Every 24 months, I return to Venice for a week of art watching known as press week at the Venice Biennale. It’s an intense period as the entire ontemporary art world flocks to Italy to celebrate art. Over the decades, the press preview for the exhibition has evolved from a quiet industry event for artists, gallerists, and journalists to 72 solid hours of art and hobnobbing with the Pantheon of Glitterati — art, fashion, literature, and film folk from all over. This not a lot of downtown and even less outlets to recharge. This means that my suitcase has to contain a balanced mix of form, function and style.
The Biennale is more than an all-day affair — I’m out the door by 8 a.m., photographing Venice street scenes, perusing every pavilion in the Venetian Arsenal and gardens, visiting collateral events, and partying late into the evening. The Biennale doesn’t just kill my feet, it quickly and painfully kills my phone, a.k.a. my life source. Because there is nothing worse than trying to find a free outlet in Venice, I always bring an extra battery pack, and lately it’s been a pretty rose gold case that snaps right onto my phone. If I’m feeling extra gamey, I bring two. ($100)
The Biennale is not just freeze frame art, it’s panoramic performance. For the rare times I broadcast on Facebook Live, I love giving the full 360-degree experience so viewers can choose what they want to see. ($199)
My handbag has to be stylish and easy to carry. I love Kasia Dietz totes for her choice of vintage fabrics, which are perfect for the exhibition’s artsy vibe. I also make sure to have one of her clutches, for a quick switch to evening glam. (€70)
Venice is tricky. Misty mornings burn into hot days, while evenings are chilly and humid. The only solution is a satin bomber jacket and the reversible nature of this one makes it easy to do a quick outfit change. ($525)
The first time I ever purchased this notebook was in Venice, and I have carried one in my handbag ever since. The hard cover makes me feel like Lois Lane scooping the art world. ($13)
I don’t like feeling the weight of a water bottle in my purse, but I don’t want to be dehydrated either. My solution: a lightweight, collapsible water bottle introduced to me by my friend Livia’s 90-year-old nonna. ($20)
Most of my time is spent outdoors, walking from one exhibition to the next. I love a good hat with a little charm to protect my face and lift up my outfit. ($449)
My London BFF introduced me to the French sunscreen. It’s light, non-greasy, and the best way to protect my skin from the Venetian sun, which never seems as potent as it really is. ($34)
I love Italian brand MSGM and would wear anything they put in front of me. The fun, striped number would work well for artsy selfies at cocktail parties. ($700)
If there is one lesson it has taken me a while to learn, it’s that style should take second place when it comes to shoes for an event like the Biennale. Comfort is everything when you’re standing on your feet all day. Thank god these sneakers are chic. ($845)
You definitely need antibacterial hand wipes. Added plus: These smell amazing. ($7)
I use this set of lenses to up my Instagram story game and love playing around with the fisheye and wide angles. ($100)
A version of this article appeared in Fathom on April 28, 2017.