“All the way to India by empire flying-boat…giving Pullman comfort in the air-promenade-smoker-the world’s most comfortable armchairs,” reads an advert from a 1937 issue of Flightmagazine. This is just one piece of evidence that travel in the early 1900s was hailed as the pinnacle of extravagance and luxury, reserved only for the upper-class echelons of society who could afford the indulgence of gallivanting across the globe. Whether it was crossing the dark and perilous Pacific Ocean to navigating through the dense lands of Asia or sipping a light vermouth aboard the Orient Express through Vienna, travel was never seen as a practical nuisance. It was a highly-civilised experience intended to be relished and each moment of luxurious detail designed to be savoured.
An inherent part of this romantic ideal of worldly adventure was the sophisticated wardrobe that went with it. A wealthy gentleman could not step foot on a steam train bound for far away lands without the correct white linen two-piece, or indeed a pin-striped lightweight suit for entertaining foreign democrats. He would require a travelling wardrobe to ensure the upkeep of his image, demonstration of wealth and to ensure his status did not falter for a second in the air or on the sea.
While this style of travel has long since vanished into the history books, one small epoch of its time remains. A unique and incredibly rare vintage Louis Vuitton all-leather Malle Armoire, crafted in 1925, is reminiscent of a bygone era where elegance and travel were fundamentally interlinked. With a brass lock and latches, and finished with the Vuitton trademark orange interior, it’s set with studded leather corners for added durability, rendering this wardrobe trunk a magnificent and beautiful Vuitton classic.
And while we know this form of packing may not be particularly convenient, we at The Rake would undeniably sacrifice ease and speed of travel if it meant exuding classic style. With six drawers as well as hanging-space and a removable shoe case, there is no need to restrict yourself to the essentials, enabling the transportation of at least some of the excessive wardrobe one cannot bare to leave at home. When setting off to vast unknown and mysterious lands, one can at least seek comfort in knowing their favoured garments are no more than a brass lock away.
The wardrobe costs £34,000 and is available to purchase at 1stdibs.com.