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What to love and where to be right now...

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 eye masks, £75, oliviavonhalle.com

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?
I travelled to Antarctica for the first time in December. 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. leica-camera.com

Artemisia uncovered / The art edit

The most famous female painter of the 17th century comes to life

It is well known how art can move people – through awe and wonder or sometimes to tears. The National Gallery’s upcoming exhibition on Artemisia Gentileschi is likely to do just that. For the first time in the UK, around 30 paintings and a collection of personal letters will document the groundbreaking nature of the Italian Baroque artist’s career. 3 October 2020 – 24 January 2021.

Corisca and the Satyr, Artemisia Gentileschi, c.1635-7, private collection, Italy, ©photo courtesy of the owner

The grooming edit / Fix up, look sharp

Travel-size clean fragrances from Floris London

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. florislondon.com

The insider / Play it smart

The wellbeing world’s tech revolution

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.

The earphones

The new Powerbeats Pro earphones are designedto 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.

Powerbeats Pro, £219.95, apple.com

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.

Versa 2, £199.99, fitbit.com

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 Hi shoe 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.

Cloud Hi, £150, on-running.com

Further reading...