How to: Bali Essentials

I could have just packed these for my recent Bali trip – instead I packed a 23kg suitcase. Hashtag logic.



The fact that I’m able to escape the irritating cold of Sydney to sunnier mornings, colder drinks and shorter denim is amazing to me. Words cannot even come close to describe how excited I am to be traipsing my first European Summer, and with my Alex at that. But first, there are Uni exams, and then there is that terrible tunnel vision called packing, which I am still refining the art of: I could have just packed these for my recent Bali trip – instead I packed a 23kg suitcase.

Hashtag logic.

Zilla Holographic Bag from Cara & Co: The one piece I couldn’t stop wearing in Bali – it fits everything, it reflects everything, it’s the centre of attention and it’s freaking holographic. What more do you want in a bag? Seriously.

Seafolly Cyber Surfer Bikini: No matter how many amazing prints, colours and shapes I pick up in other bikinis, I always come back to this one. I’ve had it for well over two years now, and it still looks brand new and looks more appropriate as a standalone top half with shorts than any of my other triangle, criss-cross, this-that, strappy bikini tops.

Kerastase SOLEIL Huile Lactée: I never used to pay attention to protecting my hair in the sun (granted, my hair is black, so sun damage isn’t so obvious). This recent trip to Bali was the first time I took the time to test out this moisturising and protective Kerastase potion, and I have to say, it’ll be staying with me for my European Summer! Think Adriana locks. It feels that good.

Larsson & Jennings Watch: You wouldn’t think a classic timepiece like this would be the way to go beachfront and poolside, but I like that it encapsulates a little style normalcy for me (I’ve never been an all out beach boho chicken nugget – hence dresses by the pool…). This black strap and its leopard sibling (and now my new Kors) are on continuous rotation at the moment, and it’s not about to stop.

FujiFilm X100 from digiDIRECT: I’ve only been using this little box of glory for the past month or so, but I have to say that the quality of images is pretty insane – I’ll have to share a photodiary of the images I’ve taken on it so far (indeed, I’m still playing around with the settings), but technology these days, people: how does a thing so small create images so pretty?

Gold jewellery by Oracle Collection, PUSHMATAAHA, Celeste Tesoriero, ASOS and Equip: I never used to be a gold person (I always found it borderline tacky), but dressed with fairly minimal swimwear in particular, Larry’s a happy man.

Urbanears Headphones in Petrol: I’d had a red pair for the past year, but how beautiful is this deep blue colour? Just looking at them warrants all-white with a fresh coconut wet hair.

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm, Ginger Flight Therapy and Rosehip Seed Lip Cream: As well as their travel-sized facial cleanser and toner, these sidekicks absolutely kick goals upon anything to do with air travel, and change in climate for your skin. The tube of Ginger in particular keeps me sane on flights of any length. Feeling fresh is key, baby.

Sunglasses by Karen Walker, Moo Eyewear and Westward Leaning: One can never have too many. These three do the job and make pretty picture frames for your face any day.

Red Macau Nach Earrings from Jewels That Rock: You have bird figurines. On your ears. Without looking like an art teacher. I like that. Nothing more to be said (except that they’re only $70!? The detail is incredible)

Coral Earrings by Amaleia and Sarina Suriano for The Dark Horse Crystal Ear Cuff: When I’m traveling, I always like to take a few look-at-me jewellery pieces for days when all I want to wear is… a black bikini. Which, in Bali, was every day. These guys got a workout.

KORA Organics Energising Citrus Mist: Mist that energises? Nonsense, you say. It energises. When it’s 40 degrees and humid out, you spray this once on your face, and it freaking energises.

Athinaeum iPad Case: For my diva of an iPad. Somehow, I can never leave home without my dear tablet looking something like where I’m headed. Tell me this woven beauty doesn’t exude Bali vibes (even if it’s Mayan-inspired).

And now, back to eating textbooks – exams are nigh.

It hurts, oh it hurts.


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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