How Camilla Franks Turns Her Plane Seat Into a Place of Comfort

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Sep 18, 2017

The woman in the window seat in a beanie and Uggs? It could be Australia’s caftan queen taking incognito to new heights. Interview by Kate Barracosa.

How early do you get to the airport?

I always have the best intentions to arrive early but it never works out like that. You’ll often see me power-walking to my gate in a complete panic.

When packing, do you fold or roll?

I tend to shove and run!

Are there items that you always take with you?

I find inspiration everywhere so I take my camera to document everything. Parts of my collection – a few caftans, naturally – my favourite Akubra and my workout gear are always in my suitcase. And I like to have everything printed out. There have been too many times when the diary on my phone or iPad has messed up.

What do you wear on the plane?  

Comfort is key. I’m usually in my Ugg boots and head-to-toe in knits: a jumper, a beanie to hide under and a snuggly poncho that I use as my comfort blanket.

Would that surprise people?

People probably think I waft onto the plane, covered in crystals, with a scarf wrapped around my head and wearing Jackie O sunglasses. That’s not the way I roll. I like to nest on the plane.

And how do you do that?

I set up my surroundings like a little sanctuary. I have my lavender oil, face mist, headphones, magazines, design files and iPad. I remind myself of my dog, Beau, when he’s on my bed – he does all this circle work until he’s completely comfortable. 

Do you have an onboard beauty routine?  

I tend to fill the entire cabin with my lavender face spray. No-one is safe.

Aisle or window seat?

Window. It’s always spectacular when you look out, like a moving piece of art.

What was the last movie you watched midair? 

War Dogs. I’m that passenger who’s a bit unaware of her surroundings and doesn’t realise she’s giggling like a schoolgirl.

Do you read on the plane? 

I usually take books about the next destination I’m travelling to – on the local tribe, culture, people, food. I like to delve into the details of a place.

Are you more emotional when flying?  

My mind is more playful and alert on a flight because I’m forced to sit still, which is something I’m not great at. It’s a natural, human thing to be more emotional when flying because it takes away all the outside activity.

What about sleeping on long-haul flights?

On holiday, I switch off quite easily. If it’s a work trip, though, my mind is usually active with all the things I want to achieve and the journey that I’m on. I am like a kid at Christmas who doesn’t want to go to sleep.

Do you experience jet lag?

I’m immune to it. On the back end of certain big flights, there are some disruptions where I find myself up at 3am but I usually get back into my routine pretty quickly. The key to that is booking my training for the following morning at a stupid hour to reset the clock. 

SEE ALSO: Kym Ellery’s Guide to Paris