A life well travelled: Megan Hess

Fashion artist Megan Hess, who has illustrated for the likes of Chanel, Dior, and Prada is also the author of four bestselling books and holds the title of Global Artist in Residence for the Oetker Masterpiece Hotel Collection


What is your ultimate travel indulgence?

This may seem ridiculous, but if I’m travelling on my own and if it has been an extremely busy day, I think the best thing is to take a luxurious hot bath, wrap up in a robe and order room service – I couldn’t be happier. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I probably would have said to find the latest hotspot, but now I am so happy to just unwind.

Must-have travel accessories?

Louis Vuitton luggage – the pieces are resilient and they make travelling more fun. Just before a flight, regardless of which airline I am using, I load a stack of series onto my iPad. I always take a super-soft eye mask that won’t leave any indentations on my face, noise-cancelling earphones, and a giant scarf-wrap that doubles as blanket for the flight. Oh, and I always have a water spritzer for hydration.

Which place has surprised you the most in terms of its fashion scene?

Perhaps it was the first time I visited the Middle East, as I didn’t really know what to expect. What I found, and always see now, is such a diverse and interesting mix of fashion. You can’t pin it down to one look. Even though there is huge support for luxury and big brands, many local designers have strong influences, too.

You’ve said New York City gave you your first big break. What do you love about it?

Every time I land in the city, my heart races and I am happy to be there. I love the people who are, in general, very forward thinking, enthusiastic and optimistic despite anything they have been through. I have so many favourite places there. I illustrated New York: Through a Fashion Eye to create a different visual journey of this fantastic city and show a different side to it. I included inexpensive options and those that are ridiculously expensive (just for fun) to show that you can have whatever type of experience you want to there.

Every time I land in the New York, my heart races and I am happy to be there

What enchants you about Paris?

I love it equally to New York even though it’s so vastly different. Parisians do things so well and I like the way they enjoy life. They appreciate little things such as taking time to sit down and savour exquisite food. Everything in the city is so beautiful to draw. One of my favourite pastimes is to people-watch at Café de Flore in St Germain.

Of all cities in the world which ones would you still love to illustrate?

I think Milan would be fantastic, as would Dubai because of its enormous amount of interesting architecture and mix of cultures. I think Tokyo would be great, too. They way people dress there is mind-blowing; they go to so much effort. Looking at everything there is like being in a giant pinball machine.

What are your top three hotels?

Fairmont The Palm is where I always stay when I’m visiting Dubai and I like the familiarity of the place. I love to open the doors of my room, look onto the beach and feel the warmth. They also have really good dates and coffee. I’ve probably stayed at Le Bristol Paris more than any other hotel in the world and it feels like home. It’s so typically French and has such a lovely feel to it. There are two resident cats there, and they even have their own suites. My other favourite is Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France, which is indescribably beautiful.

Junior Suite at Le Bristol Paris
Junior Suite at Le Bristol Paris

What travel tips do you have for your hometown of Melbourne?

The city has great cultural happenings and amazing exhibitions – a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria is definitely worth it. We are known for our coffee shops and food scene so explore the laneways to find great spots. There’s a really good mix of city and beach life in Melbourne – head to the latter for seafood.