Wednesday 30 November 2011

Brown Paper Packages...

What could be inside this mountain of brown-paper wrapped boxes? (I can't utter or write those words- brown paper and string- without conjuring up A Sound of Music in all its curtain-clad, wholesome schnitzel glory!)

Just as delightful, but a whole lot more chic, are these beautiful, handmade and hand-printed Poplin boxes that are towering over me as I work. Purchases from will come wrapped in tissue paper in one of these beauties.Who wouldn't want to find a box like this under the tree?...

See Poplin Pyjamas here

Thursday 24 November 2011

Made in India

One of the things I have loved, and still love, about living in India is how alive so many craft traditions are. There's seemingly endless scope for having ideas, drawing up a design and bringing them to life. It's fascinating to walk through a bustling village, town or city and see people working away at their particular skill. I especially love how specialised people are- I am working with a man who only makes handmade boxes, another who exclusively supplies and hand finishes buttons, another who specialises only in screen printing...

But at times doing business in India can be incredibly frustrating. Such specialization means that lots and lots of different, separate teams are involved in making a pair of POPLIN pyjamas, and Indian craftspeople don't necessarily have a very straightforward attitude to timelines or commitments- it can make for some hair-tearing moments! There are lots of long-winded explanations, references to "cousin brothers", multiple phone calls on multiple mobile phones and plenty of haphazardly filed paperwork.

When I saw Jan Banning's series of phototgraphs (pictured here) of "Bureaucratics" in India, they really spoke to these frustrations. And yet, even as I look at them, I feel inspired by India. And I guess that's why I'm here, and why it's all worth it in the end...

Saturday 19 November 2011

Function and Form

Despite being a professional writer and seasoned blogger, it's another thing entirely venturing onto the virgin territory of the Poplin blog.

Poplin is my new line of luxury sleep and loungewear, based on a William Morris attitude to design: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Poplin is all about both- beauty and functionality. The collection has been designed to make you look impeccably chic while also feeling completely relaxed and comfortable.

The collection will be launching online very soon at and with a handful of select stockists.

Preparing for the launch of Poplin and this first collection has been a labour of love. Over the past year I have been living in Mumbai and travelling across India to source fabrics and find the best tailors. My background is in fashion and travel writing, and my exposure to great design and exciting destinations informs and inspires my designs.

So this blog will be part travelogue, part design scrap book and will allow readers to keep up to date with news and upcoming Poplin projects. I hope you enjoy it...