Dream Design
The Reading Room

Luxury selection - Edition 4

Our latest round up of all things luxury, from the best in men's grooming to the hottest tech right now.

Woman Resting On Bed
Stories for... Lovers of luxury

The suitcase essential
Sleeping in silk

An orange and blue on cream floral print satin eye mask for sleeping

The suitcase essential
Sleeping in silk

A pleasant slumber doesn’t have to be a distant dream. Known for her sensual silk pyjamas, Olivia von Halle has made loungewear suitable for the most glamorous soirées. Forget baggy old T-shirts and crumpled plaid bottoms, her twinsets can make you look and feel a million dollars, even if you’re about to curl up into a duvet. To add to the look and enhance your next 40 winks, pack a silk eye mask that is soft on your skin.

Olivia von Halle
Steve Mccurry

Mccurry Photograph

Point of view

The Camera

Behind the lens of professional photographer Steve McCurry.

What has been the most memorable destination of your career so far?
Antarctica as, visually, it’s rich, yet monochromatic and minimalist at the same time. I’m so used to tropical countries and shooting in places where a lot is going on, so photographically it was a different approach. There’s water and there’s ice; no real vegetation to speak of. The continual spectacle from the deck of the passing snow-covered mountain ranges is breathtaking. The penguins, in particular, are very entertaining; there’s a comic element to the way they behave and toddle along. The elephant seals were fascinating; they are such enormous creatures with big beautiful eyes and wonderful expressions so full of emotion. To be able to walk around in such close proximity to these animals is a privilege.

When you prepare for a trip what do you always take with you?
I have a minimalist approach towards travel. Apart from my clothes, a couple of hats, a good pair of walking shoes, vitamins, and a couple of books, I don’t need much. I take extra cables for my laptop, cellphone, and camera charger. Other than that, my camera and one or two lenses are all I need.

What should people keep in mind when taking a photograph?
The most important part of ethical photography is to show the truth, avoid stereotypes, and to document and preserve the integrity of the people and the situation. Always treat people with respect and be informed about their cultural customs, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or dressing in a particular way.

How does travel make you feel?
I love exploring and meeting new people with another point of view. It's fascinating how we often do things in a very different way, yet there is always our shared human commonality. 

These pictures from your trip to China were captured on the Leica SL2. What is so unique about this camera?
I tried many cameras and decided to adopt the SL system for several reasons that were immediately evident. First of all, the EVF screen is very bright, large, and of exceptional quality. This was the only mirrorless camera that when I put my eye to the viewfinder, it looked right and felt right. Second, the quality of the optics. On this, I had no doubts, but personally testing the files allowed me to understand its full potential. And finally, the camera usability. After a few days of use, the feeling with the Leica SL2 was exceptional. 

The grooming edit
Fix up, look sharp

A men's grooming kit of shaving cream and balm, razor and brush and aftershave is staged next two 60s style cameras

The grooming edit
Fix up, look sharp

Founded in 1730, the family-run business Floris London has been producing the finest perfumes for nearly three centuries. Generations of successful luminaries have stopped by the shop that still stands on Jermyn Street where it first opened. Ian Fleming’s James Bond, no less, could not fight villains without a splash of Floris No. 89. This fragrance has been transformed into a shaving cream, moisturiser and aftershave balm with natural extracts of aloe vera and camomile to help soothe and condition the skin. It’ll leave you feeling revitalised, refreshed and ready to take on your next mission.

Floris London

The insider

Play it smart

As we try to live our lives in the most fulfilling ways, technology companies are creating designs to support our health focused routines. These latest gadgets will deliver uplifting music to your ears and suss out the closest gym.

    • A pair of the Beats by Dre 'Powerbeats Pro' model wireless earphones sit on top of a mobile phone
      The earphones

      The Powerbeats Pro earphones are designed to enhance the sound quality of your favourite power ballad or meditation podcast. They sit snuggly in the ear thanks to four different sized ear tips and a redesigned, adjustable earhook keeps them in place. When you answer calls, any background noise will be filtered out, so you can confidently talk in any place at any time. Pop the buds back in their case and they’ll start charging automatically.

    • A close up shot of the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch in black on a woman's wrist
      The smart watch

      Fitbit’s Versa 2 includes its first on-device microphone so you can activate alarms and timers, check local weather, control your smart home devices or even find the nearest yoga studio through voice commands. You can also ask it to wake you at the lightest time of your sleep cycle, so you start the day feeling more refreshed.

    • Two people wearing white On Running CLoud 5 model trainers walk along a rocky coast
      The trainers

      The Swiss company On is the fastest growing trainer brand on the planet with designs that encourage us to explore cities on foot. The patented hollow pods on the sole of its Cloud range of shoes stretch on impact for soft landings and lock together for a powerful push off, so you can bounce down the Spanish Steps in Rome or pace up steep stairs to Montmartre with ease.