Scroll through the Instagram account of Charlotte Lynggaard, the Danish designer and creative director of Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen, and you’ll probably want to overhaul your travel wardrobe.
A tastemaker in Denmark – she is close to Princess Mary (who wears her jewellery) and was named Style Icon of the Year at the 2015 Elle Style Awards – Lynggaard’s account is peppered with snaps of family vacations in Majorca, St Tropez and Morocco, all showcasing her fashion mastery of gypsy chic.
Travel is in Lynggaard’s blood. As a child, her father Ole, who launched his eponymous jewellery business in 1963, would take the family to France for holidays, on skiing trips across Europe and on safari in Africa.
Despite her demanding work schedule, Lynggaard still prioritises travel. “I approach travel in different ways, depending on whether it’s with the extended family, my husband [Michel Normann, Ole Lynggaard’s chief commercial officer] and our three teenage children, or my husband only,” she explains from her design-rich home on the outskirts of Copenhagen, which is surrounded by birch forest and looks across the sea to Sweden.
“When you travel with a big family, you have to choose destinations where there’s something for everyone,” she says, “where you have a good base and everyone can be a bit independent.”
In 2016, the extended family travelled to Morocco, staying at the Four Seasons in the heart of Marrakesh. “We would meet for breakfast and dinner, but in between we’d each do our own thing,” she says. “For me, that’s exploring the small backstreets.”
To celebrate her mother’s 80th birthday in October with more than 20 family members, she chose a surprise location in Greece.
Then, for a change of pace, the Lynggaards travelled to St Tropez, spending a few days at Le Club 55, before decamping to a friend’s house in the surrounding mountains. “I’m not normally into beach clubs, but Le 55 has a special atmosphere. You always get fantastic food and there’s a good crowd of people from all over the world who are relaxed but dressed up a little bit; it’s fun.”
Business and pleasure
And, of course, business is often combined with pleasure when on the road. Lynggaard lived in Paris years ago and travels there regularly to visit the French Ole Lynggaard flagship store.”Paris is my second home,” she says, adding she always finds time for a glass of wine at Hôtel Costes and to visit her favourite Dries Van Noten store on the Seine: “I love the atmosphere – it’s a place where you can really hang out for a while and get inspired by all the fabrics, art and antiques.”
Following a recent store opening in Singapore, Lynggaard and her husband added a few days at Cempedak, a luxurious, 17-hectare private island a few hours off the coast, which is home to endangered pangolins and sea otters.”It’s very Robinson Crusoe – you can only get there by this little boat; they have fantastic food and bamboo houses. You feel like you’re in the jungle with all these wonderful sounds and bird calls.”
More regular beachside holiday haunts are the east coast of Mauritius, staying at colonial-style seaside hotel The Residence, plus Majorca’s Hotel Cap Rocat, a former military fortress in a secluded section of Palma de Majorca.Last year, Lynggaard and her family also visited Australia for the second time, staying with friends on Bondi Beach and taking sailing trips along the coast. “I think the Danish and Australian people have a lot in common: their sense of humour and the way they like to dress in a bohemian way.”
Lynggaard’s travels are among her greatest sources of inspiration for both her jewellery designs and paintings. “I always bring my notebooks no matter where I am in the world,” she says. “On the beach or in the forest, I love to just sit and make small drawings or notes.”
In her suitcase
“I try to travel light, because I feel more free like that,” says Lynggaard, whose graceful style reflects the laid-back destinations she favours. “A wardrobe has to be easy, not stressful. You have to have your things that you know you always feel good and comfortable in.”
Suitcase staples are her oversized cashmere Dries Van Noten scarves, Eres Paris bathing suits, straw hats by Australian brand Axel Mano, a pair of flat Hermès sandals (she never wears heels) and the long, breezy dresses that define her style.
“I have so many long dresses, but I can never have enough,” she laughs. Favourites include Missoni, Rosie Assoulin’s vibrant creations, voluminous Ukrainian embroidered dresses from Vita Kin and German label Antonia Zander’s cashmere and silk pieces.
Jewellery, of course, is another key element. “In the space of a day, I often need to go from the beach to a business function to a dinner party, so my jewellery has to be part of me,” she says.
Her latest collection of unisex Life bracelets, crafted from hand-knotted fabric with an 18-carat-gold hook, was created with this versatility in mind. “You can do everything in them so you never take them off. My brother, husband and son all have them too, and they surf, dive and cycle wearing them.”
Also living on Lynggaard’s wrists are a gold-and-diamond snake bracelet that was a gift from her father, who drew inspiration from treasures he saw at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum to create the piece, and a stack of gold bracelets topped with precious stones from her Nature collection. Almost always in her ears are gold leaf hoops, which she swaps out for elegant dangling earrings with hand-cut precious stones from her Gipsy collection for dressier occasions.
Lynggaard will often collect fun, creative accents to add to these staples. “When I’m in St Tropez, Australia or Majorca, I’ll pick up more bohemian necklaces or jewellery made from shells to mix in,” she says.
Her jewellery designs are often inspired by nature, with botanical motifs featuring heavily. “Nature is where I feel most relaxed and at peace. I love big cities – Stockholm is another favourite – but, increasingly, I need the quietness of nature.”
On October 22, Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen launched on net-a-porter.com
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN PRINT AND ONLINE HERE