The love of jewelry brought Paris native Fanny Boucher to India. In her adopted hometown of Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, she frequents the local bazaars handpicking the most beautiful gems for her line, Honorine Jewels. Both her and her designs embody fusions of East and West, creating the perfect baubles for the global woman.
Jaipur is a mystic city. What about the city inspires you the most?The scenic view from my balcony. It faces Moti Dungri Palace, which is a lovely fort on top of a small hill.
The iconic Diana Vreeland once said that pink is the black of India, and Rajasthan is arguably India's most colorful state. What do you like about the use of color in Indian dress and how do you incorporate it into your designs?
Rajasthani village women wear fluorescent yellow with electric blue, bright orange with forest green, all kinds of crazy combinations, and I love it! I try to use this in my jewelry as well. For example, I make braided bracelets and ordered them in these fantastic colors such as vermilion, aqua and hot pink.
Where are the best places in shop in India?
The best place to shop in Delhi is Kashmir Loom. They make the most exquisite cashmere shawls in incredible colors. Jaipur is the capital of gemstones and always full of tourist places. The best place to shop for jewelry is Tholia, on MI Road (Tholia Building, +91 14 12 37 27 90). It?s not a glamorous place that would be featured in the magazines. It's small, understated, and kind of a secret among people who know jewelry.
If you had only one day in Jaipur, what would you recommend? What about the rest of India?
Start with Jaipur?s Amber Fort, the most beautiful fort in India by far. Then have a walk in the Old City and a cozy lunch on the verandah at Rambagh Palace. Shop for jewelry in the afternoon. Then head out of the city for a sunset elephant ride followed by home-cooked Indian food at Dera Amer (+91 98 29 01 25 12), an elephant camp in the wild.
What you can't find anywhere else in the world is the restaurant Circa 119 in Mehrauli, Delhi. It faces the Qutub Minar, one of Delhi's great monuments. It is one of the most breathtaking experiences (+91 98 18 43 87 41).
Sariska, a part of Rajasthan that is still untouched and mystical, is my favorite.
Which are the must-see bazaars in India? And what are your tips for navigating them?
Tripolia Bazaar in Jaipur is pretty atmospheric, and the bazaar in Jodhpur is even more inspiring. The best bazaars are the ones that sell non-touristy things: spices, sweets, trunks and plates. These things I love! My tips: cover yourself, relax and just ignore the hawkers.
What are your tips for dressing stylishly in extreme heat? What about during monsoon season?
India is very hot, but it's also a very conservative country, so you need to be covered. My savior is men?s shirts. I wear them all the time, with sleeves rolled up. I like to wear men's clothes anyway, so it suits my style. For the monsoon: Havaianas!
Bollywood stars are the tastemakers for Indian fashion. Who are your favorite stars and what do you like about their style?
Bollywood style is a little too brazen for me! But my favorite actress is Sonya Jehan; she has these incredible almond eyes and wears the sari beautifully. She is always elegant and poised - and she is half French!
What is an ideal day in your hometown of Paris?
In Paris, you just have to sit in a cafe and watch people. When I shop, it's for a special piece, like feather-light leather pants by Aurelia Stouls (+33 1 47 03 95 85), a French leather genius, or a bag by the new hot designer in town, Yvonne Yvonne. I love going to Deyrolle, the most famous taxidermist in Paris. Idream of getting a leopard from there, but that's way out of my budget.
But really, my ideal day is all about the food. Breakfast at the Flore (I'm still a bit of a tourist in Paris; I grew up in the countryside). Lunch at Angelo Procopio, a tiny, fabulous, authentic Italian bistro (89, rue Saint-Honore 75001 +33 1 40 41 06 25). Dinner is at Les Cocottes, great French homestyle food (135, rue Saint-Dominique 75007 +33 1 45 50 10 31).