• brooketietjens


Updated: Sep 3, 2021

"The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject." - Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

I was only just thinking about the concept of baggage when Dita Von Teese announced that she had two GLOBE-TROTTER suitcases broken in transit.

My style icon became an instant reminder of how we can secure seemingly important possessions in a beautiful exterior that's considered almost unbreakable.

I've been reading about Kintsugi ("golden joinery"), the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. It is a philosophy that finds beauty in breakage, which is considered part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Cracks and repairs are seen as an event in the life of an object, not its end. So, it is left on the shelf. But not in the colloquial Western sense of the words.

Kintsugi also relates to the Japanese philosophy of mushin ("no mind"), which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life.

People often say that they don't want baggage. Well, that's just too bad for anyone who thinks they might want me. I've been known to carry excess, both on an airplane and on my shoulders.

I personally don't require a matching set of suitcases by GLOBE-TROTTER, although I wouldn't be opposed to their 007 collection as a once-aspiring Bond Girl. But the sturdy silver four-wheeler I bought from Angel Islington's Chapel Market in London will suffice.

What matters most, to me, is that I've mended the broken wheels on my proverbial suitcase and learned to haul it myself. That, like flawed Japanese pottery, is pure gold.

On my latest flight from Heathrow to Hobbiton, my literal suitcase contained only clothes. If they'd gotten lost at Suvarnabhumi Airport, then I could've coped with the ones I was wearing. Well, almost. I was sporting a two-piece winter coat in high humidity, simply because it wouldn't fit anywhere except on me.

It was really my cabin luggage that I couldn't have coped without. I have three handbag fundamentals - phone, wallet, keys. On this occasion I only had two of these things, in light of my aforementioned experiences with the latter. My passport comes in a close fourth, and could easily be followed by Rimmel Red and ear plugs.

But it isn't. The remainder of my hand luggage consisted of letters from my parents, along with cards and momento's from dear friends the world over. My clothes are replaceable. My loved ones, and their love for me - cracks and all - is not.

Therein lies the most important lesson that I've learned when one must pack their bags - always carry with you the most important things you have, tangible and otherwise.

But do check the climate of your destination, so that you don't wind up walking the streets of Paris in your Dita Von Teese-inspired vintage fur, at 32 degrees Celsius.