A weekend jaunt Geneva-style is filled with museums, markets and momentous club nights, so putting careful consideration into the packing essentials for your Geneva city break will help you make the most of your trip.
Geneva fashion is French chic with added attitude. The city is not only a vibrant cultural destination, it's also a sartorial hotspot that regularly attracts the Hollywood style set – Olivia Palermo has been spotted at the Montblanc VIP dinner several times, while Rosamund Pike stepped out at iconic watch brand IWC's annual gala in early 2016.
This city may be the world’s epicentre of fine jewellery and diamonds – hence the prevalence of superyachts, gated mansions and stop-and-stare sports cars – but it also features soul-stirring natural scenery. Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps and the Jura Mountains, it's nothing short of postcard perfection. With its grandiose architecture and streets made for ambling, it's a destination that challenges even Paris in the romance stakes.
1. Bags of style
Dressing for Geneva means maintaining a suave air of elegant sophistication from the moment you land to the moment you take off. Those who cart a tatty weekend bag around fall at the first hurdle – airport-chic demands a carry-on in the softest leather to store your belongings.
On the AW16 catwalks, gargantuan handbags were seen at Balenciaga and Gucci – meaning large totes have never been more in vogue. Ports 1961 bags for men are difficult to beat. In particular, the Jacquard fabrics and all-over star-print styles are sure to incite airport-carousel envy. Meanwhile, the Maison Margiela classic holdall for women in wear-with-anything black epitomises understated luxury.
2. Hats on
Geneva is a mountain town, and temperatures can plummet well into the minuses, so head-warming pieces will form part of your packing essentials for your Geneva city break.
It’s hard to beat a bobble hat à la 7II for sheer warmth and comfort, while fedoras by the likes of Maison Michel, Antonio Marras and Borsalino raise the style stakes in warmer months.
3. Gloved up
Women’s fashion in Geneva is all about braving the elements with panache, so if it’s the cooler season, cover up with a pair of sumptuous gloves by N.Peal. The zips running through these cashmere designs mean you can slip them on and off with ease when flitting in and out of the local boutiques.
4. Bet your boots
City trips mean exploration, and this urban destination has plenty to keep you amused. Marvel at the St. Pierre Cathedral – all gothic arches and flying buttresses – that dominates Geneva’s centre. Pay a visit to the International Red Cross Museum, which charts the fascinating history of the globally renowned humanitarian organisation.
All this sightseeing calls for sturdy footwear, but practical doesn’t have to mean dull. Men’s fashion in Geneva combines a utilitarian aesthetic with luxe materials. Follow suit in a pair of brogue-style Gucci boots – the tell-tale red and green stripe running along the ankle adds just the right amount of sophistication.
5. Coat check
As you’ll likely be outdoors for an extended period of time, a cover-up is yet another packing essential for your Geneva city break. Luckily, it is possible to marry form with function, as the patchwork fur coats by Liska demonstrate. They’re snug and cosy but also Bond-girl dramatic, in true Geneva style.
6. What lies beneath
Quite often, however, the hallmark of a successful weekend break is never leaving your hotel room. If this is the plan, slip out of your daily wear on arrival and into something seductive and satin by Fleur du Mal.
7. Putting on the glitz
Gilded casinos, five-star hotels, world-renowned opera and high-class cocktail bars – Geneva has plenty of reasons to dress up. Ladies could slink around in a Valentino dress – the shimmering velvet designs in the AW16 collection are especially divine.
8. Suits you
For an evening out on the town, men can go full-throttle dapper in a smoking suit by Salvatore Ferragamo. After all, it wouldn’t be Geneva fashion without a heavy dose of luxury.
9. Got the time?
You could pick up a Swiss watch on your sojourn to Geneva, or you could travel with one. Keep your tourist agenda on the right track with an elegant piece from DuBois et fils. This local label creates the sort of masculine, characterful watches you’ll want to pass down from generation to generation.
10. And then, sleep
Traditional hotels as magnificent as the Beau-Rivage and Le Richemond with their Lake Geneva vistas necessitate seriously stylish pyjamas. For Restless Sleepers has a suite of chevron-striped, paisley and Eastern-inspired pieces that are almost too beautiful for bed. Almost.