Fashion Week’s travel theme!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is moving — this is the final year of tents in Bryant Park — so it’s the perfect season for a travel theme.

No, we’re not just talking about having a couple of cars in the foyer of the tents (though there are both a Mercedes-Benz 2010 E63 AMG and a 2010 E550 Coupe); this year there are fabulous luggage displays and even the outside of the tents are decorated with a suitcase theme (above).

We had a quick chat with spokesperson and current L’Oreal model Dayle Haddon (pictured in the gallery) about Mercedes-Benz’s collaboration with and Narcisco Rodriguez to bring the worlds of fashion and travel together. The display they’ve curated looks at the way fashion and the automotive industries have “traveled together” over the years, and features items from one of New York’s leading vintage fashion resources, Southpaw.

“They [fashion and travel] have tremendous crossover. If something gets sleeker in one area, it can influence the other,” Haddon commented. “They both make the world smaller.” Haddon also noted that she was donating her earnings for the unveiling of the travel exhibit to Unicef (in particular the Believe in Zero campaign, which aims to keep children from dying of preventable causes), for whom she’s an ambassador — which we think is pretty cool.

Check out our gallery for a sneak peek inside the tents during a busy day at Bryant Park.

These boots were made for … airplanes …

Palladium Boots are back. And they rock.

Hitting stores (and November 1st will be this hardy pair of Pampa boots, available in regular hi-tops or baggy roll-down styles in black and camel (lined with chocolate) suede. These boots are attractive and comfortable with 100 percent cotton canvas lining — ideal for travel adventures like hiking, climbing, and trudging through museums and sight-seeing all over the world.

So, what’s this about them being “back?” Well, Palladium was founded back in 1920 as a airplane tire-making company. “Tires were made by layering canvas bands underneath vulcanized rubber. Palladium’s expertise was so advanced that soon the majority of Europe’s aircraft were using Palladium tires,” boasts their release.

Then, after World War II, when airplane manufacturing slowed way, way down, Palladium opened a plant in Pont De Cheruy, France to make footwear that would be as durable as their tires. The first Pampa boot was made in 1947 — and was quickly adopted by the French Foreign Legion, who wore the boots in the deserts of North Africa and all over the rugged Atlas Mountains.

Palladium Boots just relaunched their line this year — with the same ol’ design but new and improved materials — and these new boots are gonna be a big hit with travelers of all genders and travel persuasions. Check out the gallery for more views of the legendary boots! Don’t want to wait for November? Check out some of the styles they released earlier this year on their website.

Attractive laptop bags for the seriously paranoid (like me)

Loopbags is a line of laptop bags that really, really protect your laptop. And for some of us, that means being able to sleep on the plane.

Not that I need an excuse to be protective of my laptop computer — it’s a valuable little thing — but, you know, I travel, and it’s my job to write about it. And if I get to say, Puerto Rico, and my laptop is busted? I am screwed.

Loopbags has laptop briefcases, backpacks (shown), messengers, totes and sleeves in a variety of pleasing colors for men and women. What really impresses me about these bags, though, is the quality of the engineering. These bags have zippers which can virtually unfold the entire bag and give you an infinite choice of possibilities for where to keep what — except the computer of course, which has its designated, waterproof (even the zippers), and snugly padded pocket. And yes, all Loop bags fit under the sit in front of you and/or in the overhead compartment. The shoulders are adjustable ergonomic nylon with shock-resistant padding, and it’s also full of secret pockets for cash, passports and other stuff I get paranoid about.

I’ve gotta say, this is the first backpack I’ve seen in years that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear. You can browse the APLF Award winning bags by style or laptop size.

Pictured is the Loopbag Vanguard Backpack in Sand, Azure, and Lime — and wait until you see it from all sides! Check out the site for more views and zips/unzips, and click here to shop. These are currently on sale for $114 (from $142).

Serious traveling hats

Skin cancer is out. Hats are in. Now, I know some of y’all are thinkin’ “I am a serious traveler. I don’t want to wear a silly hat.” Well, what you need, then, is a serious traveling hat.

So, what sets a serious traveling hat apart from a fashion hat? A few things. You want the hat to be functional, durable — attractive, certainly, but not frivolous. You want the hat to say “I mean business.” You want the kind of hat that you could hide a monkey in, if it came down to it. Well, maybe not.

So, who makes awesome traveling hats? Tilley Endurables. No, seriously. They are good looking, sturdy hats, closely woven for warmth or sun protection where appropriate.

Better still? Secret pocket.

“All Tilley Hats have a secret pocket (shhhhh!) in the crown to safely and securely store any important ‘stuff’ such as licenses, room keys or $20 (or maybe 20 Euros, 20 Yen or 20 Baht). There have been many stories over the years of some more eclectic items being kept there (fishing lures and once, an engagement ring!). Recently, we have been hearing that MP3 players are finding their way into this convenient spot as well. The secret pocket is an extra handy feature to have when you want to leave your bag behind.”

Secretly, that secret pocket also helps keep your head cool.

Their hats come insured against loss, which is pretty handy if you’re traveling, and are made in the USA and Canada from a fine selection of materials. Check out the gallery for some great styles — and even greater ‘serious traveler” faces.

“We’ll overnight a bikini to your hotel.” – Lisa Curran

Lisa Curran is the designer of the luxury Lisa Curran swimwear line — those suits you often see in the giftshop at your boutique hotel.

Some of the big hotels carry her designs too, like many Ritz-Carltons. What’s so special about these suits? They fit. No — they really, really fit. And if you can’t find the right size or style at your hotel (or local department store), call them up. They’ll overnight you a suit!

One of the reasons that hotels like to carry Lisa Curran is that they don’t really have room for a huge inventory, and they know people are going to be satisfied with her suits. Curran starting designing swimwear ten years ago, and was one of the first designers to sell bikini tops and bottoms separately. Because not doing that is simple highway robbery. She also, as you can see in the image, creates gathers and folds — always using the best Italian fabrics available — which lay modestly where you’re skinnier and support generously where you’re fatter. I’m talking about boobs, here, people. There, I said it.

Also, if you like the color but not the suit, like the top but not the bottom, or vice versa, you’re in luck — the suits are created in “groups,” and there’s probably something else in that “group” you’d like — and it’s easy to order online at

Also, Lisa has teamed up with healthy skincare product line Lavanila to create a new group that pairs lavender suits with lavender scents: The Summer Essentials Kit. The Summer Essentials Kit includes the suit you see here or the ones in the gallery below (on hot girls), as well as Lavanila Vanilla Lavender Healthy Lip Shine and Lavanila Vanilla Lavender Healthy Body Butter. You will look and smell delicious.

Better still, part of the proceeds from each Summer Essentials Kit (available for $175 starting Friday, mark your calendars) will go to The Ocean Project, which seeks to increase the success of ocean conservation by raising awareness. Now it’s time for you to raise your awareness of hot models in purple: