Fanny wearing POPLIN Bardot Nightshirt
Her name is Fanny Boucher, which has the ring of a 17th century courtesan, but she's actually the face and creative brains behind the beautiful Indo-French jewellery label, Honorine.
Fanny is a seasoned Indophile so we caught up, she told me some characteristically interesting stories and I stole some travel tips on behalf of POPLIN girls everywhere:
- How do you wear your Poplin?At home in Bombay, to bring breakfast in bed. In Jaipur with leather trousers to roam around. And anywhere else with Greek sandals, a big wicker basket and an armful of Honorine Jewels Pompom bracelets.
- What else is on your wish list from Poplin?
The Audrey silk pyjamas. I would wear the top to sleep and the trousers to go out.
SHOP Audrey Silk Pyjamas HERE
The way Indian women wear jewellery : they wear it all the time, it's essential to them. Ok, sometimes they do wear too much of it, but what is nice is that they cherish precious things : they would never wear costume jewellery, for example. Never, ever. They have an eye for good stones, good finish. So when they tell me that Honorine Jewels has great craftsmanship and that my stones are beautiful, I'm beaming !
- What's your favourite piece from Honorine?
At the moment I stack necklaces from the new Tasselmania collection ! I tinkle when I walk. And the one piece I never take off is my gold Lamu charm.
- What's inspiring you for your next collection? Give us a sneak preview!
We just wrapped up the new catalog in Jaipur - I had the flat full of house-guests and we popped some sparkling Sula [Indian champagne!] So Tasselmania is a collection inspired by the great passementerie of old French houses - big tassels and silk braids - and infused with crazy Indian colors.
And the next Honorine Jewels collection in the pipeline is precious. I am using one-off rare gems and casting some really intricate designs. It is inspired by the Nizams of Hyderabad. I went there in January and my heart just missed a beat wherever I looked : it was magical.
- Top tips for visiting India? Favourite destination, shops, food to try...
Destination : Raas, in Jodhpur, is a dream. It's insanely romantic, incredibly beautiful, the food is great, they have the best club sandwich east of London, the service is perfect and the view takes your breath away. A fabulous treat.
Shops : Jodhpur is my favorite city for shopping in Rajasthan, the bazaar is so old and messy, I love it. I buy the coolest horse ornaments there on the Clocktower Square. There are these famous shops in Jodhpur that tell tourists a lot of stories, like they make bedcovers for Hermès, because really, since when does Hermès sell shiny silk bedcovers with massive embroidered purple flowers ? These guys are so funny ! But the city also has true gems : Tayeb Khan makes the dreamiest saafars, the pastel colored turbans Indian men wear at weddings. And Lalji is a big warehouse that sells a lot of old and new furniture and has a great choice of vintage china. You have to get your hands dirty but it is great and they ship everywhere.
Favorite food is obviously : food from the North Western Frontier. Basically, oil bombs. The best of the best of which is the sikandari raan at the ITC hotels. A full leg of lamb rubbed in spices then marinated overnight and cooked on the tandoor. It melts in the mouth. So good I ache writing about it. Eat it with the dal makhani, raita, and a pile of laccha parathas dripping in ghee. Not for the faint-hearted.
- French film or bollywood?
There are some really awesome Bollywood movies. Bunty aur Babli was funny, Choker Bali is beautiful, Deepa Mehta's movies are heart-wrenching. And I think my little sister, when she came over, watched Devdas 18,000 times. But I must say I don't fully relate. I love French movies, the sadder the better, I am a huge screen cry-baby. Recently I watched an extraordinary Canadian movie, "Incendies", about the war in Lebanon. Sublime, but devastating. My boyfriend found me at home in floods of tears.
- Favourite French novel?
Impossible to choose! Ok, probably "Mémoires d'Hadrien", by Marguerite Yourcenar. It's perfection. Everything by Marguerite Yourcenar is perfection !
When I had dengue two years ago I ordered everything she ever wrote on amazon and I read it all, starting with her autobiography and finishing with Mémoires d'Hadrien. I was really sick, but it made me really happy.
- Favourite Indian novel?
Impossible too !
Ok then, "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry : the ultimate Indian novel, don't you think ? Beautiful, dark, hopeful, hopeless, heart-breaking, graceful. It's deeply political too, but cleverly so : the prime minister is never named but she is a she with a white streak of hair. Her policies are never theoretically dissected, but the tragic destiny of the characters and the ridiculous political rallies where they are dragged speak louder than a pamphlet.
- You're a bit of a geek at heart aren't you? What's your ultimate anti-fashion habit?
Well, I read the FT, even the Markets bits. Lucy Kellaway, the Management columnist, is just so smart I have a girl crush on her.
And my sisters say that if my boyfriend saw how I used to dress to sleep, he would run away in terror. That's because I grew up in Lorraine, where it's freezing cold, so I am all for a bit of ski gear to sleep.
- You're also a traveller, what are your top 3 suitcase essentials?
My POPLIN Bardot shirt, my Ipad, and my perfume. The rest can always be improvised.