Artist Camille Walala shines a light on the kaleidoscopic delights of Oaxaca in Mexico

From the beauty of Barragán to the best street food taco van – nobody knows this rainbow-infused city quite like Camille

Camille Walala at a design show in London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

French-born artist and designer Camille Walala is known for her joyful, graphic-style street murals and love of bold colour. Since setting up her east London studio in 2009, her uplifting design projects have spanned to home decor too, from a rug collection for Floor Story to Salt to an immersive Mauritian boutique hotel. 

We caught up with Camille to find out about her favorite color-drenched holiday destination, Oaxaca in Mexico. 

Camille Walala secrets of Oaxaca in Mexico

(Image credit: Photo by T Bortolus on Unsplash)

First things first, when is the best time to go? 

I visited February last year and the weather was perfect. Not too hot, so you can spend hours walking and visiting all the amazing places Oaxaca has to offer, yet sunny so all the colors of the city pop!

Where should we stay? 

The Grana B&B – it’s an old hacienda that’s been restored by two brothers with an architectural background. They work with local artisans to fill the space with beautiful objects and furniture. The food is traditional and the service is second to none. Needless to say, we’re taking notes for our modern summer house ideas.

Camille Walala at a design show in London

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Local dishes to try? 

I ate the most incredible street food, incredibly cheap and delicious. A favorite was the cochinita pibil tacos from a particular taco stand that was apparently the best one around. It would appear around 9pm each night, on a street corner in a quiet part of town. 

Best markets? 

There are so many! The food markets are a great place to start. The two big ones are over the road from each other: the Mercado 20 de Noviembre and Mercado Benito Juarez, where there is the most delicious array of Mexican cuisine as well as an incredible selection of produce.  

Camille Walala secrets of Oaxaca in Mexico

(Image credit: Photo by Analuisa Gamboa on Unsplash)

Designers we should check out? 

I have been following Rrres (which means nothing) on Instagram for some time. When I had the opportunity to meet him in person in Oaxaca, I jumped at the opportunity. His work is absolutely beautiful and he prides himself on working with traditional makers and artisans from Mexico and Latin America. 

Camille Walala secrets of Oaxaca in Mexico

(Image credit: Photo by T Bortolus on Unsplash)

Your perfect day trip? 

Mexico City, it’s more of a weekend trip from Oaxaca. Start with breakfast at Lardo in Roma, then off to Jardines del Pedregal to the home of the architect Luis Barragán. A few steps down the road is the Tetetlán, where you can eat a fantastic lunch, learn about the history of the area, shop and visit the beautiful library, among other things. 

Architectural gems? 

There are so many it’s impossible to choose. I was told that there are little to no building regulations in Mexico, so people really go to town on their homes. Walking down the street you would see a brutalist bubblegum pink home adjacent to a traditional hacienda, an incredible feast for the eyes! 

That said, while in Mexico City I went on a pilgrimage of everything Barragán and Legorreta. So if I had to choose, nothing matched the feeling I had when I visited the Cuadra San Cristóbal by Barragán in Mexico City. The vibrancy of that pink against the blue skies blew my mind.’

Camille Walala secrets of Oaxaca in Mexico

(Image credit: Mathilde Mrst /Alamy Stock Photo)

For more South American glory, explore this luxurious but laid back Mexican villa which was inspired by the colors of the surrounding ocean and desert. Though, as a warning, it certainly won’t cure your wanderlust.

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.