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Style

Nur Kaoukji

We first saw Lebanese designer Nur Kaoukji’s work at 28 Kothi, the boutique guesthouse in Jaipur that’s triggered all manner of Rajasthani Princess daydreams, but the creative director of lifestyle label Ecru has clearly been super busy, channeling her love of Indian handicrafts and pattern into her work both at the Kothi as well as in her own store.

Nur answered the Nico Q&A.

 Your personal style is:
Comfortable! My closet is an accumulation of ethnic clothing, comfortable essentials, funky hand-me-downs and sexy friend swaps.

 What are your favourite online design resources?
I'm not the most tech savvy, but I definitely drag and drop whenever I see a beautiful picture online. However, I'm a sucker for print. I love books. I love visiting exhibitions and am usually even more excited about purchasing the catalogue to go through after the exhibition. So I think books, of all kinds, are my preferred resources.

 Does your approach to style change with the seasons?
One of my favorite pieces of clothing is a winter coat, so when winter starts to creep, the first thing I do is pull it out. Nothing makes me feel more elegant than when I have a beautiful coat draped on my shoulders. My style doesn't change per se, but the colder months are definitely seasoned with an extra pinch of drama.

 Favourite shopping destination, anywhere in the world?
So many to choose from!
Buly, an apothecary in Paris that is an entirely magical and mysterious retail experience.
The Birthday Bazaar in Jaipur, a chaotic mess of all things that shimmer and shine.
Senteurs D'Orient in Beirut, selling olive oil-based soaps fragranced with natural oils that make me want to shower all day long.
La Mere De Famille in Paris; If Willy Wonka really had a chocolate shop this would be it.

Favourite place you’ve ever traveled?
I believe in magic, not so much the Harry Potter kind, but more the feeling of being at the right time, at the right place with precisely who you need to be with at that time. These magical moments are my favorite memories:
Hiring a karaoke bus to travel 7 hours to Jodhpur for a Sufi festival at a Fort with my nearest and dearest, getting lost in Tokyo in the middle of the night with my best friend, a week long road trip with my family visiting the most beautiful monuments, eating our hearts out and crying with laughter all around Syria, a night wrapped up in someone's arms in Beirut.
I can't think of one favorite place or moment, there are too many.

 Your dream holiday destination?
Right this moment I would say somewhere with a lot of love, a lot of sun and large body of fresh deep blue water.

 What's the one travel essential in your bag at all times?
I have three: sunglasses, lipstick, and Panadol.

 An insider tip for jaipur?
The Jaipur Love Guide by Fiona Caulfied is truly the best guide to Jaipur. Full of addresses that all the local Jaipuris know, and some little treasures as well. If you truly want to explore the city, take the time to. Jaipur is full of treasures, not the obvious ones but ones that can only be discovered when given the time and chance to be trailed through, and it is worth it.

 Your favourite hotel?
28 Kothi of course! If I'm not allowed to say that, then RAAS in Jodhpur, which has incredible service and an even more incredible view of Mehrangarh Fort. For a guest house, the Mosaic Guest House in Amer, Jaipur, where you are treated like family, are served amazing food and are a step away from the most beautiful fort in Rajasthan, Amber Fort.

 Souvenirs you always bring home:
Nur: Food. Anyone who knows me well knows that whenever I arrive or leave a place I have two suitcases. And one is always filled with food.

 Who, or what, is your biggest design influence?
My parents and their crazy friends; all loud personalities, with strong opinions and distinct aesthetic choices, and I can safely say that each one of them has independently had an affect on me.

Read about 28 Kothi here.
To see more of Nur’s work, visit the Ecru wesbite.

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