My Vacation Style: British Menswear Designer Lou Dalton Heads to Barcelona

“We have a long-standing tradition of impromptu sing-alongs or games, and this year we’re all doing a cabaret night.”

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Lou Dalton’s detail-oriented and rebellious take on English sportswear continues to impress us at London Collections: Men each season. Here, the designer shows us how she likes to let loose in Spain once the shows are over.

The Getaway: “Last season we were in Morocco, but this year we’re going to Sitges [pictured below], near Barcelona. Two of our closest friends, Paul Bernstock and Thelma Speirs [of hat company Bernstock Speirs], go every year. You can say two’s company, three’s a crowd, but we’ve been away together and know each other’s habits and familiarities—so in this case, the crowd works.”

Vacation Ethos: “Just getting out of London for a few days feels like a holiday! Because work is at the forefront, a vacation is very much about reading and taking time out to catch up on newspapers and galleries and the usual—and enjoying the fact that I can have a drink at five o’clock in the afternoon and not feel guilty.”

Where to Stay: “Bernstock and Speirs acquired a very nice apartment, which sleeps 10 to 20 people. We have a long-standing tradition of impromptu sing-alongs or games, and this year we’re all doing a cabaret night. My boyfriend, Justin, and I are basing our act on the British comedian Victoria Wood. A little amateur dramatics is a nice social thing to get you thinking about something other than work.”

What to Do: “A day trip to Barcelona is first on my list. El Piano Bar is a regular haunt, where they always have someone singing show tunes accompanied by a piano. It’s very camp but lots of fun, and what would Sitges be if it wasn’t camp? There’s also Atlantida, a nightclub with a dance floor on top of a swimming pool, perched on the edge of a cliff outside. The views are incredible—you can see the sun coming up in the morning while you’re dancing.”

Insider Tip: “Visit the San Sebastià cemetery for beautiful architecture. The graves are built upon one another with beautiful floral decoration against a hard gray backdrop—it’s stunning.”

Pro Packing Tip: “A black T-shirt and Birkenstocks—just very clean and easy. And Aesop lip balm is essential.”