Beauty All Around - Yasmin le Bon talks with You & I

Amother, a supermodel of half-Persian,half-British heritage, and a hardcore lover of India, Yasmin Le Bon was in Hyderabad for the 5th Cartier Concours d’Elegance ‘Travel with Style’ event. That’s where we caught up with her, and learned what she’s been up to lately.

You’re at the gorgeous Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad for the Cartier show. What’s it like so far?
We only just got here yesterday, but time is really flying by. India is always lovely; so full of life and great energy. Cartier has developed a beautiful cultural event that involves bringing together creative people and connoisseurs from around the world, and there is always loads of fun things to do.

We love that you are such a huge fan of India and are so enthusiastic about our country. What has your association with India been like?
To be honest, as much as I have been admiring India for a long time, the first time I came to the country wasn’t that long ago. It was in 2008, to do a photo shoot for the second issue of Vogue India. It was one of the most breath-taking experiences of my life. I was in Udaipur for the photo shoot and I was completely blown away. It was one of those very special moments in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was like being on a movie set – so surreal and stunning. I was crying at the end of the trip. It was an extraordinary experience and I felt a real spiritual connection with the country. There is something about the spirit here that really speaks to me. I love coming to India and visit here every few years. In one word, as cliché as it may be, India is magical. Purely magical!

You’re a regular at the Cartier car shows around the world, and also have a keen interest in bikes and automobiles. Do you have any particular favourites?
I’ve grown up appreciating cars, and it’s difficult judging because each one displayed here is so unique and spectacular in its own way. There is one particular car that is an unlikely choice to be a favourite, but it’s a dream: the Edsel, which is an American station wagon. It is a fabulous car and is definitely one of my favourites. There are a lot of wonderful cars, but what is fantastic is that there are so many different categories. The preservation category is wonderful, since most cars in India belong to the same families since they were purchased. This is unlike in Europe where they share many owners, as they’re often sold off. For a car to stay in a family for 100 years is an achievement; it shows that there is a piece of living history, which is fascinating.

You’ve had a fantastic career. What’s been the best part of it?
I’m not sure I have a favourite part in my career. But what I enjoyed most was that I got to work with a lot of creative people, have been given a lot of freedom, and live a truly free life. I am very lucky to be self-employed. It is amazing, especially when you have a family, to be able to decidewhen I want to (and don’t want to) work.

You are a supermodel, and by default you’ve got fabulous style! What is your take on style in India?
Why, thank you, but I’m not so sure about having fabulous style (laughs). The beauty in India is part of why everybody who comes here all say the same thing: that Indian women are absolutely gorgeous, no questions asked! Even before I came, everyone told me that the women here are so beautiful and have extraordinary grace.

I can completely vouch for that, because what I see in India I don’t see anywhere else. Indian women are strong, clever and have unique style. The colours women choose to wear here are amazing; there is a certain sense of bravery with the use of fashion.

What’s the secret to looking so fabulous at your age?
To be honest, I have only recently discovered the immense benefits of sleep and water. Everyone talks about it, and I have finally begun to see how they are the simplest habits to incorporate into your life to look beautiful. I used to be very hard on myself and over train, but I have realised that life is to be enjoyed and everything done in moderation is good. So I will have a green juice and that glass of red wine, please (laughs). However, the important thing for young women to realise is that beauty is all about inner happiness and enjoying life. There is no point in looking beautiful if you don’t appreciate the beauty around you (smiles).            – as told to Suneela