How I Dressed for the Most Glamorous Italian Wedding—With a Carry-On Only

She's the super stylist and creative director responsible for creating iconic looks for Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, and Lorde, but Avigail Collins's wardrobing skills extend even further… See her own streetwear-inspired line, Silver Spoon Attire, which she founded in 2013 alongside her husband (and fellow sought-after stylist) Damian Collins. The stylist's high-profile music clients and global street style following make up a pretty impressive fan club. If anyone can spot the next big thing, it's Avigail, which is why we're thrilled to have her at Who What Wear UK to bring you a monthly column about what's hot now.

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Avigail Collins

La dolce vita might not sound like living out of a carry-on for the chicest Italian wedding weekend ever, but there's something incredibly liberating about packing for stylish events with nothing more than the items you feel really confident and happy in. It cuts down the drama when it's time to get dressed, you get to your destination quicker and people will forever more be amazed by your holiday capsule wardrobe skills. I put this idea to this test myself the other week for a five-day trip to the Amalfi Coast (yes, five days!). Here's how I did it.

1. Get the Right Suitcase

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Avigail Collins

I can't recommend Away luggage more. I used the Bigger Carry On in black; it has a portable phone charger built into the case, plus a bag full of adapters and a zip-front laptop holder that saves you so much room. I thought the bag couldn't get any better, but then I discovered the pullout laundry bag built into the lining. Away, I really love you.

2. My Top Packing Tips

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Avigail Collins

1. Always include a mesh string bag and a silk scarf—they all come in handy and take up no room at all.

2. With your hand luggage, you can usually get away with a carry-on plus a large tote. I always carry a smaller crossbody too that I squeeze into my tote or hide when I'm checking in. The crossbody I took on this trip was the Mūun basket bag, which I found so useful, as the canvas lining comes out and doubles as a simple evening bag.

3. One of my best pieces of advice is to pack using packing cubes. I use Wantgor ones for all my styling jobs to separate the looks, and now I use them for my holiday packing too. They're so helpful when travelling with children, as each member of the family can have different colours.

4. Organise looks before packing; it will save you so much time on holiday and so much space.

5. Choose pieces that double up from day to night and can be worn in different ways.

6. Pack your shoes first on one side of your suitcase. Over and around your shoes, layer in your swimwear and underwear; then layer silks and light linens on top (less folding = less wrinkles). Use the other side for heavier fabrics, handbags and toiletries.

7. Pack liquids in a bag inside your carry-on that's easy to transfer at the airport into a clear ziplock bag… Miniature versions of your everyday stuff are essential.

3. What I Wore to the Italian Wedding

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Avigail Collins

The Dress: I even considered what style dress I would wear based on how much room it would take up in my bag. As you can see, I picked something super simple and lightweight. The Ming Ray bag I choose, however, took up A LOT of space, so I stuffed it with socks and jewellery. My dress had spaghetti straps and a very low back. I love the no-bra look, but it wasn't possible for me to not wear one. I was worried about bouncing boobs and the dreaded under-boob sweat you'll inevitably get at a wedding in a hot country. I solved both the above by cutting the back off a strapless bra and having the front sewn into the dress. It worked perfectly!

Photo:

Avigail Collins

The Earrings: I saw these Jiwinaia cherry earrings on Instagram and couldn’t stop thinking about them. I use this brand a lot for my clients; Jess Glynne has been rocking it at all the festivals this summer.

The Shoes: It was a tough decision whether to wear my trusty, comfortable espadrilles I knew would fit in my bag. Then I saw these princess shoes by Liudmilla, and the rest is history…

4. My Other Italian Essentials

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Avigail Collins

The Sightseeing Look: I love this Stella McCartney dress; it's so easy, and looks great day or night. Here, I wore it with trainers, as I wanted to be super comfy wandering the streets of Napoli.

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Avigail Collins

Alternative Night-Out Outfit #1: Here's when the lining of my Mūun basket bag came in handy—you'd never know it was a lining and not an evening bag. I buy espadrilles every summer from Adelfa. They're so comfy and work with everything. My top is a vintage Dolce & Gabbana piece, and my skirt is from Simone Rocha (one of my favourite designers).

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Avigail Collins

Alternative Night-Out Outfit #2: LoveShackFancy really is my go-to summer brand. This one's great when packing light, as it's a chiffon slip that takes up no room. I'm also a strong believer in having something with you that would work as a cocktail dress just in case you get a fancy invite whilst travelling. This one would work with trainers or flat sandals in the day, and with heels for a last-minute cocktail party. Here, I'm wearing with my faithful Penelope Chilvers snake-print sandals.

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Avigail Collins

Daytime Look #1: An Italian holiday wouldn't be complete without a '50s Elizabeth Taylor–style skirt. Try find one with a light fabric. My Lisa Marie Fernandez pick is super-light broderie anglaise and easy to pack. I love how they look with swimwear—so retro and dreamy—but they're also perfect for super-hot days. My swimsuit is by & Other Stories, and the beautiful setting is the Palazzo Avino Hotel in Ravello, also known as the pink palace.

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Avigail Collins

Daytime Look #2: A hat is essential yet always a nightmare when packing! I found this brilliant one in Zara that pops back into shape after you pull it out of your suitcase. Also, here's a trusty vintage linen shirt that goes with me every holiday—great for the pool, but also tied in a knot and worn with a skirt for a night out.

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Avigail Collins

Poolside Posing Ensemble: Take bikinis you can mix and match. I wore this strapless top twice with two different sets of bottoms. Obviously the shell pool float didn't fit into my hand luggage…

Shop Avigail's Italian wedding essentials…

Versatile thanks to the crossbody strap.

Roll 'em up and stuff 'em into your suitcase.

Tie-side bikini bottoms are always the most flattering.

Next up, what to wear for a winter wedding.