Globetrotter: Elizabeth Emanuel

The fashion designer famous for fitting Princess Diana's wedding dress, on flying the world in the name of couture.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

How often do you travel?

I've just got back from a week in Auckland, where I was helping out with a fashion show. If it's a big project, I'll go abroad to meet clients. I've been to America quite a few times to dress people, including Elizabeth Hurley and Paula Abdul.

Do you travel alone?

I try not to. I'm quite a nervous flyer, particularly when taking off and landing, and it's better if I have someone with me. I always have a stiff drink in the airport lounge, usually a Bloody Mary.

In-flight entertainment?

On long-haul flights I'll spend the journey watching films, sleeping and eating. I also take lots of magazines - the popular ones to catch up on gossip. Vogue is left behind in my studio.

Favourite city?

Auckland. I wish I could've stayed longer than a week. It's a lovely city and the people are very friendly. The only problem is the distance. I went for lunch with Richard Branson while I was out there, who told me that once Virgin Galactic is running, I'll be able to get there in an hour and a half. That would be ideal.

Favourite hotel?

I like small hotels. I went to Marrakesh with my daughter and we stayed in a tiny villa off the main roads. It was tucked behind this dull-looking wall, but once inside it was a little paradise, beautifully designed with fruit trees and candles.

Worst experience?

I was in the south of France a few years ago, doing the costumes for a short film featuring David Ginola. I had a video camera with me and towards the end of the trip it was stolen. The camera was insured but I'd taken so many pictures, and they were irreplaceable.

Most memorable experience?

I designed many dresses for Elizabeth Taylor. I visited her home in LA, flew to New York to dress her and met her in Paris for a fitting. I was slightly in awe of her, but she was a lovely person. In Paris she let me try on the Krupp diamond Richard Burton had given her. I've never come close to such a big diamond.

How do you cope with jet lag?

I don't suffer too badly most of the time. I travel to work, so you've just got to get on with it.

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