Between the new wave of malls, the inexorable rise of Canggu, and Kuta’s ominous creep northward, it sometimes seems that Seminyak is going the way of Legian before it. Yet the area has been Bali’s fashion and style capital for the past few decades, and, when it comes to island shopping, still can’t be beat.
Seminyak is an interiors goldmine, thanks in large part to the welter of luxury villas and a general fascination with Bali in the hotel design world. A great place to start is Lemari (1 Jl. Batu Belig; 62-361/473-0219), the brainchild of a New Zealand interior designer: there’s an effortlessly cool mix of antiques from across the archipelago with curated modern pieces, while the space spills all the way back to a breezy poolside terrace. Still in the antique vein, head to Masa Gallery (17 Jl. Kayu Aya; 62/851-0019-0419) for a more regional Southeast Asian inflection: think gilded Burmese Buddhas alongside ancient bells and teakwood cabinets, with the odd Dayak carving thrown in for good measure.
For quirky furniture finds, you’ll want to venture a little way into what’s technically Kerobokan. On the southward extension of Jalan Tangkuban Perahu, a.k.a. “Furniture Road,” discoveries run the gamut from vintage Ferris wheel cars to Pertamina oil drums repurposed as tables and chairs, not to mention acres of reclaimed, painted wood ready to be turned into drawers and bookshelves. More centrally, Warisan Living (38 Jl. Raya Kerobokan; 62-361/730-048), a Bali institution that’s been around for almost 30 years, still merits a visit for its fusion of clean, contemporary design with Indonesian traditions. Nyaman Gallery (88 Jl. Raya Basangkasa; 62-361/736-226), a cool, pared-down space, features work by the likes of Jakarta-born street artist Quint and the haunting, timeless photos of Stephan Kotas.
Rather easier to transport—although Bali stores are pros at shipping pieces—are the goodies found at Carga (886 Jl. Petitenget; 62-361/847-8173), a one-stop gift shop. Cushions, ceramics, candles, baskets, wood wares, rag dolls and more are perfect partners for the handmade wrapping paper that incorporates actual leaves. Or, for beach chic by the boatload, head to D2 Detail Deco (33x Jl. Mertanadi; 62/812-3991-1157), a brightly colored wonderland of pieces from rocking horses to bird cages by way of candlesticks, vases, and signs.
Meanwhile, Drifter (50 Jl. Kayu Aya; 62-361/ 733-274) is a refreshing change from the big-brand, big-box surf stores. The beautifully curated book selection leads with Indonesia and surfing but extends to tiny houses and rock ’n roll, while hand-shaped boards come from maestros like Hawaii’s Reno Abellira and Dick Brewer. More accessible are brands including Rhythm, Obey, and Hippy Tree, as well as Otis sunglasses, neoprene bikinis, and tiny denim cutoffs.
Fashion designers have been frequenting this neck of the woods for almost as long as surfers and interiors traders, not least because it’s easy to have beautiful clothes hand-made here. Paris-born and Bali-based Magali Pascal (177x Jl. Kayu Aya; 62-361/736-147) specializes in elegant, boho pieces with an urban edge that makes them more than just resort wear. Besides floaty slips, coverups, and flapper-esque wafts of chiffon and lace, there are sharp trenches and leather skirts in city black. Lulu Yasmine (100xx Jl. Petitenget; 62-361/473-7470), founded by former Brazilian model Luiza Chang, is day-to-night tropical but never gaudy. Think lovely, lace-trimmed tunics and slips, elegant column dresses and the odd opulent piece in beaded chiffon.
Pair your evening wear with baubles from Sri Luce Rusna’s Tulola (2 Jl. Cendrawasih; 62/812-385-9524): her gorgeous pieces, from silver moonstone rings to minutely detailed hairpieces, celebrate the artistic heritage of Indonesia. Or, moving away from the resort theme, try the neighborhood’s latest leather outlet, The Happiness Journey (7 Jl. Drupadi; 62/878-6201-0903), for cropped, slim-fit biker jackets and funky leather backpacks.
At two-story Biasa+ (34 Jl. Raya Seminyak; 62-361/730-945), Italian-owned fashion brand Biasa combines retail with contemporary art. Loosely structured, cleverly cut modernist pieces come in cottons, linens, silks and chiffon, with light, seasonal shirts and jackets for the boys. A 20-minute walk away, Mekong (47 Jl. Kayu Aya) began as a multi-brand outlet but has now come into its own with a range of elegant, asymmetrical jersey dresses, not to mention stylish monochrome maxis.
And, since Seminyak wouldn’t be Seminyak without a trip to the beach, head to the candy-colored, beach-hut style frontage of Bali Boat Shed (23A Jl. Kayu Aya; 62/856-5933-1907). From Hawaiian shirts for the boys to bold prints and slim bikinis for the girls, it has everything you need for a day in the sun—right down to shades and sun cream.
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Taking Stock of Seminyak”).