my flights are in the morning so I have breakfast in the Qantas Lounge. And I always have a look in the duty-free area. I rarely buy anything but I like to see what everyone’s doing.
What’s your routine on board?
I eat everything and turn everything off; I don’t use devices. I watch Modern Family or Family Guy. I’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada so many times it’s not funny but it’s often the first thing I watch. It’s relaxation time. No-one can call or ask you anything other than what you’d like to eat or if you’d like to sleep. It’s uninterrupted rest.
Do you ever work while flying?
Never. Sometimes I tell myself I’m going to but when I get on the plane, it doesn’t happen. I travel to Asia often and it’s usually an evening flight on the way back so I just want to sleep and wake up when I’m home.
Do you sleep easily on a plane?
Like a log. Even when I fly to Melbourne, as the plane is taxiing on the runway, it puts me to sleep. I miss take-off and wake up in the air. I’m fortunate to fly Business. I can’t sleep upright very well but being on a flat bed is great. I usually manage to nab an extra pillow then I’m out like a light.
Aisle or window seat?
Aisle. When I’m near the window and I have to get up, I feel like I’m disturbing people.
What’s the best flight you’ve ever been on?
I’ve never had a bad one. It makes a big difference when the crew is nice and, in my experience, they always have been. They’re a bit cheeky and make you feel comfortable.
What’s your favourite thing about flying?
The first time I glimpse my destination – that’s when I get really excited.
When you land, what’s the plan?
I try to get through Customs quickly; the last time I went to Hong Kong, it was the fastest ever. But other times it’s been six lines deep. There’s nothing you can do about it – you just have to chill out. ￼
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