Orient Express has collaborated with 18 houses and designers on its first collection of opulent travel objects. With its first journey from Paris to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1883, the Orient Express redefined what it meant to travel comfortably. The velvet and crystal-filled cars of the passenger train transformed long-distance travel into a luxurious experience that was immortalised in Agatha Christie's novel of glamour and intrigue, Murder on the Orient Express.
The rise of air travel forced the original service to make its last Paris-Istanbul journey in 1977, and subsequent routes have since been withdrawn. But its legacy lives on in this newly launched collection of travel objects, called Steam Dream, as well as some soon-to-be-opened hotels (while restored 1920s carriages are available for private hire).
The items that make up the Steam Dream collection cover four aspects of time away – dining, lounging, travelling and sleeping – and feature some of the most recognisable names in craftsmanship and design. There’s stationery by Smythson, candles by Cire Trudon, and a turntable by Bang & Olufsen, for example.
Those with a penchant for grandeur can purchase all the items in the Steam Dream collection and transport them in a midnight blue trunk designed by historic luggage maker Au Départ that comes with an in-built vinyl turntable, glassware for your Hennessy cocktails, and books from Assouline, Albin Michel, and Louis Vuitton to evoke the legend of the Orient Express.
For something on the more modest side, we recommend getting your hands on Au Départ's equally elegant bag and packing it with a fan by Parisian fan maker Duvelleroy, or some sunglasses from Maison Bonnet.
After a year of travel restrictions and a future that might include more of the same, the idea of departing on the Orient Express with a leather case in hand is certainly a welcome form of escapism
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Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.
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