Paola Zancanaro was a consultant to Prada and other top fashion houses. Now she resides in Bali and is the creative force behind the islands chicest boutique, Namu. Recently we caught up with Paola to discuss all things chic and stylish about her life in paradise. Read below and shop Bali?s chicest boutique online with L-atitude.
How long have you been living in Bali? You must have seen it change dramatically over the past few years?
I have lived in Bali for almost 6 years and enjoyed fully every minute. Bali evolves everyday and has become one of the most sophisticated holiday destination in the world; tranquil, lush green rice fields and long sandy beaches mix with some of the most beautiful and modern resorts along with the perfect shopping and party scenes.
How has living in Bali influenced your style?
I finally wear vivid colors and all over prints! All our collections are inspired from the beautiful surroundings; nature is a constant inspiration in terms of colors, forms and shapes.
Since you live in Paradise where do you go to vacation?
My mini holiday are always in Bali at Comoshambala in Ubud, it is my "personal" paradise where i relax and enjoy truly nature and the amazing service that the estate offers you - best treatments in Bali!
My holiday always include Italy, the Italian Riviera, where I grew up and Salento in Puglia, the architecture and the sea are a real pleasure for your soul there.
London and Mumbai my favorite cities in the world are always on top on my list with an yearly trip to Rajhastan, where I get my inspiration for my newly launched Fine Jewel Collection GAJNER; the collection is inspired by the beautiful surroundings of the Gajner Lake Palace a gorgeous oasis in the middle of the Thar Desert.
Can you give us a sense of what a day in your life is like?
Every day I am up 6 a.m. I do 30 minutes of yoga or a long walk on the beach, enjoy my cat and garden, a healthy breakfast and at the office by 9am and no stop until..late! I travel often so when I am in Bali it is working time! During the week end I always try to escape to Ubud, where I appreciate the island of the Gods and its culture to the fulliest.
What are the must go- to local spots you would suggest every globetrotter visit in Bali?
Ubud is my favorite part of Bali. It's right at the centre of the island. Life there is slow and peaceful like it was in the old days...Hindu God statues are at every corner adorned by the beautiful Balinese flower offerings.
If you wish to spoil yourself stay a week at Comoshambala in Ubud immersed in the deep jungle otherwise, if your budget does not permit it, enjoy the beautiful surroundings at Gaia Oasis, by the sea, in the north east part of the island- Telajakula...the best kept secret on the island! Tandjung Sari, the very first boutique hotel in Asia to open 50 years ago, in the peaceful area of Sanur, right by the beach, is my other "holiday at home" favorite spot...the architecture, the gardens and the private beach are the most charming on the island and not to be forgotten the most delicious selection of Indonesian food.
In Ubud my favorite restaurant is Mozaic and the best Ice Cream Shop in the island "Gaya Gelato", it is even better than the ice creams in Italy!
Down in Seminyak, where "it all happens" my favorite restaurants are Sardine overlooking a charming rice field, the gorgeously decorated Petitenget, with the best daily specials and my daily "canteen" Biku Restaurant & Tea House, an antique Javanese house, where high tea is served along with the most delicious Indonesian foods (western food is also available and delicious). In terms of shops of course NAMU!
Quarzia is my favorite shop in Bali, where the traditional techniques of Indonesian Batik meet the most gorgeous contemporary prints; each piece is handmade and painted like a canvas. CARLO Showroom in Sanur offers the best furniture on the islands and i buy all my presents from Indie/vie, where all products are strictly and beautifully made in Indonesia. Gaya Ceramics and Design offers the best Ceramics on the island, my house is full of them, I just cannot get enough of them!
What are you wardrobe must have?s for a day in Bali and for when you travel?
A gorgeous Kaftan from NAMU and a sarong from our beautiful selection available at NAMU, which i handpick in traditional batik houses all over Java.
In Bali and abroad I am never without one of our gorgeous Stingray Bags with its matching accessories; our bags and accessories collection, NAMU - LUX, is now expanding to beautifully handcrafted crocodile and lizard bags in revisited classic shapes - the perfect understated luxury item to own!
Shop the fabulous collection from Namu on L-atitude. Click here.