How to pack for an Indonesian escape
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
I’m escaping the summer crowds of Italy to Indonesia: holy rivers and dive boats, pristine coral in cerulean seas, a temple on every corner. No make-up, shoes as rarely as possible, good hats and sunscreen. And super-spicy nasi goreng for breakfast, every damned day.
I’m a collector (hoarder) of kikois, pareos and sarongs. I discovered Biasa when I lived in Singapore and travelled regularly to Bali, and it set the bar: chic, modern takes on batik and traditional design motifs, generous sizes, the lightest, softest cotton. Fold one in thirds and it’s a wrap halter top. Belt one and it’s a dress. I have about half a dozen, and wear them everywhere: beaches, boats, restaurants. Biasa sarong, from Rp1,390,000 (about £78), biasagroup.com
Innes Lauren swimsuit
My Innes Lauren swimsuit, a black maillot with a modest, elegant keyhole silhouette and unexpectedly minimal rear coverage, is a custom piece by the Bali-born designer. We crafted it together remotely – I in Europe, Innes in Byron Bay – over Zoom and WhatsApp. It’s very business-up-front, party-in-the-back – but it can still handle a serious ocean swim. I also usually stuff in scads of bikinis from Laura Urbinati, which deftly bridge the sufficient-coverage/sleek-cut gap, and like the one-piece can withstand lots of salt-water use. Innes Lauren The One Shoulder One Piece, A$240, inneslauren.com
Dr Barbara Sturm Sun Drops
Dr Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops SPF 50 for the face. 100 per cent worth the hefty price tag – prevents sun spots, gives excellent protection, stays on in the water. Glow-y not greasy; in fact hugely flatters and genuinely shaves a neat three-to-four years off my complexion (I’ve been known to deploy it at night for this reason). And hardworking ISDIN for all body-related sun protection; it’s the absolute best line I’ve found. Dr Barbara Sturm Sun Drops, £110 for 30ml, drsturm.com
Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
At least one big Summer 2022 read – I’m leaning toward Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh – and also one of a handful of books that are so very good that I reread them all cyclically every two or three years. Like Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, which never fails to both make me weep copiously and renew my faith in humanity. Lapvona, by Ottesa Moshfegh, £14.99, waterstones.com
Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds
My Jabra Elite 7 Pro. Sweet active noise cancellation, long-lasting battery power, and super comfortable. These + Spotify = handy distraction for short archipelago-hopping flights (in sometimes slightly dodgy dual-prop planes). Jabra Elite 7 Pro, from £199.99, jabra.co.uk
Chez Dede Cabas bag
A leather-and-canvas Chez Dede Cabas Panoramica Caprese tote. Designed by my friends Daria Reina and Andrea Ferolla, with every stitch and every fold done by hand in Italy. Fits hat, wallet, Turkish towel, phone, and book: all I need. Chez Dede Cabas Panoramica Caprese tote bag, €300, chezdede.com