TO KNOW | LA RAMONETA OF THE MONTH
Every month, we introduce you to an interesting woman living in Languedoc. Curious as we are, we love to find out why they live in this beautiful region, what they do for a living and some of their Languedoc favourites. This month we would like you to meet Claire Fafet from Pop’line Lingerie & Homewear as our Ramoneta of the Month.
My name is Claire, I’m 32 years old, and I’m the creator of Pop’line Lingerie & Homewear (1). Pop’line is my own brand of ethical and organic lingerie, which is handmade in my workshop and boutique next to contemporary art centre “La Panacée” in Montpellier.
First time in the region
I left my native Picardy in the North of France by TGV, with two large suitcases, destination Nîmes. I moved to this university city to settle into my student room so I could study a BTS Design de Mode (which is the equivalent of a Post Secondary Diploma in Fashion Design).
Settling in Languedoc
Only seven public schools in France offered the Fashion Design course I wanted to study. I applied to several schools, praying very hard that I would be accepted to the University of Nîmes. Luckily, I was accepted and got to study at my first choice school. I stayed in the city during my studies and then to get my degree as a product Textile manager. After my studies, in 2010, I did an internship in Montpellier, and I’ve been here ever since.
To me, living in the South of France seemed like the obvious choice after I spent my first holiday with friends in Cavalaire-sur-Mer (between Hyères and St Tropez). I absolutely loved the climate and the palm trees!
Difficult to choose! There are still so many places to discover.
I love Montpellier for its cobbled streets and its charm. My favourite spots are the Place de la Canourgue, the district of fine arts where I lived, the St Roch district and of course the Jardin des Plantes.
I love Nîmes for all the memories I made there. Les Jardins de la Fontaine have a special place in my heart, including the remainings of the Temple of Diana. I used to climb all the way up to the Tour Magne to peacefully do my homework on one of the benches.
I love Narbonne and Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and their cathedrals.
I love Saint-Jean-du-Gard and Anduze with their beautiful surroundings and river.
Living in Languedoc
The sun shines all year long in Languedoc, and I especially like the blue sky. As I am a girl from the north (and it is beautiful in the north), I’m used to clouds. In Picardie, there are always clouds dotting the sky, even when the weather is beautiful. Whereas here in the south, you get a lot of entirely blue skies, which is so nice. You can even have a coffee on the terrace in the middle of winter.
Setting up a lingerie business
I set up Pop’line because I wanted an alternative to the white cotton lingerie (not pretty) and the waist cincher or “waspie” with fasteners (usually not worn every day). At the time, I couldn’t find what I wanted in the stores, as I was looking for a combination of ethical materials and Calais lace. But above all, I wanted to buy comfortable lingerie without forgetting the seductive element.
This is how I came up with creating my own brand of lingerie. Pop’line offers comfortable lingerie and wireless bras made out of Calais lace and organic cotton. In addition to the lingerie, Pop’line consists of a range of home wear to wear both on top and under your clothes, like cami tops in silk or organic cotton, and bodysuits made out of bamboo or TENCEL fibres… Pop’line also has a wedding range which is custom-made on request, including silk or lace nighties and kimono’s
It’s a mix of “popeline”, meaning poplin, which is a light cotton fabric that I use for cami tops and nighties. “Pop” stands for the pop-side, with the swiss dot and round patterns that I love so much. And “line” comes from Marily Monroe, the glamorous icon who inspired me by her 30s to 50s Hollywood glamour, pin-up style and high waisted panties. Putting these two words together creates Pop’line and my soft, fine lingerie.
Best Languedoc wine
Ahhh, I’m an epicurean wine lover who likes a lot of different varieties: Muscat, white, rosé and red.
For a white wine, I like Viognier, for a rosé I love a wine from the hills of Languedoc and of all the red wines I prefer a Faugère, Montpeyroux, Saint Chinian, etc … I don’t know all of them as there are so many. Arriving in Montpellier, I also discovered the warm white wine served at the Christmas market. I only knew red mulled wine, but the white version is delicious too.
There are so many restaurants that I love! For example, I like to eat or have my ‘goûter’ at Les Demoiselles de Montpellier, their pastries are excellent. Or I go to Joy Healthyfood to have a delicious lunch in a cool place. I also like to go and have a cupcake at Marry Cherry or eat a pie with salad at L’Oignon Givré. Rose Marie is one of my favourites too, as is eating a focaccia at Gusto.
Perfect day out in Languedoc
There are several possibilities. When in Montpellier, I love to go for a walk in the city centre, buy my vegetables at the Marché des Arceaux, roam around at Chic et Bohème (3), have lunch on one of the terraces in L’Écusson, see an exhibition at the Panacée or Pavillon Populaire, go to the beach or the river or enjoy some shade at the Jardin des Plantes. In the evening I like to meet up with friends and have some tapas while enjoying a sweet summer night.
Another option is to go to Sète to walk along the Corniche, eat some good fish on a terrace, and climb the Mont Saint Clair for a gorgeous panoramic view. Going to the Pont du Gard (4), visit the village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, swimming at the Pont du Diable, and discovering the craftsmen’s workshops in Pézenas are favourites too.