Bapsybanoo Pavry: India’s first Page 3 celeb and sari icon – Times of India

Born in the year 1902, Bapsybanno Pavry was a fashion icon. She was India’s first Page 3 socialite and the only Indian Marchioness ever.

Her style

This Parsi woman divided her time between London and Mumbai and was busy making public appearances in her stunning sari collection. She would drape her saris in the most stylish ways and pair them up with interesting blouses and jackets. Bapsy Pavry was way ahead of her time, but not many people know or talk about her style.

Sometimes she would also accessorise her Parsi Gara sari with gloves and trenchcoats. Her signature style was to carry her pallu around her forehead. She never stepped out without her purse amping up her sari game. Bapsy was also a pearl aficionado and would be often clicked adorning beautiful pearl neckpieces with her embroidered saris.


Her achievement

Bapsy had an MA degree from Columbia and she also authored a book titled The Heroines of Ancient Persia: Stories Retold from the Shahnama of Firdausi. She had the gift of gab and could speak twelve languages. In 2009, a room in the Guildhall was refurbished and renamed after her with a huge portrait of her by Frank Salisbury. She would travel around the world extensively along with her brother Jal Pavry and met with influential people.


Her personal life

Bapsybanoo Pavry is thought to be the only Indian Marchioness ever. Her husband, the Marquess, was 90 years old at the time of their marriage in 1952. Within weeks of the wedding he left her for his former fiancée Eve Fleming, the mother of Ian Fleming, the James Bond author. She shifted back to Bombay in 1985 and breathed her last in the city in 1995. Though she was never acknowledged by the British aristocracy, she left £500k in her will for the city to build a community center.


Bapsybanno Pavry leaves us in awe of her sartorial choices and fashionistas can still take style cues on draping saris from her by looking at her beautiful pictures.

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